About this project
THE DOGGIES HAVE BEEN SAVED!!
Thanks to you, the Doggie Diner heads will be spruced up in no time, and rolling around the Bay Area for another 20 years or more! Your pledges will be used for RESTORATION (like replacing the old steel frames inside the heads, damaged fiberglass will be reinforced, and a complete repainting with UV-resistant paint) and most importantly, SAFETY (like replacing the old rickety trailer and extensive repairs that need to be made to the hauling vehicle.
To find up the latest and greatest news about the Dogs and to read more on the history of the Doggie Diner, then please visit the Doggie Diner website.
All the support and encouragement from each and everyone of you is heartwarming. THANK YOU for backing this project.
STRETCH GOAL — $53,500
Guess what, we still have some time left to do something really cool! I was talking to Paul Troutman about how we could go above and beyond a normal restoration and maintenance work. We deduced that with some extra funds, we could attach one of the Dog heads to a very sturdy hydraulic base plate, which would allow one of the Dogs to be lifted up into the air on a 10-foot pole. There, the Doggie could rotate hypnotically just as they originally did back in the 1970's. What a sight that would make!
It would take about $5,500 more to engineer one of the three Dog Heads to do this. So what do you say? Do you think that you'd like to see a 300-pound dachshund wearing a chef hat and bow tie, rotate atop a pole?
The Doggie Diner heads, those enigmatic dachshunds from the SF Bay Area, are in desperate need of repair.
These funny pups are leftover signage from the Doggie Diner, a now defunct local restaurant chain in the SF Bay Area. I and a handful of friends have been bringing these local darlings to charity events, parades, and art happenings for the last couple of decades at our own expense and for the sheer joy of it. I have been doing this because these local icons are the only things I know of that brighten the day of EVERYONE who sees them—every time—and for me, that is worth all the labor and expenses that I have poured into them over the years.
But, twenty years of hauling them around the Bay Area on a rickety trailer and 50 years in the sun has taken its toll, and restoring a vintage, 10-foot-tall, 300lb fiberglass and metal sculpture is complicated, labor intensive, and expensive—and we have three of them! Please help us restore the Doggie Diner heads back to their former glory, so we can continue to bring these mobile Bay Area mascots to civic, community, and art events for free for another 50 years!
~ John Law
Who/What Are The Dog Heads?
Where were you the first time that you encountered the strange and enormous dog wearing a chef hat and bow tie? Was it decades ago while grabbing a late night bite to eat with your pals? Or perhaps he greeted you the day you arrived to the Bay Area, gazing down at you as if to say, “Welcome home, friend!” Whether you first met this grinning dachshund at a parade, local charitable event, music festival, or just rolling through the Embarcadero, there is no doubt that a reflexive smile crept upon your face.
To many living in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Doggie Diner heads are a much-loved relic of our living past, a local treasure, and part of our history. From the 1950’s through the 80’s San Francisco, Oakland, and Peninsula residents all patronized the Doggie Diner restaurants. Many from the mid-60’s on were captivated by the Mona Lisa like visage of the giant rotating dachshunds that hovered above many of the two dozen restaurants of the now extinct local chain.
Around 1990 when the last of the Doggie Diner heads were being hauled off to landfills, John Law and fellow tradesmen and artists managed to rescue a few of the last Dogs from which would have been a most certain death. Since then, these remarkable and historic icons have toured around the Bay. As a service to the community, for the last 25 years they have been dropping in free of any charge on hundreds of charity events, local music shows, parades, and important public happenings.
The Doggie Diner Dog Heads are a true star in the pantheon of Bay Area icons. With your help, we hope to restore them and ensure that they will be touring the Bay, turning heads and inspiring smiles for decades to come.
The time to restore them is now.
After years of traveling far and wide providing delight and merriment to the citizens of the greater Bay Area, these canine icons have sustained serious structural damage. They have been bouncing around on a trailer for over two decades and sitting in the sun since the 1960’s. If we don't fix them soon, there might be permanent damage to these international icons!
How The Funds Will Be Used
Please help us keep this vestige of The City’s past from fading away like old photographs.
We've priced our project at the absolute bare minimum. Many of the sign experts, fabricators, and welders that have agreed to work on this project are doing this at a fraction of what they normally would be paid. Now that we have a skilled, crackerjack team together, we need the funding to put things in motion! Here's a breakdown of what is involved:
- Restoration costs -
- The old steel frame inside the fiberglass heads have been corroded after years of exposure to salty air, and will be replaced with galvanized steel.
