I have a few t-shirts that I rarely wear. Most of these shirts were, at one point, steadily rocked. Now, however, I keep them all in one drawer and have considered on more than one occasions, framing them.
Anyone who has made an amazing thrift store find can attest to the fact that some of the most insane things get put on t-shirts. Things that grew in meaning and relevance as time went on and the context changed. George has an Eames chair shirt. Two years ago, I wouldn't have had any clue why he was wearing a shirt with a tiny chair on it. Now, because of a bit more knowledge, I can see that the shirt represents an important designer that had close ties to Western Michigan. That shirt kind of has an attachment to this area because, I am assuming it had something to do with some company function or promotion from Herman Miller in Zeeland.
So I was watching the Yacht Rock videos before work today. (I had no idea they had continued producing these segments) I was watching the hilarious sketch with I keep forgetting, when I noticed one of those special t-shirts.
That my friends, is a t-shirt that was only given to a select group of elite ballers. Competitors in a much fabled tournament known as...THE GUS MAKCER.
Yep. My pops used to play in that tournament each year. And in 1985, he participated in the one held in Lowell, Michigan. Years later, Kurt Cobain and some other dudes convinced me that girls would like me if I wore my parents and grandparents semi-discarded old clothes and so I started rocking the shirt. After a good couple of years, I stopped wearing the shirt. Although I must say that it was a flattering little number, I didn't want to ruin the shirt from repeated washings. So I retired it to the special shirts drawer, only to emerge on, appropriately, special occasions.
Now for one last note. Check out the date on that t-shirt. 1985, right? Now recall the setting of the Yacht Rock video. 1983! That settles it then. People have wondered for decades how such soulful/smooth songs could come from Michael McDonald, and now we know. Dude can time travel. What else can explain writing a song that would do better in 1994 than it did in 1983. He must have known that West Coast Gangsta rap would rise to the top but people would still crave a lighter interlude mixed into their angsty p-funk influenced g-funk.
Or maybe it was a production oversight on the part of some dudes that make clips for the internet. Or maybe the Gus Macker used the same t-shirt design for a bunch of years, I can't really make out the date in the quicktime clip.