Tipper Gore

In 1985, Tipper Gore, wife of vice-president Al Gore, along with other “Washington Wives” formed the Parents Music Resource Center to suggest to the music industry that they develop “guidelines and/or a rating system” for recorded music. In August of that year, hearings were held in front of Congress. Among others, Frank Zappa testified “the PMRC proposal is an ill-conceived piece of nonsense which fails to deliver any real benefits to children, infringes the civil liberties of people who are not children, and promises to keep the courts busy for years dealing with the interpretation and enforcement problems inherent in the proposal’s design.”

So, one of my clients, Playboy Magazine, asked me to illustrate an article they were doing on the subject. They wanted as portrait of Frank, showing what would happen if the PMRC won. Frank was making an appearance at the “Limelight,” a club in Chicago. I arranged a quick photo session. I bought a quart of milk and a package of Vanilla Wafers, brought all of my stuff down there, set up a white background and wrapped a small box with white paper. I placed the milk and cookies on the block and waited. After a while, Frank was ushered into the room, laughed at the plan, sat down and a great shoot happened.

Frank Zappa at the Limelight on November 7, 1985 in Chicago,Il.As Frank got up to leave, a drunk guy barged into the room and asked to also be photographed. He looked vaguely familiar. After I photographed him (He asked for it) I asked someone who the guy was. It was Rob Lowe!!!

Several weeks later, Playboy called me to add to the assignment. Ice Cube’s manager asked if he could be included in the article. So I went to the hardware store and bought three rolls of electrical tape- Red White and Blue. I flew to LA, drove the rental car to Ice Cube’s house, sat in his living room eating ice cream bars and watching “Raising Arizona” his favorite movie. When the movie ended, he asked me what the plan was. I was praying that he would like the plan. When I explained it, he smiled and said “Lets go for it!!” So I taped his mouth closed with Red White and Blue tape, and proceeded to shoot!

Ice CubeThese were two of my all time favorite portraits!






Rob Lowe

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