Guitarist John Petrucci of progressive metallers DREAM THEATER spoke to Christa Titus of RockSalt.mx about the original cover for the band’s “Live Scenes From New York”, which featured artwork portraying the New York skyline and World Trade Center towers engulfed in flames. In an unfortunate coincidence, the album was released on the same date as the September 11, 2001 attacks. The CD was quickly recalled by the band and was subsequently re-released with revised artwork, though some copies were sold, and have since become rare collectors’ items for fans.
“We wanted to illustrate New York, so we had the iconic World Trade Center,” Petrucci told RockSalt.mx , “and another thing we’d used in the past, starting from [our album ‘Images and Words’]; it’s the heart with the fire. We tried to sort of tie together all the images, obviously not at all anticipating what the horrible coincidence would be when it came out.
“We [realized the issue with the album] as soon as it happened, and it was like, the calls were immediate. I don’t remember what time it was but I remember being called and speaking to each other like, ‘My God, this can’t be happening, and we have to change this immediately,’ so the fact that that was released on September 11 and had that album cover just freaked us out beyond belief. Just the total coincidence and we were really, really upset by it, really disturbed by it. Our first reaction was that we’ve gotta change this cover immediately, pull anything that’s out there and get rid of this right away. Unfortunately some were sold already, so they’re actually out there.
“There was no argument. Everyone felt the same way. Everyone was on the same page: It needs to be changed, it needs to be pulled. Get whatever is out there get sent back and changed immediately. There was no hesitation or resistance on anybody’s part. It just had to be done.”
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