Indie rock band Vampire Weekend released their Contra album in January of 2010. What was the big issue concerning the album cover? Read on to find out.
Vampire Weekend, who were seeking a cover for their soon-to-be released Contra album, happened across a photo in the archives of photographer Tod Brody. The photo is of a young woman wearing a polo shirt, taken in 1983 with a Polaroid camera.
In July of last year, the band, its recording company, and photographer were sued by Ann Kirsten Kennis, the woman in the Polaroid photo, who claimed that the photo was used without her consent. Kennis claims that she was not photographed by Tod Brody, but by her Polaroid-addicted mother, that she has no idea how Brody got ahold of the photo, and that she only found out about the photo’s use when her daughter came home one day with the album. “Hi Mom, see your picture?” her daughter said.
But, Brody claims that he did in fact take the photo, and he had it in his possession for 26 years before Vampire Weekend purchased it for $5000. Kennis also alleges that the release forms for the photo were not signed by her, but were forged by Brody, whom she had never met in her life before.
Vampire Weekend subsequently sued Brody because he had provided them with the forged release form, but he had gone into hiding and could not be located for several months. His own legal team had to hire a private investigator to find him in order to legally drop him as a client.
Kennis has now withdrawn her lawsuit against the band and label after settling outside of court and being paid an undisclosed sum. The original amount she was suing for was $2 million. The band and label are continuing their separate lawsuits against Brody, who is now representing himself in court, after being dropped by his lawyers for non-payment.
Kennis, who was a model in the 1980’s, did numerous photo-shoots. She says, “I did ads, I did all kinds of catalogues. I did everything.” Here are some photos of her that were used for advertisements: