Even if you don’t know The Velvet Underground’s music, you may remember the sleeve of their famous ‘Banana’ album. Now former members of the band including Lou Reed and John Cale are bringing a lawsuit against The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts because of other uses of the album image. Apparently the band saw that the foundation planned to license the design for some products for Apple’s iPod and iPad.
The original banana was a sticker that couod be unpeeled form the cover. The Hollywood Reporter says that “Stories about how the idea came about vary. In one version, a French singer named Antoine came to New York and was greeted by Nico holding a bunch of bananas. Warhol would later photograph the singer. In another version – the one given in the complaint – Warhol designed the image after the group shared a $3,000 advance.”
The band argue that the specific banana is associated in the public mind with the album and the band. Is it a case of sour grapes? A rock’n’roll icon going pear-shaped? We’ll find out soon, as the trial will take place in the Big Apple.
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