Author Archive

49. METALLICA Part Nine – ‘The Return’

September 9, 2013

It seems fitting, after SOOO long to return to METALLICA …

… as their new movie


… is soon to be premiered in the USA

… Watch Trailer 

You can rely on METALLICA to break the rules. Originality is guaranteed. A live concert movie it is … but … from what I’ve seen so far – it’s SO much more than live concert footage …

rider 2


Metallica TTN Hero

metallica stage statue

COMING SOON – more METALLICA stories in

50. METALLICA Part 10

M E A N W H I L E … B o o k  Y o u r  T i c k e t s  f o r   . . .

NEVER logo
As ever


June 20, 2013

At 10.00am GMT, on 21st May, the Andie Airfix designed Hutchins guitar will be on sale on eBay.
This Special Edition replica ‘Teardrop’ guitar, based on the one used by Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones, is a one-off design incorporating names and designs of some of my favourite clients: including METALLICA, THE ROLLING STONES, DEAD OR ALIVE, PAUL McCARTNEY, LED ZEPPELIN, DEF LEPPARD & LIVE 8 ….

Start bidding now
Search on eBay: andie airfix Hutchins guitar



Thank You RC-M

April 18, 2013

Richard Clark-Monks sent this to me …


It’s weird to see 25 of my album sleeves together! I was struck immediately by the diversity of styles. I guess that’s testament to my philosophy of matching the design to the client rather than insisting I push an Airfix style to all. That’s a good thing but still weird though.


Gives an idea of what you can expect during
Exhibition and Talks at the AIRFIX LOUNGE.
Exhibitions FREE – but bought your tickets for the Talks yet?
Only 9 quid for what should be, and I quote …

Highly entertaining, often hilarious and possibly libellous,
– an inspiration to both designers and music fans alike.



RIZZLE KICKS – A musical breath of fresh air

July 2, 2011

Check out these guys – a refreshing and welcome originality to the music scene … They decided to use YouTube to promote themselves from the start. Music & video is the perfect combination. To do it all themselves showcases their multiple talents and a surprising variety of musical influences.


I love this …
“That’s how I deal with things – I set them on FIRE!”


and this is great video (and song)



May 17, 2011

“Where can you find a decent cup of tea round here?”
(Lemmy, backstage at Lollapalooza Festival 1996, Metallica headlining)


If someone asked me ‘What’s the best METALLICA concert you’ve ever been to?‘ it would be impossible to answer. Any band worth its salt just HAS to be Amazing Live. It’s the benchmark for me how good an artist is. How could it be any other way? However good albums are – live performances have to be better. There’s nothing like the rush of adrenaline being with thousands of like-minded fans, nothing more exciting than the build-up to artists appearing on stage, (more on that a little later), getting totally wasted in preparation for A Big Night Out (not me obviously – how dare you suggest such a thing!), and then, if that weren’t enough, you get to hear your favourite songs LIVE, performed by your HEROES. Genius – what could be more inspiring?

Metallica of course is ALL about live performance. Their astonishingly loyal fans have always been aware of how loyal Metallica are to them. They may deviate musically sometimes, are always up for experimentation, are never afraid to be innovative and, as far as staging a show goes – they’re right up there with the most distinguished and acclaimed. Unless you’ve SEEN Metallica live you haven’t experienced the complete Metallica.

Having said I couldn’t choose ONE gig, there are several which stand out in my memory for all kinds of different reasons. Having the ‘Go Anywhere You Fucking Like‘ pass is such a bonus. I arrived at Earls Court in London for a meeting with the band. It was mid-afternoon and the huge venue was heaving with hundreds of people setting up for the concert that night. I think the most shocking and awesome thing to see were The Trucks – twenty-odd massive black pantechnicons, some with trailers, immaculately parked in rows inside the vast venue. They looked like a fleet of vehicles from a sci-fi movie. Humans swarmed around them like insects, unloading tons of equipment and moving it into place on and around the stage which was almost complete by then. With the precision of rocket scientists, crew members built lighting platforms and gantries, speakers were stacked, set components were slotted together, hydraulic drum risers for Lars were fitted, and hundreds of miles of cable were miraculously placed where they needed to be. We’ve all seen time-lapse photography where our perception of time is altered …

(… speaking of time-lapse photography …  I came across this yesterday – a minor diversion but relevant (kind of) and well worth the couple of minutes. D-click for HD large format …)

…  building an awesome stage set had that kind of time-distortion vibe. I sat mesmerised for a couple of hours.

