All posts by rockdoc999

I used to be a music nerd with a large collection of all sorts of recorded music, though mainly a vinyl freak. I started out in the sixties, got swept away by psychedelia and into music posters which I continued to collect up until 2013, when space shortage meant I had to sell the major part of my collection. I had already started collecting record cover art and had an complete collection of art by Vaughan Oliver (4AD) and Neville Brody (Fetish Records), which unfortunately had to go. I had all Peter Blake's record covers as well as the nucleus of a representative Andy Warhol collection. In addition I had an almost complete collection of covers by Banksy, Klaus Voormann and Damien Hirst so I decided to continue to collect covers by these five artists.

Magazines, Etc. With an Andy Warhol Connection.

I found references to several magazines with articles about Andy Warhol while reading Blake Gopnik’s biography of the artist. I realised that I had a few of these in my collection as well as quite a few others as well as exhibition catalogues.

I have a couple of gallery exhibition publications. In 1983 Gallerie Börjeson in Malmö, Sweden, published an edition of Warhol’s portraits of Ingrid Bergman and simultaneously produced a leporello (or fold-out, concertina-like) book of the prints that contained 48 variations of the portraits.

The second gallery exhibition catalogue in my collection is the limited edition Reigning Queens exhibition in Odense, Denmark, in 1985. There is a plate-printed Andy Warhol autograph on the frontespiece.

Sometime in the 1980s I bought a bootleg LP by the Rolling Stones called Emotional Tattoo that used one of Warhol’s 1975 portraits of Mick Jagger on the cover.

The Emotional Tattoo cover image.

This image came from a series of ten prints published by New York’s Castelli Gallery in 1985. Leo Castelli used a set of postcards of the prints as invitations to the opening of the show and my friend, the late Daniel Brandt, sold me a set.

Castelli Gallery invitation cards.

Warhol painted portraits of many music stars for his major portraits. Many turned up on record covers, including Paul Anka, Diana Ross, Billy Squier and Debbie Harry. He also painted Michael Jackson for a March 1984 edition of Time Magazine and a portrait of Prince, painted in 1984, that was used on the cover of a commemorative magazine in August 2016.

Warhol’s portraits of Prince and Michael Jackson.

The first time Andy Warhol featured in a major amgazine was in May 1962 when Time Magazine ran a feature on Pop Art (though it didn’t use the term then).

In addition, I managed to find a copy of the Museum of Modern Art’s programme for the 1940 Concert of Mexican Music in which Warhol found the picture he based his illustration for the Columbia Records 1949 10″ LP A Program of Mexican Music — one of Warhol’s very first commissions after moving to New York in the summer of 1949.

It is general knwledge that Andy Warhol was unhappy with Mick Jagger’s alterations to the design of the Rolling Stones Love You Live album, released in 1977. Warhol’s original design did not include the band’s name or the record’s title, but Jagger added them. Advertisements for the album, however, used Warhol’s original design without Jagger’s additions. A double page ad was placed in the June 1977 copy of Interview Magzine.

June 1977 edition of Interview Magazine with Love You Live poster.

It wasn’t until 1980 that Warhol made portraits of The Beatles for Geoffrey Stokes’s book of the same name. The hardback first edition of the book had a second dust jacket with Warhol’s Beatle portraits without the title.

Andy Warhol’s Beatles portraits on the cover of Geoffrey Stokes’s book The Beatles.

In 1981-2 Stockholm’s National Museum hosted an exhibition of record cover art, one of the first ever exhibitions that was devoted solely to record covers. The exhibition was called Ytans innehåll, which means the What’s inside the surface. I visited the exhibition and have the catalogue as well as the poster, autographed by Andy Warhol.

The poster for the exhibition of record cover art at National Muuseum 1981-1982.
The catalogue from the National Museum exhibition.

There is going to be a Warhol / Banksy exhibition in Catania, Sicily, this autumn. perhaps some of these items might appear there.

Record Store Day -and an Addition to my Peter Blake Collection.

Record Store Day this year is once again affected by the Covid pandemic and there will be a double drop first on June 12th and then a second on July 17th.

I haven’t had much luck in the past finding RSD releases that fit in with my collections. In fact I have only two records in my collections from previous RSDs. The Norman Dolph Acetate version of the Velvet Underground & Nico from 2013.

The cover of the Norman Dolph Acetate reissue.

I bought that one soon after it was released and it would take until earlier this year before I bought my next RSD release. I started collecting David Shrigley’s record cover art and found that he had designed the cover for Stephen Malkmus & Friends’ live version of Can’s Ege Bamyasi album. This was a limited edition on released on red vinyl in the U.S. and green vinyl in Europe in 2013. Finding a copy wasn’t too easy, but I eventually found one on Discogs.

David Shrigley’s cover for Stephen Malkmus & Friends’ Can’s Ege Bamyasi LP.

When I saw the drop lists for 2021’s RSD releases I scrolled through without too much hope of finding anything that fitted in with my collections. However, I was excited to see that a 40th anniversary revamped album by The Who was listed. This was Face Dances, with cover design by Peter Blake.

The 40th anniversary edition of Face Dances.

I was really happy to find a copy and examine it thoroughly. While the cover art is still Peter Blake’s original design, the package has been art directed by Blake fan Richard Evans. Evans has been involved with The Who’s recod design evre since the original Face Dances album was released in 1981. He designed the cover to an album of an interview with Pete Townsend talking about Face Dances, called Filling in the Gaps. Note how he has copied Peter Blake’s handwriting on “The Who” at the top.

The cover of the Filling in the Gaps promotional LP by Richard Evans.

The new edition of Face Dances is a double album, one on translucent blue vinyl and one on yellow vinyl, with live tracks on side four. Richard Evans has included the cover image from Filling in the Gaps on the inner sleeve to the second disc. The package also conrtains four prints of the cover portraits.

So now there are the three Record Store Day LPs in my collection. I haven’t seen any from the July releases that would fit in my collections.

Obtaining the unobtainable…

My friend Tasso von Haussen keeps me up to date on record and CD covers with Banksy connections. He recently sent me pictures of four 12″ releases on the Bow Wow label by Buckfunk 3000 (2 Much Booty, 2004), Product.01 (The Loud EP, 2004), Speed Baby – aka Tim Wright (Taken / Lurcher, 2004) and Bass Kittens (Rise of the Machines, 2005) that all use a modification of Banksy’s Dog with Rocket Launcher design.


Next he found a test pressing of a split EP by Embalming Theatre / Tersanjung XIII (Mommy Died – Mummified / Hellnoise) on the Rotten to the Core label. The six-track EP was released in 2013 in a limited edition — 100 copies on clear vinyl and 400 on black vinyl.

The cover of the limited edition EP.

However, the test pressing had a different cover.

The cover of the test pressing of the EP.

According to Discogs, there are fifteen copies of the test pressing and, after being in contact with the band, I have to admit that the chances of finding one are probably close to zero. The cover image is, of course, a modification of Banksy’s I Fought the Law print. I was surprised to learn from my discussions with the band that they had no idea this was a Banksy design. I then contacted the band’s record label, Rotten to the Core Records to ask who designed the cover of the test pressing. Here is the reply from Robert Janis, the company’s owner: It’s a Banksy piece. I’m the one who designed the test press cover. He even sent a copy of Banksy’s original artwork.

Banksy’s original I Fought the Law print.

Another friend supplied me with the original image from which Banksy created his print:

The original photo from which Banksy created his I Fought the Law print.

So, in order to keep my Banksy collection as complete as possible, I need to get hold of a copy of this test pressing… The only sure way seems to be to make my own. I asked for scans of the cover and record label and, after a considerable amount of work, this what I came up with.

The result.

I decided to make a limited edition of ten numbered copies, plus five artists proofs. But things don’t always go smoothly. My first attempt — the one you see above — lacks the thin white border that the real test pressing’s cover has, so it was back to the drawing board and resizing the image and getting a new set of prints made and then making the prints into covers.

The final design.

My first idea was to buy a number of anonymous white label singles and stamp the “ET / T13 Test Press” on to them, so I bought a stamp and a few singles. As I was playing with these I had a thought that it would be more fun to use real Embalming Theatre / Tersanjung 13 EPs and give them white labels. So I got back in touch with the band and ordered more copies. Bear in mind that these are a limited edition of 400 black vinyl EPs, so now I own about 2,5 per cent of the edition.

TV AGE – The Player EP.

Sometimes a record arrives that I’m really pleased to get hold of. I can’t claim to have found this rarity and I thank my friend Tasso von Haussen for finding it for me. Recognise the image?

The Player EP by TV Age (Not on label).

