Sunday, November 23, 2008
Too Bad He Never Got the Chance to Do One for the Soup Dragons
I was reminded over the weekend that the cover art for Billy Squier's 1982 album Emotions in Motion (great title, eh?) was done by none other than Andy Warhol. This was at the suggestion of Billy himself, who obviously recognized how nice it was that one of America's most important artists was always willing to do anything for a buck.
I don't know how much the label paid for the cover art, but Billy bought the two originals - one for the front cover and a slightly different one for the back cover - directly from Warhol for $40,000 apiece. It's hard to believe, but Billy was really very savvy about money. Despite the fact that his time as a star lasted about two years, Billy parlayed that into an apartment in New York's fabled San Remo building on Central Park West, where Bono also lives. A Warhol portrait of Conrad Black sold earlier this year for 185,000 pounds, which is about $280,000 - and who wants a picture of Conrad Black? Wouldn't you rather have a picture of Billy Squier?
Warhol was pretty busy with album covers during the 1980s. He did Love You Live for the Rolling Stones, Silk Electric for Diana Ross and Koo Koo for Debbie Harry, among others. Most of those looked to me more like Andy Warhol knockoffs than works of art by the great man himself, but what do I know?