Artist Biographies – Sorted by Last Name - V – Z
John Van Hamersveld - Notable album cover work examples – KISS – Hotter Than Hell; The Beatles – Magical Mystery Tour; The Rolling Stones – Exile on Main Street; Blondie – Eat To The Beat
Born in 1941 in Baltimore, MD, John is an artist and designer who is responsible for an enormous catalog of well-known music industry and pop culture-related images. His early works include the promo poster for the soundtrack for 1966’s surf-culture movie The Endless Summer and his album cover work for The Beatles (Magical Mystery Tour) and Jefferson Airplane (Crown of Creation), continuing on in the 1970s with his iconic covers for the Rolling Stones (Exile on Main Street), The Grateful Dead (Skeletons from the Closet), KISS (Hotter than Hell), and Steve Miller (The Joker and Fly Like an Eagle) and then on to his imagery that helped introduce the world to Punk Fashion, such as the covers for Blondie’s Eat to the Beat and Autoamerica and John Lydon’s post-Pistols solo efforts (This Is What You Want, This is What You Get).
Van Hamersveld’s images continue to set the path that the rest of the industry followed for style. His recent posters and graphics for the Cream reunion shows in New York and London and for the Clapton/Winwood reunions worldwide have been fan and collector favorites, and who but JVH could have so appropriately designed Led Zeppelin’s recent Mothership package?
Van Hamersveld also created the famous “grinning Johnny” image in 1969, a version of which is said to have been the inspiration for John Pasche’s later designs for the Rolling Stones’ “Lips & Tongue” logo.
To learn more about John and visit his site, please follow this link –
Klaus Voormann – Notable album cover work examples - The Beatles – Revolver and Anthology; The Bee Gees – Bee Gees 1st and Idea; Ringo Starr – Ringo; Spooky Tooth – You Broke My Heart, So I Busted Your Jaw
(b. April, 1938 in Berlin, Germany) One of six sons born to a physician father and raised in the suburbs of North Berlin, Voorman was exposed at a young age to the arts and literature (studying classical piano from age 8-15) and was enrolled to study commercial art at the Master School of Visual Business in Berlin, transferring to the Master School of Design in Hamburg to continue his schooling. Prior to graduation, he moved to Dusseldorf to begin his career in the graphic arts, doing freelance work for magazine, art and fashion clients. He returned to Hamburg in 1960 and, while attending a show at the Kaiserkeller Club, he met an early iteration of The Beatles (John, Paul, George, Stuart and Pete). Impressed with the music he heard, the next night he brought two of his friends – Astrid Kirchherr and Jurgen Vollmer – to enjoy the band’s music. They became regulars there and, a short while later, introduced themselves to the band, with whom they became friendly with. Klaus was invited by his new friends George and Ringo (who’d replaced Pete Best in the band) to visit them in London and he took them up on their invitation, staying with them in London while looking for work as a commercial artist and picking up a bass guitar, hoping to join a rock band himself at some point.
Finding work at a London ad agency, Klaus was soon invited back to Hamburg to join a rock band there and, while on the road touring England with the band (named Paddy, Klaus & Gibson), he met band manager Brian Epstein after a performance at the Pickwick Club in London, who signed the band to his roster. The band would become his principal focus until 1965, when John Lennon called him to see if he’d be available to produce a design for the next Beatles record. He accepted the commission and created an image that combined his black and white line drawings of the band members with a series of small photographs. The resulting work was well-received by his new clients (Brian Epstein thought that it was so beautiful that he cried) and it went on to grace the cover of the now-classic record Revolver. The album was also a tour-de-force for the band and the cover so well represented the change in direction in popular music inspired by the record that it won the Grammy Award in 1966 for “Best Album Cover” (the first non-photographic cover to ever win the honor).
Klaus stayed busy in the music world from 1966 through the end of the decade, playing bass (and producing records for) the Manfred Mann band and Yoko Ono’s Plastic Ono Band and then joined George Harrison to perform on his 1970 solo recording All Things Must Pass and then join him on stage during the Concert for Bangladesh in New York in 1971. This concert began the rock music industry’s penchant for producing concerts in support of humanitarian causes and continues to raise money for the relief organization it supports to this day.
