Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary – June, 2020




Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary – June, 2020

Posted June 1, 2020 by Mike Goldstein,

Greetings once again from my office – a place I’ve been spending WAY too much time in lately on account of the local/state “keep away from others” rules currently protecting me from that crummy COVID bug. Like many of you, I’ve been staring at screens half the day, and while I’ve been committed to getting out of the house at least a minute or two every day (long walks around the neighborhood and visits to local parks have been great sanity-savers), I’m both completely understanding that keeping my distance from others is my best option for continued good health and really anxious to return to whatever “normal” life will be soon.

In the meantime, I’ve done some writing for the site (read my recently-posted interview with a pair of music/art creatives in Amsterdam who’ve published a book of album cover re-makes called Vinylize! ), read several more books (including Dean Koontz’s latest super-smart golden retriever saves the day tome called Devoted), watched several concerts (was particularly happy to have found a video on YouTube of Mark Knopfler’s concert late last year at Madison Square Garden) and, in an effort to continue to simplify my life as Time marches on, did the groundwork/signed the papers for an auction early next year of the majority of my personal album cover art/photography collection (details to follow). So, while I’m not feeling super-productive, I continue on my merry quest with an eye towards a better future.

I’m very grateful to have heard from some of you during the quarantine and, to that end, the traffic to the ACHOF site has increased a bit, so it’s good to see that there are some folks out there who appreciate the stories I’ve continued to bring you during these troubled times. As a reward for your commitment to the topic and the people whose works we all so admire, I’m happy to deliver the latest in my series of short-but-sweet monthly summaries of album cover artist and art-related news, interviews, sales and more. And so, let’s go…

Exhibitions and Gallery Show Info

As you might figure, most galleries and museums have been closed to the public, with several of them creating content (ala the Morrison Hotel live and recorded speaker series called “Behind The Lens” which, you’ll read below, has added several new video segments) and others offering a more-enhanced online presence. Many are also available to help by appointment, so if you’re looking to learn more about what’s taking place in art spaces in your area, I’d invite you to traipse through the list of sellers I’m maintaining on the ACHOF site –

Artist News and Interviews

a) What’s it like to be a photographer whose cover shot was added to the collections of over 1.75 million music fans in one week? According to Jonathan Mannion, who was brought in by rapper Eminem to shoot the cover for his May 23, 2000 release titled The Marshall Mathers LP and who is featured in this recent interview by Carl Lammare, “It was Divine shit”.   Looking back on the project after 20 years, Mannion shares the details of the successful collaboration of two hip-hop genre “outsiders” that brought them to spots in Detroit and Amsterdam (which, we find out, was initially supposed to be the record’s title) in order to find the perfect photo that would ultimately ingrain itself into the brains of the 25 million+ fans who’ve bought it world-wide –

b) Jill Furmanovsky audio interview on Rock’s Back Pages podcast – In this approx. 37-minute interview, the show’s hosts ask Jill about how she got her start in the rock photography business (pushed on by her desire, as a young girl in the 60s, to ultimately have tea with The Beatles “and help them with their problems”). You’ll then hear more about her first foray into concert photography (using a camera and lens borrowed from her Art School, she confidently strode from her upper balcony seats at a 1/14/72 YES concert to the front of the stage, where she was mistaken as a pro!) proving, quite clearly, to be the truth when she states about herself “I’m extremely persistent”. You’ll go on to learn more about her “Bob Quest”, he jobs for magazines run more as Boy’s Clubs and her ability to move seamlessly from the classic rock to disco to punk and New Wave eras, earning the respect of her subjects and colleagues along the way – enough so that, in the late 1990s, she went on to found one of the industry’s most-respected photo archives – – where she represents the works of over 60 shooters.

c) Last month, I included an item about artist Roger Dean’s video sessions, shot live in his studio, during which he let us watch over his shoulder as he was working on a new album cover painting that’ll be found on the cover of a new YES album. Fans were so intrigued that the talented Mr. Dean decided to bring us through an entire series of lessons, with new hour-long videos posted quite regularly (sometimes, daily!), so if you’d like to watch a master at work and perhaps learn a thing or two about painting in acrylics, I’d invite you to visit his site at Well-heeled collectors will want to take note that some of the paintings he’s producing are to be sold when completed…

d) Since I first reported on the ongoing series of presentations hosted by the Morrison Hotel Galleries featuring well-known rock photographers taking us on tours through their portfolios (first seen as live events on Instagram, with the videos then archived on the gallery’s site), there have been several new additions to this series (titled “Behind The Lens”) that will be of interest to album cover fans. Beginning with Episode 14 and the San Diego-based photographer Adam Elmakias, you’ll be able to continue on for several hours, learning more about the lives and works of other shooters including Bob Gruen, Ross Halfin, David Godlis and, most recently, Ethan Russell. Begin your journey on the “Behind The Lens” main page – and stay tuned for more, I’m sure…

e) Lynn Goldsmith has been a busy content creator lately, producing video pieces that have populated her Instagram/Twitter/Website pages on a regular basis, such as this one describing how she crafts photo-mosaics from images found in her vast archives –

