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Amanda Palmer & The Grand Theft Orchestra are putting out an album. Pre-order it / get more info on the art book & gallery tour, here!
WE ARE THE MEDIA! With your backing, me &
The Grand Theft Orchestra released "Theatre Is Evil" in September
2011, hit the billboard top 10, toured the world, played 25 house parties &
made a MASSIVE book with album-inspired art from 30+ artists!
WE ARE THE MEDIA! With your backing, me & The Grand Theft Orchestra released "Theatre Is Evil" in September 2011, hit the billboard top 10, toured the world, played 25 house parties & made a MASSIVE book with album-inspired art from 30+ artists!
24,883 backers pledged $1,192,793 to help bring this project to life.


hola comrades!


we're CLOSING IN! only 6 DAYS LEFT of this madness.

so much to say, but going fast…bear with me.
i've spent the last three days totally hunkered down in my boston apartment working on the intro text for the art book, which i thought would take me a single night.

BUT, i never know what i want to say, and it turned out i had fifteen pages worth of deep art/life shit to write about, so it took me three days. don't worry, i've made small breaks to go to yoga and drink at night, but other than that my ass has been planted in a fucking chair, trying to organize a lifetime of thoughts about visual art into a single document…FUCK.

in the cracks, i've been working on the LP and CD art with andrew-the-designer and fielding the stragglers coming in for the art book, and HOLY SHIT is this all going to look good.
here's a mock up of the large, black, COFFIN-LIKE boxes that the LP and 7" records are going to be housed in. death! life! art! amazing! 

in order from left to right....7" package house, LP house, CD-housing hardback book:

and here, for kicks, are the mockups for the labels that'll go on the 7" singles series:



EVERYBODY (YES, EVERYBODY) save the DATE!!! next Thursday night NEW YORK TIME (may 31st), in the final hours of the kickstarter, at about 7pm-midnight, in BROOKLYN (near gowanus), we are throwing the biggest kickstarter countdown street party webcast EVER KNOWN TO MAN!! 

i've never tried to organize a party THIS epic on THIS SHORT NOTICE but goddam i'm going to try. we're shutting down a whole street in brooklyn!! we've HIRED COPS!! the band will play on a roof at midnight! shit's gonna get NUTS…and to make it even NUTSIER, we need some of YOU to help pull this thing off. for details, visit, and follow @gemini_scorpio on twitta for info and opportunities to volunteer on a SURPRISE THING. everybody who's not in new york, tune in and watch the webcast. but save the night, and expect EPICNESS. we're going to tell THE KICKSTARTER SUPPORTERS, VIA AN UPDATE, ABOUT THE LOCATION BEFORE ANYBODY ELSE. so watch this space closely on wednesday. we plan to give you all a headstart. and for you backers who pledged to get into the gallery VIP parties and everybody else at the $300+ levels, we have an EXTRA-SPECIAL surprise for you that night, so get as close to new york as you possibly can, it's only redeemable in the flesh, that night.

ALSO: on SUNDAY (may 27th) we'll be sending out a musical surprise to backers only. go forth and tell your friends to back this damn project at least at the dollar level , that'll get them in the door for what's about to come.

AND: it looks like next MONDAY AFTERNOON around 2/3pmish, i'll be doing a webcast Q&A to be broadcast live from MIT. and WEDNESDAY i'll be doing something on reddit. more to come. 

if you really want to UP TO THE MINUTE BULLSHIT, you must cave and follow the twitter. it is The Only WAY.


and now………this blog written by neil. i'm stealing it from his site, but i wanted to make sure everyone read it. 

i love him. and i love you all so much. 

thank you for being here.

we're making fucking history.


MONDAY, MAY 21, 2012

A Preamble to a photograph

This is a very long preamble to a photograph.

When Amanda and I were first going out together we would spend a lot of time on the phone, talking about big real things. We don't talk on the phone anywhere nearly as much any more, and when we do talk on the phone we're more likely to be trying to figure out the logistics of where we are in the world and how we can warp space and time in order to be in the same place relatively soon than about our hearts or our lives. That's just the way things are, and when we're together, late at night, in bed, we still talk about all the big real things. 

