SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory graphic designer Terry Anderson has seen his work grace the cover of research journals and popular science magazines, enrich presentations around the world, and adorn t-shirts worn by physics greats. But his work reached a very different audience last month when music legend Neil Young appeared in a RollingStone.com music video wearing a shirt designed by Anderson.
"The rewards from designing this shirt were unexpected," Anderson said with a laugh. "Usually I see my shirts around SLAC or occasionally on some random dude I don't know walking down the street. I always wonder what the story is behind how they got the shirt."
Originally designed for the 1995 Computing in High Energy Physics (CHEP) conference in Rio de Janeiro, the shirt worn by Neil Young shows a particle collision sandwiched between the words "The 2nd Big Bang" and "World Wide Web: Born from High Energy Physics." This conference came at a time when the Web was just taking off as a global phenomenon. Bebo White, one of the original SLAC Web Wizards and a speaker at the conference, give the shirt to Young as a gift in the late 1990s.
"I gave Neil a shirt because we had been brainstorming about the Web and I was going to his house for dinner," said White. "He also wore it about a year ago at a Sun Computer conference. You can only imagine how large his t-shirt collection must be, so it's pretty cool that he likes this one."
Anderson added: "I don't quite know why he has an attraction to it-but he sure seems to like it. Maybe it's because it's nerdy, goofy, and techy, all at the same time."