Featured Artist : Benjamin Strebel and Jeremy Strebel |
It all started with the 1990 Las Vegas Grateful Dead shows when I fell in love with the whole scene. Over the summer I met Sha Niazi who was a tie-dyer who knew what was up. I asked him if he would teach me. He said, for a small fee, to which I still owe my mom, he would teach me.
In the fall of '90, I started to dye on my own. I spent the next year figuring it out on my own. Later, in '91, I was joined by my brother, Jeremy, who learned really fast. Together we dyed and sold shirts off our street corner house in Vegas. While doing this, we met Charles and Jody Brown, Mike Aupperly, and Charles. Together we formed Color Me Dead, the Tie-Dyed Experience. We all lived and worked in a two bedroom apartment, where we made dyes and went to shows and the occasional fair.
Our big break came in 1993 at the GD shows in Arizona, at Compton Terrace amp. I had the opportunity to trade one of Jeremy's tapestries for a backstage pass. Backstage, with the tapestry, I ran into the wife of Vince Welnik (the Dead's keyboard player). She helped me hang up the tapestry and arranged for me to show it to the band. When the band came off stage, they walked right past each taking a good look; they all smiled and headed for the vans, except for Vince, who stopped with his wife to say hello -- I got so excited that I gave it to him.
Soon after things got a little bit easier -- after showing several more people how to tie-dye properly, and then another year of shows -- we hooked up with Rock Medicine, where we were inclined to donate some of our art to their space tent (hospital). They, in turn, opened up some avenues of communication in the Dead network by making us the official tie-dyer of Rock Med, which still continues today.
In 1994 The Grateful Dead filmed one of my best pieces ever, the scarab steal your face with the roses at the bottom. Once inside the show I was amazed to see it on the video screen behind the band. After seeing this at a couple more shows, we decided to use this to our advantage, finding the camera crews and getting them to film Color Me Dead artwork with the hopes of seeing it in the visual images used by the band to dazzle the fanz. This worked many times. Throughout '94 and '95 one could see much of the Color Me Dead artwork, along with other interpretive art in makeup and props that we created. Somewhere in here, we were joined by our half brother, Paul Waghorn from Canada. Unfortunately, with the passing of Garcia, we were once again on our own.
In the years that followed, we did a run of shirts for the GD almanac Christmas issue of '96 with featured dancing bear and terripin turtles tie-dyes as the premier item, selling for 36.00. As less work became available, we all split up, and it is mostly back to me and Jeremy, though most people that we've worked with are still dyeing somewhere on their own.
We now mostly concentrate on doing festival backdrops, art or logo banners, and clothing for jambands. Some of the bands include, but are not limited to, Chola, Psydecar, JGB, Missing Man Formation, David Nelson Band, Jahmimia puddleduckand, and John Molo's band, Modereko. In 1999 at the Mt. Aire Festival, Phil Lesh from the GD wore on of my T-Shirts on stage, the first tie-dye he has worn since the Garcia memorial. And of course this and much, much more was created using Dharma Trading Company for all of my tie-dye supply and fabric needs.
Benjammin Strebel and Jeremy Strebel
living dyed, thankfully alive. Thanks everyone for loving to live in full color.
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Dharma Fiber Reactive Procion Dyes
This is the #1 best dye we recommend for tie-dye, batik, dye-painting or screening, etc. on cotton, rayon, bamboo, Tencel®, linen and other natural fibers. Also for solid color dyeing and many other techniques!
Blank Men's T-Shirts
Variety of T-Shirts for men, women and kids, ready to be dyed, painted or stamped.