A while ago, members of the Velvet Underground filed a lawsuit against the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts for using their iconic album cover’s Warhol banana on schwag, among other complaints. They were particularly unsettled by the extensive licensing the foundation had planned for a series of Apple accessories. A federal judge has just dismissed the banana bit of the lawsuit, but the lawsuit goes on.
Sure, the ripe yellow fruit “became a symbol, truly an icon, of the Velvet Underground” for generations of fans and revivalists, but the Velvet Underground never officially copyrighted the banana. Neither did Andy Warhol. It was up for grabs. The Foundation, in turn, never sued the Velvet Underground for their peddling of the banana, but now our well-aged cultural heroes will have to live with their fruit garlanding iPhones and iPads.
So… really. Whose banana? Who’s more famous? Who will Nico come to avenge-haunt these days?