Album Cover Artist And Art News Summary And Preview For September/October, 2018 News Logo





With the cool breezes of Autumn now upon us, we can all look back at the memories created this past Summer with a combination of happiness for the times spent with friends and family and with sadness for those who experienced the wrath of Mother Nature (you can still donate to provide some relief to those driven from their homes due to floods and fire – the folks at Mercy Corps continue their quest to bring better solutions and immediate assistance to those in need around the world – ). With the mid-term elections soon upon us here in the U.S. (please do all you can to vote and help others to get registered and vote, too – click on over to Vote Save America to find out how) and the Holiday season following soon after, it’s also time for the annual Album Cover Hall of Fame nominating and voting process to begin, so rest assured knowing that yours truly and my merry band of album cover gurus will be working hard to deliver a fresh crop of inductees to you by November’s end.

I’m  happy to share the news that, in spite of all of the distractions pitched at us by various media outlets and hyper-active Twitter feeds, there’s been a goodly amount of album art/artist-related news to review – more interviews, profiles, news about new books and prints, etc. – and as you’ve seen in my previous news summaries, all you’ll need to do is just read the summaries I’ve written and then click the links provided in order to be able to find out more about the details from sources from around the world on items featuring many of the world’s most-talented album art creators.

Also, as a reminder, the Making Vinyl trade show scheduled again for this October (the 1st and 2nd ) in Detroit, MI will be the place where the best in album packaging and design/artwork will be honored in this year’s edition of the “Making Vinyl Packaging Awards”. After the preliminary review process of the 250+ packages submitted this year was completed (in which yours truly was a part of, with the list available for your viewing pleasure at – ), the winning entries – that is, those picked from the aforementioned list of finalists – will be selected by a panel of esteemed judges at the NYC offices of the AIGA design organization and awards will be announced and presented at a ceremony that will be held at the Westin Book Cadillac Detroit on the evening of October 1st. You will, of course, find more information on the winners immediately thereafter here on the ACHOF site and, with any luck, will be able to read an interview or two with some of the winners ASAP after.

On a related note – Noted album cover designer Spencer Drate and Red Velvet Media show producer Holly Stephey recently hosted an online interview with Mr. Larry Jaffee, the producer of the event and the Packaging Awards show that will be taking place during that event.  You won’t meet anyone with more passion about the resurgence of the vinyl record and the importance of album cover art, so I hope you’ll take the time to listen to this interview. Catch it online at

As always, I ask that you please share this info with everyone you know who are fans of great album cover-related talent and, of course, your comments and feedback are quite welcome.


a) The huge and impressive album art exhibition now on display at the San Francisco Art Exchange (thru October 31st) has tantalized collectors from all over the world to come see what’s available for sale there and, based on preliminary feedback from folks I know who’ve been there to look (and buy), it’s been well-worth their time and effort. Several days ago, collector/all-around-good-guy Ed Boyd (whose collection was once featured on the ACHOF web site – ) stopped by the gallery and, with their permission, sent me some snapshots of some of the items on display, a few of which you’ll find below.

Photos by Ed Boyd. Special thanks to the staff of the SFAE for allowing us to share these photos with you.

Interested parties can download a PDF of the show’s catalog and price list – with scores of items ranging from $1,500 for a selection of very nice photo prints by Joel Brodsky to $1,250,000 for a set of seven R-prints taken by famed shooter Iain MacMillan of his Abbey Road photo session for The Beatles. You can buy the Alberto Vargas watercolor used on the cover of The Cars’ Candy-O for $450,000, while both painter Iain McCaig’s painting for Jethro Tull’s The Broadsword & The Beast and a huge (40” x 40”) print of Brian Duffy’s famous cover for David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane can be had for about $100,000 each. There are too many items at all price points to list here, so why not click on this link – to download your own 5-page price list? After that, I’d suggest that you begin to make some serious decisions about what’s important in your lives – the mortgage, your children’s college education, those Botox injections you’ve been wanting, etc. – and then pool together all of your available resources to either/both attend this show and/or take home one or more of these memorable works of art. …

