More alternative covers and more from Warhol by the Book

I didn’t get my long awaited book yesterday, seems the post office and/or delivery people are now sending out messages that you have something to collect the day AFTER you get the actual notice. Oh well, good things come to those who wait i guess…

Besides waiting on that package i’ve been reading each and every review i can find on the Warhol by the Book exhibition. And it’s really great to see that it’s getting nothing but praise everywhere. Time really does fly because apparently it’s been at least five months since i last checked out the site for the exhibition. The reason i know it’s been at least that long is that they now have a bunch of videos on the site that i haven’t seen before and one was added way back in may, at least on YouTube. Embarrassing to miss such a thing for so long… Anyways, i haven’t checked them out yet but there seems to be at least five or so hours of Warhol and book talk. I only recognize the names of two people though and that’s Matt Wrbican and Kathryn Price, who was kind enough to send me some stuff when the show opened. I’m sure the others know what they are talking about as well so it will be great to spend the weekend listening to what they have to say.

I also stumbled upon a review of the exhibition on this blog covering art, history, culture and what not in and around Pittsburgh. What’s interesting is not what they had to say about the show itself but instead some of the photos. Among some more familiar ones there were two i had not seen before, and those were of alternative covers for According to the Evidence and Borderline Ballads, both complete with title and the name of the author. I’ve seen a couple of other of these alternative covers for books like Pistols for Two, The Runaway Pigeon and Love is a Pie and it’s always interesting to see the changes going from a draft or whatever to a finished design.

Both of these are pretty cool, but i still prefer the ones that ended up being on the actual books. Stuff like this helps with the depression caused by most likely never being able to see the exhibition…

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The Adventures of Maud Noakes – Edited by Alan Neame (New Directions, 1961)

In an effort to try and avoid doing a repeat of my previous post about this book where i basically just wrote about how, where and when i found it i’ve spent the better part of the day trying to find anything about the book and/or it’s cover. Unfortunately i can’t say that i found anything of use. I’ll have to try and get a couple of lines down anyway so let’s get the obvious out of the way. I think i’ve already mentioned that i got this after having seen it in my wish list on Amazon for a very long time. The reason i didn’t get it sooner was first and foremost that in the beginning the asking price was much higher and another thing was that the seller stated that it was impossible to provide images. I can’t remember exactly how the price developed over time around but as i recall it gradually went from $150 or thereabouts down to about $10. And once it got there i figuered i might as well have a look, turns out i got lucky. Other obvious facts are that it was published in 1961 by New Directions (a year before the british edition published by Chapman & Hall that i previously had) and that it’s the last dust jacket that Warhol designed for the company and one of the last ones he did altogether. Not surprising considering that this was done at the beginning of his rise to superstardom.

The copy i got is an old library book so it has the usual issues and markings that i’ve learnt to expect when it comes to these kinds of copies, nothing too bad though and the stickers are on the protective plastic so eventually i’ll get around to removing them. It’s also a good example of the issues with printing the color red that Guy Minnebach gave me a crash course on when i got my/his copy of The Runaway Pigeon. In short, apparently red is notorious in the printing world for being difficult to work with. Not only is it darker than black in greyscales (to be honest i can’t say i understand the exact practical meaning of this, but i figured that if i mention it i might seem like i know what i’m talking about), it also does not react kindly to being exposed to sunlight. Guess it’s the vampire of the printing world… Anyways, as said this is a good example of that. The title of the book together with the name of the author and publisher that is supposed to be on the spine has faded to such an extent that any trace of it actually being in red at one point have disappeared completely. It’s still pretty crisp on the front cover though. Not being a huge bestseller and/or a hit at the library i guess that’s what happens when a book is never checked out and just left of a shelf near a window with the spine exposed for a couple of decades. However, all this is based on the assumption that the text was in fact red on this edition. There isn’t a huge number of images of the book available online but among the ones you can find there is not a single image of a New Directions edition where the text is not faded and/or greyish. So i don’t know… maybe it’s wasn’t ever red after all, in that case most of the above was a whole lot of nothing…

Personally i think this is one of the better jackets and that it’s interesting in a number of ways, so it’s really a shame that there is not much information to be found. New Directions has written a handful of words about it on their now apparently defunct blog, but apart from the obvious that it was perhaps a bit of a controversial yet humorous design i can’t say they bring up anything else of interest. The most interesting thing to me is that it’s the only dust jacket to feature the use of repeated images, a technique he apparently started using early on in his commercial work. And of course also later on in some of his paintings, where i guess the Marilyn Diptych is perhaps the most famous? Anyways, there is a great “gallery guide” to the Warhol by the Book exhibition that mentions a little bit about how the faces of the africans were created and apparently Warhol used hand carved rubber stamps which i then assume you just dip in ink and start stamping away… This is basically everything that is mentioned about this book but the guide is great and can be found here. Another thing that makes this jacket design somewhat unique is that it’s one of the few books where the design is not only focused to the front cover but also continues on to the back, the other two being The Summer Dancers and Borderline Ballads.

