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In what is rapidly becoming a tradition, I have just finished making a t-shirt design for my upcoming London trip to see Marillion.  The reason for my trip is to celebrate my 40th birthday with the band at the last concert of their 2005 "Not Quite Xmas Tour".  Lead singer Steve Hogarth had invited me way back in September when we talked in Portland, Oregon.  Indeed, it seems like they're giving the the "royal guest" treatment.

Anyway, I'd designed a couple of t-shirts for their Pacific Northwest "Los Trios Marillos" shows — a design listing all the show dates for the West Coast tour and one for my friend Mike and I specifically for the shows we attended.  (My online user name is "Albuquerque Anorak" and his is "Bozeman Barry", using Marillion's band mascot/logo named Barry, created for 2001's Anoraknophobia album; the t-shirts included the Barry character holding an Albuquerque flag on my shirt and a Montana flag on Mike's shirt.)  The shirts were a big hit with band and fans alike (I even gave my extra shirt to bassist Pete Trewavas; they didn't make any official tour t-shirts so the three I made are all that exist!)

I hadn't even thought of making one for the upcoming London show until just last week.  I'd been so busy preparing for my upcoming Christmas/New Year's "mystery" journey, that I hadn't been thinking of Marillion at all (gasp!).  But I received an e-mail from the band's communications director with details of what time to be at the soundcheck the afternoon of the show (part of my birthday "celebration").  I suddenly thought, I must make a t-shirt!  As is my usual habit lately, I became too busy and forgot all about it...

This is turning into quite the long-winded post, isn't it?

Well, yesterday I received the latest 2-disc live Marillion CD from the band's Front Row Club (#030 — Bielefeld, Germany 3/20/94).  The shipment included the latest Racket Records (their own label) catalogue listing, among other things, a newly designed t-shirt for their upcoming Colours & Sounds tour documentary DVD.  It was then that I realized the show was only three weeks away and I would be leaving in less time than that; better get cracking on my t-shirt design so there would be time to get it printed!

Since I'd recently received an e-mail from Cafe Press saying they (finally) had black t-shirts available to place designs on, I designed my t-shirt with a black background.  The actual design work didn't take very long since I had a general idea of what I wanted; I reused my "Albuquerque Anorak" flag-holding character and placed him over the design for this short tour.  I added a few words and was ready to upload the front design.

Well, I found out then that the black t-shirts weren't ready to purchase yet (although I could place my design on the black t-shirt template — it looked really sharp!) so I had to go back and redesign for a white background.  I also found out that the black shirts won't be able to use a back design.  But since I was back to white, I made one for my t-shirt.  I decided a cool design would be a map of the world (Marillion had a song called "Map Of The World", incidentally) with an arrow showing my route between Albuquerque and London.  For the two cities, I used small marble logos from the band's most recent album.  I originally had the words "Another long journey for a Marillion concert" across the top but changed it at the last minute.  I also put a small "Albuquerque Anorak" and tour logo and the bottom corners, but now that I placed the order I think it makes the bottom look too crowded.  Oh, well.

I originally thought about having the design printed on a sweatshirt but figured that would be too heavy and hot during the concert.  I didn't want just a regular t-shirt so I went between the two and decided on a baseball jersey with red sleeves (matches the red in the Albuquerque flag).

And without further blather, here's what the finished product will look like (front and back):

Not bad for an hour's worth of work on something I'll probably wear only once!