Monday, 23 January 2017


Back in 1990, the manager of a local band asked me if I
could possibly secure the services of a 2000 A.D. artist to do an
album cover for him.  He had no specific artist in mind - anyone who
worked on the comic would suffice.  "I'll see what I can do," I replied,
"but it'll probably cost you."  I 'phoned SIMON BISLEY, who wasn't
interested, so I told him to name a figure that'd make it worth his while.
Perhaps wishing to price himself out of a job he didn't want, he quoted
a sum far in excess of his usual page rate (at that time anyway).  I re-
layed it to the manager, thinking it'd be beyond his means, but to
my surprise, he agreed.  I told Simon it was a deal and he
went to work, turning the job 'round in no time flat.

Simon generously offered me £100 for putting the job his
way, but I turned it down on the grounds that, as he'd done all
the work, he was entitled to all the money.  All I'd done was make a
few 'phone calls to describe to him what the band had in mind (before
he and the manager started talking directly between themselves).  As
it turned out, it was worth every penny - and then some - because the
cover was what swung a record deal their way.  The band's manager
played their demo album to the record company, then delivered
the coup de grace - the finished cover art by a high-profile
artist.  A deal was struck on the spot.

I was promised an extra-special mention in the sleeve notes,
which was only fair, I thought.  After all, the cover had got them
the deal, and I'd got them the cover.  When the album was released,
everyone else and their granny got a mention - everyone, that is, ex-
cept me, who'd suddenly become the invisible man.  Simon Bisley got
paid, the band got their cover and a record deal, the manager got to
bathe in the reflected glory and publicity (plus whatever percentage
he was on), staff at the hotel the band rehearsed in were thanked
in the sleeve notes, and sundry other folk were credited for
simply breathing.  Me?  I got hee-haw!

Well, that's not quite true.  I got one spare, well-played copy of
the CD (with well-worn, wrinkled inlay booklet).  I'd have thought
I deserved a brand-new, shrink-wrapped copy at least.

And the moral of the story?  If anyone asks you to do something
which they hope is going to make their fame and fortune, charge
    them for your time.  Promises of gratitude are worthless.    


B Smith said...

Go on, it's been 27 years, put us out of our much would a Bisley cover have cost us back then?

Kid said...

Hell, 27 years? Only seems about 5 to me. A lot of dosh, BS, but I'm not sure it'd be right to discuss the specifics of his personal financial matters in public. Trust you understand.

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