Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary – October, 2020
Posted October 1st, 2020 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Well, while I can’t say that I know how you’re all feeling these days, I’m quite certain that some of you are in the same shape I’m in – mentally exhausted, greatly disappointed by the greed, hate and hypocrisy put on display by many of our leaders (and the people that support them) and, frankly, wondering what our short-and-long-term futures might be. Try as I might to distract myself from the daily news cycle (and, how about that first Presidential debate?), it’s nearly impossible to avoid learning about the biggest stories (R.I.P. RBG) and then trying to keep myself focused on providing my readers the information they’ve (i.e., you’ve) come to rely on me for, so I must apologize for the somewhat-truncated list of things to read and enjoy that I’m presenting you today. I will reward you a bit later (either late this week or early next) with my long-promised interview with talented artist Faheem Majeed and, with any luck, I’m also going to launch the nominating/voting process for this year’s class of nominees and inductees (our 9th!) into the Album Cover Hall of Fame. My attention span seems just sufficient enough to have been able to gather basic info on nearly 100 more possible nominees, so the voting panel will have a heaping helping of new names to consider in this year’s effort.
I’m also hoping that, next year, for our 10th anniversary, we’ll be able to open up part of the nominating and voting process to you, the fans, so that you can pipe in on both existing ACHOF inductees and ones you’d like to see rewarded in several categories. More on this later but, meanwhile, I’ve also worked to continue to add and update bios on the ACHOF site, having tracked down even more of the great talents who have worked and continue to work in this area. In the meantime, I’ve organized and edited a sampling of album art/artist-related articles and remain grateful to those of you who’ve continued to visit and share what you’ve found on the ACHOF site. I hope that you’ll continue to dig through the archives of content available for you (suggestions for new topics are always appreciated) but for now, here’s my latest summary:
Exhibitions and Gallery Show Info:
a) Noted photographer Herb (“Herbie”) Greene’s album package credits include photography for albums by Jefferson Airplane (Surrealistic Pillow), Sly & The Family Stone (Higher!) and a number of others, but it was his early and long-standing association with Bay-area superstars the Grateful Dead, with a nicely-curated grouping that came from digging into that portfolio and pulling out 50+ shots taken at a 1966 GD pool party that’s currently on display (through November 8th) as part of the “Marin’s Rock Art Scene” show at the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art in Novato, CA . Adding some additional album cover artist-based cred to the show of photos, posters and other memorabilia from the era is another smaller-but-still-cool collection of photos taken by Jay Blakesberg.
You can read more about the show on the Museum’s web site at https://marinmoca.org/exhibitions/event/124/ and, if you’re staying inside while the pandemic still rages, the museum’s been kind enough to put up a gallery of images online for you to page through – https://marinmoca.org/gallery/2663/
The local paper (SF Chronicle) has also posted a brief intro article on the North Bay museum’s show – https://datebook.sfchronicle.com/art-exhibits/unearthed-grateful-dead-pool-party-photos-debut-at-north-bay-museum-exhibition More info on Mr. Greene and his career in photography can be found on his own web site at https://www.herbgreenefoto.com/
b) While the COVID-19 pandemic has curtailed most traditional forms of promotion, it’s interesting to see how some artists are finding ways to promote their products and, in some cases, still meet (however carefully) with their fans and admirers. One such case can be found in how rock photographer Mark Weiss has teamed up with a local museum/gallery to promote his new book – Mark Weiss: The Decade that Rocked!. With an exhibition that opened in early September at the Monmouth Museum in New Jersey (running through November 1st), Mark will be on hand once a week at the museum to both serve as a guide to his show and to personally sign copies of his new book (for those who’ve purchased them).