These new images of popular musicians are built from “pixels” that are actually photos of that very artist taken by Ms. Goldsmith, so each work is actually two works in one!

f) One of the earlier works by another Morrison Hotel Gallery-related artist – musician, photographer and one of the co-owners of the MHG, Henry Diltz – is the subject of this recent interview by Greg Brodsky on the Best Classic Bands site –  Henry’s one of the people included in a just-released two part documentary on Epix TV about all of the talented folks who lived in the Laurel Canyon section of Los Angeles (titled Laurel Canyon, directed by Alison Ellwood) and one certain musical act from the area – Crosby Stills & Nash – needed some promo photos for a new album, so Diltz and his art-director partner Gary Burden joined the harmonious threesome while they looked for just the right place to shoot, finding a rather ramshackle old wooden house on Palm Ave., with one of the resulting photos becoming one for the ages… If you’d like to learn a bit more about the Laurel Canyon film, click on over to this page on the site –

g) While only four years out of school and initially working as an advertising art director at an agency in Toronto, Mihailo Andic decided to go all in on his dream – to be an album cover art director for some of his favorite musical acts. Through dedication and an ambitition to succeed, Andic has since become one of the most in-demand art creators on the scene, having added credits for Lil Yachty, Quavo, Summer Walker, Big K.R.I.T. and  others to his rapidly-expanding portfolio of cover work. In this recent article on the site – by Lei Takanashi, a staff writer for the magazine’s Complex Style section – you’ll get the stories behind how the cover artwork for some of these top-selling albums were conceived and created, including one story about how he was given only three days to produce the seemingly-impossible-to-produce-in-three-days cover for 2018’s Quavo Huncho (he did it, he did it!).  You can then learn more about this up-and-coming young talent on his web site at

Items for Sale and/or at Auction

As you might imagine, shopping from home is being encouraged these days, so several galleries are working hard to earn your business (even though you can’t patronize these establishments in person) and other noted producers of rock art/imagery are tantalizing us with new books and merch as well…

a) George Hardie’s original artwork for the first LP released by Led Zeppelin (titled Led Zeppelin, but known by most as “Led Zeppelin 1”) going up for online auction at Christie’s beginning June 2nd, with a pre-auction estimate for the stipple tracing of the 1937 photograph of the doomed airship Hindenburg estimated in the $20K-30K range –

Hardie was paid £60 at the time for his work, which since has been reproduced on countless posters, t-shirts and the nearly 10 million copies of this record sold since its release in 1969. The item is included in a sale of Fine Books & Manuscripts including a copy of the first newspaper printing of the “Star-Spangled Banner” and a letter by George Washington on the significance of the American victory at Yorktown.

