Bob Gage

Someone once said that Bob Gage was the Jackie Robinson of Art Directors.
He was.

And a very modest chap he was, too.

After his funeral in our town cemetery, a group of us went over to his house and I met his son there.

I told him that some of us were talking about having DDB put together a showing of his work in his memory and his son said he would like to see it because his Dad never really talked about his work so he really didn’t know much about what Bob had done.

Unfortunately, DDB never did anything and if Roy Grace hadn’t called Stuart Elliot at The Times, Bob’s death would have passed unnoticed by our industry.

 

Now many of you may not know that the end table in the right hand corner of Bob’s office was actually a liquor cabinet because Bob liked to take an occasional nibble.

I mention this because I have a few Alka-Seltzer stories to relate.

The 2 teams on the account, for anyone who doesn’t remember, were Bob and Marvin Honig and then Roy Grace and I.

 

One day Marvin came in to talk to Roy and I and he asked us if we wanted to see the new spot he and Bob had done. Naturally, we said yes because we didn’t even know what the spot was about.

 

We went down to the screening room with Marvin and he had the spot screened for us.

 

As soon as it was over, Roy and I both said that you could see the shadow of the boom in one of the spots and Marvin said that he knew that.

 

So then we asked why he and Bob didn’t use a different take for that scene and he said the shadow was in that each and every take.

 

The important thing for you to know here is that Bob was directing all his own commercials by then, so we asked Marvin why he didn’t tell Bob about the shadow and he told us that he did.

 

So what happened, we asked him.

 

He said that Bob would take another sip and start singing “The shadow of the boom….” I don’t think that commercial ever ran but I’m not certain because all I remembered about the whole spot was the
shadow of the boom.

 

Evan Stark
DDB Copywriter