A cross between “Yellow Submarine” and Dr. Seuss. That’s how the New York Times described the fantastical world surrounding Gustafer Yellowgold, the guy from the sun who landed in the Minnesota woods. Gustafer is the brainchild of singer, songwriter and dad, Morgan Taylor, who makes his Orange County debut this month with Gustafer Yellowgold’s Show at the Samueli Theater as part of the Segertrom Center for the Arts’ Family Series.
Taylor (seen below) has been making music all his life. He moved to New York City to hit it big, but when his band played itself out he was faced with what to do next – start another
band or make something from what he had already created? A lot of his songwriting was what you might call whimsical. Since Taylor is also a talented illustrator, his wife suggested he create a children’s book based on the content of some of his songs. Gustafer Yellowgold emerged as Taylor’s star character. When a publisher casually recommended that Taylor animate his illustrations, put them to his music and create a DVD instead of a book, he didn’t know that he was offering the key to Taylor’s success.
Ten years later, Morgan Taylor has published six DVDs starring Gustafer Yellowgold and his feel-good and charmingly semi- psychedelic world in the Minnesota woods, where Gustafer’s best friends are a sock-loving eel and a fashionable pterodactyl, and where he jumps on cake, dines on pinecones and is visited by crooning mint green bees.
Not long after the publication of his first DVD album, Gustafer Yellowgold’s Wide Wild World, Taylor created Gustafer Yellowgold’s Show, a live performance that is part animated slideshow, part sing-along and part storytelling, which Taylor has taken all over North America over the course of a decade.
Several songs from Gustafer Yellowgold’s Show, such as “Wisconsin Poncho,” “Cakenstein”, and “Slim Gets In ‘Em,” have been #1 hits on Sirius XM’s Kids Place Live. They are refreshingly mellow and funky, which is a large part of their appeal for parents in addition to kids. While a lot of music aimed at children is highly produced and often overwhelmingly boppy, Gustafer Yellowgold has an indie vibe that delights parents – especially those with a sense of humor. This paired with the nostalgic nature of Taylor’s animations, which inherited their two-dimensional comic-like (rather than cartoon-like) motion from their still-illustration origins, makes Gustafer Yellowgold’s Show a very uncommon, and extremely likeable, entertainment event for the whole family. M