This pic of Ann Kirsten Kennis was taken in 1983, and Vampire Weekend paid $5000 and got a “photographic release” from photographer Tod Brody to use the photo. Kennis says that Brody forged her signature to give the band permission to use the photo and she wants to see the money now.
Yesterday she filed a lawsuit in the L.A. County Superior Court.
The band members told MTV that they had never met the model, but picked the photo because it was striking and was in the same vein as with the artwork for their freshman self-titled album.
Front-man Ezra Koenig explained:
“We’re not being very specific about it. The picture is from 1983, but the last album cover was from 2006, and they kind of look like they both inhabit the same world. When we saw this image, we just found it very striking. And part of it is the look on her face. It’s not about the color of her hair, or the fact that she’s wearing a Polo shirt. What makes it interesting is her face.”
The website Brooklyn Vegan (who are probably interested because Vampire Weekend members hail from Brooklyn) dug a little deeper. Apparently Ann Kirsten Kennis was “highly compensated” during her run as a model in the 80’s and late 90’s.” She claims that Tod Brody didn’t actually take the photo. Even more interesting is that the “forged” contract was for a Kirsten Johnsen, and signed by a Kirsten Johnson.
Not sure if this lawsuit will actually go anywhere, but at least Kirsten has her Cosmic Cubs Club to fall back on if she doesn’t score millions from the band.
Here’s previous album, Vampire Weekend: