Whoever That Is

“All I can do is be me – whoever that is”
Bob Dylan
(to Paul J Robbins, 22 March 1965)

 

Patti Smith as Bob Dylan. Photo by Judy Linn for Aperture Magazine, circa 1976

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Dylan and The Drugstore Cowboy

“I wouldn’t advise anybody to use drugs – certainly not the hard drugs. Drugs are medicine. But opium and hash and pot – now, those things aren’t drugs. They just bend your mind a little. I think everybody’s mind should be bent once in a while.”

Bob Dylan

The Playboy Interview by Nat Hentoff, March 1966

 

Matt Dillon (as Bob) and Kelly Lynch (as Dianne) in Drugstore Cowboy (Gus Van Sant, 1989)

 

Reportedly, the roles of Bob and Dianne were offered to Bob Dylan and Patti Smith. Bob and Patti had been friends since 1975

Tom the Priest’s Prediction

“Narcotics have been systematically scapegoated and demonized. The idea that anyone can use drugs and escape a horrible fate is an anathema to these idiots. I predict in the near future right-wingers will use drug hysteria as a pretext to set up an international police apparatus. I’m an old man and I may not live to see a solution to the drug problem.”

Line from Drugstore Cowboy (Gus Van Sant, 1989)

 
 

William S. Burroughs (as Tom the Priest) and Matt Dillon (as Bob Hughes) in Van Sant’s breakthrough picture Drugstore Cowboy, based on an autobiographical novel by James Fogle.

Beyond Our Understanding

Stadium Arcadium (2006). Art direction by Gus Van Sant

 
 

 
 

Storm Thorgerson was asked to design Red Hot Chili Pepper’s Stadium Arcadium cover. Thorgerson provided at least three possible covers for the album, however, his ideas were ultimately rejected and a simple cover featuring yellow “Superman” lettering and a blue background with planets was utilized instead. Thorgerson publicly denounced the chosen artwork, stating:

 

What lay behind the cover behaviour of Red Hot Chilli Peppers was beyond mathematics, certainly beyond our understanding. For the Stadium Arcadium cover they elected to feature the title in ‘superman’ lettering which was already old fashioned in itself, plus some “planetary embroidery” and that was it! It was trite, dull and derivative completely unlike the music, which was colourful, eclectic, imaginative, positive, and endlessly inventive. I am not often inclined to publicly criticise the work of others for I see little purchase in it, but there is, in this instance a vested interest, for the Peppers turned down our offerings in favour of this piece of unadventurous graphics. How could they? And here are three of our suggestions for your curiosity, and for my petulance.

To watch the music video for Dani California, please take a gander at The Genealogy of Style‘s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Genealogy-of-Style/597542157001228?ref=hl

The Illusion of Depth

Concept and design by Storm Thorgerson

 
 

The sleeve of the Alan Parsons album Try Anything Once recalls at least two recurring elements of Magritte’s works, the man with the hat and the white sphere.

 
 

The Ignorant Fairy (1950)

 
 

Golconde (1953)

 
 

There is an easter egg inside the inlay. One of the pictures is a stereogram; when the viewer looks at it correctly, an image of a man and woman upside down will appear, similar to the other pictures in the album’s artwork.

Stereoscopy (also called stereoscopics or 3D imaging) is a technique for creating or enhancing the illusion of depth in an image by means of stereopsis for binocular vision. The word stereoscopy derives from Greek στερεός (stereos), meaning “firm, solid”, and σκοπέω (skopeō), meaning “to look, to see”. Any stereoscopic image is called stereogram. Originally, stereogram referred to a pair of stereo images which could be viewed using a stereoscope. Magritte made several studies of stereograms in some paintings (for instance, Man with a Newspaper, The Menaced Assassin, A Taste of the Invisible, Portrait of Paul Nouge, and many others).