Let’s Go…It’s All I Can Do…You Can’t Hold On Too Long…

b) Reminder #2 – Last month, I announced that my friends at the U.K.-based art publisher/art gallery Hypergallery were taking a road trip to Berlin, Germany to stage, along with album cover design great Aubrey Powell, a survey exhibition that will “explore and unpack the significant influence of the Hipgnosis design studio through an unprecedented display of images from the Hipgnosis catalogue.” The show – titled Daring To Dream – was scheduled as part of the European Month of Photography (EMOP) 2018 event and is being co-curated by Emily Smeaton and John Colton, under the watchful eye of Mr. Powell.

Having launched on September 30th and running thru the 28th of October, the show’s been staged in a courtyard located on the 1st floor of Bergmannstr. 5, 10961 in Berlin, and kicked off with an opening party at that location on the evening of September 29th with both Mr. Powell and members of a local opera company on hand that evening, with the designer/author signing copies of his own retrospective book of Hipgnosis-generated album art called Vinyl.Album.Cover.Art which was recently published in Germany by Edel Books and in the U.K. by Thames & Hudson. This was followed the next day with a Film screening and talk with Aubrey Powell, with director Roddy Bogawa’s film Taken by Storm: The Art of Storm Thorgerson and Hipgnosis being shown and a Q&A with Aubrey Powell taking place following the screening. I’m eagerly waiting to see photos from the show/opening night event and will point you to those when they’re available.

Open: Tuesday – Sunday, 11am – 8pm – Admission: free, with more info can be found on the Hypergallery web site at

Here’s a recent nicely-illustrated article/review of the show on the always-informative (Germany) site that provides you with a bit more info on the show’s protagonists –

On a related note – I had the pleasure of interviewing film director Roddy Bogawa several years ago about the making of his film about Storm T. and the Hipgnosis agency, an interview that turned into a 2-parter that included a detailed discussion about art and music (a discussion that I thoroughly enjoyed  – I hope you do, too) – Link to Part 1 –

c) A couple of years ago, while waiting for an express train from Paris to London, I saw an intriguing display of promo imagery for a show that was soon to open there called “The Velvet Underground Experience”. Of course, it wasn’t scheduled to open for a few more days, so all I was able to see were these displays (timing is everything) and so I just chalked it up to bad timing. A couple of months ago, designer Spencer Drate sent me some pretty-sketchy info about a then-unnamed show about the VU that he was contributing to that would be coming to the U.S. “at a date TBD”. Lo and behold, I now learn that the mystery show is, in fact, the same one that was on display in France and that it’s U.S. staging will begin in a NYC-area venue beginning on October 10th.

According to the show’s PR, “it is the first global exhibition dedicated to the Velvet Underground and its influence on modern music, fashion, art and popular culture, set against the backdrop of the band’s early days collaborating with Andy Warhol in NYC in the 1960s… Through never-before-seen content, this new immersive exhibition retraces the Velvet Underground’s remarkable journey from the street to the highest echelons of New York society, their collaboration with Andy Warhol, and their influence on modern music, fashion, art & popular culture.”

The show is being produced and curated by the same team – Carolle Mirabello and Christian Fevret – who staged the successful European show and is being co-presented by Bandsintown and Citibank. The show’s on display Tuesday through Sunday (closed Monday) until the end of the year (December 30th) at 718 Broadway (in Greenwich Village), with $25 gen’l admission/$50 VIP tickets (letting you skip the line and letting you take home a commemorative poster) available online at

d) Last-minute exhibition head’s up – The partner of long-running Boston-area radio jock Julie Kramer – herself an accomplished photographer who always took advantage of both her talent and the fact that she always had a camera on-hand to take photos of whoever happened to be visiting the station – was digging around their basement when he came upon boxes (upon boxes) of photos and negatives Kramer had aggregated and then hidden away. According to this Broadway World article written by the BWW Staff News Desk, partner Jimi stated “I’m doing something with these photos whether you’re in or not,” the result of which is a new show and print sale that will begin at The Factory in Lynn, MA with an opening reception October 13th and run until the following Sunday (October 21st), with more info on the display and who’ll be on display (small sample – Bjork, Elvis Costello, Joe Strummer and many others) available via the link at

