Rocky The Flying Squirrel, Bullwinkle, Dudley Do-Right and Crusader Rabbit. If you recognize those names, they assume a certain, almost holiness for you: sitting by the TV as a kid, in simpler days, when only the Russians were out to get us. My manager, Dan Kennedy, lost his father, Alex Anderson (not to be confused with Big Al Anderson), in 2010. Anderson created all of these characters. It is another one of those great American stories that started in a garage. Way back in the day, Anderson and his childhood friend and eventual business partner,Jay Ward, worked out of a studio apartment and a duplex garage in Berkeley, Calif., to crank out some 195 episodes of Crusader Rabbit.
While Anderson, a laid-back guy, was always generous toward his partner in crediting him with the business side of Rocky And Bullwinkle, it took a lawsuit against Ward's estate for Dan's father to get recognition as creator. (Though not all that publicly; you won't find his name at the beginning of any of the films released by Universal. Rather than seeing "Created by Alex Anderson" you will see "Developed by Jay Ward.") In conversations on the topic, Dan, himself a mild-mannered dude, is always quick to say, "Jay Ward created nothing! That's like me taking credit for Chuck's songs."
When his dad passed away, I sensed Dan was pretty determined to set the story straight. As it turned out, he didn't have to do much, since the press kept the family phone ringing for days. The family went into high gear filling in details on Anderson's life, and Dan frantically scanned family photos, running to Kinko's to meet deadlines.
Dan's put up with more than his share of my hi-jinx over the years and always leans on what's right for me as an ar-teest or whatever you want to call it. And all these years later we're still doing it: making records and making the gigs happen. Sometimes we wander into grandiose territory, other times we're just trying to keep the van running. Dan credits the relationship with his father for his affinity for artists, and his father's lack of full recognition for why
he is so hell bent on being fair. And he is fair. Sometimes to a fault if you ask me. But, oh well, I suppose that explains why we affectionately refer to him around here as "Iowa Boy."
Anyway, it's an all-American saga. A Sam Phillips/Elvis/Sun Records kind of story. About a guy laying it out there in an effort to connect with people and express himself and his ideas. And what could be cooler than that? When Dan wanted a logo for his management company, he asked his dad to draw one. The Mummyhead Music logo pleases me to look at. It's on all the record's we put out now.
Video after the jump.