“This is a bit of a strange request. My name is James Finlay and I’m in a band called ‘Fists’ who’re based in Nottingham, England. We make ramshackle-y, lo-fi pop music and are about to release our debut 7” single on a small independent record label (also based in Nottingham) called Hello Thor (not much on their web page at the moment unfortunately)
The reason I’m mailing you is because everybody in our band has become obsessed with your Flickr photo set for the Basement Diaries blog and we wanted to find out if you would be willing to grant us permission to use one of your photos for the cover of our single? We’re releasing the single as a download on iTunes and as a strictly limited edition vinyl pressing of 500 copies. Naturally we would credit you for the photo on the record, we would obviously send you over some copies too and we could also offer some money as well but are pretty limited financially as we’re a small DIY operation who is paying for almost everything ourselves from our day jobs.
The photo we’d love to use if possible is the one of the gorilla in boxing gloves taken at a Halloween Party in (1980). We love the grainy 35mm quality, the colour palette and the sense of fun and mystery. The song we’re releasing is called ‘Cockatoo’ (I’d be very happy to send you an MP3 of this so you can have a listen and decide if you think it’s appropriate). Thematically it’s about fantasies of freedom and escape as seen through the eyes of a caged bird (the ‘Cockatoo’ of the title). Obviously this doesn’t really have any obvious relationship with the photo particularly but I don’t think that matters too much. If you are happy to let us use it we’d obviously send you over the design before we got the covers made up for approval.
If you’re not interested then no worries and thanks so much for your time and also for sharing the photos in the first place. If there’s anything else you’d like to know first then please give me a shout.”
This is what I love most about the web. The man behind the gorilla mask is Barb’s brother, Lew. Don’t recall who is sitting the chair. And I’m pretty sure the beer is a Stag (shudder).