It always amazes me how a crew can construct and deconstruct such a complicated and intricate set – then build it again the Next Night somewhere else! It was a revelation to witness one of the worlds most professional road crews in the world strut their stuff.

Tension and excitement are what METALLICA shows are all about. Again, in London, the band took anticipation of their arrival on stage to a whole new level. For at least an hour before the first song, the band was followed around by a camera crew backstage as they got ready for the gig and the images were projected onto gigantic screens all round the venue. It was a brilliant idea to communicate directly with fans and reactions were sensational. After watching the band rehearse briefly, mess about (constantly speaking into the camera to wind up their fans), having something pre-show time together wandering in and out of each others dressing rooms – by the time they headed through the endless corridors, heading for the stage, the audience was in a total frenzy. The reception they received when they finally appeared in front of their fans was one of the most amazing I’ve ever seen. The noise level was unbelievable and the excitement made spines tingle.

Access to a band is fundamental to fans. Somehow METALLICA always find a way to allow the fans to get seriously close to them without actually meeting them. (except for the lucky ones of course). The wonderful ‘Some Kinda Monster‘ …

… although at once disturbing, voyeuristic, embarrassing, moving and confrontational – it’s also totally compelling because of its brutal honesty. The no-holds-barred final cut, considering the seriously full-on material is testament to the band’s integrity. Despite reservations from many concerned quarters about releasing the DVD at all, the band insisted on it and, whatever you think of the content – you sure as hell get to know the cast VERY intimately.

Like watching the band from the mosh-pit. You get pretty close! THEN you get an idea of what it’s actually like to play on a stage at a stadium. For fans lucky enough to be invited, or who have the very rare tickets, it’s a close as you ever get to performing with the band on stage! I remember heading, doubled-up, in near total darkness, for a hundred yards, towards a hole in the stage in front of me. The stage floor above me shook, the music thundered and lasers blasted occasionally into the pit. All I could see as I approached it were dozens of pairs of legs. I finally got there and stood up in the heaving mass of fans going absolutely nuts. As I adjusted to the stage spectacle all around me I turned to face the front of the stage and the audience. It was such a shock being right there and hearing the cheers and applause from tens of thousands of fans aimed directly at the stage. Quite something.

After that I think I need a lie-down!

… by the end of the week.

As ever,

Visit for cool stuff. Metallica to be added soon. Can’t wait – aa

Don’t Give Up

March 14, 2011

UK’s ‘INDEPENDENT’ front cover, 13th March 2011

38. ‘ZERO-ONE’ – an exhibition

January 16, 2011

‘Zero-One’ at BRIFFA – until January 23, 2011

new Andie Airfix Limited Edition Series (only 50 of each) is launched at BRIFFA this week as part of the London Art Fair, 2011.
(BRIFFA: 306 Gallery Level, Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, Islington, London N1 0QH)

Due to numerous requests for larger editions from, I’m pleased to let you know your 6 most popular images are now available printed on A2 (22 x 16ins) Hahnemuhle Fine Art Paper – paper designed to maximise the vibrant colour and high definition of professional digital printing. Only the best for you guys! The first of each edition (01/50) has been mounted and framed exclusively for the exhibition. Each edition is signed and numbered by me and every purchase includes a certificate of authenticity and mounting and framing suggestions.

The mounted and framed 01/50 Limited Editions are available at BRIFFA until January 23rd and unmounted editions are for sale exclusively at Visit the site for more details.

Here are your favourite six …

NOTE: The last edition – METALLICA – ‘4 Scary Guys’ is a ‘work in progress’ and will be released to coincide with the next blog-post – 39. METALLICA – Part Two. It will be an awesome addition to your METALLICA collection!

A HAPPY NEW YEAR & … Coming Soon …

January 7, 2011

After the festivities and various travels … – only in India – where else could you get away with this?

and this …

… I wish you a …

… and all you need to make it an Adventurous, Satisfying and Happy one.


