Blind Faith

The first and only album from the first-ever is released on August 16, 1969. Buzzworthy not only because of Clapton, Winwood, Grech and Baker but also because of the album cover.

Bob Seidemann, who has photographed the Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin, is hired to take the cover shot. The band is not yet named and won’t be appearing on the cover, so it has to be abstract. The visual he settles on is that of a young girl holding a spaceship. And oh yeah, she should be naked, a symbol of innocence and Eve in the Garden.

On the tube in London, he spots a 14-year-old girl who has the look he is going for. She won’t do it, but her 11-year-old sister will (with consent of her parents). The girl is Mariora Goschen, who is paid £40 for the session but requests a horse.

The album is first released in the United States, but with an alternate cover showing a picture of the band. In the UK, the Seidemann photo is used, covered with a wrapper displaying the name of the band to obscure the nudity. When the wrapper is removed, the raw photo is revealed.

Seidemann calls the photo “Blind Faith,” and Clapton decides that should be the name of the band. When the record company pushes for a more sensible cover, Clapton pushes back and gets his way.

The band breaks up almost as soon as the album is released, and plays only one show in the UK. It hits #1 there in September and stays at the top for two weeks before it is jettisoned by Abbey Road. Mariora Goschen becomes a massage therapist and an expert on breath work, claiming to develop a respiratory routine that “almost guarantees happiness.”

She never gets her horse.