RAS ROJAH'S INTRO TO HEAVEN SMILES

It was Carlos Santana, one of the biggest Bob Marley fans in the world, who turned me on to the wonderfull duo who comprise Heaven Smiles. Perhaps you've seen Carlos on television or in concert, wearing wonderful, symbol-covered, multicolored clothing. Chances are you're seeing the work of Michael Rios and Tony Machado, California's silkscreen geniuses who create Tshirts and other clothing, banners, and stage decorations in unique, one-of-a-kind designs. I went to visit their studios last Christmas, and found a jam-packed garage in San Francisco's Mission district, cluttered with huge paint pots and a galaxy of larger than life images of Marley, Santana, Bunny Wailer, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Jimi Hendrix, angels, flying saucers, Inca gods, the Pieta, snakes, native peoples, drum circles, Aboriginal signs, and far too much more to describe here. Their work is simply breathtaking. Most of their longsleeved shirts take three to four days each to make. And, as I said, everything they do is an original. You'll never see anyone else wearing the same thing, I guarantee it. Plus, everyone will notice it! View some of their handy work here.

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