One of the very first guests to be on the On The Town Show was Josh Agle – also known as SHAG. He made the very long trek up from deep Orange County up to the San Fernando Valley to swap stories on art and Jim Flora and listen to a very scratchy recording of Toot Whistle Plunk and Boom from Walt Disney’s Adventures in Music – first ever cartoon in CinemaScope.
Josh Agle, (AKA Shag — take the last two letters of his first name, add them to the first two of his last name) is an illustrator and painter with an admiration for the clean, tight graphic style of ’50s and ’60s commercial art and illustration. Agle has signed his commercial art “Shag” since 1988, long pre-dating the current cultural infatuation with groovy-go-go-Brit-slang. Shag’s illustrations have appeared in mainstream media like Time Magazine, Entertainment Weekly and Forbes, as well as many other publications.
“It was only in 1995 that I sat down to paint something which might be hung in a gallery,” Shag says. “Everything before that was meant to be reproduced commercially, but enough people started asking for originals that I decided I’d better paint something ‘real’.” Because his previous work was often reproduced up to several million times, Shag wanted the gallery work to be one-of-a-kind, and would not make prints or reproductions of the paintings. That attitude changed in 1999, after enough people had asked him to make prints available. Several lithos, and serigraphs have been released through various galleries and fine-art publishers since then, and more are in production.
The paintings themselves have proved immensely popular, surprising even Shag. “I just wanted to make pretty pictures — something I’d like to look at and own,” he explains. Nevertheless, the paintings have struck some sort of chord with the public. Every one of Shag’s solo shows have been complete sell-outs, including a recent showing of 25 paintings at the Outré Gallery in Melbourne, Australia. “I wasn’t sure if the imagery — the night-club scenes and cheesy jet-setters, the tropical bars and swingers — would translate outside of the U.S. But it went over really well, and the Australians seemed to relate to what I was doing.”Shag lives with his wife and daughter in their Southern California hideout, a tiki bar/supervillain’s-lair. When not painting, Shag spends his time collecting “lots of old stuff,” and working on his 1964 Ford Thunderbird.
- Theme Song: “Miracles From Molecules” by the Sherman Brothers (Available only at Disneyland!!!)
- Calendar Song: “Sorta Blue” off of “The Music from Peter Gunn” composed and conducted by Henry Mancini
- “Quiet Village” by Martin Denny (Pee Wee’s Playhouse music)
- Closing Song: “Soul Bossa Nova” by Qunicy Jones off the album “Martini Madness”