Marcy Playground Unwittingly Inherits Cover Art From Butthole Surfers

Call it the "Mysterious Cover Art Case."

During a recent online exchange between Paul Leary of the Butthole Surfers and John Wozniak of Marcy Playground, Wozniak found out that the album artwork on his band's new LP, "Shapeshifter," was actually originally conceived for the Surfers.

The design in question was created by artist Mark Ryden, who based his piece on a sketch made by Leary while the group was still on Capitol Records, the current home of Marcy Playground.

After the Surfers split from Capitol for a new home at Hollywood Records (see "Butthole Surfers Returning With New Label, Album"), Capitol ended up retaining the rights to the image, and its art department apparently handed it off to the unwitting band Marcy Playground.

In a strange twist of fate, cover art issues apparently became an issue between the Butthole Surfers and their previous label prior to the band's departure. The band was supposedly

forced to delay the release of what would have been its last Capitol album, "The Last Astronaut," back in 1998 (see "Butthole Surfers Album Delayed By Cover Art").

On the Marcy Playground Web site, Wozniak writes that the group is "baffled and mortified" by the switch. Wozniak also adds, "I can't apologize enough for Capitol Records' lame maneuver, but I can, at least, genuinely say that I am honored to have a record cover partly designed by Paul Leary of the Butthole Surfers."

Capitol Records has declined to comment on the matter as of press time.

-- David Basham