The Dark Story of Laurie Ann Arden, the Model Featured in the Liner Notes of Tool’s ‘Undertow’
If you own a CD copy of Tool's 1993 debut album Undertow, then you've likely seen the photographs in the liner notes, and may already be familiar with the dark story of one of the models. If not, keep reading to learn about Laurie Ann Arden.
Be warned that the story contains some graphic content.
The photos in the Undertow CD pamphlet were shot by photographer and director Dean Karr, who's worked with a plethora of rock and metal artists in addition to Tool including Slipknot, Linkin Park and AC/DC. On April 6 of this year, Karr shared a collection of proofs he took for the album on Reddit to commemorate the album's 30th anniversary, which you can see for yourself here.
Certain commercial retailers, such as Walmart and Kmart, refused to stock the album in their stores because of the graphic nature of some of the images. Thus, Tool created an alternate cover for it so that the stores could sell it. It simply had a white background with a big black barcode on the front (see an image here), but the band included a note inside of this version that read:
It came to our attention recently that many stores across our fine and open minded nation would not stock Undertow because of our explicit artwork. Although we loathe being censored,
we want your moneywe still want you to hear our music, so we took it out. However, it is available to you at no extra cost. Fill out the form, stick it in an envelope, mail it in, and we will send you the original artwork. Love, Tool.
There are pictures of a man and a woman included in the set, as well as photos of the band members. Karr confirmed that Arden was the nude woman, and that she had just finished shooting an adult film called Fatliners with Ron Jeremy. But who was Arden?
Who Is Laurie Ann Arden?
Arden is credited as one of the models featured in the liner notes of Undertow, as is Richard Hawkins, according to Discogs. Arden is listed as having several criminal charges on The State of California Department of Justice's online database, which states that she was born on Feb. 26, 1949. Her profile mentions various aliases for her, as she was reportedly married a few different times.
One of the other names Arden was known as was Layla LaShell. On IMDb, LaShell's profile has many adult films listed under her acting credits, as well as Tool's "Stinkfist" video from their 2000 live album Salival. The website Famous Fix also has a profile for LaShell, which states that her birth name was Laurie Ann Arden and that she was born on Feb. 26, 1949.
This checks out with Karr's narrative that she had filmed an adult movie prior to the Undertow photoshoot.
What Was Arden Accused Of?
A 1994 article by The Los Angeles Times states that Arden — who was 45 years old at the time and was referred to as an "actress" — was charged with molesting a 14-year-old boy. The boy told officials that Arden hired him to help her move. At one point, she showed him nude photos of herself, and then they engaged in sex.
The charges in the article were as listed: "two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, two counts of sexual conduct using a foreign object, one count of showing explicit photos to a minor and another charge of lewd and lascivious conduct with a minor."
Arden was reportedly unemployed at the time and had been staying in a motel in Newbury Park, California. The police learned that she had posed for "sexually explicit films and magazines" in the few months leading up to her encounter with the boy, according to the article, which lines up with the resume of the Laurie Ann Arden that was photographed for Undertow.
The State of California Department of Justice says that Arden was convicted of the charges in 1994, and released in '95. It also mentions that she was absconded, which is when an offender runs away from a legal obligation in a particular jurisdiction in order to avoid prosecution [via David McKenzie Law Firm]. So it's unclear whether she was ever sentenced and served any time for the crimes.
Where Is Arden Now?
According to various sources, Arden died on Jan. 29, 2013. Laurie Ann Poole was another one of her aliases listed on the aforementioned database. The website Find a Grave has an obituary for Poole, which states that she died in Leicestershire, England on the same date in January of 2013 at the age of 63.
True People Search has a list of addresses that Poole resided at during her life, and it said that she lived in Newbury Park, Calif. in the 1990s, which is the same city the L.A. Times article said Arden had been living in when she molested the boy.