High on Hollyweed:

30-year-old college art project is put to music

Many friends and acquaintances of mine are "creative types" - designers. artists, architects, writers, musicians and others - who are always working on some interesting projects. The other day I got a press release from writer, and former Portland resident, David Batterson about his latest effort. I know Batterson from his work writing articles and text for businesses and organizations. However, he's also a song writer.

Batterson and former deejay Mark Giles have completed a new song - "Hollyweed USA" - celebrating a popular stunt that happened 30 years ago, when the landmark Hollywood sign was changed to read "HOLLYWEED." Batterson wrote the lyrics to the song and Giles composed the music. Giles also sings on the demo of the copyrighted song. The musical tribute has not yet been recorded by a record label, but has been distributed to college, indie and "pirate" radio stations in the U.S. and overseas.

Student Daniel Finegood was the person who envisioned the stunt and - on January 1, 1976 - carried it out with some friends. It received worldwide publicity at that time, and earned Finegood an 'A" for his college art project. The artistic deed was in recognition of the new California marijuana law being implemented on that day. Finegood documents the event on the site Hollyweed.net.

Batterson and Giles have also written the songs "Unless We Have A Song" and "Rattling The Dishes," and are working on more songs.

Update: Danny Finegood lost his battle with cancer on January 22, 2007.

© 2006 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

1 comment:

larry said...

I find it funny to see Hollyweed keep popping up. Danny is my cousin and I have followed mentions of the sign change over the years. And his son put up a website to try to market the posters left over from the time when Danny changed the sign. I think he had some tee shirts as well. Of course people ripped off the picture and the shirts within a day at least.
Danny had sheets and a set of ropes to pull everything up, I vaguely remember he had made a model prior to carrying out the deed. He is quite talented and had a number of environmental works. My favorite was his melting wall of ice.