Mick Jagger and Andy Warhol, the greatest commissioning letter ever
The ultimate commissioning letter. Two successful, wealthy, talented artists, at the height of their powers. Mick Jagger and Andy Warhol.
The advice from Jagger. Offered, with self depreciation.
“In my short sweet experience, the more complicated the format of the album, e.g. more complex than pages or fold-out, the more fucked up the reproduction and agonising the delays.”
For a short letter, he goes into real detail to explain what he doesn’t want, and why there are issues with complicated designs.
Then he jumps back, a creative person aware of a creative brain’s response to demands, ‘But having said that, I leave it to your capable hands…’
‘And please write back saying how much you would like’. Not ‘paid’. How much would you like. Not negotiating, not trying to claim ‘we haven’t much budget’. ‘How much would you like’. You decide your worth.
‘Here are two boxes of material you can use’, presumably photos, and negatives. Oh ‘and the record’. Almost a throwaway. Not listen to our brilliance, and be inspired by our magic. Just ‘…and the record’.
There are lots of creative people in the world. Not so many who can weaponise it for enormous success and financial reward, without compromising their art. Amongst all the myths and debauchery of both artists, the sex, the drugs, the rock n roll. Two very intelligent, disciplined, very smart business brains. Skilled in social communication, and respectful of others’ talent. As well as creative geniuses.