In today’s Featured Fan Collection, we’re going to take a look at selections from the personal collection of Ed Boyd, CEO of Tymphany, maker of high-quality loudspeaker components and systems and long-time admirer and collector of album cover/rock music art. Ed’s been in the consumer electronics business for 25 years, helping clients including Beats, Bowers and Wilkens (AKA to audiophiles as “B&W”) and Bang & Olufsen make beautiful music via their use of his company’s components and audio design expertise. Tymphany has been a designer and manufacturer of high end audio products for over 10 years, “supporting companies globally to offer consumers the best in premium audio products”.
I met Ed via my (now-closed) RockPoP Gallery site and, I have to say, I was impressed with his desire to build a great collection of his favorite images and his willingness to search all over the world to find the galleries and self-publishing artists who might sell the prints he was interested in. While many folks in the music arena will decorate their offices and studios with gold record presentations and photos of themselves with other musical luminaries, Ed truly seemed interested in the art of the album cover, both from the standpoints of the creativity of the designs and the quality of the productions and the impact the image had on his own love of all things music. Remembering this, I knew that I had to try and convince him to share some of his collection with us and, as you’ll see, he’s been kind enough to share photos of some of his favorites along with the reasons why they mean so much to him. And so, let’s let Ed take us on a personal tour…
Submitted by Ed Boyd (February, 2014) –
“I was very surprised and flattered when Mike, the curator of the Album Cover Hall of Fame site, sent me an email out of the blue asking if I was interested in showing some of my prints to his readers. Of course I said a quick ‘yes’, but then the reality of what I was being asked to do set in. I am not an expert in the field and I don’t feel that I have any ‘special knowledge’, yet I was being asked to write a bit about why I collect along with providing comments about ‘what are my favorite prints and why’. While these are reasonable questions that should be easy to answer, I have had to really think hard in order to come up with an answer that hopefully makes sense.
While I have been collecting music art seriously for only three years, I have been in love with music and the art associated with it for decades. In fact, I have a business that designs, develops and manufactures audio equipment that has allowed me to stay close to the music scene.
So, why did I start collecting? Two simple facts – first, I love music and second, l enjoy art, so collecting fine art prints of album art provides me with a way to enjoy both. In addition, a huge side benefit is that album art has been a great aid in helping to conjure up memories of times past, whether a concert I may have attended, a friend I haven’t seen in years or just a time and place from some time long ago. Each piece seems to unlock a special memory for me. As my interest in album art has continued to grow, I am now spending more time looking at the newer artists while, at the same, time trying to find hard-to-locate pieces. Ultimately, it has become enjoyable to view all the wonderful offerings that are available from galleries all around the world.
It is no easy task to showcase just a few prints – as I think they are all special – but, in no particular order, here are my favorites:
I am a huge Jimi Hendrix fan and have been for more than 40 years. I think that this John Van Hamersveld print – titled Pinnacle Hendrix – is amazing and captures the art of ‘the Psychedelic 60’s’, when Jimi was wowing the world with his amazing talents. The photos of Are You Experienced?, Axis: Bold as Love and Electric Ladyland taken by Karl Ferris are also very interesting as they went on to be used as album covers.
Another favorite of mine is Pink Floyd‘s Dark Side of the Moon by Storm Thorgerson and Hipgnosis. I find the art work on this print to be amazing, but their cover for Animals may be even more so.
Led Zeppelin IV is another great art work, and the fact that Jimmy Page has signed it makes it all the more amazing to me. I can remember when a friend of mine went to San Francisco with his parents and brought back the first Led Zeppelin album – the one with the Zeppelin on it. For a kid from rural Nevada in the 9th grade, it was like music from outer space, and we were hooked (Editor’s note – Mr. Page was also the art director for the cover – quite the multi-talented individual!)!
Here’s a cover for a newer record (2007’s Then And Now) by Canned Heat, the ultimate boogie band, featuring the artistry of Bob Masse. He is an amazing artist who I feel privileged to have talked to a few times. His work for me represents the best of the 60’s art combined with a band that, to this day, remains unique.
Peter Blake‘s cover art for The Beatles‘ Sgt. Pepper’s is on everyone’s list of favorites, and I am no exception. It is really a work of art that will withstand the test of time. The details in this print can keep you occupied for days just trying to understand it all!
Here’s a picture of my Big Brother & The Holding Company‘s Cheap Thrills print. I think this is may be my favorite as it brings Robert Crumb’s amazing illustrations together with the power of Janis and the band. I can remember collecting his comics as a kid and only wish I still had them all.
While I have more pieces in my collection these are certainly at the top of the list though it was hard not to include prints of covers for Blind Faith (signed by Steve Winwood), Queen (News of World, with artwork by famed science fiction illustrator Frank Kelly Freas and autographed by Brian May and Roger Taylor of Queen), Supertramp‘s Breakfast in America (autographed by singer Roger Hodgson) and David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders from Mars (autographed by Bowie).
Where does all this lead? At this point in time, I’m not exactly sure, but I know I love my pieces as well as those of others that I hope to add to my collection some day. I know I find enjoyment in not only looking at truly fabulous works of art but appreciating the connection it has to the music I also love. I continue to look for the rare pieces that I know are out there somewhere. I’m hoping to find prints of covers for King Crimson, The Mothers of Invention (e.g., Weasels Ripped My Flesh), Nirvana’s Nevermind, Iron Maiden’s Killer, Alice Cooper’s Welcome to My Nightmare, Captain Beefheart’s Trout Mask Replica and, of course, I would love a signed photo of the Clash’s London Calling album and Warhol’s cover for The Velvet Underground & Nico – and the list goes on.
While my focus until now has been exclusively on prints from ‘the music of my youth’, I am now seeing that great art doesn’t stop there – there is much more to discover. I am seeing very exciting works from artists (both musical and design/photography) that I have never heard of, which is great. I want to spend more time to get to know these talented new artists – and the works they create – better while, at the same time, continuing to search for the hidden gems that I know are out there somewhere.”
Editor’s note – I’m pleased to report that, since this original interview was done, Ed’s purchased a print of Alice Cooper’s Welcome to My Nightmare produced by art director Ernie Cefalu – congratulations!
Except as noted, all text and photo images featured in this story are Copyright 2014 – Ed Boyd – All rights reserved. All other text Copyright 2014 – Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com (www.albumcoverhalloffame.com) & RockPoP Productions – All rights reserved.