The Mercury is celebrating its 10th birthday this week. So to honor this momentous occasion, here's how we made a beautiful humongous birthday cake and then destroyed it with explosives.
It all starts with email.
(Publisher Rob) Crocker- Howdy guys. I need to get an anniversary party ad designed this week. For now, let's just get the layout and design done.
(Art Director Justin) Scrappers- I'm going to get an artist to make us an amazing birthday cake.
Something like this...
Is that a good idea?
Crocker- Yea, other than those are not cakes.... have you had a birthday cake?
(Editor in Chief) Steve- That's not a fucking cake. Maybe instead of an artist, you can approach... oh, I don't know... A BAKER for a cake?
Scrappers-Oh my god! You're right, that's not a cake. My bad. Maybe we should just make a big bowl of dicks for you to eat instead?
Steve- Those aren't dicks. Jesus.
Crocker- That seems entirely fair.
Scrappers- Just to be clear with you all. Here's my plan:
Step 1: Nicole and I are making a giant cake that says "Happy Birthday Mercury" with a big 10 candle on top.
This cake will be bigger then your children. It 's a fake cake made out of cardboard, tape, wood, paint and plaster. But it will look real!!!
Step 2: The cake will work as the art in all the ads leading up to the birthday issue.
On the cover of the Birthday Issue the cake will be all messed up; on fire, arrows in it, bullet holes, an ax, nails, peed on by a pug—just generally fucked up.
Step 3: Online we'll have a video of all the things we did to mess up the cake (hit it with Steve's car, have Sarah crash her bike into it).
I think this will work well with the editorial concept of printing all the things we've messed up in the past 10 years (having the same placard as the WW, printing the same shorts twice in the same paper, misspelling racism, etc...).
Does this make sense? We've already started Step 1. I plan to have the cake made and photographed by end of day Friday.
Steve-So wait... we're NOT doing the bowl of dicks? BULLSHIT!!
Crocker- That sounds great
Nicole Lavelle started pulling cardboard out of the recycling bin and shaping it into cake. We frosted it with drywall putty and decorated it with rope.
Minh Tran photographed it really quick and then Shelly Hennessy designed the ad. Step 1 and Step 2 were taken care of within two days.
Step 3 was way more chaotic. It became crystal clear that I needed to blow this cake up—it was too beautiful.
When you want to blow something up go to the nearest dive bar (Club 21 was what I had at hand) and ask "Who knows how to blow shit up?". Everyone has an opinion on how to do this, so just pick a drunk with a cool name like Thor Drake. Thor and Ray Gordon (the photographer) took me to a warehouse full of motorcycles, naked lady posters, empty Hamm's cans, and the tools needed to blow cake up. We were going to blow it up on the roof, but feared the explosion would cause the floor to fall out from under us. Then we remembered why Oregon invented Scappoose. It's there for Portlanders who want blow cakes up in the woods. I won't get into the details of how Thor made it blow up, but there was a garbage bag full of gas and a car battery involved. Yeah, sketchy!
We expected the explosion to send flaming shrapnel into our eyes and hearts, so when nobody got hurt blowing the cake up it was kind of disappointing.
Matt Semchee made this video to prove how retarded his big brother Ray is. Why is Ray wearing a tarp?
Okay, fine, the end result was pretty standard practice and kind of boring. In fact, I can't believe you're still reading these words. Anyway, that's how we did it.
Happy Birthday Mercury! I'm glad you were born.