What else… well, when i got my first copy of the Chapman & Hall editon and noticed that Warhol was not credited on the cover i remember that i was wondering if that was also the case on this, the New Directions edition. And now i can say that it is. So that’s another thing that makes this jacket somewhat unique, the only other book where he is not given any credit for the design is Love is a Pie by Maude Hutchins, also published by New Directions. I know a little bit about how many books that were actually printed but i’m still trying to get more information about this, and on all the other books as well so i’m saving that for a later post. The little information i do have i got from a guy namned Aaron who has a shop thing on Etsy and a “normal” site as well called Projectobject. He has a lot of cool stuff and usually one, two or more Warhol books available. Once upon a time he also mentioned that he remembered reading something along the lines of Warhol not getting paid for the british version of something and that he was a little upset by this. I have looked everywhere and all over to try and find what this little quote or whatever might relate to, but sadly i have not been able to find anything. But i agree that it does sound like it might have something to do with this book, but who knows… Guess we’ll have to dub it as an unsubstantiated rumor.

Last but not least… during my mostly fruitless searching i did find two things that are at least remotely interesting. The first being a couple of reviews of the book in magazines from the year it was published. These magazines are The Harpers Monthly, The Nation and Commonweal, all of these appear to still be active and running in at least a digital format. Unfortunately they all also require you have a subscription thing to access the archives that holds these old magazines, it’s not incredibly expensive though so i might get that set up and have a look eventually. I can’t say i’m at all interested in what they had to say about the book itself but i’m very curious about if the mention the jacket design in any way. I’m not a frequent reader of book reviews but i doubt such a thing is regularly discussed though.

The second, and more interesting thing i found is definately not as easily accessible, at least not to me. Anyways, it seems there are plenty of truckloads of stuff relating to New Directions at Houghton Library/Harvard College Library at Harvard University. To be more precise there are 286 linear feet and/or 860 boxes containing the New Directions records from 1932-1997, the list with details can be found here. The entry/posting/whatever of primary interest here is 2721 or more exactly “Neame, Alan. The adventures of Maud Noakes : promotional materials, 1961 and undated. 1 folder. Includes hardcover book jacket”. I would LOOOOVE to check out what might be hidden among that promotional material… That would mean taking a bit of a trip though, and it would definitely not be as cheap as a magazine subscription. But who knows, maybe it would be worth it… I have no idea how things like this work but it says there are no restrictions on physical access to the material, so i guess that means anyone can dive head first into the boxes and check it out. I doubt the people at the library will go pull up one specific thing from all this stuff but maybe it’s worth a try, or maybe it would be time better spent to find someone at Harvard willing to go check it out. Maybe i should make this my new project…

There are two more cool thing in that list as well, first there is entry thing number 3036 where there similar things relating to The Desire and Pursuit of the Whole“Rolfe, Frederick, 1860-1913. Promotional materials, undated. 1 folder. Includes hardcover book jacket for The desire and pursuit of the whole and a press release for Nicholas Crabbe”.
Second… go to entry 2282 to find the same stuff on Three More Novels“Firbank, Ronald, 1886-1926. Production and promotional materials, 1949-1986 and undated. 1 folder.Includes materials for titles: The complete Ronald Firbank; Five novels; The new rhythm and other pieces; Two novels; Valmouth, and 3 more novels”. Of course there is nothing to indicate that there is anything by Warhol in this material but needless to say i would love to find out and make sure. There is nothing of the same when it comes to the forth title on New Directions – Love is a Pie. There are however plenty of entries for the author Maude Hutchins containing correspondence with various people. Oh… there is of course an entry for Andy Warhol as well, there is basically nothing mentioned but for anyone interested it’s entry 3214…

