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Ken's Recollections | Keith Bearden's Recollections | Rex's Recollections| A Burt Gallery


WFMU lost an important family member on January 18th, 2001. Burt Schlatter, who for many years was the station's unofficial art director, had a sudden heart attack and died. He didn't suffer.

I first met Burt after he mailed an illustration of the New Jersey Turnpike for LCD Number Eight. The illustration depicted a stretch of roadway that had always horrified and fascinated me, and Burt's picture of it captured all the absurdity and blight of Jersey's refinery row. Soon after that he became LCD's art director.

From 1988 on, Burt was a personal inspiration to me, and was the one who set the visual tone for WFMU. He designed LCD up to issue #24, our Web site, and dozens of T-shirts, mousepads and other marathon tchotchkes. He was also a great writer and wrote headlines and captions for LCD, as well as lots of text on our website. Whenever there was a graphic project that started to run off the rails, Burt was there to guide it back on course. Time spent with Burt was a visual and verbal feast that usually left me inspired and exhausted. We would pore over images from art books, comic books or Japanese soda cracker packages, appropriating, manipulating and tweaking. Burt would rant about the nature of compressed Helvetica printer fonts or the death penalty or the politics of Microsoft with equal passion. I always wanted him to do a talk show on FMU, and we would have called it Font of Wisdom, and each show would start off with a discussion of graphic design and d/evolve from there.

I briefly toyed with this format once or twice on Seven Second Delay, but couldn't carry it through. Burt was the true Font of Wisdom, His was a unique voice and vision that will be sorely missed.

- Ken Freedman

Here is a music set that Ken played for Burt on his January 24th 2001 radio show. (Realaudio)