Velvet Underground: Andy Warhol Foundation Stole Our Banana Logo
The 1960′s hugely influential art rock band, The Velvet Underground, consisting of Lou Reed and John Cale, has just filed a lawsuit in the Manhattan federal court accusing the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts of stealing the iconic banana image that was seen on the cover of their 1967 album, The Velvet Underground and Nico. Reed and Cale both claim that the foundation is illegally licensing the image to various products including things like iPad cases.
The two members of the band are accusing the foundation of ”deceiving the public,” leading them to believe that they never had the rights to the banana logo, because apparently they didn’t. The damages that they are seeking are not disclosed for unfair competition and trademark infringement.
“Inasmuch as the Warhol Foundation has such a large number of Andy Warhol designs, all of which are presumably unique works that are highly valued in the marketplace, there would appear to be no economic need to include the banana design among the designs that defendant licenses,” the court papers say.
Although at the time, Andy Warhol served as the band’s manager and producer, and did create the logo (which had the phrase ”peel slowly and see” included), he was paid a cut of the band’s label in advance, but never did actually copyright the image.