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ESSAYS / Greg Brady is God / Maggie Dove

Image is copyright SPIN magazine

Image is copyright SPIN magazine

The classified section of Spin Magazine in the early 1990s; blocks of ads for screen-printing services for band t-shirts, musicians wanted, phone sex lines; where then-fledgling indie labels like Matador Records and Sub-Pop promoted bands like Pavement and Mudhoney.

In the midst of these ads, swirling with DIY logos and call-me-now-1-900-boobage, one particular ad stood out to me. A simple black and white ad, no more than one inch square, featuring the following words in block print:


It was available on a t-shirt or sweatshirt, for $13.95 and $23.95, respectively. There were no other t-shirt designs offered in the ad, just a mailing address to send your order. You got a break on the shipping for ordering more than one. 

Because you may want more than one.

Let’s just get something straight here. You either accepted the one truth, that GREG BRADY IS GOD, and mailed in your check or money order for one or more shirts, or you got nothing.

I don’t know if this ad would have caught my eye had I not been a lifelong fan of The Brady Bunch, and although Peter was my (and everyone’s) favorite son on The Brady Bunch, there was a certain smug confidence in an ad that offered only one Brady child as a God option; an attractive arrogance in its singular declarative statement that left no room for interpretation.

Who is God, you ask? Greg Brady. And they don't care who's asking. Here's your shirt(s).

How many of these things did you order??

If this t-shirt were a man, he would surely be a pick-up artist, and I surely would have fallen for his act and dated him.

Who could be so bold?

Had the t-shirt said PETER BRADY IS GOD, I would have mailed in a check for several shirts without a second thought, but I didn’t believe in the cause of Greg Brady enough to part with $13.95 over it, and certainly not enough to spring for the sweatshirt at $23.95.

I believed in it just enough to make my own knock-off, using a plain, white, youth-large-sized t-shirt and black acrylic paint, crudely painting the words GREG BRADY IS GOD onto the fabric. There was something about it, something I couldn't shake. Something that made me want to bear its essence on my body. 

I wore it under an open flannel shirt, along with my high-waisted jeans and Doc Martens, and strutted into my twelfth grade art class one day. My teacher looked at me and laughed.

"Jesus! Did you make that yourself?" he said. "I can show you how to use the screen-printer, you know."

There’s a reason the Bible isn’t just scrawled out by hand. The printed word carries a lot more cred.

Maggie Dove is a Southern writer (by way of South Florida). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Hobart, Cosmonauts Avenue, JMWW, Foliate Oak, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, The New Southern Fugitives, Crab Fat Magazine and elsewhere. She is petty and immature, and has many tribal tattoos from the 90s for which she refuses to be apologetic. Her blog can be found at