- New sturdy base plates will be made for each Dog, which will keep the heads from getting micro-fractures during transportation in future trips.
- The damaged fiberglass will be reinforced in all the thin or weak spots, for which there are quite a few.
- A complete repainting will be done — including a spray powder base-coat, and 100% repainting of all 3 Dogs with UV-resistant paint.
- Transportation safety -
- The old rickety trailer that the Dogs sit on is beyond repair and needs to be replaced with a new one.
- The truck which is used to haul the Dogs around needs repair (rear end, brakes, timing chain, electrical, etc.) so that we can continue to bring them to events in a safe and reliable manner.
- History and documentation -
- Expanding the DD website and making public more of the history of the Dogs
- Fees -
- Roughly 10% of final funding goes directly to Kickstarter/Amazon, and of course there are taxes to pay for all donations received.
- Backer incentives and the shipping & packing supplies to send them to you -
- This can add up to a surprising amount of money, depending on which backer rewards are chosen and the quantity shipped.
Fun Fact: When the City of San Francisco restored ONE Dog Head, they spent $55,000 to complete the project. We're asking for a lot less to restore 3 heads, buy a trailer and recondition/restore the hauling vehicle.
The Doggie History
Bay Area artist Harold Bachman designed the gigantic fiberglass dachshund heads in 1966 for a small Oakland-based restaurant chain, serving hotdogs and hamburgers around the greater Bay Area. The Doggie Diners were among the first of their kind in the years following WWII. In their hey day, no visit to the zoo or Playland-at-the-Beach was complete without a stop to the Doggie Diner.
In 1986, the Doggie Diner went out of business after trying to compete with big chain restaurants such as McDonald's and Burger King. When the chain closed, most of the ten foot tall 300 pound modern sphinxes were destroyed and sent to landfill, but three of these singular monuments were rescued by a local arts/pranks group, The Cacophony Society. By 1990, Cacophonist John Law had acquired 3 of these incredible icons and with the help of many artists, performers, and tradesmen, toured them around the Bay on an old trailer, dropping in free of any charge, on charity events, local music shows, parades, and important public happenings.
For a regional phenomenon, the Doggies have established a national, even international image. As mascots of the Cacophony Society and The Annual St. Stupid’s Day Parade (now in its 34th year) the Dogs were the subjects of the feature film Head Trip seen by thousands chronicling a cross country trip to New York with SF performance troupe Cyclecide and sponsored by sensational webblog Laughing Squid in 2003. Cartoon artist Bill Griffith recruited Doggie Diner as a character in his world renowned comic strip Zippy The Pinhead back in 1978! Dozens of other newspaper, online and magazine artists have been inspired by the Dog heads, from Phil Frank to Tom Meyer.
As much a part of the Bay Area landscape as the Golden Gate, City Lights Books, Coit Tower, or the Rainbow Flag in the Castro, these formerly commercial images broke loose from their retail function and have established themselves as completely singular Bay Area icons. To many living in the Bay Area, the Doggie Diner heads symbolize our scrappy, can-do attitude and as well as a harkening back to our quirky history.
In fact, the Doggie Diner heads were officially recognized as having historical significance by the city of San Francisco on August 11, 2006 when one of the last Doggie Diner heads, currently located in the Outer Sunset neighborhood, was restored and refurbished by the city of San Francisco and became a San Francisco landmark!
Who’s Behind The DD Heads?
John Law is an American neon sculptor and artist, prankster, culture-jammer, and original member of the Cacophony Society and The San Francisco Suicide Club. He is also a co-founder of the Burning Man Festival in addition to dreaming up the concept and design of installing neon on the Man at Burning Man.
Much of what John Law has done over the last thirty-plus years is creative, participatory fun, collaborating on many projects. He has rappel-danced on the side of buildings, scaled all the bridges in San Francisco and New York City, led spelunkers through the Oakland sewers - and this is the short list. He is also a co-author of the recently published bookTales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society.The broad range of his activities over the last thirty years attests to his vital, catalytic influence on the evolution of San Francisco culture and art.
What Is Kickstarter?
Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects, where YOU, the supporter can help “kick-start” a new project that you are excited about. You do this by donating at any of the contribution levels, and in return we express our gratitude through a gift that makes you a part of our experience. The contribution levels and gifts are listed on the right hand side of the page. Please note that we receive our funds ONLY IF we meet our full $48,000 goal.
How to get started:
- Step 1. Decide which Pledge description you like, taking note of any international shipping estimates.
