Samples from the collection of Mike Goldstein, Curator, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
I have already presented, in the text on the main page of the Fan Collection section, the reasons why I thought that it’d be both fun and educational to see selections from the collections of others in and around the music and fine art businesses. To kick things off, I thought that it’d only be fair to present you with highlights from my own personal collection, along with some insight as to why these works are found on the walls of my own home, and so I hope that you will enjoy this photo expose’ of an album cover collector’s “pride and joys”…
On the wall to the right of my desk, you’ll find art prints of the Grateful Dead’s Shakedown Street (with artwork by Gilbert Shelton) and Supertramp’s Breakfast in America (artwork by Mick Haggerty). Shelton’s one of my favorite underground comic artists (starting with the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers and, later, Fat Freddy’s Cat) and I’ve been a motorcyclist for 30 years, so while I’m not necessarily a Dead Head, this cover immediately appealed to me. As I was (and continue to be) a great fan of Supertramp, when a print of Haggerty’s Grammy-winning work became available, I had to have it. I found a frame in the exact blue seen in the cover’s sky, so it framed up nicely. In the upper-left of this photo, you’ll find a composed set of color separations used to print John Van Hamersveld‘s cover for Skeletons From The Closet record in 1974, adding another unique Grateful Dead image to my collection.
Another office wall sports an interesting selection of prints (counter-clockwise) – one of Jamie Reid’s God Save The Queen – Union Jack prints; a Black Sabbath gold record plaque, autographed by Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler (who also wrote “To Mike – Best Witches” when he signed it in my old office at Fuse); Martin Sharp‘s psychedelic cover for Cream’s Disraeli Gears and a photo by Nat Finkelstein of Bob Dylan in Andy Warhol’s studio. The last one’s not a record cover, but it is quite stunning!
I have a few of Jamie Reid‘s prints in my collection, including prints of both the U.K. and U.S. covers of Never Mind The Bollocks… for the Sex Pistols, but those prints are quite large and, since moving into a smaller apartment, I haven’t quite figured out where to put them. I talked about the Sabbath image in the intro to this article, so I won’t say more for now, but I am quite happy to have the Cream cover print up. I learned a lot about the late Mr. Sharp while researching for his bio on the ACHOF site, and as both he and Jamie Reid were well-known irritants to those in the “proper art world”, I display them proudly near each other.
A print of Robert Crumb‘s artwork for Big Brother & The Holding Company’s Cheap Thrills record, produced by Crumb in a limited-edition back in 2002. Another example of great work by an influential comic artist, I was also fortunate enough to have seen the exhibition of his illustrated book of Genesis when it was on display here in Portland at the Portland Art Museum in 2010.
Down the same hallway is my print of Tony Wright‘s pop art masterpiece, better known as the cover of Traffic’s 1971 record Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys. Wright also did the cover of the group’s 1973 release Shootout At The Fantasy Factory, using a similar clipped-corners package on that record as well. The closest thing I’ll ever own to a Magritte!
Down another hallway, in between two block prints by Tyrus Wong, are two of the Roger Dean YES logo prints I have in my collection. One of my biggest art-related regrets is having owned and then sold a print of his cover for Uriah Heep’s Magician’s Birthday.
After realizing my mistake, I resorted to excerpting bits from that image to create a tattoo now found on my right forearm – can’t sell that one!
This wall consists of a trio of B&W prints from early Verve jazz covers by David Stone Martin (an ACHOF Early Influencer inductee) surrounding a print by the late, great Al Hirschfeld of the portraits he did for the cover for Aerosmith’s 1977 record Draw The Line. I’m a big fan of his caricatures, where he reduces the images to the most-simple terms. My favorite was his portrait of Liza Minelli which, unfortunately, I don’t have (but would be willing to trade for – hint, hint!). Fans of Hirschfeld know that he hides the name of his daughter Nina in clever places in his artwork, and I’ve been told that there are 3 Nina’s on this print, but I’ve only found two…
Finally, while not an album cover, I always thought that this photo of Tom Waits taken by George DuBose should have been. Taken to illustrate an article about the singer in Interview Magazine (where DuBose was the staff photographer), It shows Waits standing amongst the pigeons of Time Square in New York City. In his song “Cold Cold Ground”, Waits says that “Times Square is a dream”, so this dreamy photo would certainly make a suitable cover for a re-issue of this single, don’t you think?
Over the years, I’ve displayed a number of different covers, but as time has gone on and my wife and I moved from a house to a condo, many of the prints previously on display are now resting comfortably in storage. Maybe, someday, I’ll be able to build a museum and put them all out so that I can come and visit them whenever I’d like but, in the meantime, I’ll live happily with the ones I have up and with the knowledge that my collection continues to provide pleasure to all that see it.
Except as noted, all text and photo images featured in this story are Copyright 2014 – Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com (www.albumcoverhalloffame.com) & RockPoP Productions – All rights reserved.