That Paris Hilton / Captain Beefheart Photoshop Thing

I know it’s almost two years old now, but on the occasions that I’m reminded of this photo I’m still fascinated by it. Somehow it is the perfect album to have photoshopped into Paris’ hand: the cover is iconic and immediately recognizable, it may be the last thing she’d ever actually listen to, and it’s pink. Still, I wondered; I mean, maybe she was drunk enough that someone just cleverly slipped it to her? She was releasing an album at the time, so it was almost certain that she was just holding that. But it’s like bigfoot, crop circles, UFO videos, you want to believe.

More than that, I think we derived a certain satisfaction from its impossibility. It’s a daily occurrence to watch your cherished bands get snatched up by the popular media, and this photo was a reminder that some of our enthusiasms are very, very safe.

I first spotted it on the WFMU blog (“I can’t imagine Paris getting more than a few bars into Frown Land before ripping it out of her CD player and throwing it out of her window at some homeless person”), but they of course got it from Gawker (“That is truly a cultural juxtaposition”), who got it from goldenfiddle.

Then when I ran across this image of her holding In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, I had to find the original photos that were manipulated. Finally, I did! Here, here, here, and here. There’s even a thread about it on Snopes.

I only wish I knew where it originally appeared. Since goldenfiddle is the oldest reference to it I can find, I blame them for not citing their sources.

And don’t forget Banksy’s take on her album.

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