Tag Archives: Warhol covers

Some fascinating information on some Warhol record sleeves.

Well, this week I’m in London looking after my elderly mother (who will be 94 next month) and I visited Daniel Brant at the A and D Gallery in Chiltern Street, just off Baker Street.)

The gallery is currently running an exhibition of pop art – several Rauschenbergs, Warhols and two Wesselmans, A couple of Roy Lichentsteins, a Claes Oldenberg lithograph, a Jasper Johns lithograph and – though not really classical pop art – three or four Julian Opies (of whom I am a fan.)

Daniel’s partner, Helen, plied us with tea as we sat and chinwagged about various aspects of Warhol’s art and Daniel mentioned that the Gallery had put on a show of Billy Name’s work for which they decorated one room with silver foil which they tacked to the walls. Daniel said Billy was a super person, one of the nicest people he hed met. Then we went on to discuss some record covers. Daniel told me that the cover for The Velvet Underground’s “White Light/White Heat” album was not done by Warhol but was one of Billy Name’s photographs. Billy also was responsible for the cover for Nico’s “Chelsea Girl” album – which is listed in the mega format book “Andy Warhol – GIANT Size” as being Andy’s work. Incidentally, I removed my copy of the “Chelsea Girl” LP from my list of Warhol covers a couple of years ago when I saw that the cover was credited to Billy Name. Daniel also told me that the “Index” book was the work of Billy Name – with no Warhol input. I suppose one should have guessed Name’s involvement from the silver cover! However, the “Aspen” box is Warhol’s work.

I showed Daniel my series of “Giant Size $1.57 Each” in order to ask his opinion as to what I could expect as a reasonable sale price. He was quite excited about them, but was sorry to see the “Fiftieth Annoversary” stamp on the back of each cover. Daniel had very recently put on a show of “fake” Warhol works and invited representatives from The Warhol Foundation, who happened to be in London at the time, to attend – which they did. I think Daniel was hoping that they would shut the exhibition down or sue the Gallery but apparently they only applauded. Daniel told several stories about how Warhol had sanctioned reprints of some of his prints and then signed them “put your name here” and “I did not do this” and then signing underneath: “Andy Warhol”! He thought that it would have been better for me NOT to have stamped the covers. He suggested also that it would be cool to repress the LP and include it with my replica covers.

From a discussion about selling the “Giant Size $1.57 Each” covers the coversation quite naturally turned to talk of Warhol associate Billy Klüver. Daniel knew loads about him and had bought a batch of Andy Warhol’s “ones” banknotes from Klüver’s estate after his death. Billy Klüver and Fred Waldhauer together with artists Robert Rauschenberg and Robert Whitman founded the Experiments in Art & Technology (EAT) organisation in 1966. By the early 1980s EAT was in financial difficulty and Billy and Rauschenberg organised a party at which art works would be sold in aid of EAT and there was a casino. Guests at the party were not permitted to bet with real mone but had to buy special banknotes produced in various denominations by the artists. Billy asked Warhol to produce the “one” (one dollar bills) which he did, silkscreening hundreds of bills that were  green on one side and black on the reverse. The only text was the word “ones” and Warhol’s standard rubber stamp with his name (like the one he used on the record covers he designed such as “Sticky Fingers” and “Academy in Peril”)  in white on the green side. Then, Daniel showed me one of the “ones”. Super!

Warhol's $1 bill for the EAT casino.
Warhol’s $1 bill for the EAT casino.

So, you may see a set of my “Giant Size $1.57 Each” covers on Ebay sometime soon but being sold by the A and D Gallery. Look out for them.



The “yellow” MTV High Priority cover, André Heller’s “Stimmenhögen” and a rare “Alexander Nevsky”

Some time ago founder member of the Warhol Cover Collectors Club, Kevin Kinney, found a variant of the “MTV – High Priority” LP cover that few, if any, of us knew existed. Instead of the red shading to the MTV-logo on the front, the shading was yellow and the titles along the top of the front cover were in black print instead of white, red and blue. I’ve been checking every copy that I have seen on Ebay looking for a yellow version but to no avail. Then one came up a week or so ago and I was about to “buy it now” when it disappeared. Fellow collector Niklas L had seen it first and nabbed it! But, having sent Niklas some of my fabricated “Progressive Piano” and other covers for his collection he very generously thanked me by sending the yellow “MTV – High Priority” album together with André Heller’s “Stimmenhögen” LP. Even this turned out to be unusual. Two versions were listed on Rate Your Music – one on the Electrola and one on the HMV label. The copy Niklas sent me was also on the HMV label, but with a completely different catalogue number from those listed on RYM.


The only reason to have the Heller LP is the fact that the booklet inside the gatefold has a little Warhol drawing on one page (pictured above). In 1981 Heller was photographed by Warhol and two Polaroids from this session were recently sold by Christies.

Two original Polaroid prints of André Heller taken by Andy Warhol in 1981 recently sold at Christies.
Two original Polaroid prints of André Heller taken by Andy Warhol in 1981 recently sold at Christies.

The picture in the lyric booklet is probably Warhol’s portrait of Heller which, judging by Heller’s pose with arms crossed must have been done on that occasion. It fits with the Polaroids, which show him bare to the waist, arms crossed and wearing leather trousers. I suppose Heller chose to include the drawing to show that Warhol had done a portrait of him. I do not suppose that Warhol did the drawing specifically for this record cover. One could argue that the Swan Lake and Daphnis & Chlöe albums from 1955 with Warhol drawings fall into the same category, but Warhol did those drawings specifically for the albums and they illustrate the ballet content. However, one could say that the portraits on the covers of many albums definitely listed as being Warhol covers (Aretha Franklin, Billy Squier, Paul Anka, Liza Minnelli, John Lennon etc.) were not painted specifically for the record covers. So do I include the Heller album as a bona fide Warhol cover or not?


An unusual copy of Prokofiev’s “Alexander Nevsky” LP came up on Ebay last week. This had the original 1949 cover design but with orange colour blocks. I have previously seen blue, green and pink versions, but never an orange one. and I wonder if the colour variations were later pressings of the album. This one definitely is. The record has Columbia Records’ “6-eye” label rather than the Dark blue Columbia Masterworks label used since the introduction of the LP in 1948. According to Ron Penndorf’s Labelography the grey”6-eye” label was introduced in 1955 and phased out in 1962. As may be seen from the label picture, the designation “Unbreakable” appears to the left of the spindle hole, indicating – again according to Labelography – that this is a later pressing; probably late fifties or early sixties. I find it fascinating that Columbia chose to keep the original cover design from 1949 on this repressing rather than commission a new cover.