ALBUM COVER HALL OF FAME’S ALBUM COVER NEWS RECAP FOR THE MONTH OF JuNE, 2016
It’s the day after Independence Day, 2016 and I’m hoping that most of you were out with friends and family picnicking, boating, sitting in your back yards or on your porches and soaking in the sun and fresh air, wherever you might have been. Of course, this is simply my excuse for being a bit late with last month’s album cover news summary but, hey, we all need a break from time to time, staying off of our web sites, phones, tablets and other devices and simply enjoying each other’s company and conversation, don’t you agree?
To celebrate the day, album cover artist-style, I’d like to point you to a new limited-edition poster release from the famed graphic artist John Van Hamersveld that perfectly illustrates the glory of our Statue of Liberty – http://www.post-future.com/store/pgs/aclu.html Makes you proud to live in a free country, no? Hope we can all work together to keep it that way for everyone…
In this month’s summary – the second following my new “less talk, more info” format (which I hope that you’re enjoying) – the people that make our favorite album imagery continue to impress fans, critics and others in the press, so there continues to be an ongoing stream of articles, interviews, info on museum and gallery shows and the like on a wide range of related topics:
1) Upcoming, recently-launched and just-closed show/exhibitions –
a) The Panopticon Gallery in Boston, MA has a new group photography show running now through September 13th that they’re calling Music To Our Ears and which features a fine collection of photographs – portraits, concert photography, etc. – by a dozen respected shooters including Charlie Sawyer, Roger Farrington, Marc Lacatell, Rowland Scherman and others, as well as shots from Ron Pownall, the man responsible for album package shots for a number of renowned musical acts including Joe Perry, Rick Derringer, Aerosmith, Ted Nugent, Rainbow and many others.
According to the gallery’s site, the exhibition will also include “some music posters courtesy of our friends at the International Poster Gallery and some new guitars by Booches Custom Guitars.”
Prior to the launching of this event, Pownall was interviewed by Jody Feinberg for the Abington Wicked Local web site – http://abington.wickedlocal.com/entertainment/20160610/rock-n-roll-photography-on-display-at-cohasset-arts-event There, you’ll learn about highlights from Ron’s career, including a photo taken in 1976 capturing the then 19-year-old Charlie Baker – now the Governor of Massachusetts – at an Aerosmith concert in Providence…
b) The Whitaker Center in Harrisburg, PA, has a new show running now featuring selections from the portfolio of NYC-based photographer Drew Weidemann that I’m sure you’ll want to see. Part of their “Art of the Curved Wall” series of gallery shows, “Studio to Stage: 25 Years of Music Photography by Drew Weidemann” features photographs of iconic musicians including Pete Townshend, Billy Idol, Bruce Springsteen, KISS, Joan Jett and many others. According to Drew’s LinkedIn posting about this show, “Studio to Stage celebrates a broad cross section of musicians and bands Drew Wiedemann has photographed over the past quarter century. Studio to Stage is not simply a “greatest hits” of musicians and bands everyone knows, it delves deeper to include bands on the cusp of stardom and musicians that were never quite able to reach widespread recognition.”
The exhibit runs through August. 21st, running alongside another interesting exhibit titled “Guitar: The Instrument that Rocked the World” which runs from now through September 4th and focuses on the science of sound and the evolution of rock’s favorite instrument. You can learn more about Drew and his exhibit in this story by Mike Andrelczyk for Fly Magazine (Lancaster, PA) – http://flymagazine.net/the-whitaker-center-features-two-music-exhibits/
Link to exhibit info on the Whitaker Center web site – https://www.whitakercenter.org/art-gallery-and-gift-shop#Current Exhibit
c) One of the best-known celebrity photographers of his generation, the late Herb Ritts’ portfolio includes many famous images – taken for publications including Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair – as well as a long list of notable album cover credits, including Olivia Newton-John’s Physical; Gloria Estefan’s Destiny, The Essential Gloria Estefan and Mi Tierra/Destiny;Billy Idol’s Whiplash Smile; Warren Zevon’s Sentimental Hygiene; Chronicles for Cher; Love & Life for Diana Ross; Madonna’s True Blue; Tracy Chapman’s Matters of the Heart; James Taylor’s Hourglass and The Hits/The B-Sides for Prince. In a new photo show that launched June 24th at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, VA titled Herb Ritts: The Rock Portraits, visitors can see a wonderful selection of portraits that are part of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame-curated travelling show that will also include a number of the photographer’s contact sheets as a way to be able to see how he selected “just the right shots” for the commissions he took on during his nearly 30-year career.
As you’ll read in the recent article on the Artfix Daily site, viewers will see shots “from B.B. King to Bruce Springsteen, from Bono to Britney Spears and come face-to-face with the kings and queens of pop music in a touring exhibition from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland.” The show will be up until September 18th (free admission) and will be accompanied by a series of special discussions, including the following (as described on the Chrysler Museum’s site – all times quoted are local times)
Third Thursday: Rock-in’ and Rockin’ Out
Thursday, July 21 | 5-10 p.m.
We’ve got driving backbeats, wailing guitars, and drop-the-mic vocals tonight as both Huber Court and the Museum gardens are devoted to all things rock. Free for Museum Members and students with current ID, $5 for all others. Cash bar.
Third Thursday: Rock On!
Thursday, Aug. 18 | 5-10 p.m.
Jam out with the next generation of stars, the house band from Norfolk’s School of Rock. From Aerosmith to Zeppelin, there’s not a rock classic they can’t slay. Free for Museum Members and students with current ID, $5 for all others. Cash bar.
Gallery Talk: A Look at Herb Ritts
Wednesday, July 27 | 11 a.m.
Consider how images become iconic. Curator of Exhibitions/Acting Curator of Photography Seth Feman leads this in-depth tour of Ritts’ memorable portraits from the angles of technical expertise and creative artistry.
d) Lynn Goldsmith – the accomplished photographer whose shots you’ve seen on the covers of such well-known records as Frank Zappa’s Sheik Yerbouti and Broadway The Hard Way; Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers’ Damn The Torpedos; Wild Planet for the B-52s; Ted Nugent’s Scream Dream; The Name of This Band is Talking Heads by Talking Heads and many others – has found success on both sides of the Atlantic, as is evidenced by the portfolio of photos she took back in 1980 in Paris and New York City of the popular French band Téléphone meant for the cover of their new album Au Coeur de la Nuit. Never-before on display to the public, these images serve as the basis of a new show at Photo12 Galerie in Paris that’s presented in connection with the group’s tour, getting back together under the name “Les Insus”.
Lynn’s resume is quite impressive, including stints at Elektra Records, Joshua TV (working with Joshua White, the accomplished light show/stage director, to create backdrops for rock shows), directing ABC’s In Concert TV series and becoming – the youngest woman director ever to do so – a member of the Director’s Guild of America. A self-taught photographer, Lynn started the LGI Photo Agency in the 70s, selling that business to Corbis in 1997 to be able to focus her efforts on her own photography and working with a wide range of clients in the entertainment and publishing industries, with a resume that boasts photographs on over 100 albums and editorial images in publications including Elle, Interview, Life, Newsweek, The New Yorker, People, Rolling Stone, Sports Illustrated, Time and many others.