In 1973, Klaus moved from the UK to Los Angeles and began a string of session gigs with the top pop artists of the day, playing on a number of records for various ex-Beatles, Harry Nilsson, Carly Simon, Randy Newman, Leon Russell, Peter Frampton, The Band and many others. He can also be seen in two films – Son of Dracula and Popeye – which both featured tunes by Nilsson. Returning to Germany in 1980, he began to apply his talents to A&R efforts – discovering and promoting new talent – but was drawn back to the graphic arts in the early 1990s, beginning with work on a book about the early days of The Beatles with old friend Astrid Kirchherr. This book would feature Voorman’s paintings of his (and Astrid’s and Paul McCartney’s) recollections of the events that took place in Hamburg in the early 1960s and was titled Hamburg Days. In 1996, Apple Records commissioned Klaus to create the wonderful collage-style painted images that would be used on the covers of the three records in The Beatles Anthology series (a bit of trivia – the three covers are actually segments of one large painting – lay the three side-by-side – you’ll see!).
Today, Voorman lives with his family near Munich and continues to produce compelling art and designs for a variety of projects. Limited-edition versions of Hamburg Days book, as well as fine art prints of some of the paintings he created for the book, are available from Genesis Publications. He’s also crafted a customized VW Beetle featuring imagery from The Beatles’ Revolver record – it’s a beauty!
More information available at – http://www.voormann.com
Andy Warhol – Notable album cover work examples – Rolling Stones – Sticky Fingers and Love You Live; Velvet Underground – Velvet Underground & Nico; John Lennon – Menlove Ave., Diana Ross – Silk Electric
(b. August, 1928 in Pittsburgh, PA – d. February, 1987) Born Andrew Warhola, the youngest of three sons of Carpatho-Rusyn immigrants, laborer Andrej and his wife, Julia Warhola. Finding talent in drawing early on, he took advantage of free art classes offered at Carnegie Institute and, a fan of films and photography, enjoyed using his camera and developing his photos in his basement. After high school, he attended Carnegie Institute of Technology (working in the display department of a local department store) and earned his BFA in Pictorial Design in 1949, moving after graduation to New York City with hopes of finding work as a commercial illustrator and, soon after his arrival, finding success when the first of his works appeared in Glamour magazine in late 1949. His unique illustration stylings caught the attention of many clients and his career in the field grew quickly throughout the 1950s.
Beginning in the late 1950s, Warhol began to devote his time to creating works that would ultimately establish him as the first “King of Pop” (paintings). These images, first published in 1961, were based on popular images from comic books, advertising and celebrity portraits. He then expanded the range of his productions to include films, sculptures and a travelling multimedia extravaganza called The Exploding Plastic Inevitable, which featured the music of The Velvet Underground and Nico (who he produced his iconic yellow banana album cover for). His silver-painted studio, dubbed “The Factory”, became a place where the “it” people from the local music and arts scene would come to meet and party. Adding to his enormous output at the end of the 1960s, he published an art design book in 1967 titled Andy Warhol’s Index (Book) and then co-founded the pop culture magazine Interview in 1969.
He continued to publish a series of books throughout the 70′s and 80s and, taking advantage of the relationships he enjoyed with the cream of the NYC social scene (including Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Truman Capote, Liza Minnelli and others), took on a series of commissions to paint hundreds of celebrity portraits. He also collaborated with, and promoted the works of, a series of talented young artists, including Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, and produced television shows, music videos and other projects for local and national distribution outlets. An unmistakable presence, he also found time to model in ads in print and on television.
His final two collections of works included a series of paintings taking off on DaVinci’s Last Supper and an exhibition called Sewn Photos. The shows – one in Milan and the other in NYC – both opened in January, 1987, shortly before his death. In 2008, author Paul Marechal published a compendium featuring the artwork and stories behind the 50 album covers – for early jazz clients, rock bands and solo performers from many genres of music – that Warhol produced during his career in a book titled Andy Warhol: The Album Covers 1949 – 1987.
