A Clay Stinnett Painting Will Serve As The Cover of Blowfly's Final Album.
They say deaths come in threes.
Earlier this week, just days after David Bowie's passing, and less than a month since Lemmy's death, the bandmates of Clarence Reid issued a statement that the 76-year-old progenitor of rap has been diagnosed with terminal liver cancer and multiple organ failure, and is currently being kept comfortable in hospice care. (Update: On Sunday, January 17, Blowfly's team confirmed his passing.)
Unlike the chameleon that was Bowie, Reid had but one alter ego: the raunchy superhero Blowfly, whose powers included the ability to turn any popular tune into an X-rated giggle fest. Before joining Bowie and Lemmy in that three-bedroom apartment in the sky, though, hip-hop's dirty weird uncle will leave fans a Black Star of his own in the form of a farewell LP called 77 Rusty Trombones that'll be released next month.
Writes his drummer, “Uncle” Tom Bowker: “It is easily his best album since the early '80s, and a fitting epitaph for one of the great performers of all time.”
Equally fitting is the album's cover art, which was painted by Dallas artist Clay Stinnett, whose work you might have seen around town in the form of the murals on Double Wide's patio to the large portraits of icons like Mr. Peppermint and Orville Redenbacher that are hanging for sale at places like Dolly Python.
“I didn't know what a rusty trombone was, so that was fun to research,” Stinnett says now of having been asked to supply the album's cover art.
Bowker, for one, was pleased with how it turned out.
“As you can see, the artwork is classic Blowfly,” the drummer put in a Facebook update. “Clay, you did our man right.”
The album was recorded in Austin for Jeff Smith's Saustex Media record label. Smith also fronts the punk/country outfit The Hickoids, whose own band Stinnett has painted covers for in the past. Without the privilege of hearing the album in advance — Stinnett tells us he's since heard a teaser track called “She's Got a Weiner,” which is a parody of “Have You Seen Her” — the folk painter tells us he based his album cover design on a rough sketch sent to him by Smith, which you can see below.
Though he wasn't initially aware of Blowfly's health situation or the fact his painting would serve as the cover for the musician's final album, Stinnett was clearly touched to be involved with the project.
“Though I never knew him, I know and love his musical honesty, humor, legacy, influence and bravery,” Stinnet expressed via Facebook. “I was honored and glad to have been asked and allowed to paint this record cover for the king of the freaks and godfather of rap.”
Adds Stinnett now: “I had fun with that one. I laughed the whole time listening to him. I'm interested to see and hear reactions and response after it's publicly released. Hopefully it will bring more work.”