Here’s the story behind the artwork for the album!
When I was first coming up in New Orleans just prior to finishing high school (I wasn’t allowed to graduate when someone’s dad outed me), I started a little band (RZA) with some of my classmates from NOCCA (New Orleans Center of the Creative Arts)
We played a few shows and I don’t remember exactly how I met Chuck Crosby (front cover) and Daria Gabriel (back cover), but we all started hanging out and driving around in my dad’s red Dodge sedan.
As Jon Newlin would write in Figaro “a slender man in a kimono and rice-paddy hat would run around the stage while being whipped by a tall handsome punk in a leather motorcycle jacket, while Lenny sang his popular song “Daddy Don’t”. The guy in the kimono was Chuck. He was funny and very creative.
Daria, was as rare as a blue diamond. She was infinitely curious, artistic and always excited to share new music. She turned us onto James Chance and the Contortions, Nina Hagen and many more that would shape my musical tastes for years to come.
When the opportunity came up to make a full-length album, I really wanted to honor those people who played such an important role in the beginning of my music career decades ago.
I contacted my friend Darryl (pictured below) who said he had a few pieces of Chuck’s original art. He put me in touch with Chuck’s estate who kindly gave me permission to use the untitled piece used on the front cover. We took the old, somewhat smudged postcard to a shop in Metairie and had it scanned in high resolution.
Carole Filangieri, an artist, sculptor and graphic designer had done lots of artwork for my releases in the 1990’s with Jenifer Convertible, and I turned to her to make this cover into a cohesive work despite the two styles being markedly different. Thanks to her vision, it worked!
You can learn a little more about Chuck here.
Daria Gabriel continues to make inspired visual art including video.