TV-Age’s The Player EP was released in Germany as a numbered, limited edition 12″ in 2016. My copy is No. 56/100 (handwritten on the inside of the rear cover.) I know nothing about the group and have never seen the record before. The cover is a hand silkscreened image of Banksy’s Every Time I Make Love I Think of Someone Else, and is simply beautiful. The rear cover is blank. The discs are pink vinyl.


Even the B-side label has a reproduction of Banksy’s dripping heart.
The images come from Banksy’s acrylic paintings from 2002. There are two versions of the paintings:


I have not seen this image on a record cover before, and to see it so beautifully reproduced is amazing.

David Shrigley’s Designs for Jason Mraz’s “We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things” Album

Apparently, Jason Mraz took the title for his eighth album from a David Shrigley cartoon. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find the cartoon, but I’ve found Mraz’s album and love the designs.

We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things was released in May 2008, preceeded by three limited edition CD singles, We Sing (No. 1), We Dance (No. 2) and We Steal Things (No. 3) that was only available in a bundle from Mraz’s site and is consequently rare. Initally released on CD, it was also released on limited edition double LP. The album was quickly re-released as a limited edition double CD with DVD. The first CD with two extra tracks and the second including all thwe tracks from the three limited edition singles that preceded the album’s release. And in 2011, the album was reissued on vinyl . Again as a lmited edition; the music on three sides and the fourth side engraved with Shrigley designs.

Album’s inner spread.

Even the record labels have been illustrated by Shrigley:

And the inner sleeves are a bit special:

One single, I’m Yours, was released as a seven-inch vinyl record.

The seven-inch single cover.

Several others were issued on CD or CD-r. These include: two versions of Lucky, one sung in English, featuring Colbie Caillat, and a Spanish version featuring Ximena Sarina.

Other singles are the three limited editions that preceded the release of the fiull album:

The final three singles were Make it Mine, Butterfly and a digital only release of Coyotes.


I’m amazed that David Shrigley went to so much trouble to produce all this work. And kudos till Jason Mraz for commissioning it all. I will admit, though, that while I enjoy the artwork, I haven’t actually listened to the record yet.

Warrior Soul — Destroy the War Machines. A ‘New’ Banksy Record Cover.

I’d never heard of the hard rock band Warrior Soul until a friend a couple of weeks ago mailed me a picture of the cover of their album Destroy the War Machines and asked if it was a Banksy design. Well, it was a slightly modified version of Banksy’s CND Soldiers painting and I had to have a copy. The cover design and layout are credited to Ballsy. Collage credited to Joachim Ljungh and photos by Tim Hodgson and Dajana Winkel

Warrior Soul is a band based in New York centred around leader Kory Clarke (vocals) with members Janne Jarvis (bass), Johnny H (guitar), Johan Linstrom (drums) and Rille Lundell (guitar) from the U.S. and Scandinavia. The band’s first release was the album Last Decade Dead Century, released on Geffen records April 17th, 1990.

The front cover of Destroy the War Machine LP.

There were several for sale on Discogs, one of them from just round the corner, so I ordered it for the standard LP price of €23 + €7.50 shipping. It arrived two days later. My copy is number 255/333.

The rear cover of the Destroy the War Machine LP.

The album had been released on CD by Acetate Records in 2009 but the limited edition, numbered vinyl version was not released until August 2016 on the Night of the Vinyl Dead label. I had managed to miss it for almost five years! This album was banned from being advertised on Discogs the week after I bought my copy for unknown reasons but has since reappeared. Although it is listed on Warrior Soul’s official site as a legitimate release. At the time of writing, there is one copy for sale on Discogs for an asking price of €350!

More Record Covers Re-imagined by Romain Beltrame.

I’m sorry that Romain Beltrame has had to close his Triphopshop — a combination record store and art gallery. Romain is a fan of hip hop, street art, and fashion, revamping tired jeans jackets by painting on them. Another of his specialties is re-imagining LP covers and I bought a couple from him last year. Now, as he is closing the gallery, I traded a couple of paintings for seven more of his re-imagined covers.

There are two David Bowie albums – Pinups and Diamond Dogs, The Doors’ Waiting for the Sun, Prince’s Parade, Grace Jones’s Living My Life, an album of religious Indian music called L’Inde and Madonna’s True Blue.

I think the Doors and L’Inde cover are the most successful, but I also like the others, too, especially the Pinups cover as it is one of my favourite Bowie ablums (I have a soft spot for cover albums.)

