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"I've used portions of practically every paycheck to fund my artistic adventures," says singer/songwriter Eddie Ray, whose day job is at the Ramona Kmart. He recently started a line of T-shirts.

"I took phrases my friends have coined and that I hear people saying around town, from City Heights to O.B.," he says. "The best sellers are shirts that say 'Old School' with a drawing of a cassette tape." Other shirts (sold at www.cafepress.com/americanretro) feature logos such as "I Make Beats In My Mom's Garage," "Life Sucks, Just Deal With It," and "I Make Movies, Wanna Star In One?"

Ray's more esoteric creations refer to his favorite group, Hanson (of "MMMBop" fame).

"My reason for getting into music was because of that band. The 'Peace, Love and Bullet-Proof Marshmallows' logo is an old saying that fans say to each other. 'Just Pull the Pickle Out of Your Booty' is a line said by the middle brother in the Hanson documentary Strong Enough to Break.... I saw an advance screening in Tulsa, Oklahoma, when I went to a mass Hanson Fan Club meeting of more than 2000 fans. More than 10,000 people turned out to see Hanson perform live that same night."

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