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I’ve just seen a face.

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I shouldn’t really blog about things that reveal me to be an inattentive, out-of-touch numbnuts.

But, in the interest of full disclosure, here goes …

I had an all-day off-site meeting today.

To gird myself for long hours of sitting in the same room, I forswore my chosen commute music (Frank Sinatra) in favor of the bracing sounds of the Stooges’ Fun House.

The album is hardly unfamiliar to me. I’ve owned it since high school — more than half my life — and listened to it numerous times. Were I to be stranded on one of those mythical desert islands that entraps pop geeks, Fun House would have a pretty good shot at being one of my 10 companions.

Now, I never really understood what was going on on the cover of Fun House.

It looked kinda like Iggy was hook-sliding into a fiery Hell, watched — or maybe ignored — by the sort of little girl who would get cast in dog-food commercials.

The orientation of the cover is a little weird, with the band name and title written sideways. But that’s the way the booklet was inserted into the box, and that’s the way I always looked at it. (That’s the way it appears on Wikipedia, too.)

The cover of Fun House as I have always seen it. (Click to enlarge.)

The cover of Fun House as I have always seen it. (Click to enlarge.)

I was driving to my off-site today, and stuck in slow traffic on Route 378, when I looked down at my passenger seat. I happened to see the cover of Fun House rotated in a different, unfamiliar direction.

And — slap my ass and call me Sally — there’s a face there.

(I can’t say for sure that it’s Iggy’s, though it has the pained, stoic look of a man who has just jabbed himself with knitting needles to arouse a howling mob at the Grande Ballroom.)

Yeah ... it's a little hard to miss, now, isn't it?

Yeah … it’s a little hard to miss, now, innit?

In 20-plus years of owning Fun House, I have never until today perceived the large face in the background. (Of course, now that I’ve seen it, I can’t not see it.)

I have no idea how I was so ignorant of that.

In fact, it occurs to me now that I bought the CD in the age of the cardboard longbox (remember those?), and I displayed the cardboard longbox in my high school locker. So I was looking at that cover, or some variant of it, several times a day every single day.

And I never saw the face then either.

One would think that I would, at some point since 1990, have turned the album cover 90 degrees so the band name and title appeared in a conventional orientation. Nope.

(I have a mixed history with this sort of thing. I’m pretty sure I found the skull-cloud on the cover of Wake of the Flood by myself, but I didn’t know about American Reality until the Interwebs.)

If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to spend the rest of the night with my hundreds of CDs and vinyl albums, gradually rotating each one 360 degrees to see if I’ve been missing anything.

Well, OK, I’m not going to go quite that far.

I do draw a valuable lesson, though: In a world where new music is constantly being made, don’t forswear your old favorites. They might still have something new to show you.


3 responses »

  1. I’d like to see all of these kinds of things cataloged. The Dead made a living off of this — the skull cloud on ‘Wake of the Flood,’ “American Reality,” and the ‘Mars Hotel’ cover reading like “Ugly Rumours.”

  2. Neat! I hope this enabled you to view the likely boredom of your 8 hours of powerpoint presentations and discussions in a new way!


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