So… i guess that’s it. I can’t say i was terribly unsatisfied with the first copy i got even though it wasn’t the edition i thought it would be and/or wanted. If nothing else at least it made me aware of the fact that there were two editions on differents publishers using the same cover. And even though finding a copy of the New Directions edition has not been a priority i’ve still wanted a copy, and i’m of course happy i was able to do so in what turned out to be a cheap and lucky gamble. The last thing (for real this time), and this is of strictly academic interest, is that there seems to be a slight but obvious difference in the color of the cover between the two editions where the New Directions is much whiter than the one by Chapman & Hall which seems to be more tanned. I can’t say for sure this is the case, but it sure looks that way in most of the images i’ve seen and it’s definitely hard to miss when comparing my copies side by side. But yeah, whatever…

In more exciting news i just checked the tracking number for a package i’m waiting on, and it looks like it’s made to Sweden. Fingers crossed it’s there waiting when i get home!

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Jack Wolfgang Beck, Andy Warhol and some Concert Gems by the Warwick Symphony Orchestra

While on the topic of new discoveries i thought i might as well get this out of the way. And before anyone goes falling out of their chair i just want to say that in all probability this is NOT something that we’ll see in a third edition of Maréchal’s book. I also have no intention to join the crazy crowd of people who’ll put any random cover from the 50’s featuring a line drawing on ebay as a “possible Warhol cover”. When it comes to this particular cover there are however plenty of small pieces out there to put together and even if the puzzle can’t be completed what’s on the table is still pretty interesting. At least to me it is, and it’s always fun to speculate…

It all starts with a guy namned Jack Wolfgang Beck. But why him and how do i even know he existed? Well, i noticed his name on the jacket for Forbidden Childhood where both he and Andy Warhol is credited with the design. I don’t have all the books in front of me right now but besides the three Dolphin books where Warhol is credited with the drawing and George Giusti with the cover design this is, as i recall it, the only dust jacket where the credit for the design as a whole is shared between Warhol and someone else. Naturally i started googeling this guy and i won’t get into a whole biography thing, primarily because i didn’t find that much. But anyone interested in reading up a little bit on him can check out this page that has some information. What is interesting though is what he did in the late 40’s and early 50’s. It seems he, like Warhol, got started in commercial art and advertising and eventually received his share of praise and recognition from art critics in NYC. Apparently he also had a big studio with a lot of extra space, and at some point Vito Giallo, who would eventually work as Warhol’s commercial art assistant for a brief period during the laste 50’s, suggested that they use all that dead space and turn it into a gallery. And thus The Loft Gallery was born, there is a lot of further interesting information about all this here. I don’t know who half of these people were and what they were all about but supposedly one critic said that they were all a “bunch of commercial artists who wanted to be painters”. Anyways, the artists who presented their work were Wolfgang Beck, Allan Hugh Clarke, Vito Giallo, Gillian Jagger, Edward Rager, Jacques B. Willaumez and last but not least Andy Warhol. What all this boils down to is that i think it’s safe to say that at this point in time Beck and Warhol were in fact friends to whatever extent.

I then figured if they worked together and shared the credit for one design maybe they did more stuff together? Unfortunately i haven’t been able to find anything else… and that could have been the end of that. But then i did find this record cover where Beck is clearly credited on the front cover. Perhaps not somthing to get all worked up about but then i also noticed that the record label was Camden, and even though the general design is quite terrible i got attracted to the small drawings of instruments. I immediately thought of the ones Warhol did for Madrigal’s Magic Key To Spanish and more specifically the drawing of a guitar. I don’t yet have the record(s) or the book but for some reason i thought there were more drawings of instruments in the book. Frank Edwards has done a great job of photographing all the images from the book as you can see in the previous link. But i don’t know… i think even i could draw a guitar of similar quality, at least if my life depended on it. I’ve looked for other drawings of instruments by Warhol and there is one on the cover for Latin Rhythms by the Boston Pops for example and some others can be seen here, here and here. But again, i don’t know… i guess there are only that many ways in which a simple drawing like this could be done. I will say this though, when looking at other stuff done by Beck i can’t find anything that resembles these instruments. I couldn’t find a lot of stuff but you can see some here, here, here, and here. But who i am to judge someones style or “art”, and just because i can’t find anything surely doesn’t mean that he couldn’t draw a guitar, i’m sure he was quite capable to do so. And even if Beck didn’t do the drawings himself that of course doesn’t mean that it was Warhol who did them. Or as Guy Minnebach very wisely put it in an email – “I think we’ll never know who did these, probably Beck. As it is not always really certain if AW himself did all the drawings he is credited for, sometimes he let friends do it…”. But as said, it’s always fun to speculate.

