I leave it in your capable hands

For their ninth studio album, Sticky Fingers, The Rolling Stones aimed for the top and asked Andy Warhol to design what would become one of the most popular album covers of all time: a sleeve featuring a shot of Joe Dallesandro‘s crotch, a workable zip, and for the first time the band’s tongue and lips logo as designed by John Pasche. Below is an early and charmingly relaxed letter from Jagger to Warhol concerning the job, in which he politely warns the artist of production difficulties associated with complex sleeve designs—advice that was then completely ignored by Warhol, who instead produced a cover that caused all manner of problems, including, most notably, scratched copies of the record itself.

Transcript follows.

(Letter from Mick Jagger to Andy Warhol, dated April 21, 1969: Collection of The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Reproduced with the permission of Mick Jagger.)


21st April, 1969

Andy Warhol,
33 Union Square,

Dear Andy,

I’m really pleased you can do the art-work for our new hits album. Here are 2 boxes of material which you can use, and the record.

In my short sweet experience, the more complicated the format of the album, e.g. more complex than just pages or fold-out, the more fucked-up the reproduction and agonising the delays. But, having said that, I leave it in your capable hands to do what ever you want………..and please write back saying how much money you would like.

Doubtless a Mr.Al Steckler will contact you in New York, with any further information. He will probably look nervous and say “Hurry up” but take little notice.