More information is available at http://www.warhol.org/collection/aboutandy/biography/#ixzz2EIwqNNsc
Guy Webster – Notable album cover work includes – The Mamas & The Papas - If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears; The Rolling Stones – Big Hits and Flowers; The Turtles – Greatest Hits; Paul Revere & The Raiders – Just Like Us; Simon & Garfunkel – Sounds of Silence; KC & The Sunshine Band – The Painter
The son of an Oscar and Grammy-winning songwriter (Paul Francis Webster, who won a Grammy in 1966 for “The Shadow of Your Smile”) and an enterprising teenager, Guy Webster went to Fox studios (where his father worked) and, without any real experience, talked himself into a job as a hand in the electrical department. When he was drafted into the Army as a conscientious objector, he was given a range of non-combat jobs (e.g., decorating base Christmas trees) until, one day, they told him that they needed someone to teach troops in the photography department how to develop and print photographs. Telling his superiors that he was “perfect” for the job, he went home that evening and poured through books on photography, learning enough to take on the teaching the subject. It was his first job as a professional photographer!
After the Army, Webster enrolled in art school and, when asked by a friend who happened to be a record producer for help shoot a cover for a recording of a song he’d written (“Three Window Coupe”, by the Rip Chords), he was happy to do it as it was a way to meet this particular girl he’d had his eye on (who they hired to appear in the photo). Soon after, he was introduced to Lou Adler (the “A” in A&M Records), who needed someone to photograph his wife, actress Shelley Fabares. Happy with the results, Adler hired Guy to produce the cover images for the new record label he was launching – Dunhill Records. His first assignment was to shoot Barry McGuire for the cover for a new single titled “Eve of Destruction”. While the label could, at that point, only afford to do the cover in black and white, the song turned out to be a huge hit, boosting both the label’s fortunes and Webster’s visibility as a photographer.
The next record he did the cover for was the (in)famous “everyone in the bathtub, near the toilet” cover for The Mamas & The Papa’s If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears. In spite of the fact that the cover was nearly banned (no toilets on record covers, it seemed), a clever sticker placement on the plastic wrap allowed sales to go on and the album hit #1 on the album sales charts. Adler then asked Webster to join his team working on the Monterey Pop Festival, using his photos of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin & Big Brother and others to illustrate the festival’s booklet.
From that point on, Guy became one of the most in-demand photographers in the music business, with his list of music subjects including The Byrds, The Doors, Chicago, The Rolling Stones, Simon & Garfunkel and many others. He expanded his range of subjects to include celebrities in all walks of life, from stars of the stage and screen (Candice Bergen, Rita Hayworth, Jack Nicholson, Barbra Streisand, Natalie Wood), classical artists including Igor Stravinski and Zubin Mehta, writers, athletes and Presidents Reagan and Clinton.
After 50+ years as a photographer for entertainment industry and publishing clients, Webster is still shooting in his studio in Venice, California. His works have been included in numerous exhibition both in the U.S. and internationally, including the successful “Who Shot Rock & Roll” show and one in 2011 at the Museum of Ventura County (CA) that featured both his photo portfolio and examples from his huge collection of exotic and vintage motorcycles. When not with his family, his time is split between his studio and his private motorcycle museum located in Ojai, CA.
For more information, please visit http://www.guywebster.com
Kirk Weddle – Notable album cover credits include – Nirvana – Nevermind; Weird Al Yankovic – Off The Deep End and Greatest Hits, Vol. 2
After being injured during a stint in the military while in his late teens, Weddle took advantage of his government benefits to return to school to earn his BFA degree in Photography from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA in 1985. He trained early on in aquatic photography and has specialized in this style of photography as the owner of his own photography studio ever since.
According to his web site, Kirk “specializes in portrait photography for advertising, design, editorial and corporate clients around the world.” That list includes publications such as GQ, Maxim, Rolling Stone and Time magazines along with corporate clients such as Coca-Cola, DGC and Geffen Records, Microsoft and Toshiba. As of the date of this document, Kirk Weddle Photography is based in Austin, Texas.
To learn more about this artist, please visit his website at http://www.kirkweddle.com/
Mark Weiss – notable album cover credits include – Twisted Sister – Stay Hungry; Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet and One Wild Night Live; 38 Special – Live At Sturgis; Dokken – Erase The Slate; Christina Aguilera – Mi Reflejo; Van Halen – Live Without A Net (DVD); Cinderella – Heartbreak Station and Gold
(b. 1959 – New Jersey, USA) Making his first investment towards his career as a photographer, 14-year-old Mark Weiss bartered some manual labor mowing lawns for his first camera and converted his family bathroom into his darkroom. Later that year, he began sneaking his camera into local rock concerts, maneuvering himself up towards the front row so that he could best-capture close-ups of his favorite musical acts while they performed. Pleased with the results of his efforts, he embarked on his first professional enterprise – selling his photos of acts including David Bowie, Led Zeppelin and Queen to fans outside his favorite venues. In 1977, after an extended stint by KISS at Madison Square Garden in New York City, the young Mr. Weiss was attempting to sell his photos from the event outside the venue when he was arrested for bootlegging, leading him to believe that the next best step for him in his career would be as a paid professional.