But we used to talk on the phone. One night I said something to Amanda about my life, and beds, and the sizes of beds, and she got very quiet. I thought she was crying on the phone, which seemed odd, as I'd not said anything (to my mind) about hearts.

A week or so later, she announced on Twitter that she was writing a song. She posted photos of herself after each verse. It seemed like the whole of Twitter was cheering her on.

I got to Boston a few days later, and she played me her song, on the huge grand piano in her cramped apartment. She'd taken a tiny fragment of my life and made it into something else, a story about a couple, from joy to death, exhibited, as in a legal case or at an inquest, as a sequence of beds. I cried when she played it. 

She asked me to give it a title, because I had inspired it, and I didn't want to give it a clever title, and so I called it "The Bed Song", and the name stuck.

It's one of the songs on her new album.

She's asked a number of artists to make art to go along with the book, asked if I would do something for "The Bed Song". I thought about what I wanted to make, realised it was a sequence of five photographs, mirroring the five verses/exhibits in the song. And that, while I love taking photographs (my lomo cameras are some of my favourite possessions) I did not know how I would take these photographs...

Fortunately, a few days later there was a gathering in Barrington Illinois to honour Gene Wolfe, and my friend Kyle Cassidy was there with his beautiful actress wife Trillian. I asked Kyle if he'd like to collaborate on making art: I'd write a script, describing the images, as I would have done if I was writing a comics script. He'd take the photos. Kyle said yes. Then I told him the deadline we were on...

And that we'd need people of all ages, willing to be photographed, in couples (all but one), naked in a bed.

Kyle set off, undaunted.

Kyle is an amazing photographer. We found volunteers through friends and through Twitter. It was relatively easy to find people to pose in their twenties and thirties and forties... finding older models was harder. I was hugely pleased when my friends Samuel R. Delany and Mia Wolff agreed to pose for the last  photograph we needed. 

Many of the people who had their photos taken told Kyle that it was a life-changing experience for them, and I can believe it.

The photographs were beautiful. The sequence of photographs worked as a story. We were happy, about everything except...  Kyle had taken too many good photographs.

Each photograph was a piece of art. Amanda's doing an art book already, of the art that's been made for the album, but we desperately wanted to see Kyle's photos reproduced at the size and at the same quality as they'll be hung in the art galleries they'll be hanging in this summer, during Amanda's art tour. And we wanted the photos that weren't just part of the set of five, that would hang in the gallery and be part of the art book, to be seen.

And Amanda was putting together a Kickstarter (it's at It was going to need incentives at various levels. And if the incentive level was priced high enough then we could actually afford to make the kind of book we dreamed of -- something with the level of art and craft you'd find in the impressive oversized Taschen photo books. Although there would be significantly fewer photos than the $15,000 Helmut Newton SUMO book (but then, it also wouldn't need to come with its own display stand).

So that's what we're doing. We're making a maximum of 666 of them (to commemorate the % by which the Evening With Neil and Amanda Kickstarter exceeded its level). If the demand is less, we may make significantly less. We want copies for our models, and a few for ourselves. You'll get one if you support the Kickstarter at the $1000 level or above (so each of the 35 people hosting a house party, for example, will get a copy), and you also get all the goodies from lower levels as well.

Right now we're just finalising the specs -- Kyle wants a lock on the box (or slipcase) it comes in, for example, but we need to decide what kind of lock...

There will be photographs,  reproduced at the same size (HUGE -- the book is planned to be the same size as the recent oversized Little Nemo Sunday pages) and quality (amazing) as the actual prints. There will be an essay by me about the song, what inspired it and what it means to me. There will be the script for Kyle and the emails. There will be a reproduction of Amanda's handwritten lyrics. And we will sign it, and limit it, and I very much hope that each of the people who winds up with a copy is made very happy by it.

Of all of the things in the Kickstarter campaign, it's the most likely to ship last, because the production process of objects like this is always beset with nightmares. We want it fancy and beautiful and unique, but each fancy thing we add means there's something else that can go wrong or delay things, and that printers and bookbinders and boxmakers will simply not be able to do what we're asking, meaning we'll have to find someone who can, or wait, or send something back to be redone.

