“THEY TOLD ME YOU’D MAKE ME WEAR SKIMPY SEE-THROUGH CLOTHES”: BRUCE WEBER’S ANDY BOOK, WITH WARM PRESENTATION INSCRIPTIONS BY BOXER ANDY MINSKER, COPY BELONGING TO AUTHOR KATHERINE DUNN
WEBER, Bruce. The Andy Book. (Tokyo: Shotaro Okada, 1987). Quarto, original perfect-bound stiff photographic wrappers. Booklet with Japanese translation laid in. $2800.
First edition of Weber’s photo-essay on boxer-model Andy Minsker, inscribed twice by Minsker to part-time manager Michael Morton, once on the front cover, “For Mike ‘Motormouth’ Morton, who will lead me to the World Jr. Lightweight Title! Thanks, Andy M.” and again on an inside blank leaf, “To Mike,… I want to reassure you that you’re not wasting your time or $. You, Ed [Milberger, Andy’s trainer] and I will be a trio that Portland Oregon will never forget…Thanks again, Andy Minsker, ‘Future’ Junior Lightweight World ‘Champeen.”
“In 1985, Andy Minsker was at the top of his game. Golden Gloves champion. Amateur Boxing Federation champion. He had flattened both the British Commonwealth and Yugoslav champs with first-round knockouts. The featherweight from Milwaukee had just turned pro. Somewhere along the line, he had also been an underwear model for Calvin Klein and cavorted with supermodels the likes of Christie Brinkley” (Chris Lydgate). Bruce Weber, “arguably the most influential contemporary fashion and celebrity photographer, works in a style combining neoclassic mannerism (Beaton, Horst, Hoyningen-Huene) and naturalistic reportage” (Roth, 254). In keeping with his style, Weber occasionally sought out athletes to model clothing, and had met Minsker during a photo-shoot of Olympic hopefuls at the 1983 Colorado Sports Festival. Because of a misunderstanding, Weber was prevented from photographing the Olympic boxing team at that time. Several years later, Minsker approached Weber, disclosing that he had been told by Olympic officials that “you’d give me a weird haircut and make me wear skimpy see-through clothes… That’s all I needed to hear. I’m on my way.” This engaging 1987 photobook is the result of the young boxer’s pluck. Later the same year, Weber would make a film with Minsker, entitled Broken Noses. The copy here is inscribed twice by Minsker to fast-talking Portland manager Mike “Motormouth” Morton, who was given his nickname by famous promoter Don King. Known as “the busiest professional boxing manager in the Pacific Northwest” (Oregonian), Morton managed Minsker after his falling out with Billy Baxter. When Minsker retired in 1991, he had stepped into the ring 344 times— against the best in the world— but never did capture the Junior Lightweight crown. This is author Katherine Dunn’s copy, with a manila folder of her articles on Minsker, signed by her.
A fine inscribed copy, with boxing and literary provenance.