During the peak of Punk Rock in the early eighties, when questioning the status-quo and aggressive social commentaries were at the heart of artistic expression, the San Francisco based Punk/ska band The OFFS were working to build a career. Unlike other artists, their close connections with pop icons such as Andy Warhol, Lou Reed, Debra Harry, Keith Haring, and Alice Cooper helped progress them forward.
When Andy Warhol called David Ferguson of CD Presents on behalf of the OFFS, the band was finally signed. Part of what intrigued Ferguson was the cover art for the album -- a sketch done by Jean-Michel Basquiat. Ferguson chose to reverse the image for release, making it black on white to follow the Punk sensibility. Entwined with many of the same anti-establishment movements, The OFFS and Basquiat’s social commentaries were consistent -- a support for class struggle through political art.
The OFFS First Record was finally released in 1984. The album was locally loved, but even with the review by editor Glenn O’Brien in INTERVIEW Magazine pushed by Warhol, the band was unable to achieve great notoriety. With the death of a band member soon afterwards, the group sadly faded away.
During this same time, Jean Michel Basquiat’s career as a solo-artist took off. After being published in René Ricard’s Artforum magazine in 1981, Basquiat’s name became known to the entire art world. Central in the rise of Punk Art and Neo-Expressionism in New York, Basquiat profoundly influenced not only the art world but larger society as a whole. His premature passing in 1988 was a shock to the world.
In 2007, CD Presents was preparing a 25th Anniversary Limited Edition 1000 copy production of the The OFFS First Record for release in 2009.
In 2017, HG Contemporary exclusively releases framed front/back limited edition of The OFFS First Record, cover art by Jean-Michel Basquiat.