The final piece of the puzzle is that it is in fact on the Camden label where you’ll also find the incredibly rare and most recent discovery Melodic Magic as well as the equally rare Waltzes by Johann Strauss Jr. If you look at the catalog numbers those are numbered CAE-193 and CAE-158 respectivly, this record is numbered CAL-123 (i’m not sure what the deal is with CAL and CAE… LP and EP maybe?) and i guess that could be considered somewhat close but not really THAT close to the later and confirmed Warhol’s on Camden. However close one thinks it is this is of course yet another thing that means nothing when it comes down do it. Oh, and i actually got the record i didn’t just find an image of it. The image i did find led to a listing on etsy and since it was cheap enough i figured i might as well get it and go in for a closer look. For anyone wanting to do the same i’ll just add that there seems to be at least two versions of this with different coloring, if we call this the pink version then there is also a greenish version, one was sold on ebay a couple of months ago.

So… there it is. That’s my case for a possible Warhol cover. Basically two friends who without question shared the credit for one design in the mid/late 50’s and where one happened to be credited for a record cover on a label where the other one then later did two designs. I can’t say that i’m convinced by my own evidence…But then again, i’m not convinced about Warhol’s hand in the covers for Violin Concerto, Porgy and Bess and the Rhapsody in Blue/Grand Canyon Suite and the “evidence” laid out there either… The real loons and crooks who like to list “possibles” on ebay should ge check out this record… There are some nice fits there too, Camden label, violins, Erica Morini and even a catalog number that’s REALLY close to Melodic Magic… also available in not just one, but two colors. As for me, even though i found the cover and the whole thing interesting and worthy of a post i’m done speculating. At least for now…

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Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov (HaSifriya Hahadasha/HaKibbutz HaMeuchad, 1999)

I keep doing what i can to find that undiscovered Warhol designed dust jacket. But obviously it’s not an easy thing, and there are only that many search terms to try. And most of the time i unfortunately end up back at my own posts, guess i need to open my mind and try new things… I think i came pretty close this time though. And even if it’s nothing spectacular i still think it’s pretty cool and unlike most other books this didn’t require the biggest of shovels to find.

As usual i can’t remember exactly how i got from A to B but somehow i ended up at this guys impressive collection of different editions from all over the world of the book Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. Besides all the images he also has a list of all 210 books in this collection with all kinds of details. And there it was – “Cover art by Yael Schwartz, based on Andy Warhol”, i guess those few words are what lead me to the site. Google is pretty amazing. Anywhoooo, even if he doesn’t have all the books himself i’m quite impressed by collections like this and the time it must have taken him to put it all together. The covers are really all over the scale with everything from great to terrible, and some even being quite disturbing.

The book that is of interest here though was published in Israel by HaSifriya Hahadasha/HaKibbutz HaMeuchad (i appologize for the most likely misspelling). There are many interesting things about this book and cover but for starters it seems that the first edition was published in 1986 when of course Andy Warhol was still very much alive. I have no idea if this first printing used the same cover design but assuming that it did it makes me wonder what Warhol knew about the use of his famous Coke bottles. I doubt any serious publisher, which i have to assume this is since they are putting out such a classic title, would use a design without permission. And not to mention a design by one of the most famous artists out there at the time. Very intruiging… The publisher has a website with at least some information available in english, i’ve tried contacting them to see what they might know but have yet to hear anything back. But i’ll keep at it and return with an update should i find out something interesting. The artist credited with the cover art is namned Yael Schwartz but sadly i haven’t been able to dig up anything at all about her. I’m not really sure what to think about her part of the design either, but as a whole i quite like it though. But it’s also… well, a bit unsettling. The first thing i thought was “alien autopsy” or something along those lines… Oh well, if nothing else it does stand out among all the other covers for the book where many feature a very alluring and seductive “Lolita”, on this cover she really looks, well quite dead.

