Album Cover Art Wednesday: Thirty Seconds Over Winterland

Jefferson Airplane were early dabblers in album art experimentation. They had the bag for Bark, the box for Long John Silver and even a peanut butter and jelly sammich depicted on the gatefold of Volunteers.The cover for Thirty Seconds Over Winterland became embroiled in litigation for reasons that are apparent to any early Mac people:

In 1989, software company Berkeley Systems released its immensely popular After Darkscreensaver. The best-known of the various screensaver options was Flying Toasters. In 1994 the group sued Berkeley Systems, claiming that the toasters were a copy of the winged toasters featured on this cover. The band’s case was lost because Berkeley claimed no prior knowledge of the artwork, and the judge noted the band had failed to trademark the cover art.

I don’t buy the company’s story about not knowing about the cover but the Airplane *were* hippies, so I believe that they didn’t trademark Bruce Steinberg’s cover art.The 1973 live album itselfwas the last gasp of the Airplane before dividing into two camps: Jefferson Starship (Kantner and Slick) and Hot Tuna (Kaukonen and Casady.) It’s a pretty darn good LP actually but I’ve always been partial to live albums.

Here come da flying toasters:

Thirty Seconds Over Winterland-front

Here’s the back cover. It’s trippy, man:

Thirty Seconds Over Winterland-back

Here’s the whole damn LP. It’s well worth a listen:

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