Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Great Album Covers: Double Nickels On The Dime

This is one of those accidentally great album covers, not in the sense that the picture was an accident, but in that a relatively modest band with a relatively modest idea produced something timeless and near-perfect. A half-joke at the expense of the hit song 'I Can't Drive 55', this cover shows bassist Mike Watt driving at exactly 55 and headed toward the band's beloved hometown, San Pedro.

The first time I saw this cover, I thought it was a picture from the 50s. Watt and the car seem oddly button-down and conservative, and his obvious smile--magically, his smiling eyes are in focus in the rearview mirror--seems to be ironically saying that driving the speed limit was a good time, after all.

By curious coincidence, this album is filed next to Cookin' At The Plugged Nickel by Miles Davis in my collection. Cookin' with double nickels...?


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