Learn more about Lynn and her gallery show in this story by staff writers for the L’OEIL DE LA PHOTOGRAPHIE site – http://www.loeildelaphotographie.com/en/2016/06/07/article/159908787/paris-telephone-by-lynn-goldsmith/
More info on the gallery site – http://www.galerie-photo12.com/EN/EVENT/lynn-goldsmith-telephone-1980?EVT=f569d77f-633b-4915-a755-48f9980a11cd
e) As part of the ongoing Pop to Punk: Ramones and Visual Art exhibition at the Queens Museum, New York City Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, NY was a pair of conversations hosted by Hey! Ho! Let’s Go! : Ramones and the Birth of Punk co-curator Marc H. Miller. On Sunday, June 19th, 2016 from 1:00pm–4:30pm, Mr. Miller, who established his bona-fides in the punk exhibition world as one of the curators of the 1978 exhibition Punk Artat the Washington Project for the Arts, lead two panels of distinguished experts on their topics – one about “the original fanzine” for NYC-area club-goers – Punk Magazine, started by John Holmstrom, Legs McNeil, and Ged Dunn – that featured Punk co-founder and cartoonist Holmstrom, photographer Roberta Bayley, and contributing editor/Blondie bandmate Chris Stein, which was followed by a panel on the lasting legacy of the late Arturo Vega, art director for the Ramones and they guy responsible for their “presidential seal” logo and the band’s striking stage designs and lighting. In addition to another appearance by Mr. Stein, attendees heard from artist/Vega collaborator Ted Riederer and arts writer Sandra Schulman, who has written books on the topic. Get all the details you’ll need via the link –http://www.queensmuseum.org/events/pop-to-punk-the-ramones-and-visual-art
f) In a show that ran from early June through the 19th, to coincide with the band Coldplay’s sold-out tour dates in London, was an art show organized by a company with the smartly-stated name of Album Artists whose talent roster has created the last three album cover images for the band. Included in the show were a number of original works and prints by artist Pilar Zeta (the person responsible for the cover art for the band’s A Head Full of Dreams record) along with sketches, derivative works and other items related to the effort. You can read more about this show in writer Mark Beech’s article on the Blouinart web site – http://www.blouinartinfo.com/news/story/1427370/coldplay-sells-album-art-for-charity-14-million-raised-so-far and, if you continue reading this newsletter, once you make it down to the “Sales/Auctions” section, you can read more about the charity fundraising efforts also now taking place where fans and collectors can purchase various items from the works of Pilar Zeta, with all proceeds going towards the band’s favorite local charities. Coldplay and Pilar Zeta’s “A Head Full of Dreams” exhibition was on display at 205 Royal College Street, Camden, London, NW1 0SG
g) Designer/artist/curator Sean Phillips brought his “Phono + Graphic” vinyl album art exhibition to the Amuse Cafe on Chestergate from June 17th thru June 26th as part of the annual arts and culture gathering known as the Barnaby Festival in Macclesfield, U.K.. This travelling show features some of the best-known album cover images created by designers and illustrators with one foot in the comic book/graphic novel illustration world and the other in the recorded music/album art arena. In the show, you’ll find works from artists including Oliver East (Elbow, Panther), Jamie Hewlett (Gorillaz, Mindless Self Indulgence) and Guy Peellaert (David Bowie, Rolling Stones), among others. Rhiannon McDowall gives us an intro to this fascinating show in her article for the Macclesfield Express web site – http://www.macclesfield-express.co.uk/news/local-news/exhibition-dedicated-album-artwork-barnaby-11323752
h) One of the biggest art fairs in the world – Art Basel, which took place from June 16th thru the 19th in Basel, Switzerland – is probably best-known as one of “the” collectors fairs where you’ll find the world’s most leading-edge artists and galleries, so it was interesting to read this recent posting by Jose Da Silva on The Art Newspaper site in which the author describes the noticeable presence of “punk-era” art and artists, including works by one of the best-known “DIY” artists of the era, illustrator Raymond Pettibon. Pettibon’s brother Greg Ginn was one of the founders of the famed punk band Black Flag, and it was Raymond who designed the group’s memorable three-black-bar logo, along with album art for bands including Sonic Youth (Goo), Minutemen and, of course, Black Flag. One item up for sale at Art Basel was a rather in-your-face image titled “O.D. A Hippie / Legalize Heroin. Ban Hippies. (and New Yorkers)”, on sale for the low Art Basel price of €4,400 (about $4950 at current exchange rates), available from the Paris, France-based print publisher/gallery MFC Michele Didier. Read more about this print and several of the others who celebrated punk’s 40th anniversary at the Fair – http://theartnewspaper.com/reports/four-decades-on-punk-s-not-dead-at-art-basel-/
i) While the Jamie Reid art show at the RISE Gallery in London has officially closed, the gallery has left up a nicely-done 3D tour of the exhibition, allowing those of us from far, far away to step through what was up and learn more about the items on display. The show takes up two full rooms and includes the world-famous mural – available to take home for a mere £1 million, if you have a wall at least 26 feet wide – which parts of served as segments of the gatefold cover image for the soundtrack record for the band’s notorious 1979 film The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle (dead Bambi and all). Punk rock and art fans will find much to enjoy – http://rise-gallery.co.uk/exhibition/short-sharp-shock-a-selection-of-works-from-the-personal-archival-collection-of-jamie-reid-2/
In addition, there’s an item on display in the second room that serves to update a classic Reid image. While Reid’s image of The Queen with a safety pin through her lip was one for the ages, it took a young art student by the name of Rhys Brown to update the image for today’s audience, and so if you click on over to http://www.croydonadvertiser.co.uk/8203-Prince-George-features-Sex-Pistol-homage/story-29311036-detail/story.html you’ll see an example of the Croyden School of Art student’s work titled, appropriately, God Save the King – A Homage to Jamie Reid which features young Prince George done up Reid-style. Cute and quite disturbing – perfect!
