by Art Chantry:
this is a much earlier estrus 45 sleeve. it was done in the earlier punk ‘baggie sleeve style. the way this thing worked was you had your print shop make the sleeve this size and then you’d fold it in half, stuff in the vinyl disk between the flaps and then stuff the whole thing into a transparent plastic slip case. it was cheap, fast and easy? not really.
you see, back in the early days, before anybody had money and long before anybody was very sophisticated, everybody did the old “DIY” (do it yourself) approach. so, when you figured out who to order your first single for your band from a pressing plant, you’d have to then figure out how to make a record cover, right?
since nobody knew how to set up artwork and order 45 covers from a printing plant that specialized in that sort of thing (usually on the other side of the country, so it took PLANNING ahead), you’d go to a print shop down the street. and this sort of thing i show you is what they could make for you. a simple one-sheet that you could fold and slip into a plastic baggie by hand in your basement flat. to actually make and produce die-cut, folded and glued 45 sleeves required specialty equipment and a lot of up front costs. or you could cut them out and glue them by hand yourself (and a lot of folks did just that, too). only certain places around the world did that work – and it cost a lot. well, actually it was cheap comparatively, but for a punk band, EVERYTHING costs too much. i mean you couldn’t even afford a telephone back then.
the funny thing was that, even though dave at estrus knew how to order and get real glued 45-sleeves made for his label from the very beginning, we were forced to use these baggie sleeves because they were the STANDARD LOOK for a punk single in america. if you got your record into a pre-fab folded and glued 45 sleeve, you looked like a ‘pro’ – a sellout! nobody would buy your record because it wasn’t ‘cool’ at all if you did that. we actually tested it and found that the same record sold in a punk-style baggie sleeve sold more than the SAME record sold in a glued sleeve. no joke. punks always were and always will be elitist snobs.
so, i designed this back in the early days of estrus, when we still did baggie sleeves. after a while dave couldn’t stand it any more and decided to just start using glued sleeves. it’s what he WANTED to do (he loved them) and he figured if the market couldn’t go with it, he’d go under and that would be that. but, it seems that very soon everybody else switched over, too. it was like everybody was waiting for somebody else to make the jump so they could to. like playing chicken.
people are so silly.
this is another one of the “cheapo” covers (as we liked to call them). these were basically one or two color think white sleeves, which could be bought in bulk numbers while still blank (in fact they usually came with the vinyl records themselves from the pressing plant). we’d remove the sleeves and print something on them still folded and then stuff the disk back in (which worked ok even for a coupl
colors, so long as you didn’t demand bleed or careful registration. because the images would jump around on the sleeves a lot – sometimes as much as 1/4 inch.) but, even with these problems, we came up with some affordable nifty designs like this. please note, that even though we used the ‘cheapo’ format on the sleeves, we still spend the extra money on color vinyl.
well, it’s not all that simple. getting the black vinyl you could SEE through was actually something they would charge you extra for. did you know that? it’s called “smoke’. the way they did that was by mixing clear vinyl pellets into the hopper with the black and that would mix the two together in the boiler to make a semi-transparent paste. that’s all extra work. the reality is, they probably had some of that left-over from another job where somebody paid extra for that special mix. you got it for free. that’s called ‘lucky’, not ‘shitty’. dave would often call ahead and figure out who was pressing something in a colors vinyl and then sweet talk his way onto the schedule just behind that job. then they’d use up all the left-over colored vinyl on the estrus single we sent in. that was how we got a LOT of our special limited-edition colored vinyl releases that were sent to ‘crust club’ membership. however, dave would get mastering and printing and everything else done at other places better and cheaper. although sometimes united was the best for the cheapest price. you had to constantly shop around or else go broke. dave was particularly good at that part. i was much too lazy and he had all the contacts and friends in the biz….
…where do you think jack white got the fun ideas? i’m pretty sure he was a crust club member and collected all this crap. he was even in a band or two that estrus released. everybody in this scene was totally surprised when jack white became the ‘famous’ one. there was astonishing talent all over the place – everywhere you looked amazing people doing amazing things (all of it ignored). jack white really did not stand out at all. when he got famous (and nobody else) everybody looked over and said, “huh. go figger.” i mean to say, nobody would have guessed it would be him (of all people). he just wasn’t that special. but, the money gods were smiling on him instead of all those others we all thought were utter geniuses in that scene. go figger….
…jack white has talent – no argument. but, so many guys in that seen had so much MORE talent, that jack white seemed an odd selection for the majors to choose to promote into superstardom. surf? the galaxy trio were VERY intense. and satan’s pilgrims finally perfected the twin-guitar attack (but it took a while).