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Rolling Stones – UK unreleased album cover for Beggars Banquet

One of only two known UK cover proofs of the original art for the Stones masterpiece "Beggar's Banquet." A quick recap of the story: This cover was originally done by LA creative types Tom Wilkes, Michael Vosse and Barry Feinstein, with Mick and Keith, who did the graffiti on the back cover. It was created in the real-life bathroom of Wilkes' Porsche mechanic in Hollywood. The Stones loved the cover, but Decca in the UK refused to issue it. After months of arguing, the Stones gave in and went with the simple "invitation" cover to avoid missing the best-selling Christmas season. The original cover has since been bootlegged, there have been fake American "proofs," and it's been used on re-issues. A few years back I obtained the only known US proof, in much worse condition, from one of the designers. It had the London logo, catalog number, and spine print on it, and had been dry mounted. This is a paper, UK proof, without ANY type on it that is wrapped around a Mint/Near Mint- UK first pressing of this classic album. It is in generally excellent condition with a light bit of fading at the spine and on the bottom of the front cover. There is a small missing piece in the lower right corner. Here is an excerpt from a note I received from the UK collector who originally found it: "About fifteen years ago, I was asked to visit a little old lady who'd just been widowed – her late husband had been a hi-fi buff, and she wanted to get rid of the records he'd accumulated over the years. Unfortunately, his area of interest was classical music and MOR-style film soundtracks, but I didn't know that until I got there. So I thumbed my way through all these uninteresting titles, when a copy of Beggars Banquet presented itself – and it had this weird wraparound-style sleeve over the standard plain white gatefold issue. When I asked why there was a Stones LP in there, she said that her late husband had spent his entire working life in the film/TV industry. Apparently he'd been working on the set of what she described as a 'Rolling Stones film' (I later worked out she was talking about Rock'n Roll Circus); as a thank you gesture, a member of the Stones entourage (she thought it was a group member, but I'd guess it was almost certainly a Stones lackey) gave him a copy of their latest album, which they apparently said was due out in a few days. He took it home, stuck it with the rest of his records, and never looked at it again – which is why it's in such perfect shape. I've no idea why the outer thing would have been put with the original album given to the film guy, or even who did it – maybe it was just a one-off that had been taken along to the set to wind up Decca employees, or maybe it was one of a number of mock-up copies the Stones camp had concocted as preparation for the intended sleeve – and, once the album was ready to go into the shops, was therefore just another worthless bit of paper to be given away." So there you have it–an incredible Stones piece with great provenance, relating to one of their all time classics. Like everything we offer, guaranteed absolutely authentic with no time limit.

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