2) Artist interviews/profile articles –

a) 53 years after taking his first photos of Bob Dylan at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival – famous for being the show during which he dared to perform with electric guitars and amplification, causing a near-riot by the “purists” in the crowd – photographer Jerry Schatzberg is releasing a new book of photos – accompanied by anecdotes about the making of these shots – that’s titled Dylan By Schatzberg. The 91-year-old photographer was responsible for the memorable cover image for Dylan’s 1966 record Blonde On Blonde (as well as covers for Frank Zappa, Aretha Franklin, Sonny & Cher and many others) and was there during many of the Bard From Minnesota’s recording sessions and public performances, so the time spent going through the hundreds of photos in his archives unleashed many detailed memories, some of which are touched upon in this recent article (and brief video interview) by Regina Graham for the UK’s Daily Mail

The 262-page tome, featuring nearly 200 photos, will go on sale on October 25th, with the book’s publisher (ACC Art Books in NYC) now accepting pre-orders on their site at

b) JUST A REMINDER – NYC-area music art fans might want to quickly click on over to the Eventbrite site (via the link at the end of this notice) to register for what’s sure to be a sold-out event at the Great Hall at Cooper Union (7 East 7th Street, New York, NY 10003) this coming October 19th (from 7-8PM EDT) featuring Metallica’s drummer (and famed fine art collector) Lars Ulrich talking photography with the Brooklyn-based photo duo Herring & Herring (the team behind the album cover imagery for the band’s hit 2016 release Hardwired…To Self Destruct) about how artists like themselves collaborate to create great art.

Herring & Herring consists of Dimitri Scheblanov (who is himself a 2005 graduate of The Cooper Union’s School Of Art) and Jesper Carlsen (who was schooled at the Art Academy on the Danish island of Funen, graduating in 2006) and has worked with Metallica – serving as creative directors, photographers and music video directors – since 2014. In addition to their corporate work – with celebrity clients including musicians Ozzy Osbourne, Beyonce and Questlove, film stars Uma Thurman, Willem Dafoe and Billy Bob Thorton, TV personalities Fred Armisen, Oprah Winfrey and Andy Cohen and sports celebs Derek Jeter and Abby Wambach (among many others) – the partners also produce and publish the highly-praised image-only photo magazine also titled Herring & Herring (available on newsstands everywhere).

Ulrich will be taking a short break from the band’s tour in support of this album, which kicked off September 2nd with a show in Madison, WI.

Event info/registration  at  The event is free and open to the public, although the promoters warn that pre-registration doesn’t guarantee a seat, so get there early!

On a related note, here’s a link to a recent article about this upcoming event on the Blabbermouth site –

3) Sales/Auctions –

a) Backstage Auctions is now in preview mode for an upcoming auction – scheduled to go live on October 13th – built around the collection of music industry vet and former Van Halen/Sex Pistols tour manager Noel Monk and including, as you might figure, loads of one-of-a-kind memorabilia from those acts – over 800 lots including photos, tour merch, promo materials, recordings and much, much more, including a fair sampling of original artwork and photography (works by Helmut Newton, Neil Zlozower, Norman Seeff and several other noted shooters) – plus an amazing collection of other goodies he picked up along the way. The folks at Backstage posted some preliminary info on their blog at , but if you’d like to take a look at the pre-auction preview, it’s live now on their site –

The auction runs from October 13th through the 21st, so take a look and make some room in your collection for some of the great items available there.

b) Update on the results of “the most-metal of all memorabilia auctions” – the famed Julien’s auction house teamed up with the estate of the late singer Ronnie James Dio to offer a nice selection of Dio-owned property that included original album cover paintings, artwork, costumes and much more –

