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Crazy David’s Mail Order T-Shirt Co. ad (1977)

Photo(s) by Bart Solenthaler. Imported from Flickr on Jan 16, 2022. Artwork published in .
Crazy David’s Mail Order T-Shirt Co. ad (1977)
Source: Uploaded to Flickr by Bart Solenthaler and tagged with “premiershaded”, “antiqueolive” and “helvetica”. License: All Rights Reserved.

Ad for Crazy David’s Mail Order T-Shirt Co., by the company’s outlet in Buffalo, New York, featuring Premier Shaded with both its forms for A.

Crazy David says: Buy any T-shirt shown for only $4 … includes all mailing and handling!

Crazy David started out as David Keller in Alabama, where he was in several bands in the mid-1960s, including the Knights Band and the Preachers. By the 1970s, he moved to Toronto and started a T-shirt industry. The company’s logo was David’s face, with long hair and beard – you can see it in the top left corner of the ad. From Bryan Ratushniak’s book Aftermath: A Firefighter’s Life:

Then we got the lowdown on this guy: he was Crazy David of Crazy David’s T-shirts, a cultural trendsetter of the early 1970s in Toronto, no less. With his wildly popular T-shirts such as “Makin’ Bacon” (depicting pigs humping) and “Fly United” (geese in mid-flight trying to make little geese), he was singlehandedly responsible for thousands of teenagers getting tossed out of school for inappropriate clothing. (Including me. It turned out that “Happiness Is a Tight Pussy” actually meant something more than the cat drinking a martini on the front of my tee. who knew?) Crazy David told us he’d made eight million dollars in 1974. He was so busy, he said, that he slept in the factory next to the printing machines. But his empire came crashing down when K-Mart refused to pay for a large shipment of tees that the Disney Corporation found offensive: Mickey Mouse giving the finger. You don’t mess with Disney. David told us he was on the run from a bunch of people who wanted to sue him: Disney for that Mickey Mouse and McDonald’s for a picture of the famous golden arches sign proclaiming, “60 Million Burgers Stolen!”

Learn more about Crazy David at Lost Toronto and on Garage Hangover.


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2 Comments on “Crazy David’s Mail Order T-Shirt Co. ad (1977)”

  1. The Led Zeppelin in Concert line appears to be, of course, François Lasgi’s Puff Wind to me but in a small size.

    Does anyone have an real-life showing of that t-shirt (on the top right)?

  2. Well spotted! Not life-sized, but here’s a bigger pic of the design, in color:

    Ebay seller rewindrelics offers a copy of this unused iron-on transfer from 1975.

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