This was posted on-line recently by a good friend, Scott Savitt. I’m sharing this because I think it is ridiculous and hilarious. Perhaps because Mick knows how to write or maybe that M. C. could be so acerbic in his response. I would share the ensuing comments of the esoteric crowd debating pop art to real art and matters of “respect” amongst egos. I’ll spare the details, but suffice to say that “twaddle” was used in the discussion. It also is one of those cocktail party fun facts you may find useful at some point. HIGHLIGHT! Escher thinks Jagger sucks!
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On January 1, 1969, Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger wrote artist M.C. Escher a letter asking Escher to provide an image for the Stones’ forthcoming album “Through The Past Darkly.” Jagger was a big Escher fan, and addressed the letter to “Maurits,” the “M” in “M.C.” Well…turns out Escher was NOT a Stones fan (he preferred Bach and Mott the Hoople, which used a colorized version of Escher’s “Reptiles” on their self-titled debut in 1969).
For quite some time now I have had in my possession your book (Graphic Works Of…) and it never ceases to amaze me each time I study it! In fact I think your work is quite incredible and it would make me very happy for a lot more people to see and know and understand exactly what you are doing.
In March or April this year, we have scheduled our next LP record for release, and I am most eager to reproduce one of your works on the cover-sleeve. Would you please consider either designing a “picture” for it, or have you any unpublished works which you might think suitable—the “optical illusion” idea very much appeals to me, although one like “Evolution” would of course be equally as suitable. -and would say the same thing. You might even like to do a long one like “Metamorphosis” which we could then reproduce as a folding-out sleeve. It could be either in one colour or full colour, that would be up to you entirely.
Naturally, both you and your publishers would get full credits on the sleeve, and we could negotiate a fee on hearing of your decision to do it. I would be most grateful if you could contact Peter Swales or Miss Jo Bergman at the above address or telephone (reverse charge), and either will give you every necessary assistance. However, I am not so fortunate as to possess a Dutch interpreter, and so if you do not speak English or French, I would again be grateful if you could fix up somebody in Baarn to oblige.
Yours very sincerely,
for ROLLING STONES LTD.
Dear Sir [addressed to Mr. Peter Swales],
Some days ago I received a letter from Mr. Jagger asking me to design a picture or to place at his disposal unpublished work to reproduce on the cover-sleeve for an LP record.
My answer to both questions must be no, as I want to devote all my time and attention to the many commitments I made; I cannot possibly accept any further assignments or spend any time on publicity.
By the way, please tell Mr. Jagger I am not Maurits to him, but
M. C. Escher.
In an ensuing letter, Mick Jagger asked for permission to use the Escher image “Verbum” a hexagonal image for which a hexagonal album cover would be designed, a request that was again denied. Escher claimed that he was not offended by the “over-familiarity” of Mick’s letter, it was more that he received so many requests, and in all fairness to all the other refusals, he could not make an exception to that rule. The Stones LP entitled “Through The Past Darkly” was released as a octagonally-designed cover sleeve.”