The Quakes New Generation Sony/Japan
30 year anniversary 1993-2023
THE ALBUM COVER
Originally, we were going to call the album “Dateless Night” after the cover song we did. We drove to Rochester New York to pick up three mannequins that we had to rent. We borrowed some clothing from some girls we knew to dress them up. The concept was that we would be standing with the mannequins and thus a dateless night. We thought it would be funny.
We got a friend of ours (Kathy) to take the pictures and when we got them back we picked out various ones we wanted to use and sent them to Sony in Japan.
They were not happy at all with our pictures. Our friend is not a professional photographer but we thought the pictures would be ok. I don’t know if they did not like our concept or our pictures or both.
As they were in Japan, it was expensive to make long distance phone calls. They would send me faxes to a Kinkos store and I would have to go there and pick them up and then back there to answer them. We bought a home fax machine which was about $350 at that time, a lot of money for broke musicians. Because of the time difference the fax machine would be going off at all hours of the night and they were noisy. They would send ten pages of things sometimes. Also sending faxes were the people arranging our tour and our publishing company. Every morning there was a long steam of paper on the floor needing to be addressed.
Sony were sending their ideas for the cover and the booklet. Everything they wanted to do seemed so cliche to us and tired. We tried to explain to them that the rockabilly and psychobilly people there already knew who we were. We had done a big tour there the previous year and our records were selling good there. We were trying to attract a wider audience than just the rocking scene. We did NOT want to put our instruments on the cover. We lost that battle obviously. It’s funny because they did not say one thing about the music, they were only concerned with the packaging and how they were going to market us.
They did a fabulous job on the cd booklet it is very cool. All Lyrics and liner notes. At a time when some record companies were putting a one page insert and charging full price for a cd, Sony put a color 24 page booklet in our cd.
Rewind. Sony tells us that they are sending their own photographer and his assistant to Buffalo to do a picture shoot. It would take place on a Sunday and of course like fools we went out Saturday night :-)
The photographer was Mikio Ariga. We did not know who he was but he was a photographer for The Rolling Stones.
We went back to the same location as we had done the mannequin shoot which was the building I was working in. It was the Pierce Arrow building in Buffalo.*
Mikio was a true professional. All of this was new to us. The whole Sony experience was a whole new world, a different level.
We got the proofs and picked out ones that we liked to use in the booklet and on tour posters etc.
I wish I still had the faxes of the concepts we flat out rejected.
*Home of the automobile factory for the Pierce arrow 1901-1938
Coming up next, part two-The recordings and Part three-the tour.