Robert Frank, Tattoo Parlor, 8th Avenue, New York City, 1951

Cover photography and concept, Robert Frank, Rolling Stones, Exile on Main Street, 1972

The Rolling Stones’ (May 12) 1972 album Exile On Main Street will be re-released today. A special edition will include the music on CD and vinyl, ten unreleased songs, a book, postcards, and a DVD with excerpts from Stones In Exile, Ladies and Gentlemen… The Rolling Stones, and Robert Frank’s film Cocksucker Blues, (a few of the images on the cover and sleeves are from “The Americans” and most of the other images are from Frank’s film footage shot in downtown L.A. and on the Bowery in N.Y.C. for the album).

Photos by Diane Arbus, Esquire, July 1960, pp. 102–103

The July 1960 edition of Esquire featured a photo essay by Diane Arbus: “The Vertical Journey: Six Movements of a Moment with in the Heart of the city.”
Caption of the photo on the left is: Hezekiah Trambles, “The Jungle Creep,” performs five times a day at Hubert’s Museum, 42nd & Broadway, Times Square.

Inexplicably and anachronistically Robert Frank’s 1951 photo, Tattoo Parlor, 8th Avenue, New York City, that is on the cover the The Rolling Stone’s 1972 album, Exile on Main St., contains a 1960 photograph, Hezekiah Trambles, “The Jungle Creep,” performs five times a day at Hubert’s Museum, 42nd & Broadway, Times Square, by the recently deceased (July 26, 1971) Diane Arbus.

The image of Hezekiah Trambles is a part of the contemporary advertising campaign.

Read an informative essay on the Exile on Main Street cover here. The designer of the Exile on Main Street cover was John van Hamersveld.

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6 Responses to Exiles

  1. David Godlis says:

    I have a book (Robert Frank Fotografias/Films 1948-1984) that has that Tatoo Parlor shot dated 1958. I’ve always thought it was Diane Arbus’ shot tacked a wall (at Hubert’s?), which was then photographed unknowingly(?) by Robert Frank. Not sure of the exact date of the Diane Arbus/Hezekiah Trambles shot (published 1960 probably means it was shot a year or two earlier), but it’s definitely her picture within the Robert Frank shot. Great piece!

  2. The individual photos in Robert Frank’s ”Tattoo Parlor“ image are a combination of Bernard Kobel’s 5×8 copystand images (commonly sold mail order to freakshow buffs beginning in the 1950’s), 8×10 publicity photos from individual performers, as well as a few publicity photos taken inside Hubert’s Museum itself. And of course that anomalous Arbus photo of Trambles. No way was this combination of images to be found anywhere but inside Hubert’s Museum. That Frank’s title of ”Tattoo Parlor“ is a misnomer is clear, due to the fact that these kind of individual performer publicity photos were only available to agents and venues that booked these type of freak, novelty and variety acts. Add to that the strange presence of an unpublished Arbus photo, and the absence of any actual tattoo photos in the grouping, and the Hubert’s location for the photo is necessarily the only possible location for the original photo to have been taken. Further, most of the photos shown on the “Exile” cover are to be found in a collection of photos taken from Hubert’s Museum after it closed. http://www.showhistory.com/huberts.html

    • christophergeorge says:

      Thank you!
      That solves more mysteries.
      With that Exiles post, I was hoping to clear up things, solve mysteries, and learn.
      Your Show History site is fantastic. I looked at it last week and will dig deeper in the future…
      Thanks again,

      • I recently saw a print of this photo at Pier 24 in San Francisco. I didn’t write down the exact caption (this was before I read this post) but it said something like “Shapshot display, Drugstore, 1958”

        If you want exact info on the photo, you might contact Pier 24 (http://www.pier24.org/). The photo is part of the Fisher collection on display through February 2011.

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