D 7 • Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2014
OLP D N H
C E K O ID R
El Sid “The Kid” Rides Again
Marilyn Goldberg’s newest Exhibition and Museum Merchandising project will be in collaboration with Sid Maurer, and his company Celebrity Icons. A 50-year archive has arrived in Southampton to be curated for this retrospective.
in what Sid could only describe as a Turkish wedding gown, the omewhere between Their Satanic Majesties Request album and the recording of Sympathy For The Devil, Brian Jones, Sunshine Superman took Sid up on his offer to take a short walk went to the dark side. back to his studio, locatUnceremoniously canned ed around the corner. “We from the band he started, hung out, smoked a couple Jones, arguably the heart and of joints, talked about all soul of the Rolling Stones, kinds of nice stuff and he was found (still-breathing invited me to his sold-out some say) at the bottom of Carnegie Hall show and his swimming pool at Enthat’s how our friendship glish countryside home, started.” Donovan, belatedCotchford Farm. In one of ly elected in 2013 to the those yet-to-be-solved legRock and Roll Hall of endary rock and roll deaths, Fame, readily states, “Sidthe mystery remains. Yet the ney did all my album jackfacts of his life are indisputets and design in the ’60s He’s the best there is. His able. “He formed the band. artworks are to be treasured He chose the members. He and we are friends to this named the band. He chose day.” the music we played. He got In those halcyon times, us gigs…he was very influen“Don would phone me from tial, very important, and then England,” recalled the artist slowly lost it,” said Stones in recent interview from bassist Bill Wyman. None his Atlanta studio “and say, other than Bo Diddley called ‘What are you doing this him “a fantastic cat who hanweekend?’ and I would hop dled the group beautifully.” on a plane and we’d have Enter Sid Maurer, a maa visit. He had a beautiful jor league New York City art cottage in Hartforsdhire director/artist who helmed with a very colorful large an agency that produced albird painted on the roof. bum covers at the rate of one In those days, we’d sima day for a few years in the ply hang out, which one psychedelic era. It was during could do back then.” Visithis period that Maurer’s tors might include George work gained major recogniHarrison or one of the othtion with best-selling records and sales of his paintings in Sid Maurer with portrait of Brian Jones and Linda from a photo he took of them in 1967. er Beatles as Donovan had galleries from Manhattan to Below, left, is Sid’s graphic rendition on a baby picture (inset above is Sid’s from 1927) just returned from a trip to showing details of what would become the famous tongue logo. Below center is the London to where he regu- painting by Sid bought by Jones in 1968 which eventually morphed into the logo ultimately India to visit the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi with the band larly commuted to visit his executed by a British design student John Pasche after a meeting with Mick Jagger. to study with the founder of best friend, the legendary Transcendental Meditation, troubadour/teen idol/rock star etc. It was there that Donwho still goes by the sinovan taught John and Paul gle name of Donovan. They his unique guitar style of met on his maiden voyage which Lennon’s Julia is the to America when “Don” was most famous example. freaking out over the excesDuring one of many sive enthusiasm of secretarparties Sid attended in ies-turned-groupies and the business persona of label (l) Sid’s original concept; Brian Jones bought Sid’s painting (c) for $1500. (r) John Pasche’s London, he met Andrew president Clive Davis at the version sold at auction for $92,500 to Victoria Albert Museum. Another artist, Ruby Loog Oldham, managalso claims he did work on the logo and was paid $10,000 for its use. According er of the Rolling Stones, Columbia/Epic offices. At Mazur to Novagraaf/Musidor.com “The Rolling Stones are one of the longest running acts in the the time, Sid was under con- history of rock music, having remained wildly popular and prodigiously productive over who went on to dedicate a tract with Epic to produce their 50-year career. They are also well known for the lips and tongue logo, one of the chapter to Sid in his book all their album art and was world’s most instantly recognizable symbols of rock and roll. (Ed. note: with a value 2Stoned. Sid recalls one called in by Davis to meet of $100 million USD). The global music rights of the Rolling Stones are being handled gala with Princess Margaby Musidor BV in Amsterdam, The Netherlands in Partnership with Novagraaf and hold his newest star. Barefoot and Intellectual Property rights of the trademark The Rolling Stones, including the iconic logo. ret and Sean Connery in 8 • Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2014
