Luke McGarry embodies the look of LA music. Not exactly his face—in fact, he rarely posts pictures of himself—but his highly saturated, not exactly flattering, but certainly accurate cartoons have become mascots for the city’s live music scene ever since FYF Fest and Goldenvoice asked him to be their go-to illustrator.
Not that this is a competition, but while the East Coast has the New Yorker’s prude, millennial-hating sketches, Luke’s drawings are I-can’t-believe-he-went-there vulgar, yet never offensive. Perhaps it’s because countercultural ink runs in his blood. His father, Steve McGarry, designed some of the first album art for Joy Division. But Luke’s art is cheekier than his dad’s. He’s in a unique position to make fun of musicians because he is also one. Since the early 2000’s, he and his twin brother have fronted the band Pop Noir. Luke’s caricatures are often close to getting him in trouble, but he almost always gets away with it.
Even the most talented artists derive joy from drawing penises. “Tenacious D had seen my artwork around and hired me to design the Festival Supreme poster, and knowing that Tenacious D are as immature as I am, I decided to surreptitiously hide a giant penis and testicles in the poster.” Just before the festival, the City of Santa Monica faxed (yes—faxed) a cease and desist letter. “The city was very clear: if they saw one more penis they’d shut the whole thing down, even on the day of the festival. Luckily they didn’t notice any of the penises I hid in the new poster, because there were a lot more the second time around!” You should probably go online now and try to find the hidden genitalia.