Jeff came up with the title for the album—Schrödinger’s Hairball. We knew we wanted Beckett Gladney design and illustrate the cover. That being set, the pressing issue was what should the cover be about?
The most obvious elements are a box and a cat, which might be expected, in the normal course of events, to produce a hairball. One night we supped in a very nice Italian restaurant in San Francisco with our entire family. There was a paper tablecloth which, naturally, some members of the Bohnhoff-Saraccino clan felt compelled to fill with drawings. Jeff and I were discussing the album cover when I said, “What if the cover had us, and a box, and a cat in the process of producing the titular hairball?” (Okay, I actually said, “hocking up a hairball,” but you get the idea.)
I got out a pencil and scribbled a quick cartoon on the paper table cloth. It stuck. I took a photo of the drawing and sent it to Beckett. That was the concept sketch. The gallery below shows the progression of the artwork for this study in ambiguity.