Blue Album Artwork
When I was 7, my family built a house. My parents said I could paint my room any color I wanted. I painted it my favorite color, a specific shade of blue. When I was thinking about a cover for the first Weezer album, I wanted it to be that same shade of blue. This mode of nostalgia for the lost innocence of childhood was the same source of my "look" in the Blue album era--the glasses frames, bowl cut, dickies, blue t-shirt, and windbreaker from my childhood photos.
...when the Blue Album was being recorded, there was a lot of brainstorming going on as to what this record would look like. I kept coming up with what I can say in retrospect were some rather kooky ideas, and Rivers kept pushing for something simpler. Finally one day Rivers dug out a cassette (remember those?) he had bought around that time, a cheapo Best of Beach Boys collection called "Do It Again". "Do It Again" was never issued on vinyl or cd as far as i know, and is most likely to be found in those handy truck stop stores out in the boondocks. However, the cover was really cool in its own rather hokey way, featuring the Beach Boys smiling for the camera, standing in a line of sorts, with a soothing blue background. Rivers said we have to achieve this effect on our cover, and so the idea of lining the guys up in striped shirts in front of a blue background took form. The guys actually went out and found 4 matching striped button down shirts, and in fact in late 1993 played at least one show wearing them, much to the contempt of the LA scenesters of the era. Noted 60's fashion photographer Peter Gowland was contacted to do the shoot, as his mellow pastel colored shots of girls in bikinis and guys out golfing had the exact "anti-90's" feeling we needed. To Peters sprawling Lloyd Wright-esqe 50's house we went, which was complete with a near-clone of 'Alice' from Brady Bunch manning the kitchen. The guys started the shoot in the striped shirts, but everyone later concluded that the photos looked better with everyone wearing regular clothes. Next spring, when the cover started becoming known to the local LA scene, the band met with immediate flak for ripping off the Feelies' 1980 album cover for "Crazy Rhythms". This was baffling to the band, who had never even heard of the Feelies before that point! But sure enough, the resemblance was unmistakable. It just goes to show how difficult it is to do something new by doing something old.