David Leland

‘Happening Jeans'

In early 1969, January or February most likely, a group of us organized and pulled off the ‘Happening’, held in the Johnson Art Building atrium.   The team included Bob Zuck, Bryan Pinion, Craig Morris, Dan Hodges, Ralph Lauterwasser, and me.  (Hope I didn’t miss anyone.)  We had a band, comprised of Rob O’Connell, David Jackson, Glenn Goodwin and Will Homans.  Man, did they fill the room.   The ‘Happening’ was an early multi-media event.  I had seen my first ‘light show’, consisting of colored oils and alcohols swirled by hand in what may have been glass pie-baking dishes, at a Janis Joplin show at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, and wasn’t the only one getting exposed to these experiments in rock’n’roll performance art.  Bryan had a connection to the Joshua Light Show, aka Joe’s Lights, the house light show of Bill Graham’s Fillmores. So we pulled together a light show of colored oils and alcohols, and also of images and movies projected on the surfaces of the Art Building, all using equipment borrowed from the College AV Dept.   Did we have black lights and strobes?  I don’t remember, but evidence suggests we did.   These jeans were painted for (and worn at) the Happening.  I haven’t a clue what kind of paint I used, but I haven’t washed the jeans (or worn them) since the ‘Happening’.  And they sure pop under a black light, so the answer to that question may be Yes!  Bob painted a pair of engineer boots with an American flag motif, and Dan painted his ‘Wheels on Fire’ jeans, inspired by Cream’s double album of 1968.   And a fine time was had by all.  

David Leland has painted a number of rooms, the occasional house, furniture from time to time, but hardly ever on canvas or paper, and only once on jeans.