Never a dull moment in the world of album cover art and artistry…a continuation of the recap of September events…
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 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 – http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/arts/x511625373/Reception-for-Graham-Nash-at-Lesley-University-Tuesday
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” – http://gizmodo.com/how-the-rolling-stones-iconic-let-it-bleed-album-art-w-1301361771
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 – http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/18/photoessay-how-my-picture-of-a-guy-on-a-diving-board-wound-up-on-the-cover-of-an-elton-john-album/?emc=edit_tnt_20130918&tntemail0=y&_r=0
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 – http://www.moma.org/visit/calendar/film_screenings/18952
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 – http://www.thefloodgallery.com/products/classic-album-sundays-presents-iron-maiden
September 20 – Musician/producer Dave Stewart is teaming up with the folks at the Morrison Hotel gallery to create a series of films that will dive into “the making of” classic rock art imagery. As reported by WENN on the Contact Music site, the first film will focus on photographer Henry Diltz and his work on the cover for The Doors’ Morrison Hotel LP. I hope to learn a lot more about this project and look forward to reporting more to you about it as it progresses – http://www.contactmusic.com/story/dave-stewart-launches-new-film-series-chronicling-classic-rock-art_3872667
September 23 – The new issue of Juxtapoz Magazine has just hit the stands (do they still sell magazines at stands?) and it includes an article featuring an interview with artist John Baldessari with musician Tom Waits. This is timed to promote the release of Tom’s new book done in collaboration with photographer Anton Corbijn, well-known to album art fans for his covers for U2, Depeche Mode, R.E.M. and many others. Follow the link to a preview video of this interview on the Juxtapoz site – http://www.juxtapoz.com/current/issue-preview-october-2013-with-tom-waits-john-baldessari-and-anton-corbijn
September 24 – People of Cleveland, you are very fortunate to have such a talented photographer in your area, so show her some support and go visit this new display on exhibit at the Cleveland Hopkins Airport. Photographer Janet Macoska‘s work has been featured in album packages from acts including The Kinks, Devo, The Clash, Led Zeppelin, The Babys, Heart and many others and so the folks at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame have teamed with her to curate a show titled Live from Cleveland, Ohio that will be on display in Concourse A from now until the end of February, 2014. Here’s a link to writer Daryl Rowland’s article about this show on the Ohio.com web site – http://www.ohio.com/news/rock-photos-on-display-at-cleveland-hopkins-airport-1.430155
Why not route your cross-country flight thru Cleveland and use your lay-over to see this fine show?
September 25 – To coincide with the band’s 3-week residency at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, the nice people at the Rock Paper Photo Gallery there will be staging an exhibition of photographer Mark Weiss‘ portfolio of imagery of Motley Crue. Kicking off the event September 26, Weiss is teaming up with noted artist David Banegas for a Mötley Crüe-inspired “live” painting performance. The event is titled “Theatre of Paint” after the band’s iconic 1985 “Theatre of Pain” tour, which Mark shot extensively. You can see more of Weiss’ work, including his album covers for Bon Jovi, Motley Crue and others, please visit the RPP site at http://www.rockpaperphoto.com/photographer_mark_weiss
September 30 – Starting the week with a mystery that YOU can help me solve…Album cover fans will remember the covers for Black Sabbath‘s debut LP (with the mysterious figure standing outside a farmhouse) and for Paranoid. The cover design is credited to “Keef” and, after exhaustive research, it seems as though there were 2 photographer/art directors working under that name at the time – one was Keith McMillan and one was Keith MacMillan. If you’d visit the “Keef/Keith M” bios I’ve posted on the ACHOF site (https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/achof-artist-biographies-m-o/), there are enough clues to lead me to believe that it is Keith MACMillan who did the work but, since one person is dead and the other no one seems to have heard from since the 1980s, I’m not sure exactly who credit is due to. Does anyone out there have the real story (i.e., one supported by facts)? Please help us all rest a little easier by sending me any info you might have – thanks! Mike G, your curator
October 1 – Wow – when the editors at Complex.com do an article, they go all out! In their “The Best 50 Rap Album Covers of the Past 5 Years“, the Complex staff has included images, credits and a synopsis of each design. As you might figure, the covers for some of rap’s biggest stars dominate the rankings (they’re the ones with the production budgets, you see), but there are a few surprises that feature strikingly simple-yet-effective designs. While I’m not sure that I’d rank the top 5 as “the best”, this list does include some truly impressive work – see if you agree. http://www.complex.com/art-design/2013/09/best-rap-album-covers/
A new article summary for early October will be published mid-month – come back and see us then!