I first got my eyes on this about six months ago and for some reason i initially thought that it would prove pretty hard to find. Turns out it was quite the opposite, at least once i started looking in the right places. A search on all the usual sites turned up nothing, and then i kind of forgot about it for a couple of months. Then as i was deleting some images on my phone i saw the cover again and thought that it was about time to go get it. All that was required was about two or three emails after which i had an offer for a used and cheap copy. The same seller then offered to order a brand new copy from the publisher, as it was still cheap enough i decided to run with that instead. The book is written in hebrew so everything is of course upside down and backwards and of course i can’t read a single word. But assuming the title is on the top right, that would mean i might now know what an “L” looks like, and that would mean an “O” is written as a straight vertical line… Oh well, i’m too old to learn a new language and even if i wasn’t i’m not about to start with hebrew. There are however about five things i do understand. And those are a phone number and next to that is what i assume is a fax number, there are also some websites mentioned and a couple of other numbers. And among those numbers are 1986, 2014, 1999 and [3]… the only conclusions i can draw from this is that the first edition was an mentioned published in 1986 and then maybe the last and current in 2014? But i would also assume that the book i got was printed in 1999 and that it’s the third edition, but then i don’t understand why 2014 would be mentioned on a book printed in 1999… Well, who cares.

As with The Strange Case of Lucile Cléry i can not take any credit for “discovering” this since the Lolita-collector-guy put it out there in plain sight… So even if i’m sick of saying it, the quest will have to continue! But all things considered i still think this was a pretty great find and the closest i’ve gotten to something “new”. And even though it’s of course not truly a Warhol designed dust jack/book cover i think it’s definitely worthy of a place next to the “real” ones.

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On Record: 11 Artists 1963 (Giant Size $1,57 Each cassette and booklet)

After trying to create a cloud of suspense and anticipation as thick as what NASA did a couple of weeks ago it’s time to get to it. Contrary to common practice i figured i might as well start off with a huge bang and not continue to take things slow. After all, there are about five people who might care anyways. So on a classic four count, 1-2-3-4… Hey! Ho! Let’s Go!

This will once again be a little bit of déjà vu, but this time around it’s heavily spiced up. I was going through some old emails and i also looked at my first post about this item and i can’t believe it’s been almost two years since this thing started to brew. I guess it’s true what they say about time flying by when you are having fun. Anyways, i had to read my old post to refresh my memory a little bit when it came to how i became aware of the cassette and it turned out that it was the images on Discogs that lead me to it. And that “discovery” then started a loooooong journey which seemed incredibly promising at first only to quickly have said promise turn into frustration together with massively lowered expectations. But since i never really got a definite answer in the form of a “no” or a “sorry, not for sale” to any of my inquiries i just kept on asking. Since i am well aware of the fact that i have at least half of a stalker gene in my body i had to try pretty hard to compose myself and not do this is an obnoxious, intruding or just plain out crazy-in-the-head-mental-patient-style. Luckily this turned out to be a winning strategy…

So, what about the details of this roller coaster ride? Well… call me paranoid or even a selfish douchebag but i have decided to not go into details and throw out names, websites or things like that. This is not because i want to keep this to myself like the people hoarding leaks from Chinese Democracy back in the day (which by the way turned out to be a big steaming pile of crap anyways), but only because i don’t want to aid in creating a ton of work in the form of emails and questions for the people who ended up giving me a great deal for these even greater items. And not only a great deal, but just to part from a copy at all was incredibly kind. I know that they are terribly busy with at least one ongoing exhibition as well as working and planning for an upcomping exhibition due to the 50th anniversary of the Experiments in Art and Technology in the coming year. And i realize that the traffic this blog gets might not justify the fear of creating “a ton of work” but whatever… anyone who cares enough about getting a hold of this could still embark on the same journey that i did and quite easily end up at the same location, and then just pray and hope for the best…

Sadly i can’t remember all the details but here is the gist of what happened. Almost exactly two years ago to the day i found a site that seemed to have a remote connection to the E.A.T. and after a couple of emails back and forth i eventually got information on who to inquire about items from Billy Klüvers collection. More emails followed and i quickly got a response from the archivist of the E.A.T. archives, and this is where it started to sound incredibly promising. I was told that they were in the process of inventoring and would soon get back to me with information on “how many booklets and cassettes we have for sale”. Naturally i was pretty blown away by this reponse, could it really be that easy to find this? And as i always do when i think i’m on to something “remarkable” i broke the news to the WCCC and considering what was said in the reply i got i was hoping and actually thinking that i would be able to score five or so copies! Well, it didn’t take long for this initial enthusiasm to go south as i didn’t hear back in weeks, months and eventually even years. In the meantime i followed every lead i found in hopes of getting a hold of it somewhere else, for example the set is cataloged on the site Librarything with one user claiming to have a copy. After contacting that user who was in fact some company/organisation or whatever called Aboutdrawing i was told it was not for sale but i was offered the chance to come visit their space in NYC and read the book and listen to the tape. The site now appears to be defunct and even though it was a nice and friendly offer i had to turn it down. It’s difficult to justify that kind of trip to stare at, and listen to a cassette tape… There are also three people on Discogs that claim to have it, and i know from experience that none of them are interested in selling their copy. Anyways, in a way i couldn’t understand why i never heard back after that first reply so there is actually another episode of all this were i in the style of a heartbroken 14-year old tried to find the archivist via two other sites where she had held exhibitions featuring her own work. They wouldn’t give out any contact information but promised to pass on any message i might have. Nothing came of this etiher, nothing besides me feeling like a true stalker. But what can you do, desperate times call for desperate measures…