Slated for two days in mid-September at the Hard Rock Cafe in NYC (September 15th and 16th), the event (titled PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF RONNIE JAMES DIO) included well over 600 items and will showcase both “normal” personal effects (his little league baseball jersey, autographed baseballs and jerseys signed by his favorite pro sports players, etc.) and those things he aggregated during his multi-decade career as the lead singer for Rainbow, Black Sabbath and his own band Dio. Album art collectors had the opportunity to bid on:

The Last In Line original cover painting (est $20-30K) opening bid $10K – The original acrylic and collage painting executed by Barry Jackson and used as the cover art for the Dio album The Last in Line (Warner Bros., 1984). Framed, 26 1/2 by 45 1/2 inches; Sight, 18 by 37 inches  – SOLD for $32,000

Sacred Heart original cover painting (est $20-30K) opening bid $10K – The original acrylic and collage painting executed by artist Robert Florczak and used as the cover art for the Dio’s 1985 Warner Bros. Records album Sacred Heart, signed by Florczak in the lower left. Framed, it’s sized at 25 1/4 by 25 1/4 inches; SOLD FOR $10,240

Dream Evil original artwork (est $2-4K) opening bid $1K – The original acrylic on canvas board painting done by Steve Huston and used as the cover art for the  1987 Dio album Dream Evil (on Vertigo), signed in pencil in the lower right by Huston. This was the last album to feature “Murray” on the cover. Unframed, it measures 27 by 40 inches; SOLD FOR $16,250

– A trio of Alan Aldridge items from Dio’s personal collection – opening bid $150 – A signed print of the cover art for The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics, a copy of the book The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper’s Feast and an LP copy of the album of the same name. That 1975 album was produced by Roger Glover of the band Deep Purple and featured Dio in the role of “Froggy”. Framed, it measures 24 by 32 1/4 inches; SOLD FOR $1152

4) New Print/Book/Product RELEASES –

a) Photographer Tom Sheehan sports a large portfolio of album cover shots for musical acts such as the Flamin’ Groovies, Teenage Fanclub, The Charlatans UK, The Smiths, Oasis and many others, but he’s also well-known for the hundreds of candid and studio photos taken over the nearly 20 years he works with a little band from Athens, GA called R.E.M. and now, just in time for your pre-holiday shopping list, he’s releasing a new book via the Flood Gallery that presents scores of these photos for your viewing pleasure.

Sheehan’s pro photo career began in the mid-1970s at CBS Records, working there for 3.5 years and being on hand to see the launching of the careers of musical acts including The Clash and The Vibrators (along with a large roster in the U.S.). In mid-1978, Tom left to start his own photo agency, producing shots for publications including Melody Maker, NME, Sounds and others. Melody Maker writer/critic Harry Doherty was so impressed with Sheehan’s work that he sent him on special assignments, a relationship that lasted 25 years.

He’s since added photos for other publications such as The Guardian, NME, The Observer, Q, The Sunday Times and others to his portfolio and, via a long-standing relationship with Chris Marksberry at the U.K.-based publisher/gallery called Flood Gallery, Sheehan has also published a series of well-regarded photo books, including  Aim High: Paul Weller In Photographs, 1978-2015; In Between Days: The Cure In Photographs, 1982-2005; You Love Us: Manic Street Preachers In Photographs, 1991-2001 and now, in 2018, the aforementioned collection titled R.E.M. Athens, GA., 1984-2005 (all available from Flood Gallery Publications).

More information on this artist can be found on his website at

b) Dylan By Schatzberg book, featuring photos of Bob Dylan by Jerry Schatzberg, was detailed in Section 2 of this report…

5) Other articles of interest –

a) Originally posted 9/6/18 – Postmaster General and CEO Megan J. Brennan (the first female Postmaster General and CEO of the USPS) welcomed Lennon family members, photographer Bob Gruen and other noted guests who were on hand for the stamp dedication at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park. Back in May’s monthly news recap, I’d shared some info about a new USPS “Forever” postage stamp in their ongoing “Music Icons” series that was scheduled for release in September that features a photo of John Lennon taken by long-time Lennon chum/photographer Bob Gruen that was originally used in the packaging of Lennon’s 1974 solo release Walls & Bridges. Well – today’s the day (September 7th), and to celebrate the release, there’s a special event and dedication ceremony taking place at 11AM EDT at the Naumberg Bandshell in NYC’s Central Park that’s free and open to the public. Officiating the event will be U.S. Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan, and I’d expect several special guests to be on hand as well.

In the early May press release by the Postal Service, they announced that “for the first time, the Postal Service is revealing the full pane for these stamps, featuring a photograph of John Lennon taken by noted rock-and-roll photographer Bob Gruen on August 29, 1974 (titled John Lennon NYC 1974). Taken on the rooftop of Lennon’s Manhattan apartment, the photograph is part of a series of images taken by Gruen during the photo session for Lennon’s 1974 album Walls and Bridges.” You can see more of the photos taken during this session on Bob’s site at

The new stamp’s art director is Antonio Alcala, with design work handled by Neal Ashby, a guy with his own long list of album cover art credits for musical acts including dc Talk, Kurt Elling, The Kennedys, Audio Adrenaline and Thievery Corporation, among others.  Other commercial clients include Capitol Records, Dick Clark Productions, Don Cornelius Productions, EMI Music, MTV Networks, National Geographic, Virgin Entertainment and Warner Bros. Records, and his design for the Lydia Mendoza stamp (2013) was his first project for the U.S. Postal Service’s “Music Icons” series, followed the next year by his work on the Ray Charles stamp.

The new Lennon stamp pane – featuring 16 stamps in four rows of four, with each row printed in a gradient progression of different colors (yellow/orange to red, red to purple, light purple to dark purple and dark purple to blue) – is designed to resemble a vintage 45 rpm record sleeve (with an image of the edge of a disc popping out at the top), with one side of the pane including the stamps and some brief text about Lennon’s legacy. The image on the reverse side of the pane is a well-known B&W shot of Lennon at his white piano taken by Peter Fordham and used to promote his Imagine record in 1971, with Lennon’s signature in white above the scene.

The album cover for Lennon’s Walls & Bridges features a collage of drawings done by Lennon as a child along with a series of photos of John posing with different expressions. The booklet inside the sleeve included two photos by Gruen – the one featured on the stamp and another showing Lennon wearing five pairs of glasses stacked on top of each other (so silly, that boy). When I contacted Bob to ask him what it was like to work with the USPS and how he felt about his photo being used in this way, he replied “they were very secretive about what they were doing and in fact I didn’t see the final design until the press release… I do think it’s very cool to have a real US stamp, cool for me and cool for John.. it’s a great honor to have my photo be the one used for someone who had a lot of photos taken.”

In fact, more of Gruen’s photos have been licensed previously for use on postage stamps issued by the countries of Mongolia (Jerry Garcia and Bob Marley) and Montserrat (Bob Marley).

Dennis Zelzis,  WFUV afternoon on air host and Sirius/XM Classic Vinyl weekend host, did the intro, which included a video presentation set to Lennon music first showing Lennon in Central Park, signing autographs, buying pretzels, visiting the zoo (and dancing on the very bandshell stage that this ceremony was taking place) before visiting other NYC landmarks. This was followed by a brief speech by U.S. Postmaster General Megan Brennan, with noted Lennon photographer/friend Bob Gruen sharing some of his thoughts about his relationship with John and Yoko and the day he took the photo that is featured on the new stamp (you can watch Bob’s part of the ceremony beginning at around 25:40 of the video found on the USPS site – )

“When I took this photo 44 years ago, I never dreamed that it would be a US postage stamp.”  Sean Ono Lennon  (beginning at around 29:45 of the video clip) gives thanks and then Yoko says a few words around 32:30 “When John died, I said that there would be no funeral because John would be forever”, so she felt that his appearance on a “forever” stamp made perfect sense.

“It’s a privilege to commemorate the life of John Lennon – one of the most celebrated musicians and iconic personalities of the 20th century,” said Postmaster Brennan. “The world was influenced by John Lennon’s music and his commitment to the ideals of peace and unity. We continue to be inspired by his memory.”