After his release from his night in prison, Mark took his portfolio and headed straight to the offices of Circus Magazine and introduced himself to the art director there. In 1978, a photo he’d taken of Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler became his first published work in the magazine and he then joined their staff as a photographer, responsible for shots for the magazine’s features and covers. As a self-professed “super fan” of his subjects (in particular, the hard rock, metal and glam bands so popular at the time), he built strong relationships with his subjects, their managers and the record labels and earned the nick-name “Weissguy” for his ability to show the bands from a fan’s perspective.
By the end of the 1980s, Mark’s photos were featured in a number of influential rock magazines including Circus, Creem, Hit Parader, Rock Scene and Rolling Stone. Expanding his subject list to include celebrities in all walks of life, Mark was also on hand when MTV launched in 1981, serving as their principal in-studio photographer and capturing shots from a series of iconic in-studio performances and interviews. He was also an in-demand photographer for album cover shots, beginning with his well-known image of Twisted Sister’s Dee Snyder holding a bone on the cover of their 1984 release Stay Hungry (a cover featured prominently in the PMRC’s case against violent song lyrics and imagery, during which Snyder eloquently defended himself against the ridiculous questions of the prudish Committee members) and adding many others to his portfolio thereafter.
Mark went on to become the official photographer for the Moscow Peace festival in 1989 and he continues to work with long-established clients including Aerosmith, KISS, Guns N Roses and Ozzy while adding a number of current musical acts such as Christina Aguilera, Black Eyed Peas, Rihanna, Gwen Sefani, Justin Timberlake and Usher, just to name a few. More recently, a selection of Mark’s images were used to line the walls at the Helen Hayes Theater in NYC for the hit Broadway hit musical Rock of Ages. He also is involved with many charitable and educational organizations where he donates his time and resources to teach young and at-risk youth more about the opportunities available to photographers. Here’s a link to a video of him in action – http://www.app.com/videonetwork/2287234136001/IN-OUR-CLASSROOMS-OCVTS-photographers-learn-from-the-pros
Mark’s work has been included in a variety of rock-related books, including Twisted Sister (1985, with Garry Bushell), 2008′s Time Flies When You’re In a Coma (with writer/producer Mike Daly), Bon Jovi’s When We Were Beautiful (2010) and Ozzy Osbourne’s 2011 autobiography titled I Am Ozzy. In June, 2009, an exhibition of his work took place at The Boogie Nights Rock & Pop Art Gallery at the Resorts Atlantic City Casino which included many of his portraits, concert shots, album cover images and and out-takes from the photo sessions for Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet. More recently, in June, 2012, the RockPaperPhoto Gallery teamed up with Def Leppard guitarist/guest curator Phil Collen to stage an exhibit built around Weiss’s 80′s portfolio titled The Decade That Rocked The Ages – Through the Eyes of Mark ‘Weissguy’ Weiss.
For more information on this artist, please visit his web site at www.WEISSGUYgallery.com
Glen Wexler – notable album cover work includes – Van Halen – Balance; Slaughter – Stick It To Ya; Heaven & Earth – Dig; Brothers Johnson – Blam!; Black Sabbath – Reunion; Rush – Hold Your Fire
(b. September, 1955 in Palm Springs, California) The son of noted architect, Donald Wexler, Glen studied fine art photography at Humboldt State University and then transferred to the Art Center College of Design, in Pasadena, California, where he was exposed to the works of leading advertising designers and fashion photographers, finding this type of work more interesting to him than what a fine art curriculum might provide. In reality, his fantasy was to shoot photos for album covers.
Wexler was interested in album cover art at a young age, with some of his early inspiration coming from the works of the Hipgnosis design firm, whose works graced the covers of many of Glen’s favorite records. He was intrigued by the way their work used photography in new and exciting ways, working to suspend the viewers’ disbelief in what they were seeing. When, at the age of 22, he was given an opportunity to work in the record industry, he left school and went full time into cover design.
