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The balancing act of intricately cut pieces of paper on the sides of the trash, can nearly

resemble an Alexander Calder mobile, as I walked up to Todd’s desk to empty his

trash. Always the stray orange peels and fancy looking paper cut sharply that guaranteed

a paper cut especially when trying to empty the can after another hardcore night

of LSD and bud we affectionately nicknamed Rance Muhammitz after the character in the

Frank Zappa movie “200 Motels”.

It was 1997 and I had just turned 20 and I remember

thinking that this nearly 40-year-old dude who I

met through my Mom was ancient and just another

Designer working in the office building I cleaned for

a night job.

At the time, Todd (as we now know as TDOG the

Artist), was renting office space in Detroit. A graphic

designer/brand developer, having just relocated back

from Los Angeles. He was spinning his wheels like

the rest of us in the mid to late 90’s. I remember not

thinking much of him because he had the patience

to talk to my Mom the owner of the company that

cleaned his office, and because I was a young punk

who had yet to learn the lessons and benefits that

come when you find a way to respect your elders.

Little did I know that now nearly twenty-three years

later our paths would take us on a journey

that not even a true

Dead Head could

deny has been a long

strange trip into a totally

different world.

Had that initial

conversation

not happened

where we both

learned we

shared the nearly 9,000-year-old custom of cannabis

consumption, who knows where we would be today?

Blazin’ Forward

This creative ‘Strain Brain’ known to family and childhood

friends as Todd Pearl but to the masses as Tdog

the Artist, came back to his home state of Michigan

in 1997. Having been born and raised in the Detroit,

Todd had roots in Michigan but like most people of

his talents; after college he had California dreams,

and this led him to the City

of Lost Angels, LA, after a

short stay in Santa Cruz,

CA in 1979. Staying away

nearly 20 years this talented

designer built a reputation

and a client list that produced

design work, from

Springsteen to Snoop Dog. Contracted by the

top record companies (Columbia, Epic,

Capitol, Polydor and Interscope/

DeathRow), radio stations,

colleges, law firms, to

restaurant chains, and

yes, even illustrating

children books,... and

every fun, creative

Inset: National print ad debuting

Snoop’s fi rst single; designed by

the Tdog/T.Pearl in 1993.

J29

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