Music News

OFF THEIR ROCKER

Same smoochy lips. Same stylized eye. Did the Arizona Lottery lift the ad campaign for its new "Lady Luck" game off the cover of the 18-year-old rock album Ladies Invited?

In some ways it's a perfect fit: the graphics of a long-out-of-print disc by a Boston boogie band, whose best songs oozed sex and money, being ripped off to advertise a government-sanctioned gambling game.

Released in 1973, Ladies Invited (with original cover artwork by the fashion illustrator Antonio) was J. Geils Band's fifth album. Even though it included classic workouts like "Diddyboppin" and "Lay Your Good Thing Down," it was not a success. But the band was. With Peter Wolf spewing jive, Magic Dick wailing on harmonica and the band's namesake on guitar, J. Geils' raw charm and even rawer R&B made it one of the Seventies' most popular acts.

Did the state government cover this album cover? Arizona Lottery spokesperson Kevan Kaighn referred us to Evans/Phoenix, the local branch of the national advertising agency that came up with the campaign. Susan Ricehouse, the person in charge of the account, says a team of graphic artists and ad execs at Evans/Phoenix came up with the visuals for the "Lady Luck" campaign.

"In all the discussions we had, that album never came up," Ricehouse says. "As far as I know, no one here is even familiar with that album."

Most illustrators, however, are. The eye and lips were the most recognizable trademarks penned by Antonio. His distinctive rendering of feminine facial features is constantly being lifted by others. Unfortunately, Antonio is dead, or we'd ask him what he thinks about his work winding up in every Circle K from here to Yuma. --

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Robert Baird