IRON – A Swedish Street Artist.

In 2020, just when the Covid-19 pandemic was hitting hardest my friend Romain Beltram invited me to show some of my paintings in his Triphopshop gallery in central Stockholm. He already showed some of Iron’s work and for a month from 9th September Iron was to have an exhibition of his work at restaurant Riche — one of Stockholm’s hip places. The exhibition, curated by Carl Carboni och Lars Liljendahl, was centred around Iron’s portrait of Chinese president Xi Jinping as Bat Man — playing on the theory that the Covid-19 pandemic that started in Wuhan, China, might have spread from bats. Thus Iron portryed Xi Jinping as the Bat Man.

However, the exhibition was rapidly closed after complaints from the Chinese Embassy in Stockholm, objecting to the portrayal of the country’s president in this manner. Iron became an instant hero!

Iron’s Bat Man portrait.

He has also satirised Ronald McDonald as the fast food chain has been accused of being resposible for the increase in obesity in recent decades. Iron has portrayed Ronald begging for forgiveness.

Iron’s Ronald McDonald “Forgive Me”

I have also a unique painting by Iron. He has reimagined the cover of John Lennon’s and Yoko Ono’s Double Fantasy LP cover.

The Double Fantasy LP cover reimagined by IRON (2019).

I think the cover art is really striking and puts a “punk” feeling on the design, which I like.

Record Sleeve Art — An undervalued Entry to an Artist’s Work.

It seems that people only get around to collecting major artists’ record sleeve art when prices for paintings or limited edition prints become unaffordable. Record sleeve art — particularly on vinyl covers — must always be released in limited editions, even though the “edition” might be as big as ten or twenty thousand copies. I am sure that in the 1990s CDs were produced in far larger numbers than vinyl releases, and this is probably true up to the middle or late 2000s.

One only has to look at prices for Andy Warhol’s or Jean Michel Basquiat’s record covers to see that collectors of their art woke up very late to the fact that many of their record covers were issued in very limited quantities. And there are other examples. Record covers bearing works by Banksy have have increased in price almost exponentially in recent years as the result of all the publicity that has surrounded sales of his prints by famous auction houses. Perhaps a warning is in order here. David Shrigley’s art is becoming highly collectible. Once again, collectors have been slow to collect his record sleeve art. A little strange when one considers Shrigley’s own love of vinyl records coupled with the fact that the majority of records and cassettes with his sleeve art are very limited editions, often produced by art galleries or as own releases.

I also have collections of Peter Blake’s record sleeve art. Here prices have not escalated as they have for the artists already mentioned. It is really only original vinyl copies of Blake’s & Jann Haworth’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album and, possibly, the vinyl release of Oasis’s Stop the Clocks collection that have increased in value. Nor have records with cover art by Damien Hirst increased dramatically in value in recent years. My collection of Klaus Voormann’s record sleeve art is, at best, worth what I originally paid for each item. Only a copy of The Beatles’ Revolver signed by Klaus has increased in value.

I was lucky to have started collecting record sleeve art before prices went over the top. I am constantly amazed by the sums some collector are prepared to pay for some record covers. Several sleeves with Banksy’s art have sold recently on Ebay for over £2,000! And these were released in editions of 1000 copies. Even some CDs with Banksy’s art have started to increase in value although only a few were issued in limited quantities.

The sport now, is to guess which artist who also lends his art to record sleeves, will be next to tempt collectors.

An Addition to my collection of Record Covers by Andy Warhol.

It has been quite a while since I have had anything to write about other than David Shrigley or Banksy record and CD covers. A couple of months ago, however, I saw an advert for a 2018 album with cover art by Andy Warhol that I had missed. The band Third Eye Blind (or 3EB) had released an EP on vinyl called Thanks for Everything and used one of Andy Warhol’s Skull paintings as the backdrop.

Third Eye Blind’s 2018 EP Thanks for Everything.

Andy Warhol is said to have bought a human skull in a flea market in Paris in 1975 and made a series of still lives of it in 1976.

Copyright The Warhol Foundation for the visual arts. Photo by Elisabeth Bernstein.

Warhol even made drawings of the skull and was photographed with the skull on his head or on his shoulder.

The Thanks for Everything cover had a different skull image on the rear cover reworked to look like street art.

So this is the latest addition to my Warhol cover collection.