February 29, 2004

Raw Material

This guy managed to track down the original soap ad (from a c. 1971 Look magazine) that we swiped for the cover of the album Love is Dead. The last thing I ever expected to see. Kinda cool.

Posted by Dr. Frank at February 29, 2004 01:48 PM | TrackBack

So...did you, or someone else in the know let on as to the source for the picture? Or did he manage to just stumble upon it accidentally? That's neat to see, and it spurs my curiosity toward origins of the other album (non-band) photos.

Got any hints for Yesterday Rules, to start up a scavenger hunt of sorts?

Posted by: Dave Bug at February 29, 2004 10:54 PM

that guy is awesome.

Posted by: lukeblack at March 1, 2004 04:29 AM

Hah, keen. I didn't know that one was from an ad. The one I'm curious about is the Alcatraz cover; the cover model looks very familiar, but damned if I can place who she is.

Posted by: Rev. Syung Myung Me at March 1, 2004 04:48 AM

i think that's Brigitte Bardot (sp?) if i am indeed not mistaken, on "Alcatraz"

Posted by: Miketheloser at March 1, 2004 05:08 AM

wow! that was from a soap ad? That guy IS awesome.

Posted by: Mikey at March 1, 2004 05:41 AM

I found this. Wasting time is occasionally mildly rewarding. http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3591500780&category=2239

Posted by: Georgina at March 1, 2004 11:57 AM

The photo on the cover of Our Bodies is cutout from some German magazine -- it was hanging on the wall in this place we stayed while on tour in Poland. It was a strange place -- seemed like it might once have been some kind of work camp or gulag or something. I thought the picture was funny, so I took it. I still have the original album artwork (which is just that photo taped on a piece if cardboard colored with pastels).

Posted by: Aaron at March 1, 2004 05:30 PM

"so, dr. ryan, my wife tells me you've published a book, what was the title again...?"

"uh.. well its ah.."

Posted by: Miketheloser at March 1, 2004 09:51 PM

Hey Aaron thank for the info, but that begs a new question...How is it that you guys have never been in a lawsuit except for the near miss with Mr. T himself? I mean, if you guys swiped your cover art from pictures from magazines then I wonder how come the company owning the ads or the photographer him/herself has not at least sought out royalties (however large or small they may be) or credits.

Posted by: Channon at March 2, 2004 06:01 PM

Channon, the answer is simple -- the images are obscure, and the owners are not aware of, or do not care about, MTX's use of them. In some cases, MTX would have a pretty good fair use argument, but I don't think that is the reason there haven't been more problems. I think it's just obliviousness on the part of the owners.

I'm kind of surprised that none of the folks who own the artwork on the lunch boxes that appear on Milk Milk ever made any stink -- I'd say those are probably the most high-profile of MTX's "borrowings" -- but the fact is that policing this kind of thing is very time-consuming and expensive for IP owners. You can get away with a lot just by staying under their radar.

I am aware of at least one instance where a copyright owner complained -- that photo on the cover of the Gun Crazy EP is from Larry Clark's book "Tulsa," and his representatives did write Lookout a cease and desist letter. I think that Lookout just stopped pressing that record, and the matter was dropped.

Posted by: Aaron at March 2, 2004 06:25 PM

i'm still amazed the band Black Flag never got sued by the Insecticide people of the same name..

Posted by: mike at March 2, 2004 11:28 PM

There is no law against using the same term (e.g., BLACK FLAG) in connection with two different and unrelated goods or services (e.g., music and insecticide). Nobody would think that Black Flag records came from the insecticide people just because the same trademark was used in connection with both, so there is no likelihood of confusion (and, therefore, no trademark infringement).

Posted by: Aaron at March 2, 2004 11:40 PM

yeah, that's why I inquired about the cover art because it is a tangible thing that is owned by an advertising company, a product's company or a photographer. Nobody owns words, but you can get into sketchy areas ie:Black Flag, you cannot name another pesticide Black Flag under copyright and trademark infringement laws but the band: Black Flag's name could be referring to a black flag and not Black Flag pesticide, I guess only Henry Rollins knows for sure. This is why MTX almost got sued by Mr.T (Laurence Turead , now legally Mr. T), because they used his image for the cover art and therefore the Mr. T in the Mr. T experience was indeed Laurence Turead and not just a generic Mr. T (Like my 5th grade Teacher Mr. Timmerman, who we called Mr. T). Maybe Aaron or Frank could verify this, but I previously read somewhere that either the band met with or sent their album to Mr. T himself and after he found out that there was nothing incrimminating about him or anything that could be taken as something saif by him on the record that he dropped the litigation, and actually said he liked the record. Anyway, I forgot to thank Aaron for answering my question, so thanks Aaron!!

Posted by: Channon at March 3, 2004 12:47 AM

I don't really know if Mr. T and MTX ever had a squabble -- if so, it was either before or after my time. I would think that Mr. T's strongest claim would not be a copyright or trademark claim, but would rather be a state law right of publicity claim based on unauthorized use of his name and likeness. At this late date, however, he's probably barred by laches, so it doesn't really matter.

Posted by: Aaron at March 3, 2004 01:19 AM

Circa 1992, Scott of the Invalids said he took his LP of "Everyone's Entitled" to Mr. T at an autograph signing, and the T pitied the fool who used his name and likeness -- that is, he wasn't real happy about it. The way Scott told it, this was the first time Mr. T the celebrity was aware of MTX the band. I have no idea if legal action was ever pursued.

As Aaron says, there was quite a stink over "Gun Crazy", which has made it one of the harder-to-find MTX pressings (which just adds to its mystique for me -- it's a freaking great 7").

I'm all for the scavenger hunt for YR. For those of you in the southern states, you might be able to get the scoop if you buy Frank a round or two... :-)

Posted by: Wes at March 6, 2004 08:56 PM

my bet is that the YR covershot comes from some early 60's LP cover for "Mellow sounds for a winter evening" type of album. With mantovani or some other cheesy orchestral music.

Posted by: myke at March 7, 2004 12:06 AM