j) The aforementioned Reid show was then sent on to be included in a new show that opened up with a special reception on June 11th at the Carla Sozzani Gallery in Milan, Italy that serves to continue the world-wide celebration of the 40th anniversary of the birth of Punk. According to the gallery’s press package, the “Punk In Britain” display showcases “more than 90 photos documenting the key players in British punk who, since the mid 70s, have changed the language of fashion and music in London and around the world… The exhibition incorporates two parts: the photographs of Simon Barker (Six), Dennis Morris, Sheila Rock, Ray Stevenson, Karen Knorr, Olivier Richon, and (the) drawings, collages and graphics of Jamie Reid, with a special section highlighting the videos and photos of John Tiberi.” The show will be on display until Sunday, August 28th, with more information available on their web site at http://www.galleriacarlasozzani.org/upcoming/punk-in-britain
k) Opened recently in West Hollywood, CA at the gallery inside the Andaz West Hollywood hotel on Sunset Blvd. is a show – titled “Rock ‘N’ Roll Lens” – based on the portfolio (and book of the same name) of rock/entertainment industry photographer and videographer Jimmy Steinfeldt, whose images of rock royalty – from James Brown and Dee Dee Ramone to Green Day and Coolio, along with Prince, David Bowie and Madonna – have appeared in Rolling Stone, Spin, Time and many other influential publications. Album cover credits for this shooter include covers for John Denver, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Vince Neil, Robert Palmer, Willie Nelson and many others. Currently operating from his “Elusive Studios” headquarters in the canyons near Hollywood, Steinfeldt got his start in Minneapolis, MN, shooting photos for the house publication put out by Musicland, the local record retailer. The Andaz has seen its share of music legends grace its hotel guest register over the years, so it made perfect sense for them to enlist Steinfeldt to put together a show that pays tribute to the area’s early and ongoing impact on the popular music business. The show is up through mid-July – check for details on the hotel’s web site at http://westhollywood.andaz.hyatt.com/en/hotel/news-and-events/events/_rock-n_-roll-lens-exhibition-unveiling-and-reception-.html and, to read a recent interview with the photographer about his career and this new show penned by San Gabriel Valley Tribune reporter Michelle Mills, please visit their site at http://www.sgvtribune.com/arts-and-entertainment/20160523/jimmy-steinfeldts-pictures-of-music-icons-on-exhibit-in-west-hollywood
l) The Grammy Museum in Los Angeles continues to add to its long list of recent show launches with the inauguration of a new show last month featuring over 45 photos of Bruce Springsteen taken over the course of his career by several of the photographers best-known for their Boss-related imagery. In Bruce Springsteen: A Photographic Journey, you found shots by Eric Meola (who is responsible for album covers such as those for Born To Run and Greatest Hits), Danny Clinch (Working On A Dream and Live In NYC), Frank Stefanko (Darkness On The Edge Of Town, The River,) and other photos portraits taken by Ed Gallucci and Springsteen’s sister Pamela. On display until June 19th, the show, according to Grammy curator Bob Santelli, gave viewers ” five different points of view from different periods of Springsteen’s career.” You can read more about this new show, along with the three others recently introduced (“Shine Like A National Guitar”, “The Kingston Trio and the Folk Revival” and “Legends of Motown: Celebrating the Miracles”) in this comprehensive overview posted by Nicholas Slayton on the Downtown LA News site – http://www.ladowntownnews.com/arts_and_entertainment/grammy-museum-launches-springsteen-photo-exhibit-and-more-shows/article_5252cb42-1ed3-11e6-b49a-13be1f5e46d2.html
2) Artist interviews/profile articles –
a) Writer Vikki Tobak’s new interview series for the Mass Appeal web site launches with an interview with one of the best-known photographers who has covered emerging music scenes over the past several decades – Janette Beckman. Ms. Beckman’s credits in the album art world include cover shots for The Police (Outlandos D’Amour, Reggatta De Blanc, Zenyatta Mondatta and Every Breath You Take: The Singles); Squeeze (Six Of One); Gang Starr (No More Mr. Nice Guy); Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five (On The Strength) and Salt-n-Pepa’s A Salt With A Deadly Pepa and Push It, among others, as well as the subject of this recent interview – an iconic image taken of British rapper Slick Rick during a Def Jam press shoot in NYC for The Great Adventures of Slick Rick album in 1989.
The interview dives into “the making of” this and other shots from her career and provides camera nerds with the details of the equipment she employed to make the magic happen – http://massappeal.com/contact-high-the-stories-behind-hip-hops-most-iconic-photographs/
b) Fans of the work of photographer Nick Elliott have the opportunity to read more about how he feels that his work for clients in the music industry – after a successful career in commercial photography, producing images for ads, marketing materials and editorial publications – is really a “dream job” in this story by Courtney Pochin published recently in the Eastern Daily Press, Norwich, UK. His shots of top-tier rock acts including Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Metallica, Robert Plant and Thin Lizzy, among many others, have given fans some of the most-intimate looks of their favorite musical acts, so it’s interesting to read what inspires him to do what he does (hint – it’s not the money).
c) When Scranton, PA-area designer Justin Roach was called upon to apply his talents – along with those of Snoop Dogg cousin Joe Cool, well-known for his drawings used on Mr. Dogg’s 1993 debut record Doggystyle – to come up with the cover art for the rapper’s latest record Coolaid, the designer came quite ready for the assignment, having worked his magic on art for other classic rappers including Biz Markie, DJ Jazzy Jeff and Freeway, among others. While his previous work for Snoop Dogg was limited to designs for a 2011 mix-tape, he was pleased to team up with the musician and his artistic cousin to use his illustrative talents in a new-yet-truly-gangsta application. In this interview story by Rich Howells for NEPASCENE.com (NE PA Scene), you’ll learn more about the young artist whose new work has received a lot of recent attention – http://nepascene.com/2016/06/exclusive-scranton-illustrator-worked-new-album-artwork-snoop-dogg-featured-jimmy-kimmel-live/
d) Speaking of classic rap albums and their cover images, it’s been 30 years now since the 1986 release of the genre-jumping RUN-DMC record Walk This Way, so it is great to be able to read Cameron White’s recent interview on The Undefeated.com site with photographer Glen E. Friedman about “the making of” the memorable cover photo. Friedman’s own journey as a self-taught photographer from the world of punk rock, transitioning several years later to taking photos of many of the early stars of the burgeoning hip-hop/rap scene – Run-DMC, Public Enemy, Ice-T, L.L. Cool J and the Beastie Boys, for example – and bringing his intimate portraits of these emerging stars to a much wider audience.
e) From his late 70’s cover shots for the Flamin’ Groovies and Steve Hackett to photos for an impressive range of musical acts such as Ian Dury, Aztec Camera, The Charlatans UK, Oasis, The Smiths and many others, music photographer Tom Sheehan has applied his creative eye and art direction talents to memorable projects for many happy music industry clients and publications including NME, Melody Makers, Q, Rolling Stone Magazine and TIME. He recently released a book of his work – his first – called Aim High: Paul Weller in Photographs 1978 – 2015 – a 240-page book of photos, including many not previously seen, that follows the musician from his start in The Jam, to his time in Style Council and then his long, illustrious solo career. The limited-edition book, which includes a forward by Mr. Weller, is available via the link – http://www.thefloodgallery.com/products/aim-high-paul-weller-in-photographs-1978-2015-by-tom-sheehan-1?variant=18167655943 and you can read a nice interview by John Doran on the Vice.com site with the photographer and some of his other subjects, including Ozzy Osbourne, Snoop Dogg, The Jam’s Paul Weller, Mick Jagger, Tom Waits and several others.