- Step 2. Create a Kickstarter account, determine payment method.
- Step 3. Wait and see what happens! If our campaign is successful, in 30 days, your account will be charged and your reward is secured. If our campaign is unsuccessful, then you will NOT be charged.
- Step 4. If you would like to join in helping this project succeed, then feel free to spread the word! Tweets, Facebook shares, blog posts — all efforts will help reach Bay Area natives, history buffs, dog lovers, and anyone who would like to see more whimsy and good clean fun in our world!
$2 — The PUPPY
For ALL donors from $2 and above, you will have access to exclusive updates on the Doggie Diner head restoration process—view photos and short video clips on all of the technical work that goes into transforming these into healthy happy pups!
$9 — LOVABLE MUTT
We will mail you a Doggie Diner sticker that was designed by San Francisco artist, Josh Ellingson. "Cerberus" is a super cool illustration that pays tribute to the three-headed guardian of the underworld as well as the traveling Doggie Diner Heads of San Francisco. Josh Ellingson is a graphic artist working in San Francisco. His illustrations have been featured by publications, websites, and organizations worldwide.
$20 — The POOCH
Head Trip is an 85 minute DVD documentary by John Law and Flecher Fleudujon which tells the epic story of the Dog Diner Heads' cross-country trip from SF to NYC. Plus, we will send you a Doggie Diner "Cerberus" sticker.
An insane roller coaster of a ride during the opening salvos of the Iraq war. See a bus-load of San Francisco characters careen across our nation on a quixotic journey to The Big Apple. They drop in on noteworthy American monuments and oddball artists along the way with their own "roadside attraction, three giant Dog Heads in tow!
$40 — ROVER
From Fight Club to Burning Man, Flash Mobs to Santarchy, Cacophony influenced everything subversive, playful and anti-authoritarian in popular culture over the last 20 years – this is the great, untold story of the 1980s and ’90s. A template for pranksters, artists, adventurers and anyone interested in rampant creativity, Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society is the history of the most influential underground cabal you’ve never heard of.
Rising from the ashes of the mysterious and legendary Suicide Club, The Cacophony Society, at its zenith, hosted chapters in over a dozen major cities, and influenced much of what was once called the underground. The Cacophony Society’s epic exploits radically changed the way people live and play in the world. The group inspired Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club and Burning Man and helped start pop culture trends including flash mobs, urban exploration, and culture jamming. A large-format, full-color, hardbound homage to this protean group, Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society is packed with original art, never before published photographs, original documents and incredulous news accounts. Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society Edited by Kevin Evans, Carrie Galbraith and John Law.
Plus, we will send you a Doggie Diner "Cerberus" sticker!
$55 — The DACHSHUND
Choose this Josh Ellingson Doggie Diner design, "Cerberus", silk-screened on either a USA-made American Apparel t-shirt -OR- a strong canvas tote bag. “Cerberus” is a super cool illustration that pays tribute to the three-headed guardian of the underworld as well as the traveling Doggie Diner Heads of San Francisco. Plus, we will send you a Doggie Diner "Cerberus" sticker, too!
Josh Ellingson's illustrations have been featured by publications, websites, and organizations worldwide.
$55 — The WIENER DOG
Choose this original and limited edition illustration by Bill Griffith, silk-screened on either a USA-made American Apparel t-shirt -OR- a sturdy tote bag— your choice! Plus, we will send you a Doggie Diner "Cerberus" sticker, too!
Bill Griffith is a prolific American cartoonist and began his comics career in New York City in 1969. He was a prominent cartoonist in the underground comics movement based out of San Francisco in the late 1960s, and he is best known for his daily comic strip Zippy.
$60 — The HOUND
This miniature sculpture featuring that lovable pup of the Doggie Diner, was made by Bay Area artist Loid Mongoloid. There are only 50 of these made, each lovingly hand-painted, signed, and numbered. Plus, we will send you a Doggie Diner "Cerberus" sticker.
$100 — FIDO
A special behind-the-scenes tour of the famous Bay Area landmark, The Oakland Tribune building. For your donation of $100, you will spend an hour with a personally guided tour of the historic Tribune Tower in downtown Oakland.
This is the signature building of the East Bay with wrap-around four-sided neon clocks and massive neon letters adorn the building. There is no other building quite like the Tribune anywhere in the country. Take a peek inside the clock rooms, "hang out" atop the tower where Harry Houdini hung out in 1923, and explore some other obscure corners of this singular and mysterious edifice. Learn a little of the more recent history of this Bay Area landmark over coffee, at the swell Modern Coffee shop on the towers main floor. This adventure will be scheduled with you sometime in 2014.
