Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Art oder Kraft?

So Kraftwerk are back. Well, reformed for a series of showcase concerts at the Tate Modern. I haven't been given a ticket but they were once the subject of an important illustration I made many years ago - well, more important for me than them probably - my first full colour front cover. I would be disingenuous to say I don't keep my old work - much of it still lays a-moldering and gently foxing in a suitcase and various old portfolios in the loft - but I have a healthy disinclination to look at much of it. So it was a surprise when Detective Inspector DJ Food contacted me to say he'd found an old Record Mirror cover and thought it might be one of mine. Old pieces of work always prompt a mix of feelings - pleasure at seeing something long forgotten, but often tempered with slight embarrassment at noticing all the flaws and seeing how you would have done it so differently. But you can't re-write history, so here it is...


  1. Brilliant to see this, A! I'm very glad you retrieved the drawing to show here even if it did mean risking life and limb to rummage through those old suitcases in the loft... Plus I think you know how I feel about seeing early sketches/drawings before they go to colour, I'm very fond of that stage.
    The final cover still looks good (jeez, nothing to be embarrassed about!) and I like to think I may have bought that very copy of Record Mirror at the time. Sadly not kept in an old suitcase in my loft though, otherwise I'd be after a signature!
    (Also would quite like to see Kraftwerk at the Tate. I had the pleasure of seeing them in the summer of '81 and loved the whole experience, strange in a way as they were nothing like anything else I was listening to but it was still just brilliant!)

    1. Well, if I do get a spare ticket I'll let you know! Actually I was never a massive fan of Kraftwerk. Perhaps I never recovered from a rather hell-ish New Year's Eve I once spent trying to kip on someone's sofa while a Hell's Angel-type character repeatedly played 'Autobahn' over and over again - at the end of each play saying the same thing "hehe I really like that song..." and then he would move the arm back to the beginning... My increasingly irritated tutting seemed to make no difference at all....

  2. I bought that Record Mirror - remember the cover very well! Nice to be able to thank you for it. Kraftwerk were a complete revelation to me. I used to listen obsessively to Radio Caroline, whose output in the 70s was marvellously eclectic and who featured Kraftwerk heavily when most other radio stations were nervously avoiding them (all those long tracks played havoc with the advertising schedules, for a start!). I wish I'd kept at least some of my old music papers, for artwork and cartoons (Rock'n'roll Zoo and the Lone Groover were my favourites).

    And I'm highly amused at your New Year's Eve story. Tutting at a Hell's Angel...wonderful.