The Story of Melody the Bug
Not much is known of the early life of Melody the VW Bug. We know she was born in Germany in June of 1971, and soon immigrated to the United States. At this point, currently not much more is known about her early life.
On October 16, 1999, Melody came into Jacob Walker's life. He named her "Melody" because there was a little toy vw bug glued to the dashboard with the words "Melody" on it. For the first year and a half, she was a normal bug. She leaked oil, had a hard time climbing hills, and was the standard cute that VW bugs are.
But then on April 9, 2001, her whole life changed, when Jacob decided to have a Bug Painting Party, where she got most of her beautiful/interesting body art. Jacob kept a set of paint with Melody after the initial party, and additional art was painted on afterwards.
While being with Jacob, she has had many adventures. She journeyed to Burning Man in 2001. She carried a love seat home to Jacob's house, and later the same love seat to Manda and Steve's apartment (where the love seat still lives today). She carried Andy's boat, "The Rusty", to Folsom Lake on several occasions. She has been marveled at by people on the freeway, and photographed by many random people who have happened to happen upon her. She also has gone through 3 engines, and a bunch of other work. (But that part seems par for the course with Bugs)
For the last several years, she has just been sitting in Jacob's driveway, and hasn't had a chance to be seen and enjoyed by people. So this year, Jacob decided that it is time for Melody to be shared by the world again. He isn't quite sure how he will yet do this, but this web page is a start.
The Painting Party
On March 20, 2000, Jacob sent an email invitation to many of his friends for a Bug Painting Party. The party started about 3 PM on April 9th, at the "club house" in downtown Lincoln. (Literally on the corner of the two most major streets in Lincoln.)
What is amazing, is that we had a lot of nudity going on during the party, as we put paint on several women's breasts (Sam's, Treasach's, & "Evil" Jen's) and on several people's butts (Naomi's & Howard's), and really we didn't have any problem with the police or other people passing by.
Jacob supplied beer from the newly opened Beerman's microbrew, and paints and brushes. Other people brought their own brushes as well, and Pizza was bought later in the day.
Starting from just being a light blue, Melody grew to be multi-colored before the night was over.
Individual Art Work
Here is a listing of many of the individual pieces of artwork on Melody. I have tried to include the name of the original artists and a little bit about the piece. Unfortunately, I have forgotten who painted many of the pieces, or maybe I never knew in the first place. If you are the artist of any of these, or I got something wrong, please let me know, and I'll fix this. Also, I'd love to have the original artists write their descriptions/editorial for this page. Also, the titles on this page are ones Jacob made up, if the original artists wish to have a different title for their paintings, please also let him know.
Not only were there paintings done at the original party, but many small ones done after the party, or changes to originals, making it truly a collaborative project. In many ways Melody is an art gallery on wheels.
The Cheshire Cat by "Evil" Jen
The most popular of all the paintings on Melody is the Cheshire Cat. While one only sees the smile of the cat, it is very clear from anyone who has watched Disney's version of Alice in Wonderland, or read the books, that it is definitely the Cheshire cat. While Jacob had a few women put their painted breasts on his car, Jen put hers on Treashas' car and not his.
The U.S. Flag by Summer Blue Sky
Right next to the Cheshire Cat is the U.S. Flag, painted by Summer Blue Sky. This flag features fireworks, and pagan symbols on the blue area. Probably most of the people who look at my car, don't realize they are pagan symbols. It is funny how many people might be offended by that if they knew, but isn't one of our cherished freedoms, the Freedom of Religion? It seems that many people who like that freedom only like it if it is their religion they are free to practice.
Paintings by Alex
I think all these paintings were done by Alex, but I could be wrong. They are small, but interesting, especially because probably most of the viewers don't realize the significance of them. 42 is the answer to "Life, the Universe, and Everything" according to the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. The heart with the infinity is a symbol for polyamory, and the ankh (which looks a lot like a cross) is an Egyptian pagan symbol. The rose (which got cut off in this picture), is just a rose.
Painting by Aaron "Richard" Crosby
Richard (who originally went by the name Aaron, then was "renamed" to Richard by Psyberware, and finally became Aaron again after getting married), says that he is only good at painting this type of design. It looks pretty cool in either case, and is located next to the Cheshire Cat.
Carpe Diem by unknown artist
I'm not sure who painted this, it could have been Alex, but I'm not sure. This statement of Carpe Diem, which is Latin for "Seize the Day" was made popular by the movie The Dead Poet's Society, which is much loved by many of our friends. The painting party was truly in the spirit of seizing the time we have while we have it, to make something creative.
"Have a Froopy Night" by Psy
The most common question Jacob receives when people look at Melody is: "What does Froopy mean?" Only Psy knows for sure what it means, since he wrote it. But as best as Jacob can guess, Psy knew that Jacob liked the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, and in that book there are the terms "hoopy" and "frood". Hoopy is defined as "a really together guy" and frood is defined as "a really amazingly together guy." So Jacob thinks Psy confused these two words, or maybe purposely put them together to form "froopy". In either case, Jacob only wonders what most people think when they read "Have a Froopy Night" on Melody.
As far as the face, I'm not sure who painted it.
ASCII Kung Fu Theatre by Ryan Macklin
This got painted on after the original party. It was done by Ryan Macklin who had been doing an online comic strip called the ASCII Kung Fu Theatre.
Pegasus & Faun by Jacob Walker
Jacob never claimed to be much of a painter. (Why do you think he got other people to paint his car?) But he was fairly proud of this little painting. It was done mostly after the party, and "Evil" Jen helped a little in getting the Pegasus to look like a horse and not a dog.
Two Mountains, a Tulip, and the Sun by Psy
Jacob asked for anyone who wanted to paint anything that could get him in trouble with the police, please paint it on the inside. Psy of course did not heed his request.... well not exactly. To the casual glance, this is only a picture of some mountains, a tree, a tulip, the sun and some clouds around the sun. But if you look deeper you will understand the pun of "tulip". The original painting was much more obviously sexual, so Jacob added the purple mountain, clouds, and tree, to disguise it a little further. I'm not sure who put the sky and moon above the picture, but I think it was added after the party.
A Seascape by an unknown artist and Jacob
This was originally just a picture of a fish and crawly thing, and Jacob forgets who painted these. He does know that after the party he added the shark head, the sea stars, and the sea anemones.
Bringing a Love Seat to Manda and Steve's Apartment
Going to Folsom Lake with Andy and Jacob
At the same time Melody was being painted, Treasach brought over her car as well, and it got painted as well. Samantha did an awesome painting on the hood, which unfortunately this picture does not do justice to. She traced two people (one of which was Duane, and I'm not sure of the other), and had them dancing around a flaming pentacle. While Melody is an awesome car with awesome paintings, Treasach's car was even more awesome. Unfortunately, due to various reasons, the car is no more, and we are not sure what happened to the hood.
Harvey and the Toyota Tercel
When Psy bought the Lincoln house, the former owners left a big deer head downstairs, who we affectionately named "Harvey". When Xot lived downstairs, Harvey lived with him, and when Xot moved, he was given Harvey as a "present". Jacob had a Tercel at the time with a moon roof, so I took Harvey with me to Xot's new place. This is the only picture that we have of that move. As with several different events that were to happen with the bug the "double takes" that people did while driving and seeing me with a deer in the front seat, was very amusing.