Wexler’s first album cover design was for Blam! by The Brothers Johnson but, since then he has been hired to work on images for many well-known musicial acts, including rockers the Black Crowes, Black Sabbath, Boston, Peter Frampton, Kansas, KISS, Rush, Van Halen, YES and ZZ Top, pop acts including Chaka Kahn and Michael Jackson, and jazz greats including Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock. In addition to his album cover projects, Wexler’s photographic projects include ad images, corporate logos, film titles and book covers for clients including AT&T, Adobe Systems, Citibank, Dell, Ford Motor, Frito Lay, Hiram Walker, IBM, Mars, Master Card, Microsoft, Nike, Pfizer, P&G, Sony, Time Magazine, Toshiba, Warner Bros. and Yahoo, among others. Introduced to digital imaging technology in 1987, Wexler was among the first artists to adopt this technology as a tool in his creative process and is now recognized as a worldwide leader in the use of these technologies.
In 1996, Wexler won first place at the Hollywood Reporter’s Key Art Awards and he received the “Photojournalism of the Year” award from the International Photography Awards in 2003. In 2004, he won first place Best of Photojournalism award from the National Press Photographers Association, while also receiving awards from the Andy Awards, Beldings, Communication Arts, Graphis, Icon Awards, International Photography Awards, Key Art Awards, Lüzer’s Archive’s “200 Best Ad Photographers Worldwide”, Photo District News and NPPA. In 2003, he lectured about album cover work at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH, and his album cover artwork was featured at the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences’ “The Art Of Music” event in 2006.
For more information on this artist, please visit his website at http://glenwexlerstudio.com/#/portfolio/music + entertainment/1/
Robert Whitaker – Notable examples of album cover work – The Beatles – Revolver and Yesterday & Today (inc. the “Butcher Cover”); Cream – Disraeli Gears; Gerry & The Pacemakers – How Do You Like It and Ferry Across The Mersey; The Seekers – Seekers Seen In Green
(b. November, 1939 U.K.; d. September, 2011) Born in the UK, Robert began his career in London in the late 1950s, but as both his father and grandfather were Australian, he had a strong designre to work in Australia and moved to Melbourne in 1961 to continue his studies at the University of Melbourne and then start a small photo studio soon after.
In 1964, while The Beatles were in Australia to perform, Robert accompanied a journalist friend of his who was assigned to interview the band’s manager Brian Epstein and took some photos which were published along with the interview article. Impressed with the composition of the photos he’d seen, Epstein contacted Whitaker and invited him to first photograph the band while they were in Australia and, soon after, offered him a staff photographer position at NEMS Enterprises (Epstein’s company), moving to the UK to shoot all of the label’s artists. While Robert was not eager to return to England, he was so impressed with the excitement surrounding the band (“I was overwhelmed by all the screaming fans”) that, in August, 1964, he accepted the offer and immediately after his arrival began shooting NEMS artists including Cilla Black, The Cyrkle, Gerry & The Pacemakers, Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas and The Seekers.
However, it was his photos of The Beatles that became his best-known and most-iconic work. His assignments included touring with the band during their 1965 American tour (which included the historic concert at NY’s Shea Stadium) and then travelling with the band, photographing all aspects of their professional and personal lives – and producing their formal portrait sittings – for the next two years. One of his best-known images from this period is the original cover he shot for the band’s 1966 release titled Yesterday and Today. Taking style cues from German Surrealist imagery, the photo showed the Fab Four (three sitting, and George standing) wearing white coats and covered with slabs of meat, sets of false teeth and body parts from dismembered baby dolls. Known today as “The Butcher Cover”, the original U.S. shipments were immediately returned to their distributors and a second, much-less-bloody image was used on subsequent shipments. A large number of the original records were re-packaged by simply gluing the new cover slick over the old, and in-tact examples of the original and repackaged records are amongst the most-prized Beatles collectibles, with some mint copies selling at auction for many thousands of dollars (over the years, Whitaker has battled with the Beatles’ Apple Corps for the rights to his “butcher” photographs and has withheld the use of many of his other images from them in what seems to be a stand-off).
