Surrealistic Photoshop?

One of the beauties of having an album, vinyl album that is… is that the cover art is BIG. You can use it for decoration it’s so big. Also, at that size you can really see what the artist was going for and the details of the shot that you just can’t see at CD cover size.

I came across something while I was flipping through the albums that I had gotten from Dalton. It was a record that I have seen many times in the record stores and that is iconic.

“Jefferson Airplane – Surrealistic Pillow”

Surrealistic Pillow

Let’s leave aside the fact that the “Jefferson Airplane” text over the banjo is not completely horizontal… that is something I need to get over myself… the group photo is against a wall that is covered in graffiti, likely a derelict building. Nice smile Grace.

Here is my vinyl copy. Bigger.

2015-06-13 06.25.45

What caught my eye was in the graffiti in the upper right of the photo, below the W in Pillow. Look closer.

2015-06-13 06.25.58

There is some crude photo shopping there! Looks like they took a bit of graffiti from somewhere else to cover something up.

Of course the mind reels with what if’s. What if it was a rude word, or a dirty picture, or something political that the record company made them remove before using… I immediately went to Wikipedia, but was bummed to not find any info on the cover shot at all, just the photographers name.

Had I come across a priceless original with an error in the cover art or something awesome like that. Was this an artifact worthy of the collection of The Aural Retentive!?!?

Answer. No. Not really.

Here is another shot of the cover. Apparently what they were covering up was a record company logo?


In my version the RCA record player logo is removed and the RCA letters are above the title. Also the LPM-3766 is removed. I wish I could find some info on the genesis of this cover and the manipulations to it. Apparently there have been a few.

Here is someone’s E-bay post showing a Best Buy series version of it.

Surrealistic Best Buy

This one also has the poor photo shopping, probably referred to then as EDITING.

Ah well, I am going to have to keep this album until I can find someone to tell me about the history of the shot. Maybe it is referenced in a Starship biography or something along those lines.

Can anyone shed any light on this for me?

At any rate, viva vinyl !

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