reminiscing about elizabeth.

I think it’s been a pretty cool device to relate these stories, and then as the “year” draws to a close, to wrap up that year’s entries with a “reminiscing” post or two, containing scans or photos of some of the things I’ve written.  It’s sort of a cool way of summing up various things that happened.

In going through old files, I discovered a box that contained a lot of the artwork and files from when we did our first release, Nothing Smells Quite Like Elizabeth.  Since I’ve already told the story of that compilation multiple times, and posted much of the artwork, this entry is way out of context with the rest of the story.  Still, I thought it was cool stuff.

Elizabeth folder  This is the actual folder.  I wrote on it, “…Nothing Was As Much Of A Pain In The Ass To Design As Elizabeth.”  Obviously, I had the idea of memorializing the story as early as 1992 when we were developing the art.  But equally obviously, developing the artwork for Elizabeth was a cakewalk in comparison with, say, nurture.

Inside this folder are all sorts of printouts – inkjet and laser, stat sheets and photographs, even copies of faxes that I sent to Rich at work, and to the CD company in Canada.  Most of it is pretty pointless stuff; I have no idea why I saved it.  At the same time, there was some cool stuff in it as well.






NSQLE1NSQLE2  These are two photos from our “photo shoot” in Montclair that we were also considering for the cover of Elizabeth.  We stayed away from the first one because while it was a neat photo of the model, it didn’t seem hip enough.

Once we came upon the bookstore, we thought it would serve as a great backdrop for the cover – lots to look at.  We took a bunch of shots of the model outside the bookstore, reading, and ultimately settled on the one we chose because the street and the cars made the setting look more urban.  In hindsight, I like this one much better.


The original photo of what became the back cover of Elizabeth.

The original photo of what became the back cover of Elizabeth.

Here’s the original photo that I took while driving around New Jersey with Frank, looking for something suitably shitty to put on the back cover of the CD.  I wanted factories, pollution, and signs of urban decay.  The Pulaski Skyway was perfect, even if I am not a particularly talented photographer.










Sandwriting  Sandy and I took sheets of paper and wrote the album title over and over again, in the coolest handwriting we could muster.  Once we had three or four sheets of paper filled, we “voted” on which was the coolest.  This won.  This got cut out and somehow superimposed over the photo we chose.

You can see to the left of the paper, Rich wrote “Kuel!” next to this one, thus casting his vote.






NSQLE Matchprint Here’s an original print of the outside panel of the CD booklet.  You can see that the cover photo is much lighter, and the title much more legible, than the final output.  I don’t know how it got so dark, but perhaps if I had included this print with the films instead of filing it away for posterity, the printer would have had something to compare his proof to.

Of course I know that now.



Elizabeth Poster  Cellphone picture of the only remaining Nothing Smells Quite Like Elizabeth poster we made – and the last poster we made for any of our releases.  Rich had a friend who had a two-color press in his garage, and I made up the design in Quark XPress.  I think we made 500 posters, and most came out faded like this one.  We thought they were great, despite the cost, and we sent them all over the place.  Never saw one actually hanging anywhere though, so for all our remaining releases, we said that we had posters available.  Essentially, we’d tell distributors, radio stations, and record stores that posters were available upon request, and figured if anyone ever requested one, we’d make them.  Nobody ever requested one.

The Mommyheads made their own posters for Flying Suit.

~ by Al on July 27, 2009.

One Response to “reminiscing about elizabeth.”

  1. I feel like I saw one of those posters somewhere, but I could be imagining it. Or maybe it was at your house.

    I don’t do much offset print work anymore, but the darkness could have come from dot gain – that’s an effect where each halftone dot grows a tiny bit, based on humidity, the paper’s porousness and other factors. It sucks – for printers as well as clients.

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