After retiring from photography in the early 1970s to work on his farm in Sussex and in 1991 published his first book of photographs titled The Unseen Beatles. His works have been exhibited in museum and gallery shows in Australia (in 1997 at Melbourne’s Gallery 101), Washington D.C. (in 2002) and at a 40-year retrospective show staged in late 2002 at the Monash Gallery of Art back in Melbourne. More information is available at – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Whitaker_(photographer)
Paul Whitehead – Notable album cover work examples – Genesis – Trespass, Nursery Cryme and Foxtrot; Van der Graaf Generator – Pawn Hearts; Le Orme – Elementi; Charisma Records – “Mad Hatter” logo
Best-known as the artist that painted the record covers for Genesis and Van der Graaf Generator in the 70’s. According to Paul, choosing “artist” as your job description “is rather like giving yourself permission to spend your life creating and approaching life as it comes to you – as an artist”.
His education came in London in the 60’s, a time of great change, vitality and immense creativity. He designed his first record cover in 1967 for Fats Domino and became an in-house designer for Liberty Records in London. Shortly thereafter, he became the original Art Director for Time Out magazine in London, an entertainment guide to everything going on in “Swinging London”. Naturally, every band – both the up and coming hopefuls and the already successful – came through their doors to place an ad or seeking a review of their latest LP. His design skills were often called on and he soon met Genesis through their producer.
The results were Trespass, Nursery Cryme & Foxtrot – great examples of the successful collaboration between artist and musician, as they created the music and he made original paintings that reflected exactly the contents of the records.
Other bands on Charisma that he worked with included Van der Graaf Generator, Peter Hammill on his solo projects, Lindisfarne & Trevor Bilmus. Quickly becoming known as “the painter and designer who worked with rock bands”, this lead to further collaborations with Renaissance, IF, High Tide, Mott the Hoople, Matthews Southern Comfort, Colin Scott & Steamhammer .
Afterwards, he emigrated to the United States and finally settled in Los Angeles, where he continues to create paintings for record covers and immediately worked with Tom Fogarty and Le Orme, who came to L.A. to make Smogmagica. Most of the record cover work he’s done has been for Progressive Rock bands, although he’s made record covers for everything from R&B & New Age to Funk.
Record cover work is, however, only a part of Paul’s work as an artist. For example, did you know that he’s in the Guinness Book of World Records for painting the largest mural in the world, or that he conceived and organized the Eyes & Ears Billboard Art Show, which was the first “Drive Though Art Gallery” in – where else – Los Angeles? He’s also designed many corporate logos and worked for three years as the creative services director at The Universal Studios Theme Park in L.A.
More on Paul is available at his web site – http://www.paulwhitehead.com/
Tom Wilkes – Notable album cover work includes – Flying Burrito Brothers – Burrito Deluxe; Janis Joplin – Pearl; Rolling Stones – Beggar’s Banquet; The Beatles – Beatles 62-66 and Beatles 67-70; George Harrison – Concert for Bangladesh; Neil Young – Harvest; The Carpenters – Close To You; London Symphony Orchestra – Tommy
(b. July, 1939; d. June, 2009) Born in Long Beach, California and raised in southern California, Wilkes attended Long Beach City College, UCLA and the Art Center College of Design in the 1950s and 1960s. While in college, he’d earn extra cash doing pin-striping work on custom cars. After school, Wilkes started his formal career in the arts with a small advertising agency in Long Beach, doing freelance work on the side. He began working inside the music industry after being introduced to photographer Guy Webster, joining him on a few projects and then, in 1967, he was approached by Lou Adler (manager of Jan & Dean, the Mamas & the Papas and Carole King) to develop the graphics and promo materials for what would be the first large-scale rock music festival – the Monterey Pop Festival held in June, 1967.
After impressing music industry executives with the graphics package he produced for the Festival (including a psychedelic poster printed on aluminum foil stock!), Wilkes was offered the Art Director position at A&M Records, which he accepted with the provision that he would still be able to do freelance work for some of his favorite clients. So, in addition to the covers he’d design for A&M acts including Herb Alpert, Phil Ochs and Sergio Mendes, he’d also produce great covers for George Harrison and The Rolling Stones. He left A&M in 1969 and, the next year, he partnered with photographer Barry Feinstein to create Camouflage Productions (creating, for example, the memorable packaging and materials for George Harrison’s Concert for Bangladesh and All Things Must Pass), splitting in 1973 to join with Craig Braun to form Wilkes & Braun, Inc.