f) Interview with Ernie Cefalu – With over 400 album cover credits on his resume, this recent article on the MerryJane.com site written by Ben Adams finds Ernie talking candidly about the early days as an album cover designer in the late 60s-early 70s working on iconic logos for the Rolling Stones, Earth Wind & Fire and Jesus Christ Superstar, then starting his own firm (Pacific Eye & Ear, or PE&E) and working with clients including Black Sabbath, Iron Butterfly, Burton Cummings, Cheech & Chong and others, to his work now as part-owner of the King Clone Brand of cannabis products. Ernie has several shows of his collectible prints – as well as one-of-a-kind originals – coming up, with more info on this tour as it becomes available. In the meantime, “heeere’s Ernie” –
g) Daniel Kramer interview with Jim Farber for The Guardian (UK) site about his new book/exhibition of his photos of Bob Dylan and his contemporaries. Attempted to contact manager Albert Grossman in 1964 and, after initially being refused access to the budding folk star, was later invited to shoot Dylan at his home in Woodstock, NY. Over the course of the next year, several photo sessions would take place that produced an amazing portfolio of images – including some never before seen – now available in Kramer’s new book titled A Year And A Day. Includes some alt takes of the photo session that produced the cover for 1965’s Bringing It All Back Home. He’d later go on to shoot the famous cover image for Dylan’s follow-up, Highway 61.
h) As the principal photographer for the UK’s New Music Express (NME) publication for 10 years, Kevin Cummins was on hand to shoot a host of memorable images of the top rock/new wave/synth bands of the late 1970s – early 1980s, including The Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, The Fall and both Joy Division and their re-grouping (post the death of Ian Curtis) known as New Order. As part of the recent VIVID art/music extravaganza held at the Sydney Opera House – at which New Order was a featured player – Cummins had an exhibition of photos from the era that helped illustrate his feelings about the importance of what he does for a living – i.e., capture moments in our history for posterity. With a career that began in the early 1970s with an opportunity to capture David Bowie near the end of his Ziggy Stardust period and then proceeded through sessions with the Sex Pistols, the bands that made up the early roster of Factory Records and then, ultimately, Joy Division and New Order, being able to read along as he recounts some of the highlights of his career is quite the treat, so I’d invite you to click on over soon to Anwen Crawford’s interview with Kevin recently posted on The Saturday Paper site – https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/culture/art/2016/05/28/manchester-photographer-kevin-cummins-joy-division-happy-mondays
i) One of the first prints I purchased for my rock art collection years ago was a photo of a young band of musicians wearing yellow lab suits standing in front of a chili dog/taco stand in Ohio in 1975. The band was DEVO, and the photo was shot by an artist named Janet Macoska. As someone who began her career in the music business at the age of 12 working for a local radio station answering fan mail, Janet’s passion for the subject – and her subjects – becomes quite clear as you page through her 40+-year portfolio. Although she’s focused her photo sessions on the acts that have visited her area, the fact that she’s located in Cleveland, OH – home of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame & Museum and considered by many as the place where it all began – the images she’s taken have long made her one of the “go-to” photo portrait artists in the business, with collections of her photos on display at the R&RHOF, featured in many publications and, as you can imagine, several books, including a new one she’s released titled MORE ACCESS – Vol. 2 of The Rock and Roll Photography of Janet Macoska. jambands.com writer Peter Chekerian recently interviewed Janet about her career and her new book, during which she gives us some of the details on her earliest concert memories both as a fan and then as a photographer, along with her intro to the R&RHOF and some insight on just what it takes to get a book published these days… http://www.jambands.com/features/2016/05/28/all-access-with-janet-macoska?1
j) The first of two articles that discuss the long-standing cross-over between creatives that produce both memorable art and memorable music is Matilda Battersby’s recent article for The Independent.
Matilda is the Digital Arts Editor for the publication and, in that position, she’s regularly reporting on the latest happenings in the worlds of art and music, so it’s interesting to see her perspective on the regular displays of fine art in both museums and top galleries – paintings, prints, sculptures and more – of the works of a number of well-known musicians. With a sub-head that reads ” Should musicians stick to their music, or should we allow them to spread their wings to other mediums – even if they’re not that good”, she works to provide answers to those questions by focusing on the works of several people already well-known in the music world – the Stones’ Ronnie Wood, Bob Dylan, Brian Eno and Paul McCartney, to name a few – and whether it’s the quality of their work, or the power of their names, that justifies both the attention they’re given by art institutions and/or retailers and the prices that are asked for those works (is it “art”, or is it “memorabilia”, and does it matter either way?).
k) The second article on the aforementioned topic is an interview with the multi-talented musician, composer, artist, photographer, recording engineer and producer Terry Manning in which he’s asked some interesting questions about his efforts in all of those categories – producing records for a wide range of clients including Shakira, Led Zeppelin, Lenny Kravitz, ZZ Top and jazz great Billy Eckstine; his early start in photography as a shooter for Britain’s NME and other pubs, working with and being mentored by the great William Eggleston; what are the strongest influences on his song-writing process, etc. – along with several questions that posed particular challenges to answer, including one where he ponders what his “ultimate ambition” is (hint – it involves a van, his camera and a lot of time). Based on his impressive portfolio of work, I’d venture to say that this is one great example of someone who can “do it all, and well”. Read Rebecca Haslam’s interview with Manning for the Pop Wrapped site at http://popwrapped.com/terry-manning-talks-photography-producing-planets/
Terry Manning’s most-recent exhibition of 50 photos from his collection at the Stax Museum in Memphis, TN was titled Evidence of Life During Two Millennia and ran through June 30th. More info on this show is available via Jacob Elyachar’s interview with Terry on the topic posted earlier this year on the Examiner.com site – http://www.examiner.com/article/examiner-interview-a-conversation-with-terry-manning-the-2016-edition
l) Just having finished a display of his photo work at the Golden Square Center in Warrington, UK, rock photographer Denis O’Regan is featured in an interview about his 40+ year career (so far) shooting memorable images of the creme-de-la-creme of British rockers, including David Bowie, Amy Winehouse, Duran Duran, Pink Floyd, Thin Lizzy, Queen and many others. One of the principal photographers at both Live Aid and the Concert For Diana, O’Regan was fortunate enough to be able to build lasting relationships with many of his photo subjects – something that lead to his regular selection as a photographer for records by many of the aforementioned acts, along with AC/DC, The Cure, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Sting, Europe, The Jam and dozens of others. One of his better-known images – that of the late singer Freddie Mercury – became iconic enough to be selected for use as a commemorative Royal Mail stamp.
Read entertainment reporter David Morgan’s article on the Warrington Guardian web site, via the link at http://www.warringtonguardian.co.uk/leisure/interviews/14454854.Rock_photographer_to_the_stars/
3) Sales/Auctions –
a) Bidding ended on June 25th for the Heritage Auction house’s latest Entertainment & Music Memorabilia auction. While there were a number of notable items available for well-heeled collectors – including a whole host of items from the estate of the late singer Whitney Houston and one of the famous custom-built “cloud guitars” used by Prince (which sold for the heart-stopping price of $137,500) – my favorite item – a poster mock-up for a concert by Clear Light (featuring Van Morrison) created by Randy Tuten in 1968 that was used in an attempt to win a job at the Family Dog production company in San Francisco – with a pre-auction estimate of “$700 – up” – found a new home with a bidder who paid just $575.00.