37. METALLICA Part Two

Dolphins, Butterflies and Crazy Texter

December 5, 2010

India. For those of you who’ve been here – a reminder of how crazy it can be … and for those of you who haven’t (yet) had the pleasure, this will serve as an introduction to the country’s spirited and joyful anarchy …

India, as always, weaves a divine web of experiences – every day providing the unexpected, the joyous, the surreal and the utterly comical. It somehow though always manages to provide time to reflect, read, write or whatever we need to escape pressures and the often artificial timetables we create to fill our day with what we think we have to do to justify our existence or simply to survive.

The problem of course is that we so often fill our time with what WE think we need or what others expect of us. It doesn’t work quite like that here – our conditioned auto-pilot is often quite simply not allowed to function. The intensity of life challenges the foundations of what we do and what we think on a daily basis. That happens wherever we are obviously but somehow here, because of the intensity, it’s not so easy to brush the challenges aside. In India you have to be pretty entrenched in your beliefs not to be affected by a very different view of the world, alien to most of us, which constantly shocks, amuses and seduces us into new, exciting and unknown territories. It would be foolhardy, if not downright churlish, not to embrace the revelations to be discovered.

The best advice I ever had about visiting India was when I left England for the Himalayas in the mid-70’s and it came from a shop-keeper in Paddington, England. “Whatever you expect India to be or whatever you expect you might find there, I can guarantee it will be something completely different that you see and discover.” How right he was then – and still is now. This country has a unique and curious alchemy that continually surprises, bewilders and rejuvenates.

We saw a dozen dolphins cruise along the beach, not a hundred yards from shore – a sight to make the heart leap. A young novice offered me a prayer and it felt like my soul had been brushed by butterfly wings. I have been confined to my room for five evenings – my foot wrapped in bandages. It’s supposed to be sunny but we have tropical rainstorms which are dazzlingly beautiful as waves of blue lightning blaze through the coconut groves. We have seen temple elephants, butterflies and rare tropical birds.

Tomorrow? … well … exactly.

Metallica will have to wait until I get back to Blighty. The wooden keyboard I’m using requires a sledge-hammer to operate the Shift Key. That and the steam-driven hard-drive conspire to destroy spontaneity and to inhibit the number of sentences I can write without resorting to using the sledge-hammer to put this pathetic bloody-minded machine out of its misery.

36. METALLICA Part ‘ONE’ – ‘Fans’

November 18, 2010

Well, we may as well go straight in with this … not for the faint-hearted …

In 1993 I completed my first major project – a Box Set – for the legend that is METALLICA.

There’s a satisfying coincidence that I’ve just finished another Box Set for them as I begin a series of blogs about arguably the most successful rock band on the planet.

The stories over the next few weeks have never been published so be prepared for fun, insights and a very personal account of events spanning nearly twenty years.

Where do I begin? My admiration and respect for the band is constantly renewed by their adventurous, often anarchic, attitude to who they are and what they do. At the heart of my respect for them is their unswerving loyalty and dedication to their Fans – so let’s start with Victor

Victor was seventeen and worked on reception at the gym I infrequented in Chelsea Harbour. Mostly I used it as a hi-tech bathroom/sauna/swimming pool conveniently situated between my Chelsea flat and the studio. I often chatted to Victor – a serious Metallica fan – and when he discovered I was involved in their artwork and knew the band personally, he hinted every now and again that maybe if I had a spare ticket to a gig …

I’ve been amazingly privileged over the years to be given tickets to major events and concerts and one thing I have always done when I go to one – is to find random fans to take along and maybe provide an opportunity for them to meet their heroes and heroines. Metallica were playing Wembley Arena in London and I asked Victor to join us for the gig. In those days it made economic and practical sense – if there were 8 or 10 of us – to hire a stretch limo. The car was allowed to drop its occupants right outside the ticket collection office and to pick us up immediately after the gig right outside the main entrance into the venue – avoiding what is often a nightmare journey to and from the Arena which was such a bummer, especially after a night out at a brilliant concert and your spirit was elated. (Also of course we could get wasted on the way there and back!). I’d asked Victor to meet us in Chelsea to head off to the gig and his face when he saw the white stretch Cadillac waiting for him was an indication of how overwhelmed he would be later as the evening developed.

