Guru Adrian is the fictional alter-ego of Australian artist
David Art Wales. The Guru has appeared in many Australian and English magazines and has often been featured on Australian TV.
The character is usually shown in print as a collage comprised of a drawn body and the face of a real child, leading to questions about his true identity (see Controversy, below).
Described as the "non-prophet leader of Adrianetics, a revolutionary philosophy of fun," Guru Adrian reached his peak of popularity during the 1980s. Adrianetics (said to be a parody of
Dianetics) and Adrianism, the quasi-religion from whence it springs, are described in the movement's propaganda as an " Ontologicalparadigm that helps us avoid becoming Groan Adults."
Much of Adrian's wisdom comes in the form of inverted logic and amusing verbal conundrums, such as: "Too many leaders have something to offer. Guru Adrian Has Nothing To Offer. You lack nothing. So you need Guru Adrian."
This has led to comparisons between the character and baseball playing wordsmith
Yogi Berra.Fact|date=June 2008
In 1995, Fox Television and Hallmark began co-developing an animated show called "Guru Adrian" but the project was shelved after internal restructuring. Fact|date=June 2008
In 1999, Guru Adrian resurfaced as "The Naughtie Boy [http://www.wired.com/culture/lifestyle/news/1999/11/32769 WIRED | Here Come The Naughties] , David Art Wales] ," described by Wired.com as "the mysterious figurehead" of Project Naughtie, a grassroots campaign to name the current decade the "Naughties."
Guru Adrian is also known by the following monikers: The God of Fun, The Guru You Have When You're Not Having a Guru, The Guru of No Age Consciousness, and The Porpoise of Life.
Adrian Speshelperson was born in 1664 in Beecroft, a suburb of Sydney, Australia. For his seventh birthday, he received a Junior Science Kit and immediately set up a laboratory in the garden shed. Three days later Adrian "rose again from the shed" with the Secret of Eternal Youth. Realizing he was special, he ran to his mother and asked, "Mom, who am I?" "Gee, you are you, Adrian," she replied. Thus was born the boy we know today as Guru Adrian.
Adrian's public debut came in 1983 when he appeared as an incidental character in "Alan & Sharon," an Australian comic strip. The strip, created by
David Art Wales, was a regular feature in a fanzine called Alan [http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/30years/stories/interview.htm Alan] An Interview with David Art Wales: Designer of Triple Jay Fanzine, Alan] which was produced by left-leaning radio station Triple Jay. Adrian appeared as the leader of the Adrianetics movement, dispensing wise advice to the comic's other characters. The Guru's sage-like maxims, such as "Having fun is half the fun" and "Savior Self," gained a rapid following, with proponents who claimed to be Adrianists taking pilgrimages into the Beecroft woods in search of the cave where Adrian was said to live. Fact|date=June 2008
The Guru's popularity grew in 1985 with the introduction of the full-color, full-page "Guru Adrian Funpage," also written and drawn by Wales, in
In 1984 an unfortunate incident occurred after a fan spray-stenciled a series of 28 images of Adrian's face onto a Sydney shopfront and local police mistook the face for that of a missing child. On May 23, The Glebe & Western Weekly (now known as
The Inner-West Weekly), a Sydney newspaper, ran a front page story under the headline "CHILLING DISCOVERY: SHOPFRONT PAINTINGS RESEMBLE MISSING 7 YEAR-OLD." The article described the images as "devilish looking" and reported that detectives were investigating. The inquiry was rapidly concluded after Wales was interviewed by authorities.
In 1989, British advertising agency
Lowe Howard-Spinkwas accused of basing the look and concept for a potato crisp ad campaign on the Guru Adrian Funpages.Fact|date=June 2008 Where the Guru was known as "a 300 year-old boy who lives in a cave and discovered the Secret of Eternal Youth," the agency's advertisements for KP Crunchies featured a character named Chairman Kevin who was described as "a 307 year-old boy who spent the first years of his life in a coal bunker trying to find his true self." Stories about the alleged plagiarism appeared in The Face, iD magazine, The Sydney Morning Herald, and Ad News before the campaign was pulled. Lowe Howard-Spink's response: "No comment."Fact|date=June 2008
The 2008 Mike Meyers film "
The Love Guru" features a scene where the guru character unveils a large sign that reads "GEE YOU ARE YOU" (i.e. "G.U.R.U."). This line originally appeared in Guru Adrian Funpage #3 in Countdown magazine in 1986.
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