There were several items that would have been of interest to album/rock art fans including, believe it or not, an original work of art that was used on the cover of singer Mae West’s 1972 rock and roll (!!) record titled Great Balls of Fire. The pastel on paper stylized image of the chanteuse Mae West, done in a minimalist style quite similar to Al Hirschfeld’s portraits, was created by an as-of-yet unidentified artist. The Heritage folks listed the estimated value at $800, with a bidder paying $812.50 to take this rare item home. Other album art-related items included:
– an artist proof print (giclee on canvas, with airbrush enhancements) of Stanley Mouse’s wonderful cover for the Grateful Dead’s 1972 live album Europe ’72 (estimated value $5,000, with a winning bid of $4000);
– a set of mechanicals from the collection of art director Rod Dyer for a billboard concept for Pink Floyd’s 1970 record Atom Heart Mother featuring the record’s famous cow along with a floating bass guitar. There was an $800 auction estimate, and a lucky bidder added this item to his/her collection with a winning bid of $500.
– Comic book artist Dave Stevens was one of the artists employed by director John Landis to create the storyboards for use in the production of Michael Jackson’s video for the song “Thriller” and, when another version of this particular board was selected, Stevens kept the original for himself. Now’s your chance to bid on a one-of-a-kind item that’s certainly part of music video history – opening bids began at $800, with a pre-auction estimate of $1,600, and the winner getting a bargain at $1000.
There were also several more Mouse prints, a couple of Jerry Garcia-produced art prints and some Ronnie Wood paintings available and, while 80% of the items sold, there are currently 200 items of all types remaining as “post auction buys”, so if you’d like to see what’s still available and grab something before it’s gone, click on over to this page and take a look – http://entertainment.ha.com/c/search-results.zx?N=53+794+4294948374&ic5=CatalogHome-ActionArea-PABs-071515
b) As mentioned previously in the Exhibitions section of this news update, the company that is responsible for rock act Coldplay’s A Head Full of Dreams album art is currently offering collectors and fans the opportunity to buy a selection of prints – artist-signed and unsigned digital prints and giclees, including some special editions co-signed by the members of the band – with all of the proceeds of the sales going to the J Van Mars charities that provide essential services to under-served youths in the London area. A similar effort leading up to this new sale raised over $1.4 million, including £500,000 paid for the original artwork used on the band’s Mylo Xyloto record. For this sale, one lucky (and well-heeled) collector can purchase the 137″ x 70″ (350 x 180 cm) collage created by artist Pilar Zeta (and signed by Coldplay and artist Zeta) that was used the original album art for A Head Full of Dreams (priced at £120,000 plus VAT – contact the company, called Album Artists, at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info). To see the various prints being offered and to learn more about the folks behind the artwork, you can click on over to their site at http://www.albumartists.co.uk/a-head-full-of-dreams-by-pilar-zeta-for-coldplay/
c) While the latest rock & roll memorabilia auction hosted by Backstage Auctions is now just a distant memory, fans can still look to take home something from that extravaganza as there were a number of lots that went unsold and are now available for purchase on their site – http://www.backstageauctions.com/store/
On the litho side, there are still a number of prints available from John & Yoko Lennon’s Bag One lyric sheet series, along with estate-signed prints of John’s artwork. There are also several limited-edition photo prints by Dutch photographer Hester Doove (Suzanna Hoffs, Gloria Estefan and Barry Hay from Golden Earring), some sketches by KISS members Peter Criss and Eric Carr and a large selection of original photo packages featuring musical acts from Bruce Springsteen to the Spencer Davis Group that also include reproduction rights! Looking for a rock art/memorabilia bargain? Look no further…
4) New Print/Book Publishing –
a) Comic book publisher Storm Entertainment has released a new comic novel that presents the life and times of the late artist Prince. Titled Tribute: Prince and penned by writer Michael L. Frizell, the comic book features artwork by Ernesto Lovera and Vincenzo Sansone. Lovera has previous credits doing artwork for tribute comics on other famous subjects, including Britain’s Royal Family, pin-up model Bettie Page and an earlier (2013) book on Prince titled Fame, while Sansone has done work on books about John Wayne and Pope Francis. Writer Frizell’s past comic book work covers famous figures in popular culture, politics and music, including books on Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, Nancy Reagan, Bono, Miley Cyrus, The Osbournes, Jerry Garcia and Amy Winehouse. Over the years, Storm Entertainment, formerly known as Blue Water Comics, has released a number of tribute comic book biographies, including ones on David Bowie, Kurt Cobain, Michael Jackson, John Lennon and many others.
Rolling Stone Magazine contributor Althea Legaspi provides us with additional details and comments from the creators of this 24-page tribute to another artist who has left this planet way too soon – http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/tribute-prince-new-comic-book-released-20160609#
b) Here’s a special offer from the folks at Modern Rocks Gallery in Texas – “celebrate ‘The Queen Is Dead’ 30th Anniversary with a special deal – free worldwide shipping. To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the release of “The Queen Is Dead” by The Smiths, photographer Stephen Wright has produced a special square format print to match the iconic cover image taken outside the Salford Lads Club for its 1986 release. The album was released in the UK on 16th June, and on 23rd June in the US.
The new square format print is available in 2 sizes – 12″ x 12″ to match the album cover (and fit nicely into album cover frames) and a special large format 20″ x 20” version – as signed, hand-numbered, limited edition prints. The first prints of this new edition of just 75 are now available, so you could own a low number of the Salford Lads square format prints, along with a matching number print of the color editions, the original full frame version of the Salford Lads Cover, and the back cover to “Strangeways Here We Come“, by heading on over to the gallery’s site via the link http://www.modernrocksgallery.com/first-editions/new-smiths-queen-is-dead-square-album-first-edition
c) New Daniel Kramer Bob Dylan photo book – We’ve already told you about the exhibition featuring photos from Dan Kramer’s A Year And A Day (on display at The Snap Gallery, London, SW1, running now through the 30th of July). Several of the photos from the book will also be made available for sale as limited-edition prints, while the book itself will be offered in a special “Collector’s Edition” – The fabulous new limited edition book will be limited to 1,765 numbered copies, each signed by Daniel Kramer. The hardcover book, put out by art book publisher Taschen Books, features letterpress-printed chapter openers with tipped-in photographs, two different paper stocks, and three foldouts. The 288-page book measures 12.3″ x 17.3″ (31.2 x 44.0 cm) and comes packaged in a clam shell box.