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. Before going home from work i checked my stats on WordPress and noticed that i had a couple of hits on my previous post about the booklet. And that in turn made me go check when it was that i sent my last email, turns out it was late 2014 so i figured what the hell, it’s about time for another stab at it… As usual nothing came back but then about a week later there it was – a response! And what a response it was. After all of the hundreds of emails i sent out regarding The Summer Dancers negative replies have become standard procedure so i was both shocked and amazed to see an email that actually contained wording like “offer you a copy”. Nothing short of unbelievable, in a way i still can’t believe it.

As mentioned i was hoping to score more than one set of this for my friends in the WCCC but as time has moved on i’ve realized that this would most likely not be possible, and at times i thought that the fact that i did ask for so many copies was part of the reason it took them so long to reply. I thought that maybe they only had so and so many copies left and needed to figure out if, and if so how many, they might need for the current and upcoming exhibitions. However, the reader with a good memory might recall that i traded my first copy of this with fellow collector Guy Minnebach. And to be honest that was not even a trade, it was more like an incredibly generous give-away of amazingly cool and rare items. And had that “trade” not happened i would still be short two of the rarest books and an equally rare record cover. That considered i thought i would do what i could to even out the balance of power when it came to that trade, so i took a gamble and explained the circumstances and asked if it might be even the sliiiiightest of possibilities that they would sell one more cassette. I figured worst case scenario they just say no, i found it far-fetched that such an inquiry would piss them off to such a degree that they would recant their initial offer. Luckily, as it turned out they were willing to part from one more copy. Sadly i am not a wealthy man so i ended up being able to thank Guy for his generous trade by making him pay a quite healthy sum for a cassette tape out of his own pocket. What can i say… i’m the definition of a generous and giving person…

So…. what exactly is all the fuss about? I don’t know very much about it but i guess you might call it a spin off to the iconic and incredibly rare cover/record – Giant Size $1,57 Each that was produced in 1963 in connection with The Popular Image Exhibition in Washington D.C. I don’t know enough about either the exhibition or the record cover so i’ll keep it short and sweet and stick to the basics. And the name of the item gives away it’s content fairly good, it holds interviews with 11 artists – Jim Dine, George Brecht, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, John Wesley, Robert Watts, Tom Wesselmann, Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, Jim Rosenquist and Robert Rauschenberg. The interviews were all done by Billy Klüver and the booklet and cassette were produced as a later, alternative version to the LP and the reason was simply that Klüver wanted to to make the information available to another new audience since the record was out of production. There is a signed and dated (at least by year) introduction kind of thing by Billy Klüver in the booklet with a mention that the cassette is available from the E.A.T. in NYC so to the best of my knowledge these were produced sometime in 1981. However, i learned from the seller that the booklet and cassette were produced and sold at the opening of The Andy Warhol Museum which from what i understand took place in 1994, so i don’t know what to make of it all. And it’s really not THAT important. What i do know is just how rare they are, and what i’ve learned from the seller is that there were initially 50 sets of cassettes and booklets produced. The booklet alone was then printed in greater numbers but apparently no more than 500 copies were produced. So yeah… both of these are pretty rare. And without question the cassette will take the place of the rarest item in my collection. I have an old cassette player around somewhere but i won’t risk playing this old tape so i’ll have to make do with reading the transcriptions in the booklet.

