Album Cover News Recap – Early September, 2013

Lots to see and learn about, so without any further delay…

September 3 – LA’s Grand Olympic Auditorium – site of many a famed boxing and wrestling match and many a great punk music show – is a key ingredient in the new photography show being staged at the Project Gallery in North Hollywood beginning September 13th. Co-curated by the Morrison Hotel Gallery, the display’s public launch will be preceded the evening before by a press showing hosted by Henry Rollins. In addition to great boxing/wrestling photos featuring Muhammad Ali and Mando Ramos, visitors will find photos of bands including Black Flag, The Circle Jerks, Dead Kennedys and many others. The show runs through October 6 – read more of the details via the link –

September 4 – Craft Queensland’s Artisan Gallery is opening a show on Thursday titled Imaginary Noise that will feature a number of record covers for albums that were either never released (ala David Bowie’s Toy), never completed or were simply made up by the participating designers and artists. Curated by Time Off Media’s Sean Sennet, the opening night will be hosted by Midnight Oil’s Rob Hirst and Sennet will lead a discussion about the exhibit on September 12 as part of the Big Sound Music + Design showcase that week. More info is available on the Artisan site at

September 5 – Here’s a reminder to those in and around Los Angeles to head on over to the Art Galleries at Cal State Northridge either this Saturday (Sept 7, from 4-7pm) and/or on Monday, September 9 at 9AM to both see acclaimed artist John Van Hamersveld’s new retrospective exhibition there (titled “Drawing Attention”) and to listen to his gallery talk on Monday morning. Based on the photos I’ve seen of the show, you’re in for a treat, with works of his from the 60s up thru today. This is a must-see for both album art/poster fans and surfers world-wide (all of whom have an Endless Summer t-shirt in their wardrobe!). More details available via the link –

If you go, be sure to say that you heard about it on the ACHOF site and that Mike (that’s me) says “hello”.

September 6 – For your weekend reading/doing pleasure –

1) My hometown of Portland (that’s in Oregon) has two rock art happenings on view this weekend –

a) at the Screaming Sky Gallery on very hip NE Alberta, you’ll find a show called PDX Rocks featuring album cover-sized artworks (which may or may not have been inspired by actual musical acts) – and

b) as know may know, PDX has a LOT of talented graphic artists in the area so, to coincide with the very popular Music Fest NW events beginning this weekend, 30 of them will be offering their wares at a show staged tomorrow at the Jupiter Hotel on E. Burnside –

2) Mr. Music dug deep to answer this question about picture sleeves and their impact on the sales of music over the past 50 years. Readers will learn more about who produced the most top-selling records-with-sleeves, who produced the first #1 hit with a picture sleeve, etc. As reported in the Evansville Courier Press –

Also added to the ACHOF Artist Biography section – bios on photographers Mark Seliger and Dennis Morris – more to come, with voting to commence soon for new ACHOF inductees – stay tuned.

September 9 – To follow-up on one of my past weekend’s picks – went on over to the Screaming Sky Gallery to see their PDX Rocks show and was impressed with the variety and artistry on display. The artists were told to create album cover-sized works that reflected a Portland aesthetic and, as you can imagine, the inspirations for these “covers” ran the gamut from things with birds on them (thanks, “Portlandia”) to bridges to beer and bacon – one I particularly liked was a revisioned “Dark Side of the Moon” titled “Dark Side of the Hole”, with the prizm replaced by a big (Voodoo?) donut! Thanks to Emily and her staff for letting me photograph. The show’s up until 9/22, so if you find yourself on/near NE Alberta St., be sure to stop on in…

September 10 – My bad – I forgot to note the grand opening of an interesting new gallery in St. Augustine, FL that features the work of singer/artist Marty Balin. Called Balin Atelier/130 King Street Gallery, the gallery exhibits the colorful paintings, prints and posters done by the former lead singer of Jefferson Airplane who, if you’ve followed his career, has been painting a long while now and has done memorable images of many of his friends from the Bay-area psychedelic scene.

Marty was there on September 6 to sing-in the grand opening, so while I couldn’t be there in person, I’d like to wish him well and ask that music/art fans in the area stop in to see the collection.

