Tuesday , September 22 2020
"The best part is I get to do both things I love: drawing AND music." - Morgan Taylor

Interview: Morgan Taylor, Creator of Gustafer Yellowgold

For those parents tired of hearing insipid songs by Barney or the Wiggles, I bring you good news: Meet Gustafer Yellowgold.

The New York Times calls Gustafer “Dr. Seuss meets Yellow Submarine” and I don’t think I can top that apt summary. Gustafer is the creation of songwriter/illustrator Morgan Taylor, an incredibly talented, cool guy.

Gustafer Yellowgold has left his home on the sun to experience a cooler life on Earth! He takes us on a humorously musical journey into his life, and also of his new friends Slim the Eel, Asparagus the Dragon, and Forrest Applecrumbie the Pterodactyl.

The new release has both a dvd and a cd so you can listen to it in the car or watch the songs with their illustrations.

Where did this character come from? 

Oddly enough, I had written a song a few years ago called "I'm From The Sun."  It was released on an album of mine from 2004 called Dream In Green.  When I started choosing songs for this cartoon picture-book I was making in 2005 I went back and pillaged some of my favorite of my old songs, and "I'm From The Sun" became the foundation of what was to be the Gustafer Yellowgold character and back story. 

Did you develop him – his name, his image, his songs, his background – all from scratch? Was that a difficult process? 

His image dates back as far as 1997 when I was drawing him on the marker boards at my old job at Gem City Records in Dayton, Ohio.  He wasn't named yet at that point.  I also had some illustrations of this little guy jumping off a ladder onto a piece of cake. You can see what I'm talking about here.

How long has he been around?   

As actual Gustafer, he's been around since early 2005. 

What were your goals for him? 

At first, I was making picture-books with CD's in the back pocket.  My goals for him then were just to possibly get the books published. But now the concept has expanded so much that really it can be anything – a hero, an inspiration, a T.V. show, comics, Light Bright, even a Thanksgiving Parade balloon!   

Has he met those goals? 

Most of the balloons are still floating in my head!

Can they buy this product via Amazon? If not, where can they buy it? 

Right now it is an exclusive at Barnes & Noble

What’s the best part about this whole project? The worst part? 

The best part is I get to do both things I love: drawing AND music.  The worst : It feels like the rate at which it's developing in real life is REALLY far behind how far I've developed it in my head and on paper.  The 2nd DVD has been finished for a nearly a year now, and we've only just released DVD/CD #1.  

If I read the press release right, then you, in addition to this work, also perform with members of my favorite band, Wilco, performing as part of some side project. That has to be a bit of a switch, no? 

Yes, I play in a band called The Autumn Defense with John and Pat from Wilco.  I really love playing with those guys.  The music come s from the same place that much of my own does – 70's soft rock. It's not really too big of a switch honestly, because I'm still being true to who I am musically, it's just that the people who show up to MY gigs are a lot shorter!

About Scott Butki

Scott Butki was a newspaper reporter for more than 10 years before making a career change into education... then into special education. He has been working in mental health for the last ten years. He lives in Austin. He reads at least 50 books a year and has about 15 author interviews each year and, yes, unlike tv hosts he actually reads each one. He is an in-house media critic, a recovering Tetris addict and a proud uncle. He has written articles on practically all topics from zoos to apples and almost everything in between.

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