While at Wilkes & Braun, Inc., the pair were awarded a Grammy Award in 1974 for “Best Recording Package” for their designs for the London Symphony Orchestra’s 1973 recording of the orchestral stage version of The Who’s Tommy. The partnership ended in 1974, with Tom moving on to serve as art director for ABC Records for the next two years until launching, in 1978, Tom Wilkes Productions, where he’d go on to produce a long list of designs and productions for print, radio, film and TV. Over the next 30 years, his design work would be featured on album covers for artists including Emmylou Harris, George Strait, Ringo Starr, Janis Joplin, Aretha Franklin and many others.
Also in 1978, Wilkes launched an organization called Project Interspeak, a not-for-profit environmental and human rights organization devoted to planetary enhancement programs. Married and divorced three times, Wilkes died in 2009 while fighting a form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease).
More information available at – http://www.wilkesworx.com/gallery.html
More info on Project Interspeak is available at http://www.wilkesworx.com/projint.html
Baron Wolman – Notable album cover credits include – Janis Joplin – Cheap Thrills (back cover), Super Hits, Collection and Live At Winterland ’68; Sun Ra – Antique Blacks; Tony Bennett - Sings His All-Time Hall Of Fame Hits; Chuck Berry – Gold and Anthology; Booker T. & The MGs – Essentials; Credence Clearwater Revival – Platinum and Absolute Originals
(b. June, 1937 – Bexley/Columbus, OH) Growing up in the Columbus, OH area, Baron Wolman graduated from Bexley High School in 1955 and went on to graduate from Northwestern University in Chicago, IL in 1959. In 1961, while enlisted in the Army and stationed in Germany, he photographed President Kennedy during his tour of the newly-erected Berlin Wall and contacted his hometown paper, The Columbus Dispatch, to see if they’d be interested in the photos. After the paper agreed (and paid him $50 for his work as a photo-journalist), Wolman decided that this would be a fine way to make a living – turning a hobby and a passion for photography into a career.
After his discharge from the Army, Baron returned to the U.S. and moved first to Los Angeles, eventually finding his way up the coast and settling in San Francisco where he photographed some of the acts driving the burgeoning music scene there. Happy that someone – anyone! – was paying attention to them, the bands gave him free access to their performances. In April of 1967, Wolman was introduced to a young Berkeley student/writer by the name of Jann Wenner who, with local music writer Ralph Gleason, was going to launch a new music magazine called Rolling Stone. Wenner was hoping that Baron would join him in that effort, and Wolman agreed, working for free in exchange for being able to retain ownership of all the photos he’d take for the magazine. The deal was struck on those terms and, for the next three years, Wolman’s access to the local music venues and acts resulted in a treasure trove of photographs for the magazine of the acts that would become the “who’s who” of the late-60s music scene – the Grateful Dead, Santana, the Doors, Frank Zappa, Janis Joplin and visiting acts such as Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd, Iggy & The Stooges and the Rolling Stones. Baron also covered the first Woodstock Music Festival in 1969 and was responsible for many well-known images of that event.
Wolman left Rolling Stone in 1970 to launch his own SF-based street fashion magazine titled Rags and, after publishing 13 issues, left to learn every aspect of aerial landscape photography. From that effort, he published two books of photographs on his own “Squarebooks” imprint – California From the Air: The Golden Coast in 1981 and The Holy Land: Israel From the Air in 1987. In 1975, after spending an entire season with football’s Oakland Raiders, he published another photo essay book titled Oakland Raiders: The Good Guys. He also moved from San Francisco to Marin County, doing free-lance work for magazines including Esquire and Vogue.
In 1992, he published Classic Rock & Other Rollers/Photo Portfolio, a collection of 123 color and black & white photographs of his favorite rock music subjects. In 2001, Wolman moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he continues to work (contributing to a vast array of photo books and photo postcard books) and publish books of essays and photographs such as 2005′s Visions of Santa Fe: Photographers See The City Different. In 2011, Wolman released Baron Wolman: Every Picture Tells A Story, the Rolling Stone Years, a retrospective collection that tells the tale of his time at Rolling Stone magazine, offering stories about “the making of” many of his best-known images.
