Legendary “Mouth and Tongue“ Artist Sells First NFT for 1.1 Million And Proclaims #fukcancer
That’s a crazy story.
It’s so crazy. Every day it’s like my birthday. Who knows it could have been brainpower, positive thinking, energy from another source, I don’t know.
How did you find out about NFTs?
It’s funny because I was putting this exhibition together and this Broadway producer, a buddy of mine, told me about a friend of his that was doing NFTs. I had no clue what an NFT was. So I started to research it but I am old school. Then my nephew approached me with someone who wanted to connect with me because it was the 50th anniversary, and his company did NFTs. So there I was hearing it again, and I was thinking “what the hell is an NFT”? So, I decided to give it a shot. We wound up going back-and-forth with the lawyers and it really got to be a royal pain in the ass. So, I decided to forget about it. Then someone suggested that I speak with Jerad Finck at Cosmic Wire. I said OK because I really wanted this exhibition to not only be an exhibition but something really special. If it was going to be my last one, I wanted to go out in a blaze. I spoke to Jerad and to me he was a creative genius doing his kind of thing. So, within two days we had our contract signed and he started working and putting everything together. Then when he showed me what he did with my painting by making them into NFTs ….I looked at it and said “ Holy crap, my paintings were coming alive.” It was a whole new world. You have to see what they did with them…it’s just incredible. I got so excited because now I finally got it. It was very, very cool. So, my exhibition was on July 2. They all flew out to Maui, and that first night somebody bought one of them for $1.1 million dollars.
Where you in shock?
I’m still in shock! I keep saying that this had to be one nut job in a million, but Jerad says “wait and see.” The bidding for the others started Saturday.
You have done so many album covers for so many iconic rockers. Do you have a favorite one or a favorite rocker?
Elton John, and I have been friends since 1970 when I did his first American album for the soundtrack of the movie “Friends.” I met him and Bernie back then and he was so humble. He was just becoming Elton John. Then a couple of years ago he was going to be performing here on Maui at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center so I decided to get a hold of his manager to see if I could come backstage to see Elton. Two days before the concert I received an email from his manager saying that Elton would love to see me and to please join him for dinner backstage before the concert. So, I had this giant print made of the album cover and I went backstage and he was so gracious and so humble. Eileen, he remembered our conversation in 1970 about what I wanted to do in designing the cover. I was blown away! I gave him the large print of the cover and he was so happy that I gave that to him and he said “you know Ruby that was not just a great album cover but such a great album and it never got recognized like I hoped it would.” I totally agreed with him, the music was phenomenal. We spent the evening together and then when I was leaving, he told me that he had a seat for me in the front row. I couldn’t believe it. He is such a nice guy. Him and Jimmy Buffett are my favorites that I have done covers for that I am still friends with. Jimmy is the same way……..