attendance where Oldham and Sid bonded over a warning to not touch the punch. “‘It’s loaded with LSD,’ he told me. That’s how it was back then. You had to be careful. Our ’60s conversations were mostly, ‘Take a hit. Far out. Have another hit. Too much. What’s your sign?’” Through Oldham, Sid met the doomed Brian Jones who commissioned him to paint a portrait of himself with his girlfriend Linda Lawrence, mother of his son Julian. Sid recalls, “Brian loved collecting. He had tidbits here and there, and many photographs. He loved my baby picture from 1927! Unfortunately, the photo was old and not in great shape so I found an alternate (not of me) and embellished it with a little graphic concept with a tongue and lips penciled in, basically to reflect the Stones as they were: the bad boys of the era sticking their tongues out at authority, as opposed to the Beatles, who were considered more safe. He liked that image a lot and asked me to make a color drawing, which, unknown to me at the time, morphed somehow into the famous Rolling Stones tongue logo, which originated from my baby picture, of all things. I first offered the drawing to their record label, Decca, who were willing to give me a few hundred dollars for it but Brian liked it enough to pay me 500 British Sterling pounds, which was about $1500 back then. I thought nothing of it until years later. In 2013 I was commissioned to make shirts and other items in France featuring my original tongue painting. Sortly after they were placed on display in a Paris department store, they were seized by Musidor and taken off the shelves for Sid on the boat with Donovan, ‘trademark infringement.’ Greece, 1968 Without Brian around to tell the real story, the manufacturer had no choice but to comply.” The next thing Sid created for Brian was a portrait of the Stone and Linda. The photo Sid is holding (preceding page) became the basis for the initial small painting. “This shows how beautiful a guy he was,” said the artist. “I painted that picture somewhere along the line and tucked it away. After Brian died, Linda married my best friend, Donovan, and they became a family.” In 2013, by Linda’s request to honor the 50th anniversary of the Rolling Stones, Sid was commissioned to re-create the portrait on canvas from his initial painting done all those years ago. The final painting is exactly the same but on canvas. The new version now resides in Ireland with Linda. “I traveled all over with Donovan, and even accompanied he and Linda on their honeymoon. After one of his concerts at the Hollywood Bowl, Tommy Smothers threw a party for him. Hendrix, Janis, Morrison, Mama Cass, and a new kid on the block who didn’t even have a record out — Elton John — were all there. Many of the people I met became casualties, but Don did not. He was always very careful where he hung out and didn’t do drugs. After he made some money, he asked me to invest it for him so I put it in a bank in the Bahamas that I found out was ready to go under a year later. Somehow, I managed to salvage the dough and we bought a boat and took it to Greece with a crew of 12 and three hippies — me, Don and a friend. We landed at the Island of Hydras, to visit Leonard Cohen, who had a house up on a hill, accessible only by donkey.” 9 • Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2014
long way from The Bronx, where Sid was born and raised when “the streets were black from horseshit, not asphalt. I was going to attend Taft (high school) but somewhere along the line a typographer friend of my family saw some of my work and suggested that I would be more suited to attend The School of Industrial Art on Jones Street in the Village. There were two teachers there, one for art, the other for academics and it was great, kind of like being an apprentice in the Renaissance. In the morning, we’d find our teacher on the stoop recovering from the night before and the first who arrived was designated to get him coffee. One of my classmates was Anthony Benedetto, better known as Tony Bennett, singer and artist. Anthony Benedetto is the name the signs his paintings with. I wrote the class theme song and conducted our band. After graduation, I worked for Columbia Records in the art department. Their office was then in Bridgeport, Connecticut and I made the commute every day via the elevated Jerome Ave. line, bus crosstown to Grand Central and then a train ride. I was drafted, injured and sent taken home. After the war and I was OK, I started knocking on doors of record companies and was hired by Decca.”
Sidney Maurer album design for Donovan’s Barabajagal
During the late ’50s and early ’60s, Sid frequented the fabled Cedar Tavern where he met artists such as Rauschenberg, Johns, and Larry Rivers in their salad days and witnessed the zaniness of that particular scene. “Every night they would knock each other to the floor, fueled by alcohol. This was just before grass became mainstream in the mid ’60s and in those days I would run into Dylan, Joni Mitchell and many others in small clubs in Greenwich Village. That’s where I became especially close to music. My whole life as an artist has been fueled by my love of music.” Sid’s career in the art and music field flourished in New York City where among his friends were Alan Klein (the businessman who helped form Apple Records for the Beatles and managed the Rolling Stones) and Bob Guccione. “He came to my exhibit at the Beilin Gallery on Madison Avenue, liked my stuff and asked me to show him a few things. I also met him in London. He was a slick guy, loved the girls and very handsome. I painted his portrait and helped him style the girls for photo shoots. He had his own penthouse, the girls were there and that was his life. We hung out,” Sid continued, “and I began to write chapters — not a book — about El Sid The Kid.”
With his myriad of friends, acquaintances and close encounters with the brightest stars of the era, Sid plans to revisit those pages and venture into the world of literature to coincide with his upcoming world tour under the auspices of Museum Masters International commencing later this year to open in Southampton, New York and travel to Korea, the Vittoriano in Rome and then the Centre Pompidou in Paris where Maurer merchandise created by Marilyn Goldberg and MMI will fill their gift stores and maintain the cultural continuum by teaching the young generation about the past grandeur of ‘The Stars.’ “Sid realized that the empire of music and art that he had helped to build by befriending the greatest musicians and band leaders of the globe left him little time to pursue his true passion: painting,” notes Marilyn Goldberg, who represents Maurer internationally through Museum Masters International, “Sid moved to Georgia where he has lived ever since. In a quieter and calmer locale, his painting thrived. Here he created his Americana series and Vanishing Georgia and developed a vast catalog of works revolving around the Civil War. He continues to portray an ever-expanding group of cultural icons including The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Jerry Garcia, Janis Joplin, Mama Cass, Jerry Garcia George Harrison, Marilyn Monroe, and the Rat Pack in Vegas, to name a few. His backstage adventures with Michael Jackson, Justin Bieber and 1D also made it onto canvas.” In the last decade, his work has hung in a wide variety of venues, including the U.C.L.A. campus, the Carnegie Museum and Retroback Exhibition in Granada, Spain 2011 hosted by Sean Ferrer the son of Audrey Hepburn who Sid Maurer also painted. Sid also worked with many artists and photographers among them 10 • Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2014
Sid Maurer and Bob Guccione, founder of PENTHOUSE, were friends in London and New York. Bob, an accomplished fine atrtist (and photographer) in his own right, came to Sid for instruction and all these years later, Sid has been commissioned to be an integral part of the PENTHOUSE brand re-launch and world tour.
The famous Sticky Fingers album (1971) front cover with a workable zipper by Andy Warhol with the inset debuting the tongue clearly reminisecent of Sid Maurer’s sketch done three years earlier for Brian Jones. When Maurer’s tongue was featured on merchandise sold in a Parisian department store, Musidor, which claimed ownership of the logo, issued a cease and desist and Sid’s clothing line was pulled from the shelves. C’est la vie. C’est la guerre.
“SID NEVER RECEIVED RECOGNITION FOR HIS TONGUE PAINTING. Once again the major creators of the world lose the identity of all they have done by conglomerates who turn their creativity into millions without giving recognition to the true author.”
Futbol Salvador Dali and Carl Vechten back in 1939. Sid’s works were purchased by Enrique Sabatier, from Spain, who was executive assistant to Dali for many years. Enrique gave this work to Museum Masters at the Salvador Dali exhibition in New York City in 2012. As did his old buddy Warhol, Sid created an Endangered Species series With his myriad of friends, acquaintances and close encounworld resulting in very amicable relations between the estate and ters with the brightest stars of the era, Sid plans to revisit those the artist. The deal is closed for the cans and bottles that have bepages and venture into the world of literature. come major collectables that traveled The Celebrity Icons of Sid with The Marilyn Monroe ExhibiMaurer, a major hard-cover book is in tions created by Marilyn Goldberg production as well as a documentary on of Museum Masters. On the horizon his Rock and Roll days with photos, are the co-branded Marilyn Monroe letters and stories. A complementary Estate Sid Maurer signed limited edibook featuring his entire body of work tions prints followed by the PENTfrom the Americana to Endangered HOUSE Maurer co-brand limited Species series will be published as well. editions prints of the PENTHOUSE Other examples to be included in Pets after a year-long negotiation as Sid’s bible of stories will be another a commemoration to Guccione and episode with Andrew Long Oldham the art lessons Sid gave him in Lonwhen Sid visited him in Bogotá in don. “He came to me for insight and 1997. From there, he then went on to I told him ‘It’s not how you draw but Argentina to meet the parents of a little what you do with your head.’” Later boy who was a great soccer player but in New York, he went to Sid Maurer was too small to be accepted onto any as his mentor and hired him as phoimportant league team. In those days to stylist for the PENTHOUSE Pets. the lad went by his given name, Lionel Guccione’s magnificent townhouse, Andres. Today he is known as “Messi,” the setting for Caligula, was designed rated by some as the best footballer of by Marilyn Goldberg, which started all-time. Sid suggested that the parents the initial relationship with the new try a growth hormone that was very PENTHOUSE team. popular in London and in the United As a prime example of “what goes States. It worked but the boy’s family around comes around”, the new owners did not have the money to continue his of the PENTHOUSE brand have exgrowth therapy. Sid then contacted a plored the archives and the warehousfriend in Spain and secured the proper es, Sid has ear-marked his portrait of treatment for the boy, Guccione for the new PENTHOUSE Also included in the book will be Gallery of Art and will start the first Sid’s remembrances of Marilyn Monportfolio of Penthouse Pet Portrairs. roe. They were best of friends and Marilyn Goldberg has been engaged neighbors and often dined together. to do the new logo for the Penthouse He did many photos, portraits and Art Exhibition and Art Sales, of the paintings of her. Based on the special co-br and P ENTHOUSE~Maurrelationship of his love for Marilyn Pepsi Marilyn Monroe by Sidney Maurer e r editions. All of which is being finalMonroe and Marilyn Goldberg (his conized as this article goes to press. Meanwhile, says Sid, “I’m sitting sultant on all business activities), he created the Marilyn series. in Atlanta, waiting for the Pets.” Pepsi Cola awarded him Artist of the Year and memorialized him by creating the Maurer Marilyn Pepsi Cola cans and bottles By VICTOR B. FORBES which went to all the exhibitions on Marilyn Monroe around the 11 • Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2014