Right now, Kyle is taking the handful of last photographs for the book. And as we were talking about it, I realised, with a creeping horror, that the final photo had, inevitably, to be me and Amanda. Amanda has been in many photographs naked, has no nudity taboo that I've ever noticed. I'm English. I have a nudity taboo. 

Kyle took several shots of us in Philadelphia last week, in our hotel room. Some of them we had the covers over us, in others (the scary ones -- well, scary for me) we didn't.  I held Amanda and did my best to go to sleep and not to think about the camera on a stick far above us.

I've not seen any of the photos Kyle took of us without bedclothes, yet.  I'm nervous as hell about seeing them, but also certain that we'll find the one to be the final image, and glad it will only be in a very limited edition book. But the photo that Kyle just sent over showing Amanda and me together, under the covers, with me mostly asleep, is beautiful.

And this is it.

It's the only one of the photos that's in colour, too. I think we may use it as the image on the limitation page, the one we all sign.

And, with Kyle's permission, I'm putting it up here.


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    1. Matthew Rogers
      on June 1, 2012

      *sigh* I wish I could get the photo book. To me it holds such intimacy, passion and emotions that If I owned a copy it would be the highlight of what I owe. I love to see photo books like that but sadly I could not pledge the necessary money. Oh well, I'll just keep an eye out to see if I can snag it from the interwebs. Still, congrats on achieving over 1 mill.

    2. Missing avatar

      Joseph Cecil Smith (deleted) on May 30, 2012

      pdf version would be nice for the masses huddled over a cracked screen, used iphone, looking for significance in the world.. you are modern hero's, heroine's for opening doors for artists as you do.. an endless wardrobe of mythical realism and proportion.. art is now very much more alive, heart beating, than when you first conceived this beautiful beast of a project. xo

    3. Natalie Charlesworth on May 29, 2012

      Jesse D: If it works out, it will be due to luck- let's see if it holds! Knowing this, if it takes off, I won't be greedy. I'm going to show this to all of my friends, find a way to share it with them. Book custody? Maybe if I get it back... and obviously, not fudge Amanda, Kyle and Neil's intellectual property rights in doing so. I hope another version or sequel can come out for those who aren't so lucky (which may or may not include me, we'll see later).

    4. Lee Sweeney on May 28, 2012

      Amanda and Crew,
      Could you Raffle off a book or 2 for those of us not able to spend a grand on the book just an idea?

      Would give us poorer, fans a chance?

    5. Nik on May 28, 2012

      What was the surprise we were supposed to get yesterday...may 27? I never got it delayed haha

    6. Missing avatar

      Jesse D on May 27, 2012

      @Natalie, I applaud your efforts :P. Wish I could do the same.

    7. diana on May 27, 2012

      I absolutely love the artwork for housing the music and the book and the mock ups! I also love the simplicity of it- gorgeous! It looks somewhat like your handy work which makes it even more spectacular! Can't wait 'til September!

    8. Natalie Charlesworth on May 27, 2012

      Damn, damn, damn. I had the slightest chance of persuading myself out of pledging so much for this book... now, it's not going to happen. I can barely afford it in time.
      That said, even if I can't make it and have to change my pledge- like I suddenly get a medical emergency or something that I have no choice but to pay and I can't scrape up enough by the eleventh hour- I'm going to feel glad I tried and didn't pull out due to mere cold feet.

    9. Jason Christopher Faught on May 27, 2012

      @Amber, I found several live performance vids of the song on youtube.

    10. Karina Cetin on May 27, 2012

      @Jessie D much love to you... you're awesome!

    11. Renee Perry on May 27, 2012

      I hope there's some other way to see these photos, so intriguing. This has become so much, so huge, so wonderful.

    12. Donna L. on May 26, 2012

      Thank you both for sharing such beautiful art and words with us.

    13. Amber on May 26, 2012

      I've looked at the posts and Amanda's twitter...where am I missing the link to The Bed Song? Just reading about it moves me...Need to hear it...Thanks!