You can learn more about the book, see a slideshow of sample pages and then, if so inspired, order a copy via this link https://www.snapgalleries.com/shop/product.asp?P_ID=3990&CAT_ID=20018
More information on the gallery show is available on their web site at https://www.snapgalleries.com/exhibitions/daniel-kramer-bob-dylan-a-year-and-a-day/
d) Photographer Bob Minkin, perhaps best-known for his 30+ year portfolio of concert photos, portraits and album images for the Grateful Dead, has just released a series of fine art prints selected from his archives and is now offering them to collectors through a collaboration with the Woodstock Artist Collective. Album art fans know Bob as the one responsible for several of the album cover collages that were used as covers for the “Dick’s Picks” concert compilation series.
According to the press release that gives us the details about this new series of prints, “..his photographs have been featured in many books and publications such as Rolling Stone, Time Magazine, Relix Magazine, Marin Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Guitar World, Guitar Player and on music CDs and DVDs. Available today are some fine examples of Bob’s work! Santana, Bruce Springsteen, Phish, Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Eric Clapton, Pete Townsend and Ken Kesey! ” The 13 x 19″ limited-edition (signed/numbered, from editions of 200 each) prints are priced at $375, with his shot of Bruce Springsteen from a 1978 concert, sized at 12 x 13″, sells for $250. Read more and take a look at what’s available via this link –
e) As if I haven’t punked you enough this summary, I find it my duty to inform you of the upcoming release of a special, limited-edition 40th anniversary album package featuring the U.S.A.’s top entry in the “most-influential punk act of the 1970s”, that, of course, being the Ramones. Yes, friends, it’s been 40 years since the release of their self-titled debut album – the one featuring Roberta Bayley’s iconic cover photo image – and so to honor time’s passing, fans can click on over to the band’s online store and pre-order the deluxe re-issue package which includes newly-remastered stereo and mono versions of the original record (done by original producer/engineer Craig Leon) along with a disc of different mixes, demos, etc., and a third disc that includes two full live shows recorded in 1976 at The Roxy in West Hollywood, CA. The 1 LP/3 CD set is also packaged with a 12″ square booklet featuring essays authored by Mitchell Cohen, production notes by Craig Leon and addition photos supplied by Miss Bayley.
The package is scheduled to be shipped in late July, with only 19,760 serially-numbered copies available, so if you want one, pre-order it now ($64.98) via the link – http://store.ramones.com/products/ramones-40th-anniversary-deluxe-edition
f) In an update to a previous news article about author Matteo Torcinovich’s new book (Outside The Lines) about the images that weren’t selected to be used on some of the best-known album covers in rock/pop music history, one of the photographers featured in the book – Brian Griffin – sent me a note letting me know some of the images he supplied that now has convinced me that I should get this book on order ASAP…”Dear Mike – My alt takes are: Depeche Mode – A Broken Frame; Joe Jackson – Look Sharp!; Lene Lovich – Stateless (US Release); Lene Lovich – Flex; Echo and the Bunnymen – Crocodiles; Ultravox – Vienna; and Iggy Pop – Soldier“. You can dig a bit more to the book’s content via the publisher’s web site at https://www.octopusbooks.co.uk/books/detail.page?isbn=9781784721497 and, for a more in-depth look at Brian’s portfolio, you may want to read the Featured Artist Portfolio article I did with him a short while back on the ACHOF site – https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/2013/06/27/featured-album-cover-artist-portfolio-brian-griffin/
g) Famed illustrator James Marsh, probably best-known by album art fans around the world for his fascinating series of surrealistic cover images for Talk Talk, has teamed up with the good folks at the Hypergallery to offer two of his best-known images as limited-editon prints perfect for fans and collectors of fine art. According to the gallery, the “two silkscreen prints, Spirit of Eden and After the Flood, showcase the exquisite craftsmanship of Harwood King fine art printers, who collaborated with the artist to produce these works. Up to 30 separate screens were involved in recreating all the complex colour and detail.” The 26-color silkscreen prints were printed and published by Harwood King (East Sussex, U.K.) in a limited edition of 250 signed/numbered prints. Image size is 23″ x 27″, with an overall print size of 25.5″ x 33″. As a special incentive to those who might be interested in purchasing one or both of the prints, the gallery is offering a bonus with each print – a signed copy of Marsh’s wonderful book titled Spirit of Talk Talk.
I had the pleasure of interviewing James a few years back about his career, his work for clients in the music industry and, in particular, his covers for Talk Talk. You can read the entire interview, which includes some alt images and sketches he was kind enough to share, on the ACHOF web site via the link – https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/2012/11/07/james-marsh-talk-talk-interview/
h) I’m pleased to announce the successful funding of photographer Charles Moriarty’s Kickstarter campaign that will enable him to publish a book of photos taken early on in the career of the late singer Amy Winehouse. Moriarty was with Ms. Winehouse both in London and New York City back in 2003 to photograph her in the time leading up to the release of her debut album titled Frank, for which Charles also shot the album cover image. In addition to the book – due to be published this September – backers at various support levels will receive prints of one of a selection of photos, including one that’s now in the permanent collection of London’s National Portrait Gallery. The forward for the book will be written by Asif Kapadia, director of the Oscar-winning documentary “AMY”, while the book’s design will be done by the award-winning Dutch designer Sybren Kuiper.
Congratulations to both the photographer and the project’s supporters for collaborating to make this important new book happen. Watch an intro video on the project on it’s Kickstarter site – https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1876964816/before-frank/description
i) In another fine example of artistic talent finding support through crowd-funding, I’m happy to tell you that designer Seymour Chwast – one of the co-founders of the famed Push Pin Studio who, along with Milton Glaser, Edward Sorel, and Reynold Ruffins, helped lead the way in the integration of modern design, type and social commentary – reached his goal of $94,000 (from over 700 supporters) a week ahead of schedule and will soon commence on work to produce a book that collects many of his most-powerful anti-war images. Titled ” Seymour Chwast at War with War: An Illustrated Timeline of 5000 Years of Conquests, Invasions, and Terrorist Attacks“, the book will, according to Chwast’s site, visualize ” humanity’s 5,000-year-long state of conflict, chaos, and violence on a continuous timeline. Seventy pages of stark black-and-white pen-and-ink drawings and woodcuts illustrate history’s most notorious battles — from 3300 BCE to the present day. Interspersed are contemplations on war from historic thinkers, including excerpts from “The Art of War” by Sun Tsu, “The Complaint of Peace” by Desiderius Erasmus, and “The State” by Randolph Bourne. Searing and sardonic, balancing anger and despair with wit and humanity, these raw illustrations follow in the tradition of great social satirists such as Honoré Daumier, Frans Masereel, Felix Vallotton, and Otto Dix.”