We arrived, tumbled out of the limo, collected our tickets and our ‘Go Anywhere You Fucking Want‘ passes …

A couple of us headed straight for the band’s dressing room with Victor. He was already nervous and his mood rapidly alternated between that of a soldier about to meet his generals after a victorious battle and that of a shy 17-year old terrified he would make a fool of himself in front of his heroes. We met Gio – more of him later –  and he escorted us to the dressing room through the labyrinthine corridors beneath the Arena. I knocked on the door. ‘In,’ shouted James Hetfield. Victor froze, his right hand glued to the dressing room door-frame, his feet establishing roots into the concrete floor. Eventually we managed to drag the ashen-faced, open-mouthed, wide-eyed Victor into the room. The band were having their pre-gig dinner. Lars jumped up. ‘Andie, Ricky – great to see you guys. Hey – who’s this?

And that’s the thing …

… Bands and artists of quality recognise how important fans are – you’d be amazed how many don’t – and Metallica are particularly brilliant at diffusing any embarrassment or awkwardness fans feel when they meet the band. I introduced Lars to Victor. Lars was in fine form. ‘Hey VIctor – how ya doin’? Cool jacket man – want us to sign it?‘ Victor’s mouth opened and closed several times but words refused to vocalise and his head moved around in a weird circular movement which kind of looked like he was nodding and shaking his head at the same time. ‘James,‘ Lars shouted, ‘grab that thick marker pen and we can all sign Victor’s jacket.

The jacket in question was a silver bomber-jacket. It looked brand new and I remember thinking at that point that maybe Victor had bought it specially for the gig. The band gathered round him for the Signing Ceremony. A flurry of flambuoyant marker strokes later and a storm of graffitti, autographs and dedications covered the entire back of the jacket. Victor of course couldn’t see what Lars, James, Kirk and Jason had done. We chatted for a while, left the band to their dinner and headed off to the Arena and our seats. Still not a word had escaped Victor’s lips and he was looking worryingly pale. ‘Look at your jacket,‘ I said. ‘It’s brilliant.‘ Victor stopped, closed his eyes, took off the jacket and opened them again. He stood there – motionless – just staring at it. Finally he managed to get words to connect both to his brain and his mouth at the same time. The reason for his endearing but acutely strange behaviour was suddenly clear. It wasn’t only Metallica that had caused him to be so excrutiatingly shy and freaked out in the dressing room – there was something completely different to add to his alarm and agitation …  ‘It’s my older brother’s best jacket,‘ he croaked. ‘He doesn’t know I’ve borrowed it! He’s going to kill me. He’ll fuckin’ kill me.

Victor was, thankfully, still alive when I headed to the gym a couple of days after the gig. His brother had burst out laughing when Victor confessed to his hideous crime, enjoying every second of his younger brothers’ deep embarrassment, fear and trepidation. He gave him the jacket obviously. However, when Victor showed his MetalliMates his well-earned prize-jacket, not one of them believed the signatures were real – let alone spontaneously produced for him personally in the band’s dressing room before a gig.

If, by any chance, any of you see a guy wearing a silver bomber-jacket with all the band’s signatures on it, ask him if his name’s Victor. If it is just tell him you know how the jacket was signed and where. It’ll probably blow his head off.

METALLICA blogs will become pretty random over the next few weeks as I’m off to India. Be prepared for the odd Indian experience to infiltrate the METALLICA EXPERIENCE!

.. and in case you thought established bands went out on the road just to regurgitate tired old hits from the past … not this ONE. Check it out. Here’s a track from S&M, performed in 1999, ten years after the song’s original release (featured as their first ever video at the beginning of this blog). THAT’S why METALLICA are brilliant – hardly the same is it? – but without losing the songs sentiment and power in any way.



… a competition to win an original piece of METALLICA artwork … Berlin … Lollapalooza and Lemmy … dinner with Lars and Marianne Faithful … a trip round Barcelona … mothers and fathers … the Viper Room … Some Kinda Monster … Anton Corbjin … and creating artwork for LOAD, RE-LOAD, GARAGE INC, S&M and much more.

Don’t forget to enter the COMPETITION below to WIN a HENDRIX EDITION PRINT