$100 — BUMMER & LAZARUS
Receive one Doggie Diner design from Josh Ellingson and one Doggie Diner design from Bill Griffith! You may choose to have the design printed on either a USA-made American Apparel t-shirt -OR- a strong canvas tote bag -- mix-and-match! (We'll send you a survey after the campaign is over to find out which choices/sizes you would like.) Plus, we will send you two Doggie Diner "Cerberus" stickers.
$150 — LUCKY DOG
Ron English, an American contemporary artist who explores brand imagery and advertising, created this poster for the 2003 Cyclecide, Doggie Diner road trip From SF to NYC. A unique piece for any contemporary art collector. Limited edition poster signed by the artist. Plus, we will send you a Doggie Diner "Cerberus" sticker.
$500 — The HUNTER
John Law will take you and one close friend on a super secret Urban Exploration. Take a midnight stroll to explore subterranean structures and other wonders of our urban landscape! This is one of John's areas of expertise, so you can be certain that this will be an interesting adventure.
Please Note: Some destinations may not be officially sanctioned locations. Each explorer must accept full responsibility for their personal safety. This adventure will be scheduled with you sometime in 2014.
$500— BEST FRIEND
The surreally talented & prolific, American cartoonist Bill Griffith created this original pen & ink artwork of Zippy the Pinhead, "Nothin' But A Hound". Original Art size: 5 1/8" by 13" on 5 3/4" by 14 1/2" paper. Pen & ink on 2-ply, acid-free Strathmore paper, and framed. This particular strip ran in daily newspapers nationally on 9/12/95. This is a unique piece for any contemporary art collector.
$500— The DOG LOVER
ALL the Doggie Diner art & swag!
- 3 "Cerberus" stickers
- 1 DVD of the documentary Head Trip
- 1 copy of Tales from the San Francisco Cacophony Society
- 1 Josh Ellingson "Cerberus" t-shirt
- 1 Josh Ellingson "Cerberus" tote bag
- 1 Bill Griffith "Zippy the Pinhead and Doggie" t-shirt
- 1 Bill Griffith "Zippy the Pinhead and Doggie" tote bag
- 1 signed & numbered Loid Mongloid miniature Doggie Diner head
- 1 LIMITED EDITION signed Ron English poster
$5,000 — TOP DOG
The Doggie Diner Heads & Cyclecide, the heavy petal rodeo, will throw a carnival at your birthday party, wedding, charity event, and more! PLUS you get all the cool swag from the DOG LOVER tier level.
Travel costs outside of the Bay Area are not included and there are some restrictions to types of parties the Doggies will appear. (No political causes, may not be used as advertisement for a corporation, etc.. If you have any questions, please email us for details we'd love to chat!) Check out this 10 minute video if you want to find out more about Cyclecide.
$10,000 — LEADER OF THE PACK
John Law and his friends who are key players in the underground, urban exploration community in France, will take you wandering through the deeper, hidden layers of Paris. A truly singular opportunity, to be sure.
Paris has an unrivaled network of underground tunnels—the city itself was built by quarrying limestone from the soil underneath the buildings themselves, so there are hundreds of miles of quarry tunnels alone. Add to that all tunnels used for the underground metro system, telephone cables, sewers and so forth and you can travel around the entire city without ever seeing daylight.
This rare opportunity INCLUDES one roundtrip plane ticket from the continental US or Europe to France, accommodations for 2 days, and a very special French dinner with members of a shadowy cabal of Parisian explorers. (Please Note: Some destinations may not be officially sanctioned locations. Each explorer must accept full responsibility for their personal safety. This adventure will be scheduled with you sometime in 2014.)
Strategic planning, management, and expert advice for this Kickstarter was given by:
Risks and challenges
We have a team of very talented and skilled craftsmen, mechanics, and artists ready to spring into action as soon as we get this project funded. Our hope is to have the Dogs ready to roll by April 1st, so that they can debut their make-over at the St. Stupid’s Parade in San Francisco. Although this means finishing the restoration in just two months, we’re confident that we have the right team in place to accomplish this!
Additionally, because there is just a core team of people on this project, if this Kickstarter is substantially more successful than we anticipate, we will need to hire extra hands to help us get your backer rewards to you on time. We are dedicated to doing whatever it takes to ensure that you know how much we appreciate your support!
Support this project
- (32 days)