(Left to right – Dennis Zelsis, Postmaster Brennan, Sean Lennon, Yoko Ono Lennon and Bob Gruen)

Of course, the highlight of the event was the appearances and remarks of/by Yoko Ono Lennon and the couple’s son, Sean. The 85-year-old Yoko needed a bit of time and help to make it on over to the lectern but, once she was in place, the always-entertaining star had lots of things to say and love to share with all in attendance.

More info about the stamp and this event can be found on the USPS site at

and the stamps – along with collectible items including an official copy of the event’s invitation (I snagged one of those!) can be ordered online at this link to the USPS site –

Imagine! Peace (and Love).

b) This month’s collection of Sound and Vision articles – which provide in-depth details of the stories behind some of your favorite album art – offered to us by Eben Bensen and the nice people at Juxtapoz Magazine includes quite the range of music/art of both recent and historical vintages. Managing Editor Eben Bensen has continued to impress with his weekly selections, with the most-recent articles summarized below:

– Photographer Jean-Paul Goude’s memorable cover for Grace Jones’ 1981 hit record Nightclubbing features an image that continues to make me wonder – “Even if I didn’t have a lighter, wouldn’t I still offer to find her one…?” –

– The cover image for David Bowie’s  1977 album titled Heroes was shot by photographer Masayoshi Sukita and, in keeping with the record industry’s famous support of recycling and sustainability, was re-used in 2013 by designer Jonathan Barnbrook – with some modifications, of course – for the cover of the late musician’s record The Next Day –

– 51 years later and STILL the champion! Cheer once more for the mind-bending work crafted by the design pair of Sir Peter Blake and Jann Haworth, working alongside photographer Michael Cooper, who together created the photo-collage against which all others (including scores of homages/parodies) are compared (in case you haven’t figured it out by now – shame on you – it’s the cover for The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s LHCB) –

c) School of Rock star Jack Black – a self-professed metal head from way back – was recently the guest of WAAF (Boston) show hosts Nick and Link where the trio worked together to help select “the most metal album cover artwork” of all time – . Several well-known covers (e.g. Frazetta’s Beatin’ the Odds cover for the not-so-metal Molly Hatchet; Iron Maiden’s Number of the Beast, etc.) along with some lesser-known but equally disturbing/intriguing covers were considered, but you’ll have to click on over to watch the video to see who the Tenacious D member and his chums selected as the winner.

d) The always artistically-leaning Kanye West is releasing his newest record – YAHNDI – the follow-up to his The Life of Pablo album – with a holographic album cover and sporting an image that’s very similar to his 2013 YEEZUS release – an image of a purple “MiniDisc” case that features the caption YANDHI 9 29 18 to commemorate the record’s September 29th release date. Here’s a link to a brief article on the Hypebeast site that includes a video of the album cover in action –

e) Finally, as promised in my most-recent monthly recap, I’ve just added a new article in the RESOURCES section of the ACHOF site that I’ve titled “Album Art and Packaging Trends Timeline and Overview”, one that seeks to answer, decade-by-decade, beginning in the 1940s up to the present, an important question for those of us interested in the history of album cover art, that being “what was it exactly that the products produced during each decade or era have shown us about Pop Culture and the status of record music promotion at that time?” The article comes as a result of a lot of research on the topic, so I do hope that you’ll take the time to read, absorb and then comment on both the content and any conclusions I’ve drawn from that effort.

At the end of the article, you’ll also find a link to music writer (and former Culture Editor for The Telegraph (U.K.) Martin Chilton’s Cover Story: History of Album Artwork article posted recently on –  which I also think you’ll find both very informative and insightful.

That’s all for now – stay tuned and be on the lookout for timely news alerts on our news feed – – we’ll be back early next month with another monthly summary for you.

Unless otherwise noted, all text and images included in this article are Copyright 2018 Mike Goldstein and – All Rights Reserved. All of trade names mentioned in these summaries are the properties of their respective owners and are used for reference only.

Comments are closed.