The Nation’s Nightmare — Updated.

I suppose I could date the start of my collection proper of Andy Warhol’s record covers to 1967 when I bought The Velvet Underground & Nico and then, a year later, bought White Light/White Heat (the Velvets’ second album) but although I bought the Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers when it came out in April 1971 I didn’t really consider I was collecting Warhol covers. Another Warhol cover — The Rolling Stones’ Love You Live LP arrived in 1977 and then Diana Ross’ Silk Electric turned up in 1982 and I realised I had a collection of Warhol covers! However, I had no knowledge of his early work until I was introduced to his jazz covers by Guy Minnebach, whom I had met online, and who tipped me off about a number of covers and sold me my treasured copy of The Nation’s Nightmare in 2006. While showing obvious signs of wear, this album cover was one of my prized possessions.

I continued to add to my collection of Warhol covers in the years before and after the acquision of The Nation’s Nightmare and was lucky to have started before many of the rarer covers were recognised as being Warhol designs. Some of the rare ones, such as The Story of Moondog and Ultra Violet, evaded me for many years, but I was eventually able to add these, too.

I 2018, I attended the opening of Moderna Museet’s exhibition Andy Warhol 1968, an homage to mark the 50th anniversary of the Museum’s historic Warhol exhibition that ran from February into March 1968. Having toured the exhibition, and just before leaving, I saw eight record sleeves on the final wall. Among them was the cover for East Village Other (aka Electric Newspaper) labelled as being a Warhol cover.

The eight “Warhol” covers at the Warhol 1968 exhibition with the East Village Other cover (bottom row, second from right).

Well, I knew it wasn’t! So I plucked up courage to look for John Peter Nilsson, the exhibition’s curator and pointed out this misstake. I mentioned to him that I had a “complete” collection of Warhol covers and he told me of plans for the exhibition to move to Moderna museets filial in Malmö from March to September 2019 and the possibility to display my complete collection. In the preparation for the collection of my covers, my The Nation’s Nightmare cover got slightly damaged.

My damaged cover.

Ever since it was returned to me late in 2019, I have had an ambition to replace it with a better copy. Several have appeared on auction sites and Discogs over the past three years but none was in the condition I was looking for until I saw a copy on Discogs in late January 2023 and, after seeing pictures, and doing som haggling, decided to buy it.

The seller was locatred in Connecticut, USA, and posting it to Sweden would make me liable to pay an exorbitant import charge, so I enlisted a friend in Savanna, GA, to receive the record and post it on. The record arrived safely and he posted it on Febrary 8th and I follwed the USPS tracking with bated breath seeing that the package left JFK airport on February 14th. After that there were no further tracking records. I contacted the Swedish postal service Postnord, who told me that they had no record of the shipment and that it might have been flown to any European city and that I should wait for further information from USPS. None was forthcoming, so on 23rd February I phoned USPS who couldn’t trace the shipment. I was desperate and mailed my firend in Savanna to start proceedings to claim for a lost shipment. However, before he could do so, I received notice from USPS on 24th February that the package had indeed been flown to Arlanda (Stockholm) airport and had been handed over to Postnord for customs clearance that day. I breathed a sigh of relief. At least the shipment wasn’t lost. But a week went by, and then ten days, and I still hadn’t received any informatin from the Swedish customs or Postnord, so I phoned again on March 7th and after a ten-minute search the operative told me that the package had been cleared by customs and would be with me in three or four days. It finally arrived on 10th March, a little over a month after it was posted.

The cover is in beautiful condition, I would call it “excellent” with no major wear or writing anywhere. The record looks unplayed with immaculate labels and the rear cover shows some yellowing due to age but is otherwise great. I am greatly relieved that it finally arrived and really pleased to have this lovely copy in my collection.