Backers will be rewarded (at different levels) with art prints, postcards, posters, etc., along with a number of hard-to-find and/or out-of-print books and images – https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1204158310/new-seymour-chwast-book-protests-5000-years-of-war
j) Over on The Guardian web site, writer Alexis Petridis gives us a capsule summary of a new book that I just have to get my hands on. As you all know, the creation of album cover imagery is an iterative process, with many photos/illustrations/designs reviewed and rejected before the “perfect” one is selected for use. In his new 224-page book (published by Mitchell Beazley) titled “Outside The Lines“, author Matteo Torcinovich (along with co-author Sebastiano Girardi) shows us hundreds of “just not quite right” images created during projects to produce now-iconic covers for punk, new wave and other 70s-80s musical acts including Blondie, the Ramones, Iggy Pop, David Bowie, The Damned, The Jam, The Cure and many others and, to make things even more interesting, gives us a number of first-hand accounts of the creative/photo sessions from many of the participants.
k) In an excerpt published on the Medium.com site taken from a new book by author Kevin Dunn titled Global Punk: Resistance and Rebellion in Everyday Life, you’ll learn quite a bit about the entire DIY approach to music making/selling employed by punk bands both in Europe and the U.S. from the emergence of the handmade aesthetic in the mid-late 1970s (featuring work by a wide range of designers, for labels such as Stiff Records, Factory Records and Rough Trade and others in the U.K., as well as Alternative Tentacles, What?, Bomp! and others here in the U.S.), through punk’s major label takeover in the 1980s and, ultimately, its blending into grunge in the early 1990s. It’s interesting to read about how the punk music scene’s visuals came about as the result of a mix of the desire to keep things raw (more “real”?) and to keep the entire recording/producing/marketing/delivering of these records as low-cost as possible. https://medium.com/cuepoint/how-punk-rock-kickstarted-the-do-it-yourself-record-revolution-39a41d78e12a#
5) Other articles of interest –
a) We’re often inspired by the images we find on the covers of our favorite record albums, but this is the first time that I’ve read an article where a noted design/innovation consultant has been able to extract the DNA from classic album cover art and apply it to the exploration of how effective teams of people work together to innovate in the workplace (wow – I haven’t written a sentence like that since leaving the Corporate world 10 years ago, and it still stings a bit…).
In this recent article in the Huffington Post by Geoff Tuff (who heads up the Doblin group within Deloitte) titled “Innovation Lessons from the Dark Side”, the author describes how, after deep deliberation, the Hipgnosis-designed cover art for Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon presented to him “a reflection on how innovation teams can serve as a prism to play two essential roles for their business: dispersion and re-composition.” By “dispersion”, Tuff means feeding a core business in on one side of a prism and having it come out – through the application of a number of innovative ideas – refracted into a myriad of colorful results. “Re-composition” hopes that truly-capable teams are able to look at the many different ways innovation takes place in the “outside world” and then focus on what’s best for their own efforts going forward.
We’ve all noticed that the titles of the songs on the album – “Time”, “Us & Them”, “Money” and others – all relate quite clearly to business terminology, so it’s no stretch to conceive that the composer’s goal all along was to get us to use more of our imaginations while at work and avoid the hum-drum and templated approaches to problem-solving…
b) The things some artists will do in order to achieve just the “right” look for their album cover photo! While I typically will not send my readers to gossip sites, this recent article on the Perez Hilton site includes a video of heart-throb Nick Jonas standing still while a sheet of glass is broken over his head, with the results captured via high-speed photography and used on the cover of his latest release titled Last Year Was Complicated. Photography by Yu Tsai, with design and art direction by Kyle Goen (AKA Kyledidthis), the guy responsible for recent album covers for pop artists including Babyface, Ariana Grande, Kid CuDi and Erykah Badu. I’m impressed that Kyle was able to convince the musician (and his management) that this was the best way to produce this image – it harkens back to the days (prior to computer graphics) when art directors had to use their imaginations and available resources to create images like this one…
c) Attention all album packaging designers – it’s that time of year again to submit your entries to the annual A Design Awards international design competition. If you’re unfamiliar with these awards, here’s a little more of an intro as provided by the organization’s PR folks – “The A’ Design Award & Competition has been established to promote and recognize the best design works in all countries and in all creative disciplines. The primary aim of the A’ Design Award & Competition is to create a global awareness and understanding for good design practices and principles by highlighting the best designs in all countries and in all industrial fields. The ultimate aim of the A’ Design Awards is to push designers, companies and brands worldwide to create superior products and projects that benefit the society.
The A’ Design Award & Competition has a philanthropic goal to advance society by pushing the frontiers of science, design, creativity and technology forward by creating incentives for innovators to come up with better ideas. The A’ Design Competition aims to create incentives that ignite and reward creativity, original ideas and concept generation in all industrial sectors.”
To those of you who work for clients in the music/entertainment industries, there’s an award category called “GRAPHICS AND VISUAL COMMUNICATION DESIGN AWARD” that focuses on marketing/promo design – posters, flyers, logos, consumer/trade ads, etc. – with more details on that category available via this link – https://competition.adesignaward.com/competitions/graphicsandadvertisingdesign.html
Packaging designers can find out the details of submissions in the “PACKAGING DESIGN” award category via this link – https://competition.adesignaward.com/competitions/packagingdesign.html
Regular submissions will be accepted until September 15th, with the actual judging/award announcements coming out next April, so watch this space for any updates and for information on the winners in these categories. Best of luck to all who enter!
d) Interesting article in Rolling Stone about the re-issue of the 1972 record on A&M Records by San Francisco rock band Eggs Over Easy titled Good N Cheap, which attracted a lot of attention for its Edward Hopper-style cover painting done by the talented Joe Garnett, a man responsible for a number of memorable album cover images for The Doors, Grand Funk Railroad, Deep Purple and, one of my favorites, the trippy 3-D cover for Captain Beyond. While the band died quickly and the music was under-appreciated, admiration for the album cover art lives on. Story by Rolling Stone Magazine writer David Fricke –
e) Since the rise of digital music began to eat in to the traditional earning potential of musical acts, artists and their managers/labels have worked hard to develop other ways to make money, one of the most-important being via merchandising. Now that everyone is a “brand”, a brand’s visual aspects have taken on a greater role in both how an act is perceived by their fans and how much fans are willing to invest in branded merchandise, thus helping their favorite acts stay alive as the money they used to make selling retail music has, in most cases, dropped precipitously. In this article by Sam Schube, Associate Editor for The Ringer pop culture site, you’ll learn – via interviews with a number of the people who work in the creative/production/marketing firms that specialize in this area – more about how several acts have developed significant income streams for themselves via the marketing/sales of merchandise based on their album art, logos, lyric samples and other representations of their unique places in the world of music. Artists covered include Beyonce, Justin Bieber and Kanye West.
f) As most of you know, I’m always curious (or is that amazed?) when I read an article about album cover art in which the author states that the art is “bad” or “inappropriate”. Just as when visitors to a fine art museum walk away from an exhibition of art that did not appeal to them, saying that the art was “awful” rather than admitting that it just did not resonate with them (for whatever reason), it saddens me to see articles on the topic of the record art found on many of the best-known albums that begin with titles such as the one I found recently by Michael Christopher on the Delaware County (PA) Daily Times site (http://www.delcotimes.com/arts-and-entertainment/20160526/rock-music-menu-these-albums-have-bad-art-but-good-music) that read “These albums have bad art, but good music”, followed by the photo caption “Some albums have horrible art, but great music.”
