Polydor Records PD-5061
About The Cover
“Looking Like A Great Gatsby”
At 23 years old I had a few definite ideas about how the cover should be for my very first album and amazingly enough both the record company and the photographer were generous enough to let me do as I please. You see, I wanted a cover that would reflect my dreams, my history and my heroes very definitely because I didn’t know way back then if this would be my only album. I called the album Aquashow in memory of my late father’s show in the 1950’s and the photo on the back of the cover is really from that show. The photographer was Jack Mitchell who I believe was a friend of Lloyd Gellason who did an incredible job handling my publicity at Polydor Records. Jack is a very well known and respected photographer and very easy to work with like most of the best. I suggested that we shoot in the Palm Court of the Plaza Hotel because that’s where part of The Great Gatsby took place and I also wanted a blurry circular frame to the photo like Bob Dylan’s Bringing It All Back Home. And, of course, I wanted my brother Matthew with me. Jack agreed to everything although I had to bring my own Dylan album to the shoot to show him what I meant. Paula Bisacca who designed the cover found the Aquashow umbrella and we shot very early one morning when the hotel was not too crowded. The white suit I had bought not far from Gatsby land on the north shore of Long Island. It was made in France and I still have it hanging in my mother’s closet. Maybe I should give it to the Hard Rock Hotel.
Record By Record, Murphy By Murphy: Aquashow
On January 2,3 & 4, 1973 we played a three-night stand at the Mercer 194 Arts Center in New York with my band Elliott Murphy's Aquashow and somehow my brother Matthew and I got the Variety magazine critic to come to the show. He gave us a great review that I showed to Paul Nelson, the legendary rock critic who went to school with Bob Dylan, and was now working for Mercury Records. On Jan 14 & 15 we played two more nights at the M fc2 ercer Arts Center and Paul Nelson was there, bringing writer Bud Scoppa with him. Bud wrote a great review of the show for Penthouse magazine and sometime after that Mercury offered us a record contract, although not a very good one. We auditioned for Peter Siegel, head of A&R at Polydor Records and told him we were about to sign with Mercury Records and so he offered us a slightly better deal and we took it. By April I was in Los Angeles trying to record my first album but finally we recorded at the Record Plant in New York City (The New York Dolls were downstairs in another studio recording their second album). Of all the great musicians who played on Aquashow I was mostly impressed with Frank Owens who played piano and organ and had played on Like A Rolling Stone. But I never thought I sounded much like Bob Dylan until the famous Rolling Stone Review came out calling me "the new Bob Dylan" and then the shit hit the fan and everybody in the music business wanted to know who I was. My hero Lou Reed came to see me play one night at Max's Kansas City and said I needed a new record company and introduced me to his manager Dennis Katz who arranged for RCA to buy my contract from Polydor for over one hundred thousand dollars. In nine months my life had changed completely and the hopes and dreams I expressed in Last of the Rock Stars had become reality.
Taken from Crossroads magazine