    14. Missing avatar

      Sheri Nault on May 26, 2012

      The bed song embodies things that are so wrong with what we call love and what we call life. What gets me about AFP is that she says the things we feel, that we don't say, the honesty of being a human being with fucking emotions. And being wrong, and making mistakes.

      I've loved Neil's writing for years and years, before I found the Dresden Dolls and Amanda, I lived vicariously through "The Sandman" as graphic novels while I was in highschool. I still cherish those books. All those stories, little human stories and embodiments of tiny aspects of ourselves. My current lover and I had our first conversation over the realization that we both had that same stack of books.

      It blew my mind, for the two of you to be lovers. How often does that happen, people who affect your life, from such different places, coming together and affecting eachother?
      I don't think I have a conclusion, but for people who love and feel and are honest and take stories and songs to heart, it's just such a lovely fucking thing.

    15. Karen Miller on May 26, 2012

      This morning while snuggling in bed with my husband I found myself recreating that photo...even imagined the photographer perched overhead snapping the picture... I'll join the others here in wishing I had a spare $1000... I do have a spare $25 though and am quite excited for the cd!

    16. Russty on May 26, 2012

      Jessie I just had to say you are not alone! You are a brave soul and I hope that life's doors spread wide open for you and you find a new sense of joy and peace in your life. <3

    17. Deborah N on May 26, 2012

      John and Yoko may have done the bed pics first, but that doesn't make this one any less original, powerful, and beautiful.

    18. Musictwig on May 26, 2012

      I cannot wait!!!

    19. Cassie Muldrow on May 26, 2012

      I cry my eyes out ever time I hear the bed song, and I started crying again as I read Neil's blog. I am so happy to be a part of this project. I love supporting such beautiful people- and such beautiful art. The kind of art that seems so personal to so many people. That touches so many hearts. Ever since the first Dresden Dolls album I always felt like Amanda could be singing to me and me alone. Like nobody else in the world could possibly have these feelings and these experiences, and what's amazing is that it's not true. Amanda Palmer brought the world to my door through this amazing community she's created. It's so powerful and important to know that you're not alone. We're NOT alone, and I love each and every one of you that gets it. We all have a piece of the same heart that she touches when she sings. Thank you Amanda. Thank you Neil. I was not expecting to sob my eyes out this morning, or write so emotionally, but I'm glad I did. If I had $1000 it would be yours. It sounds so worthy of every penny, and so beautiful. <3

    20. kkipple on May 26, 2012

      Damm Jesse, that's strong stuff. Thanks for sharing. Love hearing stories about when art intersects life.

    21. Missing avatar

      Jesse D on May 26, 2012

      The Bed Song is such a powerful song; it brought me to tears upon hearing it. More than that, it changed my life. Before hearing this song, I was a closeted homosexual. I grew up in church and still go, and I thought I could never live a happy life with a man due to the persecution. I planned on hiding it for the rest of my life, until I heard the bed song. I broke into tears the first time that I heard it, knowing that I never wanted to bring that sort of misery on a wife I knew I could never love. So I decided to come out of the closet. Amanda Palmer changed my life and made me realize the importance of being myself. This is why she's deserving of every fucking penny she earns from this project, and that's why I backed her. Thanks, Amanda.

    22. Sarah on May 26, 2012

      I really wish I had the money for a copy of that book. That photograph is so impressive and beautiful. I know the book itself will be beyond extraordinary.

    23. Jason Christopher Faught on May 26, 2012

      The beauty of that photo made me tear up.

    24. Ashley on May 26, 2012

      I have $1000 in savings right now and it's being one of the hardest things not to buy a copy of the photo book right now.

    25. Amy Kinard on May 26, 2012

      That is such a beautiful photo. Sadly, I don't have the $1000 for the book. I really hope the people who are able to get it know how lucky they are. :)

    26. Logan Giannini
      on May 26, 2012

      On the one hand, I rather desperately want to have that book. On the other hand, $1,000 is about all the money I have in the world, and I've got student loans to pay off. Bollocks.