Also in 2011, Wolman received a VIP Award during Classic Rock Magazine’s “Roll of Honour” Awards show from fellow photographer Ross Halfin, during which he smashed a camera on stage in homage to one of his earliest subject, guitarist Pete Townshend of The Who.
Baron’s photos are exhibited in galleries and in solo and group exhibitions around the world. Recent shows include Who Shot Rock & Roll, which launched its national tour at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in 2009; a number of gallery and museum shows in support of the aforementioned 2011 release of his book The Rolling Stone Years, The Groupies (photos of famous/infamous “entourage” members) in London in October, 2012; and On Assignment: Woodstock Photographs by Rolling Stone Photographer Baron Wolman at the Bethel Woods Center Museum in NY in April, 2013.
To learn more about this artist, please visit his website at http://www.fotobaron.com/
Tony Wright – Notable album cover work examples – Traffic – Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys and Shootout at the Fantasy Factory; Steve Winwood – Arc of a Diver
British illustrator best known for his designs for Traffic and Steve Winwood, Wright has either art directed or created the illustrations for over 40 albums and a myriad of artists, including Melissa Etheridge, Black Uhuru, Bob Dylan, Chic and Bob Marley.
Phil Yarnall - Notable examples of album cover work – Jimi Hendrix – Valleys of Neptune and Live at Winterland box set; WEEN – Quebec; Janis Joplin – The Pearl Sessions; AC/DC – Plug Me In box set
A talented graphic artist/designer and musician with deep roots in the underground music scene, Phil began his design career as a freelancer out of his small apartment in NYC’s West Village. His talents were noticed by well-known album cover designer/art director Peter Corriston, who became a mentor and enlisted Phil to help him with work for musical acts including Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones. This experience fueled both his desire to work as a designer within the music industry and, using his freelancer pay and the money he raised selling some of his music collection to used record stores in NYC, he opened his own design studio that he called “Smay Vision” in 1993. He took on a wide variety of jobs to pay the bills until, one day, he was asked to pitch for a planned box set for the Velvet Underground. Winning that job and creating an impressive package for his client (which have been displayed at both the Warhol Museum in PA and the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum in NYC), he was able to establish a strong foothold within the industry.
Since then, his firm (now called “SMAY Design”) has created graphics and packaging for an impressive list of industry clients, including AC/DC, The Allman Brothers, Cheap Trick, Cream, Connie Francis, Buddy Guy, Jimi Hendrix, George Jones, Janis Joplin, Hank Williams and many others. He’s also produced covers for music-related books including the Encyclopedia of Punk (by Brian Cogan), The Who – Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere (by A. Neill and M. Kent) and John, Paul, George & Ringo by Tim Hill and includes an industry first in his portfolio – the design of a working amplifier that was included in the AC/DC box set!
For more information, please visit – http://www.smaydesign.com
Stanislav Zagorski – Notable album cover work examples – Yusef Lateef – The Blue Yusef Lateef; Velvet Underground – Loaded; Aretha Franklin – Young Gifted & Black; Professor Longhair – New Orleans Piano; The Spinners – Mighty Love
Stanislaw Zagorski (b. 1933 in Warsaw , Poland) is a prize-winning Polish graphic artist, designer and illustrator specializing in commercial art and known internationally for his poster art (with a focus on works for movies). He studied at the Art Academy in Warsaw, graduating in 1957. He quickly established a reputation for excellence and began a long collaborative relationship with designer Roslaw Szaybo.
His works were included in a number of exhibitions around Europe and the Mediterranean, including shows in Beirut (1961), Warsaw (1961), Munich (1962), Copenhagen (1963) and multiple shows in Italy. His poster titled Lenin 1870 – 1960 won first prize, as did his work with Szaybo for the Millennium of the Polish state. He received the Tadeusz Trepkowski Award in the early 60s for his poster commemorating 300 years of Polish newspapers.
He travelled to the U.S. in 1963 to work in New York City and then teach at the Tyler School of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, PA. In 1964, a selection of his posters were included in the Documenta III exhibition of Modern Art in Kassel, Germany and, in 1965, he was commissioned to provide the illustrations for one of famed author Gay Talese’s earliest books, titled The Overreachers.
He lives and works in Warsaw.
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