September 11 – It’s nice to see that album cover designers can have a sense of humor about their work as well – Peter Saville’s iconic cover for Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures has been used – officially (i.e., legally) and unofficially (i.e., without PS being paid) – many times over the years on merchandise of all types, but when he saw a recent use on a t-shirt, he just had to have one for himself. Take a look – you have to admit, it is rather cute (and a sign of the times, for sure) –

September 12 – While I never need a reason to want to go back to Amsterdam, here’s a pretty good one – to celebrate the release of a new book by famed photographer Terry O’Neill (titled, appropriately, “Terry O’Neill”), the Eduard Planting Gallery is hosting a showing of some of the 300+ photos – many never previously released – that will be on display until October 19. Album cover art fans will remember O’Neill’s work for The Police, Paul McCartney, Elton John, The Who and many others…My question is – when you have an archive of over 2 million photos, just how do you select 300 to be in a book. It makes my brain hurt to think of an editing job that big!–photographs-from-the-archives-of-Terry-O-Neill-on-view-at-Eduard-Planting-Gallery#.UjH9ZcZwouc

September 13 – For your weekend viewing pleasure – rock fans in the LA area are in for a special treat at the Rock n Roll Autograph Show that begins this (Friday) evening at the Westin Hotel at LAX. The show, which benefits St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, presents members from bands including Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Cars, Vanilla Fudge, Black Oak Arkansas, Chicago, The Knack, Three Dog Night, Alice Cooper, Foreigner, KISS, Grand Funk Railroad, Anthrax, The Ramones, Big Brother & The Holding Company, Megadeth and others in performances and in autograph sessions (over 80 in total). Bring your favorite album covers and get them signed! Please share any photos you might take of you with your favorite classic rock star –

September 16 – Two items to kick off your week –

1) Just a reminder to album art fans in the UK – the photographer Gered Mankowitz is featured in an exhibition that launched Sept. 14 at London’s Snap Gallery. Titled “50 Years of Rock and Roll Photography”, the show will feature Gered’s marvelous portraits of Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton and many more – on display now through November 2 – more info on the site –

2) Music impresario Russell Simmons will be releasing a book later this year that will illustrate the strong connections between the visual arts and hip-hop music. Working with musicians including Jay-Z and Ludacris and visual artists including Shepard Fairey, Murakami and Chuck Close, Art on Dekz will give a platform for these artists to explain their inspirations and how they feel that hip-hop culture has effected the world. Here’s a link to an article on the PR Newswire site with more details on this project and a video interview with Marcus Jansen, who is designing the cover image for the new book –

September 17 – Two more stories sure to make music/art fans happy –

1) Graham Nash’s “Eye To Eye” photo exhibition moves across the country to the Vandernoot Gallery at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA beginning tonight (9/17) with a personal appearance at the opening night’s reception. The show will be on display until Oct.12, with this evening’s event featuring a book signing of Nash’s new autobiography, “Wild Tales: A Rock & Roll Life”. More on the Metro West Daily News site at –

2) Gizmodo design writer Leslie Horn has posted a new article with a full telling of the effort made to create the memorable cover for the Rolling Stones’ Let It Bleed. I’ve recently added a bio to the ACHOF site of designer Robert Brownjohn, who art directed the effort, but Leslie’s added some great details, including some quotes from the talented culinary artist who created the featured cake, so now you have “the rest of the story” –

September 18 – Here’s another one of those cases of “well, you never know when they might use your photos, so always maintain your archives”…when Elton John contacted photographer Ryan McGinley for his help on an image for the cover of his soon-to-be-released new album, Ryan remembered that a photographer buddy of his had shot this image that he felt would be just right, and so photographer Tim Barber’s 10-year-old photo will now be seen by millions…Here’s the story as reported recently in the NY Times Culture section –

It is a very cool image – one of those that you just can’t believe is NOT Photoshopped!

September 19 – A reminder to album cover fans in NYC – be sure to make plans to go to MOMA this evening at 7pm for the showing of Roddy Bogawa’s fine film about the late, great album cover designer Storm Thorgerson and his cohorts at the Hipgnosis design firm. The showing of Roddy’s film “Taken By Storm” will be followed with a discussion with the film-maker, who spent years doing the research, interviewing and pre/post-production needed to create this ultimate tribute to a rare talent. Well worth your time –

Also – London’s Flood Gallery, working with artist Christian Sloan Hall, has created a new print to illustrate the presentation of Iron Maiden’s “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son” at The Old Vinyl Factory on September 28th and 29th as part of the “Classic Album Sundays” series there. See what’s in store for Eddie and his mates and take home a print while you’re at it –

That’s all for now – a recap for the rest of the month will be posted September 30.

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