Last minute change on the cover art for Blondie’s ‘Panic of Girls’


“So the album was done, the cover was done, and we were all waiting for the album to release.
Soon after finishing the album, Paul Carbonara left the band. He was followed up by Tommy Kessler, who went on tour with Blondie, but was not yet on the album.
So we discussed what to do. Replace the image of Paul with that of Tommy, add Tommy, or leave it the way it was. All options felt off. So we decided I’d change the image of Paul somewhat to suggest his departure.
Normally, I’m not one for thought-through or pre-existing symbolism, but this seemed like an opportunity too much fun to pass on.
Images show the painted addition, the actual painting, the original and changed segment up close and the final album cover.
So here they are, in no particular order:

-he’s barefoot, associating with Paul McCartney on the Beatles’ Abbey Road album cover
-he floats, referencing the traditional imagery of ghosts
-he’s in front of a tomb stone
-the tomb stone says “miss him miss him miss him”, linking to the “I’m so tired” song on the Beatles’ White Album, where, when played backwards, John Lennon says “Paul is a dead man. Miss him. Miss him. Miss him.”
-he’s surrounded by cypress trees, an (Italian) Renaissance reference to death
-monarch butterflies circle around him. Another reference to the passing of a loved one
-he’s folded his hands, mimicking the pose of a person laid out in a coffin
-it says OPD, Officially Pronounced Dead, on his sleeve, referring to Paul McCartney’s jacket on sgt. Pepper album cover
-there’s a banana hanging above his head. A reference to the cover of Queen’s Innuendo, where a man is being crushed by a banana, which was insinuated at the time it foretelling Freddie’s demise

That all said, this was all done in good fun, respect and understanding. No one died, no great tragedies were suffered. All was good. All is good.”

-Chris Berens

This article is part of Blondie: Panic of Girls

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