Even though i was able to get some information straight from the source there are still a couple of intriguing things though. First, and this in minor, there is a sligt difference when it comes to the label on the cassette. My copy has “Side One” and “Side Two” printed below the title and on Guy’s copy (as with the one in the images on Discogs) these are printed on the side of the label or whatever. Not a thing that i will lose a lot of sleep over, but still pretty interesting. If nothing else it must mean that the labels were printed on at least two different occasions? And then to real mystery… on the side of the cassette the number “64” is printed so it appears we have a LOST style number mystery on our hands. I first i thought of the obvious – that they were in fact numbered. But then Guy told me his had the same number so that sent that theory out the window. The seller didn’t know for sure but made a guess that it might relate to the lenght of the tape. I’ve been forced to read up a little bit on the compact cassette format and it seems that the standard lenghts were 30 or 45 minutes per side and these were labeled C60 and C90. From what Wikipedia has to say there seems to a lot of other, less common capacities but there is no mention of C64. In fact, bascially the only stuff you’ll find on that are hits for the Commodore 64 computer and the tapes used for that. So i don’t know… i can’t say that i’m totally convinced it has something to do with the lenght after all. The number also appears to be stamped on the cassette and not printed beforehand, would Klüver really care enough to time it all and then stamp them in this way? I don’t have much of a better suggestion as to the meaning myself, one thing caught my interest though and that’s the fact that the cassette was introduced in the US in 1964, but i don’t know… Interesting and intruiging, though not important.

In conclusion, not only was it a great feeling to finally get a hold of this again it was also very good and almost necessary for the general motivation to actually see something get to the finish line. I’ve also always thought that it’s a really cool item that fits perfect right in between my book and record collection, and since i’ll of course never see the actual original record + cover this is as close as i’ll ever get. And without a doubt it’s close enough! When it comes to the condition there is not much to say. It’s absolutely fantastic in every way and basically looks and feels untouched! It’s been about two weeks since i got this now but i’m still pretty excited! And by that i mean excited enough to just hold it in my hands, staring at it… and thus it’s also the latest example of an item that makes my girlfriend think i’ve finally gone mental. I don’t waste time trying to explain anymore. But there is a certain way and a specific tone that someone can use to say “what the hell are you doing?” that makes me stop and think for a second, but then i just go into the other room and continue staring…

This was without a doubt the best find of the year, at least for a couple of days… I’m hoping the new number one will be shipped in the days to come, so as promised there are more cool things coming up!

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giant-size-157-each-booklet-warhol-5  giant-size-157-each-cassette-warhol-6

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A perfect storm!

I blame my terrible lack of posting to the realization that living in a house as opposed to an apartment results in a lot less spare time. And a lot more hard work and evenings and weekends filled with busting down walls, diggning, building fences, planting hedges and god knows what else. I can’t say that we are anywhere near finished but we are at least done with the two initial “big” projects and things are finally back to a more normal state. Anyways, not that there is anything wrong with writing about gardening or building work but let’s get down to what this blog is supposed to be about and my oh my… The last couple of weeks have been some of the most exciting and eventful since i started this whole thing. In a way i’m still trying to take it all in and especially trying to come down and get my heart rate back to normal after the events of last night…

I’ll get to everything in the weeks to come but in short it’s been an incredible run of good fortune combined with finally, FINALLY having something i’ve worked hard on come to fruition. And by working hard i mean sending an email every every six of twelve months and hoping for the best. I’ve had a couple of things or “projects” that have seemed promising at first but then always resulting in nothing in the end. I’ve been in contact with the guys from Ratfab trying to score anything related to the record, a guy in a band who supposedly were good friends with Keely Smith trying to find out if she remembered anything about the cover for I Wish You Love, and then the whole thing with the massive chase for The Butterfly Tree. And sadly nothing ever came of any of this, luckily i’m not an easy quitter. I don’t want to give anything away just yet but a clue would that it’s a small, but still “huge” thing. And this time around it’s complete…

And about last night, i’ve learned from previous mistakes and even though i didn’t have to get up in the middle of the night i still set three alarm clocks this time. And as i’m apparently still exhausted from said yardwork and fell asleep early it turns out this was a winning strategy. And the result? Well, in this case a clue would be that i feel a little bit like Nostradamus as a prophecy i made about a month ago turned out to come true. I’m also extremely happy and relieved that i don’t have to see any more of these My Little Pony’s namned Sky Dancers on ebay anymore. I’ve really come to hate this particular little horse with a great and very intense passion.

Cool things are coming up, so stay tuned! And oh yeah… Death to all Sky Dancers with Summer wings!

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