Holy deleted scenes. Certain iconic rock & roll images are so seared into our brains that seeing a slightly different version of it is downright jarring. I’d long thought that a collection of photos like this would make a great book but paper cuts are dangerous so here we are. When a friend of mine saw a Fishbone photo outtake in an art gallery, bought it and posted it online, it blew the minds of fans worldwide and inspired me to do some curating. I must’ve done a decent job because a fairly popular music site which shall remain nameless (ok, it’s Rock Cellar) made a gallery made up mostly of photos I’d found just two weeks after I sent them a link to the page. Um, you’re welcome? I’ve been slowly adding images to an album on the Facebook version of Yer Doin’ Great (“like” it to get updates). Here’s a closer look at the first five.
Fishbone EP by John Scarpati 1984
The photograph that got me wanting to put this album of outtakes together. Jon Krop elaborates: “John Scarpati’s “Fishbone the First Session” 1984 contacts have officially been accepted in The Smithsonian’s permanent collection. This image currently exists as two forms – one on Optica fine art paper the other a Chromata canvas. The canvas will be featured in The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, scheduled to open in 2015. The other print will be shown at La Luz de Jesus Gallery.” To check out more of Scarpati’s shots of LA’s 80’s metal and punk greats from his book Cramp Slash & Burn that were shown at La Luz in Los Angeles, check out their website. That’s where my friend spotted and bought this picture. Thanks for sharing, Alex! Scarpati also did Fishbone’s In Your Face cover & many other F-bone promo photos.
John Scarpati official site
Fishbone official site
La Luz De Jesus page with Scarpati photos
Abbey Road outtake by Linda McCartney 1969
There are quite a few fun outtakes from Beatles album covers kickin’ around but this one taken by Linda McCartney of an LOL (little old lady) chatting them up before they cross the street is priceless. I don’t need to post much more because the unreal WogBlog has put together a page with every single known photo that was taken that day, including the debunking of an old man that claims to be in the shot. Holy overkill. I once asked Wings/Moody Blues legend Denny Laine what he thought of Linda’s musical abilities in front of about 1000 people at a Beatles convention. He politely said “She’s an amazing photographer” and she is. She’d already captured iconic images of everyone from the Stones to Hendrix before she’d met Paul. The actual Abbey Road cover was shot by Scotsman Iain Macmillan. After including a photo of Yoko Ono’s in a book collection in 1966, she invited him to photograph one of her gallery openings and eventually introduced him to John Lennon. Several years later, he was asked to shoot the Beatles’ last album cover. The idea was sketched out by Paul and shot in the morning before fans usually congregated to watch the band arrive at the studio. He shot several other Abbey Road styled album covers in later years, including the comedy duo Hinge & Bracket in 1980 and Paul with his sheepdog for the Paul Is Live album in 1993. Macmilan passed away from lung cancer in 2006.
EVERYTHING you wanted to know about the Abbey Road shoot (Wog Blog).
Linda’s official site full of great photos
A bit about Iain Macmillan, the man who took the actual cover shot
Check Your Head by Glen E Friedman 1992
Photograher Glen E. Friedman posted a Check Your Head outtake on his blog shortly after the death of MCA that I saw thanks to the Beastie Boys Fan Page group on Facebook. Friedman got his start by having his first work published in skateboard magazines when he was still in the eighth grade. Those early days were chronicled in the Dogtown & Z Boys documentary, which he was heavily involved with. His photographs of early LA punk rock are legendary but he got involved enough to manage and produce Suicidal Tendancies and then helped early rap pioneers when he became involved with Def Jam. He took countless classic shots of the BBoys in those early years and they continued to use him once they left the label, using one of his photos from the Check Your Head shoot for their classic video comp The Skills To Pay The Bills. According to Friedman, the band did a day of shooting with him for fun even though they already had a concept for the cover. Friedman brought along his friend Amery “AWOL” Smith who became fast friends with the boys and eventually became their touring punk drummer. When he faxed the band one of the shots a few days later, they loved it so much and were so late on deadline that they used the fax for the cover instead of waiting for him to mail prints. He’s published six hardcover books of his work, including the classic Fuck You Heroes.
Glen Friedman’s photography page, Burning Flags
Glen Friedman’s personal blog, What The Fuck Have You Done?
Friedman’s blog about the Check Your Head photos with awesome extra outtakes
Beastie Boys official page
Beastie Boys Fan Page on Facebook
Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan by Don Hunstein 1963
This shot of Dylan with then girlfriend Suze Rotolo was taken near their apartment in NYC’s West Village at the corner of Jones Street and West 4th Street. In 2008, Rotolo told The New York Times, “He wore a very thin jacket, because image was all. Our apartment was always cold, so I had a sweater on, plus I borrowed one of his big, bulky sweaters. On top of that I put on a coat. So I felt like an Italian sausage. Every time I look at that picture, I think I look fat.” Putting an album cover outtake on the cover of a bootleg recording is a long tradition. The image above is from a 1994 Vigotone release. Being Columbia Records’ main staff photographer for 30 years, Hunstein photographed hundreds of album covers, including Bob Dylan’s debut and Simon & Garfunkel’s Sounds of Silence plus many historic recording sessions including the West Side Story soundtrack, Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue and many more.
A couple more from Rock Cellar
Official Don Hunstein site
Official Bob Dylan site
Nevermind by Kirk Weddle 1991
In hoping to see Nevermind outtakes for this page, I added recently posted underwater photos of Nirvana shot by Austin resident Kirk Weddle at Austin Culture Map that I assumed were from the album cover session but it turns out they weren’t. The band originally wanted the cover to be of an underwater birth but the label balked and compromised on an underwater baby shot. Weddle, an avid diver and ex-military man had made underwater photography his specialty, though he was doing a lot of auto advertising work at the time. Weddle shared studio space with Rick Elden and asked if he could use his son Spencer as the cover model for the Nirvana album. They did the shoot in just a few minutes on half a roll of film at the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center in Pasadena. Weddle wanted to give the label options so he went to a toddler swimming class afterwards and took photos of a few more babies. A baby girl seemed to be the most photogenic but apparently the label REALLY wanted the male genitalia. A few months later, the album had taken over the world and the band was coaxed into a 10am mid-tour photoshoot in a small North Hollywood pool Weddle used to use for scuba classes, which is now a Jewish temple. The band was exhausted, it was cold, the pool was cloudy, Kurt fell asleep and so they couldn’t get too much done. Still one of the group shots ended up on a promo poster that was plastered in record stores worldwide and individual shots of the group are on the actual discs of the 20th anniversary cd boxed set.
On the concept for the album cover, Geffen art director Robert Fisher wrote, “If anyone has a problem with his d**k we can remove it.” More shots from the Nirvana 20th anniversary exhibit at Seattle’s EMP Museum at I’ve Never Done That.
Coverbaby Spencer Elden ended up interning for Shepherd Fairey & doing all kinds of great art including this photo of a folder full of pieces with a very cool Nevermind outtake attached. Check out more of his work at http://vampiresoneday.wordpress.com/
Kirk Weddle’s official site
Nirvana’s official site
Feelnumb’s Details Behind Nirvana’s Nevermind Underwater Pool Photos
Spin’s How the ‘Nevermind’ Boy Was Almost a Girl
UK Daily Mail article All grown up: Baby on the cover of Nirvana’s Nevermind album turns 20
A ton of fun Nevermind parodies (& some that are just meh)
See more outtakes on our Facebook page and “like” us to see updates when we find more goodies.