In the 60s when vinyl was the any-and-all of the music business, Capitol Records use to send out promo LP compilations of their new hot tracks every month to radio DJs. In 1969, they stepped up their game a notch.

Capitol Disc Jockey Album January 1969 came with no text on the cover, just a photo of a woman. In February, the same thing with a different woman, and more of the same every month. Finally, December arrived – "Merry Christmas from Capitol" – the 12th cover, together with the others like pieces in a puzzle, completed something of a giant bordello scene, with shirtless Santa sitting in the middle.

This series was part of the inspiration for Mayer Hawthorne's How Do You Do? Box Set, released today by Fat Beats/Universal Republic. When writing about Mayer's inspiration, we had to turn to the only people we knew with a complete set of the Capitol series, Groove Merchant on San Francisco's lower Haight St., one of the finest independent record stores in the country. Thanks to Benji for the photo and to Cool Chris for being Cool enough to have the collection mounted on the wall of the store.

related artists Mayer Hawthorne