b) An upcoming auction by the Julien’s Auction house includes a fair number of  album cover-related items that will be offered in four sessions over two days, June 19-20th. In its offering of over 800 lots, includes two items – a Kurt Cobain guitar and a Prince guitar – that are each making headlines on their own, with both items expected to be sold for hundreds of thousands – maybe even millions – of dollars. While those items are quite exciting, I’ve dug further down into the catalog and found several items that might make the album art fan in your life very happy as well. Here’s a sampling of what’s going to be on offer: Lot 1 is a black and white Anton Corbijn photo print from the estate of Karen Roberta Stanley (Steely Dan’s manager at ABC Records and guitarist Walter Becker’s lady friend) that was used on the cover of the band’s Greatest Hits record (pre-auction estimate in the $300 – $500 range); Lots 41-42 and 45-46 are test proof prints of the iconic album art for Steely Dan’s Aja (est $500-$700); Lot 172 – A printer’s proof of the unreleased original cover art for Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland LP ($1-$2K est., framed with a print of the released artwork to show the slight differences); Lot 189 – a framed, limited-edition print of the painting that Joni Mitchell did for use on the cover of her 1982 album Wild Things Run Fast ($1-2K est); Lot 195 – while not exactly a “real” album cover image, this is a pretty cool piece of memorabilia…used as a prop in Oliver Stone’s film starring Val Kilmer titled The Doors, this cover image, modeled after the band’s debut cover, substitutes the film’s stars for the original band members (est. $100 – 200); Lot 208 – David Alexander’s photo used on the cover for Hotel California by the Eagles is offered in a limited-edition print ($400 – 600); Lot 223 – A 1993 art print of the cover art for Elvis Presley’s 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong album ($400-600); Lot 330 – a black duster coat worn by Johnny Cash on the covers of both his 1994 record American Recordings and his 1996 album Unchained ($25K-30K); Lot 361 – a Rush band-signed, limited-edition print of the cover for their 1976 hit LP 2112 ($600-800); Lot 475 – Anton Corbijn’s cover shot for U2’s Joshua Tree album is the subject of this signed, limited-edition print ($400 – 600); Lot 552 – a fully-band-signed limited-edition print of the cover for Bon Jovi’s Cross Road, printed in 1995 ($600-800); Lot 553 – Artist David Welker’s original oil painting used on the cover of Phish’s 1993 album Rift ($10K-20K); Lot 714 – a portfolio package including 10 limited-edition prints by artist/musician Klaus Voorman of the art he produced for Ringo Starr’s 1973 album Ringo ($2k-3k); Lot 740 – a framed promo poster of the famed “baby in a pool” photo by Kirk Weddle used on the cover of Nirvana’s Nevermind LP, signed and hand-embellished by all three of the band members ($6K-8K); Lot 831 – a set of 2 printer’s proof prints of artist Alan Aldridge’s unused artwork for the unreleased 1975 album Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus by the Rolling Stones. The package was released over 30 years later, but with different packaging (est $2K – 4k). I maybe missed a few, so I’d invite you to tour the online catalog yourself for this auction event at

c) UPDATE of May item – I first let you know about author Ramon Oscuro’s quest to raise the money to fund production of his third And Justice For Art heavy metal album cover art book and, I’m happy to say, I think that he’s almost there. He recently teamed with cover art master Ioannis (and several other noted image-makers) to be able to offer several “Executive Producer” editions of the book, which add goodies such as art prints, posters, t-shirts and other memorabilia. Donations are now $15, which get you several benefits including a discount on the book when it comes out later this year – go to to stake your claims.

d) To mark the 40th anniversary of the release of their Freedom Of Choice album and to allow fans of the band to stay extra safe while socially-distancing during this pandemic, DEVO is now selling several themed items of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), including an extra-cool Energy Dome Face Shield (yes, it’s true…$49.98, with some assembly required). Here’s a link to an “unboxing” video of this particular item –, and you can learn more about the full line of related merchandise via this recent article on the Flood Magazine site –

It’s our Duty Now for the Future to stay safe and stylish, so what better way than via one of these great items (facemasks, too). Go to the merch site to get your own –

e) Glad to see GOLDMINE Magazine make an article I’d read in the print edition by Jay Jay French about art-themed, limited-edition turntables by Pro-Ject Audio available for everyone to read now online – I remember seeing the Yellow Submarine version is a store window a while back and always wondered about whose idea it was to bring this artwork to the place where it would remain front-and-center in a collector’s listening area, so now I know and you can, too.

Miscellaneous Items

a) OBIT – Photographer/Beatles buddy and fashion influencer Astrid Kirchherr died on May 13th in Berlin at the age of 81. When the young designer/artist/photographer was attending college in Hamburg, Germany (the Meisterschule) in the late 1950s, she befriended two other students – Klaus Voorman and Jurgen Vollmer – who shared her interests in Pop culture and music. Voorman became her love interest and, in 1960, the two stumbled in to a club on the Reeperbahn called the Kaiserkeller where they listened to a band from England called The Beatles (who, at the time, consisted of five members, including drummer Pete Best and guitarist Stu Sutcliffe), bringing their friend Vollmer back with them to the club immediately thereafter. Kirchherr became entranced with the young lads from Britain, and one of the bandmembers – Sutcliffe, himself a former art school student – found himself smitten with the beautiful blonde, with the pair starting to date soon after. She’d soon apply her skills as a designer and fashionista to her friends hair and wardrobe, with Astrid being credited for the band’s early “mop-top” haircuts and tailored suits.

