That 116-page Calvin Klein ad supplement to Vanity Fair, shot by photographer Bruce Weber, is steaming up certain newsstands this month with its black-and-white pictorials of pectorals and other naked, gleaming body parts. But one explicit image really stands out — a photo-within-a-photo of a man flipping a big fat finger to the camera. The finger man is rock promoter Bill Graham, circa 1967, and now he’s flipping his lid because he claims no one asked for permission to use the old picture.
Graham, the rock impresario who in the ’60s created Fillmore East and West, had given the okay for Weber to use the Warfield Theater in San Francisco as a location for the photo shoot. As a result, the ads also feature ’60s relics discovered in the theater, such as a Doors sound-check schedule, a Kinks poster, and the picture of Graham, found hanging in a dressing room. An insider at Calvin Klein maintains Klein didn’t recognize Graham in the photo and that the poster was viewed merely as a prop. But Graham is seeking an out-of-court settlement with Klein for personal damages for an undisclosed amount. ”What about a man’s right to privacy?” says Graham. ”Why didn’t Weber find out who it was?” But Bay Area photographer Jim Marshall, who took the original photo of Graham, says Weber knew it was Marshall’s. When Marshall called Klein threatening a lawsuit, the designer offered him $10,000, and Marshall had the money promptly. While Marshall insists he wouldn’t have granted permission anyway, he isn’t complaining: ”Ten grand overnight — it’s like found money.”