Martha Weir puts dogs where they belong -- on the cover of Rolling Stone

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Dog if you will a picture: Martha Weir's re-creation of Prince's classic '83 Rolling Stone cover. Martha Weir

If there’s one thing we like here at the City Pages, it’s rock and roll.

Oh, and cute dogs. And funny shit. And Prince, of course. (We aren’t good at liking just one thing.)

So some combination of even three of those things might make us clutch at our chests like Redd Foxx. But all four? Such a thing has surely never been.

Until now—with this reenactment of Prince’s famous 1983 Rolling Stone cover with Vanity, Martha Weir and her Australian Shepherds Caray (as in Harry) and Bella (as in anything but Twilight).

The photo is part of Weir’s 30-day Instagram and Tumblr project, “Rolling Stone Redux: Doggo Does a Rolling Stone,” or “Doggo” for short. Weir, a freelance graphic designer/videographer and a Twin Cities music scene veteran, recreates a different Rolling Stone cover shot each day featuring herself and her dogs in classic poses.

“This whole thing started by accident,” she says, laughing while knocking back a White Claw beer. (Hint, White Claw, she’s looking for sponsors!. “My dog just kept getting on my chest and putting her paws on my boobs, and I said, ‘This is just like that Rolling Stone Janet Jackson cover!’ So basically it was my dogs’ idea. My dogs have a lot of good ideas.”

After texting a few friends the candid photo and getting some laughs, Weir decided to intentionally recreate the iconic 1981 Annie Leibowitz John Lennon/Yoko Ono cover. “I love that John and Yoko picture, so I took a piece of duct tape, stuck my phone to the ceiling, and set the timer. Then, when it was done, I said, ‘well, it’s already up there, I might as well do the Britney Spears cover too.” After posting those two, her social media started blowing up, and Doggo was born: one part Rolling Stone, one part Dogville Shorts.

Photo by Martha Weir.

Weir is no stranger to rock and roll and an artist’s vision. She’s the bassist for local indie band Chambermaids with her brother Neil (who also owns the Blue Bell Knoll recording studio), and her mother, Anne Frasier, is the nationally recognized author of the Minneapolis-set thriller The Body Reader.

Weir grew up in rural Illinois, where Rolling Stone was her first and often only conduit to music. “My mom got Rolling Stone, that’s how I learned about Nirvana. Once a week, we’d have to drive 30 miles to town for groceries and we’d special order tapes or CDs of bands we read about from the one record store there. That’s how we got music—it wasn’t getting played on the radio.”

Since the first few admittedly low-fi photos—Weir uses the word “janky” but let’s call it a DOGme 95 approach—the project has quickly turned from a goof to a legitimate, if not completely serious, tribute to the magazine she grew up on. “It’s a full-time fucking job. This is basically all I think about all day now.” All covers are selected from suggestions people send her, and she tries to lean towards the most popular requests. She’s done covers featuring Eminem, Green Day, Fleetwood Mac, and an astonishingly perfect "Bohemian Rhapsody"-era Queen photo. No response yet from her subjects or the magazine itself, but that doesn’t matter to Weir. “I like music, dogs, and funny shit. This project is pretty much perfect.”

Photo by Martha Weir.

So far, co-stars Caray and Bella have been hamming it up, along with an occasional cat guest star. In fact, her biggest challenge hasn’t involved the dogs at all. “I felt weird posting a photo of myself in my underwear, I mean, it’s supposed to be about the dog.” Still, she makes sure to alternate the dogs in each shoot whenever possible—“It’s the Olsen Twins rule.” She laughs, then stops.

“Oh shit, do they have a Rolling Stone cover?”

Of course they do, and I can’t wait to see it Doggoed.


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