With access to the band both onstage and behind the scenes now easily granted, Kirchherr asked the band if they’d mind her bringing a camera along, with the goal being to get them to pose artistically for her as she had sensed something special about the band and its members. Back in early 2018, over 50 years after these photos were taken, Astrid teamed with publisher Damani to release a book of these important photos of the beginnings of a band that would become the most-influential in rock music history. Titled ASTRID KIRCHHERR WITH THE BEATLES (co-authored by Maurizio Guidoni), the book’s imagery focuses on a period of time – from 1960 through 1968 – during which she chronicled the band from its hard-working club band beginnings, during their brief times away from their rapidly-rising careers, on the set of the making of the movie A Hard Day’s Night and up to the time she produced a headshot of George Harrison for his 1968 solo record Wonderwall Music. While her photos have been included in several limited-edition and commercial books of Beatles photos, this was the first time that many of the photos in this 96-page photo-book were made available to the general public (you can find this book on the publisher’s web site at

In a tweet following her death, Beatles drummer Ringo Starr stated: “God bless Astrid a beautiful human being And she took great photos peace and love.”

A full obit can be found on the site –

b) Two much-heralded designers working as a team – Brazilian Beto Fernandez and Spaniard Paco Conde, better known as Activistala – has applied their talents to produce a site of timely album cover images that have been re-configured to provide proper social distancing for the people featured on them. Viewable on these two sites – and also on Instagram at – you’ll find images of many of your favorite album covers that seem to be the ones we all remember, but… According to an explanation they provided on their web site, “Social distancing is the new normal and it will be for a while. 6 feet or 1.8 meters is the distance that experts recommend we keep between each other to stop the virus from spreading. We applied the 6 feet distance, re-imagining iconic album covers and turning them into simple and powerful visuals.  A few days later, some of the artists featured started to show their support for the covers, and then TV networks and publications from around the world shared the project.”

The folks at Fast Company Magazine talked to the pair responsible for these remakes in an article on their web site –

c) Proving the old adage “it’s never too late to use a 56-year-old photograph of a couple dancing in an old Whitechapel underground night club on a new Bob Dylan album cover”, here’s a story on the Rolling Stone web site about how a shot from British photographer Ian Berry’s portfolio of magazine imagery ended up on the cover of Mr. Dylan’s upcoming full-length release Rough and Rowdy Ways

d) While we’re talking about Mr. Dylan, I wanted to share a story that noted photographer Elliott Landy shared an excerpt of in a recent email to his fans and followers. Adapted from his book Woodstock Vision: The Spirit of a Generation, it tells part of the story of how a photo shoot for what was supposed to be the back cover for the Nashville Skyline LP in fact produced the memorable front cover image – “In early 1969 Bob called and asked me to take a picture for the back of his new album, Nashville Skyline. He had the front cover already picked out—a picture of the skyline of Nashville, where he had recorded the album. One afternoon, I went over to his place. As we left the house, he grabbed a hat, and asked, “Do you think we could use this?” I had no idea if it would be good or not, so I told him “take it, and we’ll see.” We walked around through the woods behind his house looking for a good spot. It had just been raining, we had boots on, and he was carrying this hat.

He paused for a moment, apparently inspired, and said, “What about taking one from down there?“ pointing to the ground. As I started kneeling, I saw that it was muddy but kept going. ”Do you think I should wear this?“ he asked, starting to put on his hat, smiling because it was kind of a goof, and he was having fun visualizing himself in this silly-looking traditional hat. ”I don’t know,“ I said as I snapped the shutter. It all happened so fast. If I had had any resistance in me, I would have missed the photograph that became the front cover. It is best to be open to life.

Some days later, we met to select the photo to be used. We projected the slides onto a 12×12 inch white board so we could see exactly what the photos would look like on an album cover. We easily agreed this was the photo to use and decided it looked best when filling the entire cover, so we cropped off the bottom of the image. We also decided it should not have any text over it—something which Columbia Records had never done before and was not too happy about.

During those days in Woodstock he was really open and in a good mood. It was sunny out and we just followed our instincts. It was the first picture of him smiling on any of his albums and, in my opinion, reflects the inner spirit, the loving essence of the man behind all the inspiring music he has given us. Someone told me that the reason people like it so much is that it makes them happy. Every review of the album mentioned his smile on the cover. No one talked about the photograph itself. For me that is requisite for a good photograph. The medium should be invisible. It shouldn’t make you look at it and think, “What a great photograph this is,” but rather should make you focus on what is in the photograph: “Look at that child, look at the flower, look at that person, how fantastic.”

