Published  10/05/2002
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Royal academician fights media moguls for royalties

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Peter Blake, veteran RA and distinguished painter, is justifiably famous for his record sleeve icon designed for Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The famous cover certainly helped promote the music. The amazing thing is that EMI never coughed up any royalties – just provided a very flat fee at the time. Memories can’t be all that long in the grey-suited open plan EMI marketing headquarters, so the sudden rejection of his sleeve design for Robbie Williams new LP Swing When You’re Winning (painted from a photograph of the artist’s friend) by an EMI marketing genius has produced a temporary downswing for the phlegmatic pioneer of British Pop Art. But not for long. Although he’s unlikely to make a gentleman’s agreement with any more media companies in future.

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