Cover title: Now Aspen in an all new fab issue. Vol. 1 no. 3. New York : Roaring Fork Press, December 1966. Box with colour graphic based on Fab laundry detergent, 310 x 230 x 20 mm (edge wear and splits at corners), containing a flip-book of Warhol’s film Kiss and Jack Smith’s film Buzzards Over Bagdad; a flexidisc of the John Cale composition Loop by the Velvet Underground and Peter Walker’s The White Wind, in an illustrated portfolio with essays by Lou Reed, Robert Shelton and Bob Chamberlain; the newspaper The Plastic Exploding Inevitable, with articles on LSD and marijuana; the booklet Season’s Greetings, an illustrated essay on the Colorado wilderness house of Chuck and Lydia Rand; a survey promoting the fashion boutique Paraphernalia, titled Are you confused enough for Paraphernalia?; an advertising pamphlet for Vanguard Records; a broadsheet mimicking the New York Times, advertising Aspen; an advertising broadsheet for Guild Musical Instruments; a ten-trip “ticket book”; and an Aspen Magazine subscription form; lacking the portfolio of twelve cards reproducing paintings in the collection of John G. Powers, otherwise a complete edition, all original, and all contents in fine condition.
Aspen, published in ten issues between 1965 and 1971, was edited by Phyllis Johnson and featured contributions from many renowned and influential artists.
The Pop Art Issue was designed by Andy Warhol and David Dalton. The cover art is reminiscent of Warhol’s Brillo Box works, imitating a brand-name detergent box design on front and back covers. Inside the front cover is a table of contents and contributors and inside the back cover is an advertisement for Verve Records.
The portfolio containing The Velvet Underground flexi-disc resembles a contemporary press kit for a rock and roll band. It is highly significant in that it is the first published recording of The Velvet Underground. The portfolio includes three essays claiming to be three independent views on rock and roll: The View from the Bandstand / Life Among the Poobahs by Lou Reed, The View from the Critic’s Desk / Orpheus plugs In by Robert Shelton, and From the Dance Floor / …it’s the only radio station that’s never off the air by Bob Chamnerlain.
A stapled booklet profiling an owner-built home outside Aspen belonging to the Rands features several black and white and colour photographic reproductions. The cover imitates a 1960s Christmas card with a black and white image of the snow-covered house with a red border and red printed Season’s Greetings in the lower left-hand corner.
The newspaper Exploding Plastic Inevitable is the first and only edition, a tabloid style printed newspaper with illustrations, advertisements, cartoons and articles. Contributors include Ron Tavel, Gerard Malanga, John Wilcock, Jonas Mekas and Patricia Oberhaus.
The Underground Movie Flip Book is a small two-way flip-book featuring stills from Andy Warhol’s 1963 experimental film Kiss and a preview of Jack Smith’s forthcoming Buzzards over Bagdad.
The Berkeley Conference on LSD is a small pink card booklet (stapled) resembling a book of tickets, titled Ten Trip Ticket Book. Each page (ticket) contains excerpts from fourteen papers presented at the Berkeley Conference on LSD, held in 1966. Contributors include Richard Blum, William Frosch, Rolf von Eckartsberg, Frank Barron, Joseph D. Lohman, USCO, Michael Harner, Richard Alpert, Eric Kast, Abram Hoffer, Claudio Naranjo, Paul Lee, Houston Smith and Timothy Leary.
Other ephemera in the box includes advertisements in the form of loose sheets: an Aspen Magazine subscription form; a quarter-fold brochure Folk Music on Vanguard (Vanguard Records); an A3 size poster (folded) promoting Paraphernalia, and a slightly larger than A4 size sheet advertising Guild Musical Instruments.
Each issue of Aspen was published as a box containing ephemeral material, and was designed by various important experimental artists. The Warhol issue, with its vivid pop cover, is the most sought after.
A single complete run of Aspen is recorded in Australian collections (National Gallery of Australia Research Library).
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