Nearly everyone of my generation knows the photograph, and many have acknowledged it as an image that has had great meaning to them. Perhaps it reflects the love we were all seeking to find through making the world a better place. And so this was a magical picture for all of us. It certainly assured my reputation as a photographer. My bill for the shoot which, in addition to my fee, included an array of items such as gas, tolls, film, etc., came to exactly $777. In metaphysics, 777 is the number of mystical manifestation, the magical number representing mysteries, the occult, clairvoyance, magic, the seven principles of man, the universe, and also the notes on a musical scale. I was awed by this incredible coincidence. It strengthened my feeling that everything is interconnected in ways which the logical mind cannot explain: We are all one.”

To read more stories like this, why not grab a copy of Elliott’s book – or, to get a fine art print of this image for your very own, visit

e) As a way to keep from performing acts of filicide in response to way too much time being spent together in isolation, some parent/child combos have come up with a variety of fun things to do. In this article found on the E site, you’ll read about how a mother/daughter team in Los Angeles – Mom’s a photographer and daughter is a photogenic five-year-old named Lola – were listening to some music at home and decided to re-create a Lady Gaga album cover. Things led to things and…well, take a look at what will warm the heart of album cover fans of all ages –

f) May marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of one of the entertainment industry’s most-memorable designers, animators and art directors – the great Saul Bass, who worked as a freelancer for record labels including Decca, RCA/Victor, Capitol and Columbia Records from 1954-68, and whose clients included Otto Preminger, Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorsese and The Smithereens, among others – in a recent article in the UK version of GQ Magazine by Bill Prince, the reporter takes us on a tour through many of this huge talent’s better-known movie images –  In my mind, it was the lettering he created for the title sequence and promo posters for the Hitchcock film Psycho that remains perhaps the film’s most-memorable image (OK, the shower scene might win a popularity poll, but just look at those letters!).

g) Sony Music’s design director Frank Harkins and I agree on one thing when it comes to the often-information-free lists of “Best Album Covers” typically offered up at the end of each year – that being that the identities of the PEOPLE who make these notable images are often overlooked in those lists. As regular readers here know, I have railed from time to time on that very subject, but the record/music entertainment industry (and the media outlets that cover it) isn’t the only one that neglects to provide what you’d think would be important information (i.e., “who did this?”). For example, I’ve read a number of articles about new buildings and building renovations (my wife used to be a designer in that area) and found that, unless it’s a project done by one of the “starchitects” working in that profession, reporters tend to make us dig elsewhere for that information. I am therefore even more happy when a designer is given a forum to share both his own personal feelings about what stands out in album cover designs and the basic info I’d/we’d like to know about not only WHO did the work, but WHY, so let’s all say “thanks” to Frank for this recent article on the Muse By Clio site –

h) This past February, Korean world-wide music sensations BTS released their fourth studio album titled Map of the Soul 7 and, in this article on the Live site, we’re introduced to the Seoul, South Korea-based design duo of A ji-hye and Jang joon-oh as the couple shares their inspirations for the cover design, built mainly around the combined life stories of the group’s seven young members  –

i) Larry Jaffe, a professor and founder of the Making Vinyl industry event/awards show, speaks about the comeback of vinyl in this hour-long lecture on the topic, during which I learned that you can actually have your cremated ashes turned into a vinyl record, allowing you to sit on a shelf in your own homes, gathering dust until you’re played every year on your birthday (I did, in fact, learn quite a bit more, but it’s late in the day and I’m getting a bit snarky, so excuuuse, me! –

j) While I was doing research on another article, I came across something I’d never seen before and just thought that I’d share it with you. One of my favorite adult tipples is a wee dram of Macallans’s Whisky, so when I found a mention of a VERY special batch of bottles of 1926 Macallan’s that were packaged in the 1980s in a custom presentation case featuring designs by famed Pop artist (and album cover designer) Sir Peter Blake, I decided to dig in a bit more about this collaboration and the resulting offering for well-heeled Scotch drinkers. Little did I realize just how well-heeled you’d need to be in order to own one of these 12 special-edition bottles. Never meant for sale, these bottles we awarded by the distillery to their best commercial clients, with one hitting the market from time to time and selling for astronomical sums (over a million dollars). Not sure which part(s) of the package drive the realized prices to those heights – the 60-now-90 year old Scotch or the fantastic array of Blake-designed goodies included in the box – but, I have to admit, I’ve never seen a collectible that spoke to me so directly. I’ll now excuse myself to enjoy a finger or two of my own bottle of 12-year-old Macallan single malt (quite good in its own right) and stare a while at the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band cover print I keep in my office. Just making do with what I’ve got, right?

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

Unless otherwise noted, all text and images included in this article are Copyright 2020 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.

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