The writer goes on to say that the covers he features, including albums from artists such as Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Metallica and five others, are “deceiving” the consumer by not giving them a clue as to what sort of music might be found inside the package. My questions to this writer is simple – “why is it that everything you see must be simple and to the point? Don’t you want some art to challenge you?” While I absolutely agree that there have been many records released with less-than-satisfactory cover art – particularly, those records packaged with covers that took little imagination to create – I would also venture to say that there were perhaps as many records released with eye-catching cover art that would ultimately be more pleasing than the pedestrian music found inside the sleeve. What say you?
g) Late last month – on June 20th, a day that will live in record-release infamy – Beatles fans world-wide celebrated the 50th anniversary of the release of the band’s Yesterday & Today album which, those of you who follow album art history well know, featured one of the most-controversial album cover photos in rock history – i.e., the famous “Butcher Cover” which showed the Fab Four posed in white lab coats and holding what seems to be several well-hacked babies in their hands. The band had hoped that their collaboration with photographer Robert Whitaker on a conceptual art shot titled “A Somnambulant Adventure” would serve as the perfect cover shot for their new record and, quite startlingly, the first batch of records were printed and shipped with the funny-but-somewhat-offensive cover art in place. Retailers and some consumers were not amused and the records were quickly recalled and re-manufactured with another totally inoffensive image glued over the original. A few batches of the original covers were hidden away and, many years later, emerged as probably the most sought-after collectible albums yearned for by fans/collectors of today. Writing for the Mass Live site, Ray Kelly provides us with the details, along with a recording and slide show featuring John Lennon’s explanation of what transpired that fateful day. http://www.masslive.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2016/06/the_beatles_butcher_cover_turn.html
h) Fans of The Doors (and the 1980s TV series Alf) will want to take note of the recent passing at the age of 76 of the actor Mihaly ‘Michu’ Meszaros, the 33 inch-tall performer that graced the Joel Brodsky-shot cover of the band’s 1967 album Strange Days. Originally from Budapest, Hungary, Meszaros also appeared as one of the cast of circus performers who danced their way through an alley in mid-town Manhattan, NYC for the music video for the record’s title song. He’d later go on to don a hairy alien suit to bring life to the title character of the long-running sit-com Alf. This article on the Examiner.com site – http://www.examiner.com/article/mihaly-meszaros-who-appeared-on-the-doors-strange-days-album-cover-has-died – gives you more details of the actor’s career and includes the music video for the record’s title track “Strange Days”, a work that will remain a classic in the world of album art-based concept films.
i) Like every young man growing up in the 1960s whose family owned a record player, I could not help but be intrigued (OK – turned on by) the cover of Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass’s 1965 hit record titled Whipped Cream & Other Delights. You know the one. The one with the seemingly naked beautiful woman standing in a pile of whipped cream, licking some off of one of her fingertips? Yeah, THAT one. Would you like to know more about “the making of” that famous cover image? Well, click on over to Bruce Handy’s recent article on the Billboard.com site and you’ll get just that. Of course, just like Herb Alpert himself, the model (Seattle’s Doris Erikson, an acquaintance of both Alpert and the record label’s art director, Peter Whorf) is now 80 years old, but that should not stop any of us old gappers from reliving some of our adolescence one more time….
j) Sometimes, it’s just fun to use the tools, regardless of what they spit out… In this article posted recently on the always-dangerous Dangerous Minds site, you’ll learn more about the works of the folks that contribute their talents (??) to add to the portfolio of truly simplistic re-renderings of famous heavy metal album covers that are hosted by a group calling itself “Metal Art Abominations”. You’ll see re-workings of classic covers from metal music stalwarts including Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Twisted Sister, Scorpions and many others, all done using the basic sketch applications you find on your smartphone.
Those looking to contribute to the site must, according to the group’s Facebook page, follow these two simple rules: “Rule 1 – Abominations MUST be created on a smartphone with a mobile app (we recommend Sketch). We can’t have people showing us up using Microsoft Paint, Photoshop etc., and Rule 2 – It MUST be an abomination – we cannot stress this enough.” With the weekend coming up, perhaps you’ll be inspired (if you do, please send us the link so we can praise you for your courage).
Metal Art Abominations Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/MetalArtAbominations/timeline
k) Yes, friends, it’s been 50 years since the release of the Beach Boys’ magnum opus Pet Sounds, during which time many of us album art fans have been left to ask “why does such a great record have such a mundane record cover?” While some of us will find some answers to that eternal question in writer Malcolm Searles’ fine book on Beach Boys covers (The Beach Boys: The Album Sleeves – https://www.facebook.com/beachboysalbumsleeves), it is at the same time always good to have the chance to get a look behind the scenes at “the making of” (or, “the taking of”) the cover photo shot by George Jerman during a band outing to the San Diego Zoo on February 15, 1966. It so happens that a reporter for a local teen magazine (Nikki Wine, working for the KRLA Beat) was also on hand to photograph the photo session and so, via the link to Lily Rothman and Liz Ronk’s article on the Time web site – http://time.com/4325553/pet-sounds-beach-boys-50/ – you’ll get to see some of these long-lost shots that will be included in the 50th Anniversary re-release of the record, due out June 10th.
l) I’ve always wondered what I might do with all of this stuff I’ve collected over the years…In this recent article by Brittany Woolsey for the Los Angeles Times site, you’ll meet a guy by the name of Alex Kolosow who, like many of us, has collected a lot of musical and cultural artifacts throughout his life – 30,000 vinyl records, thousands of baseball cards, newspapers, etc., – and also took the extra step of taking newspaper articles related to his records and storing them together, like he did with his copies of John Lennon’s records after the late Beatle had been murdered. Now, all these years later, the 66-year old retired salesman is looking to open a combination record/collectible store in Orange County, CA, in partnership with his 40-year-old son in order to share the fruits of his collection with pop culture fans of all types. Someday soon, you’ll be able to stop in his shop in Huntington Beach to browse and listen to stories of yore – http://www.latimes.com/socal/hb-independent/news/tn-hbi-me-0519-alex-kolosow-20160519-story.html Let’s wish him luck.
As it typically the case, I haven’t been able to share everything that’s taken place in this summary, so please take a moment to dig through the rest of what’s included – I’m sure you’ll find something that gets you to think and makes you smile. You all know that it’s my goal to help you to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in our favorite category of art and design with this summary of recent news you may have missed but, as I repeat regularly every month, regardless of how hectic your day-to-day lives may be seem to be, there’s no reason that you should have to go without your regular fix of up-to-date info on one of your favorite topics when you’ll find it all right here. I’ll continue to work every day (except weekends and the occasional personal days) to prove to you that there’s always something new to see and learn in the world of album cover art, and you know that you’ll find it all here on the ACHOF site (keep your eye on our News Feed for the latest updates).
That’s all for now – look for updates every week day on our news feed –https://www.facebook.com/AlbumCoverHallOfFame – we’ll be back early next month with another summary for you.
All text Copyright 2016 Mike Goldstein and AlbumCoverHallofFame.com – All Rights Reserved.