Gustafer Yellowgold is a fictional character created by Grammy® nominated American songwriter and illustrator, Morgan Taylor. Gustafer is the main character in a series of hand-drawn music videos brought to life in both live concerts and its DVD/CD series.
The illustrated music video collection chronicles the exploits of Gustafer, a friendly yellow alien who has come to Earth from the Sun to live out an explorer's life in a slightly psychedelic version of the Minnesota woods. The live concerts feature Morgan Taylor performing the songs next to a large video screen containing his moving illustrations.
The property is categorized as children's entertainment, but like Jim Henson's Muppets and Dr.Seuss's work it has adult cross-over appeal, as Taylor's live show has opened for popular alternative music acts such as Wilco and The Polyphonic Spree. The Gustafer Yellowgold Show has performed over 1,500 live concerts since its conception to an ever-growing following across the United States.
The project began in late 2003 as a series of small, illustrated picture books. The illustrations for the books were soon animated and released as a DVD entitled Gustafer Yellowgold's Wide Wild World in Summer 2005 by Apple-Eye Productions, a company started by Taylor and his wife Rachel Loshak. Taylor began performing the concerts that same summer in small venues in New York City's Lower East Side. By 2008, Taylor was listed as "Best Kids' Performer" by New York Magazine. In March 2008 "Gustafer Yellowgold's Mellow Sensation" began its 22 week Off-Broadway run at Daryl Roth's DR2 theater in Manhattan.
Prior to his work on the Gustafer Yellowgold project, Morgan Taylor was a multi-instrumentalist for WILCO members John Stirratt and Pat Sansone's band, The Autumn Defense on their 2004 Circles tour, co-wrote music with Lisa Loeb's 2012 album No Fairy Talesand has had a successful career as a sound and recording engineer working with Joseph Arthur, Jon Brion, Norah Jones, Regina Spektor, Rufus Wainwright, Duncan Sheik, Rich Robinson (Black Crowes) and others.
A native of Dayton, Ohio, Morgan Taylor moved to New York City in 1999, honing his songwriting skills while concurrently becoming a successful sound engineer. A self-taught cartoonist raised on MAD Magazine and Marvel comics, Taylor began drawing what would become the Gustafer Yellowgold videos as a picture book project in winter 2004, during breaks of touring as the multi-instrumentalist for Autumn Defense. Taylor played the first live Gustafer Yellowgold concert with music and moving images in the summer of 2005 while on tour in Seoul, Korea. His DVD/CD sets, Gustafer Yellowgold's Have You Never Been Yellow? and Gustafer Yellowgold's Wide Wild World are NAPPA Gold Award winners and were honored by the Kids First! Film and Video Festival. "Mint Green Bee" from Gustafer Yellowgold's Wide Wild World was a Grand Prize Winner in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. The seventh full length CD/DVD release "Dark Pie Concerns" was nominated for a Grammy award for Best Children's Album in 2015.