As the museum describes the show, it is one that ”showcases onstage and backstage moments and never-before-seen images from the period’s most historic concerts, tours and multiplatinum album covers, all captured through Mark’s lens. The exhibit also features memorabilia from his private collection, and will take visitors through Mark’s journey on his path to becoming one of the most iconic and celebrated photographers in rock ‘n’ roll.” His album cover credits include album cover credits include shots for Twisted Sister (Stay Hungry), Bon Jovi (Slippery When Wet and One Wild Night Live), 38 Special (Live At Sturgis), Dokken (Erase The Slate), Christina Aguilera (Mi Reflejo), Van Halen (Live Without A Net DVD) and Cinderella (Heartbreak Station and Gold) among others, so fans who are looking to meet the talented Mr. Weiss are invited to check out the museum’s page on the exhibit, which includes the book-signing schedule, at https://monmouthmuseum.org/in-the-galleries/main-gallery-4/
To purchase Mark’s book, go to: https://thedecadethatrocked.com/
c) Over in Sydney, Australia, in a new show that runs from the 25th of September through the 23rd of January, 2021, collectors and fans of noted Japanese designer/illustrator/painter Hiroshi Nagai can view a retrospective collection of 20 images that serve to highlight his prolific 40-year career creating memorable images for records both in his native Japan and for clients all over the world. Best-known for his covers for 1980s “city pop” acts including Max Romeo, Eiichi Ohtaki and Akiko Yano (on the Moon and Niagara labels and, more recently, records for Onra, Pictured Resort, AAA and others), his beautifully-rendered takes on sun-swept beaches, modern architecture and 1950’s American automobiles are sure to entrance visitors to this show hosted by the Japan Foundation in Chippendale, with more info on how to tour the show available on the organization’s web site at https://jpf.org.au/events/hiroshi-nagai-paintings-for-music/
d) Earlier this month, my web alerts brought me news about another show that provides a visual overview of the career of one of rock’s most-mythical guitarist, that being the late Jimi Hendrix, on the 50th anniversary of the release of his Axis: Bold As Love record, the 1967 disc that brought us performances of 13 songs including “Spanish Castle Magic”, “Little Wing” and “Castles Made of Sand” and which featured an album cover composite image that depicted Jimi and his bandmates, somewhat confusingly, as iterations of the Hindu god Vishnu…
In a show titled Bold As Love: Celebrating Hendrix that was on display through the 30th of September, the directors of the London-based fine art gallery Masterpiece Art (and, according to the article on the subject I read on the ArtDaily site – https://artdaily.cc/news/128315/Gallery-marks-50th-anniversary-of-Jimi-Hendrix-passing-with-rare-photographs) described the exhibition as follows – “The show is comprised of rare photographs of Hendrix — some never seen before — taken by acclaimed photographers including Ed Caraeff, Baron Wolman, Gered Mankowitz, David Montgomery (UK debut of his works), Ulvis Alberts and the late Charles Everest. Accompanying the photographs are two sculptures by Guy Portelli entitled Hey Joe and Wight Spirit — a large-scale glass mosaic panel which features the handprints of more than 80 musicians who performed at the 1970 Isle of Wight festival, including the handprint of Hendrix himself which Portelli mapped via the iconic ‘hand on face’ photograph taken by Baron Wolman”. Another rare and exciting item included in the show is the original WEM speaker system (and other examples of Hendrix-related memorabilia, including Hendrix’s personal Fender neck headstock pieces and Univibe effects pedal) that Hendrix used at the 1970 Isle of Wight concerts, his last major performance on British soil.
I wasn’t familiar with this gallery previously (see, I don’t know EVERYTHING about the subject) but, after visiting their web site to read more about this show – https://masterpieceart.co.uk/exhibitions/13-bold-as-love-celebrating-hendrix/works/ – I’ll be adding them to my RESOURCES section (on the Buying and Selling Resources page) and hope to find out more about them soon. At first glance, they have a number of artists in their collection that have produced many notable album art images, including the previously-mentioned photographers, as well as the multi-talented David Bowie himself, so I’m happy to have found this new gallery (which opened earlier this year), located at 3 Norland Place, London, UK W11 4QG. The gallery is open to the public by appointment.
As a general reminder, while many public/retail galleries and museums continue to be closed to the public, some have recently re-opened or announced plans to either/both re-open soon, making sure that they’re doing all they can to keep customers and their employees safe and/or continuing on in their efforts to create digital/online content including, for example, NYC’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, which has put hundreds of thousands of images of works in their archives up for public viewing on its web site – https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection. The Grammy Museum in LA, Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame have all produced prodigious amounts of product for their respective web sites, and many retail galleries – in addition to the online portfolios they’ve created – 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 look through the list of sellers I’m maintaining on the ACHOF site – https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/achof-buying-and-selling-resources-page/ – and then visit their sites to see who is doing what.
Artist News and Interviews:
a) There’s a comprehensive, 3-part series about Henry Diltz on American Songwriter site in honor of the photographer’s 82nd birthday, written by regular contributor Paul Zollo, that all fans of rock photography will want to read. Born in 1938 in Kansas City, MO but best-known as one of the many artists that created and then documented the lifestyles of those living in Los Angeles canyon country beginning in the 1960s, his work has graced hundreds of album covers and has been featured in books, magazines and newspapers. His unique artistic style has produced powerful photographic essays of Woodstock , The Monterey Pop Festival, The Doors, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Jimi Hendrix and scores of other legendary artists.
Notable examples of album cover work include The Doors’ Morrison Hotel, CSN for Crosby, Stills & Nash; James Taylor’s Sweet Baby James, George Harrison’s Concert For Bangladesh, Jackson Browne’s Jackson Browne and Souvenirs for Dan Fogelberg, among many others. Enjoy the journey, beginning with Part 1 – https://americansongwriter.com/henry-diltz-birthday-tribute-part-1/; Part 2 – https://americansongwriter.com/happy-henry-diltz-day-part-two/; Part 3 – https://americansongwriter.com/henrydiltz-birthday-3-sweet-baby-james/
On a related note, in this month’s Misc. section, you’ll read more about a recent interview with Diltz recorded live on the third episode of “Little Steven’s Roadshow”, hosted by Little Steven, Drew Carey and the TeachRock educational organization (donations appreciated) – https://teachrock.org/Roadshow/
b) Famed illustrator Drew Struzan – the man behind many of the world’s best-known movie posters and two of my favorite album cover illustrations – the front and back covers for Black Sabbath’s Sabbath Bloody Sabbath – is being honored on October 8th as one of this year’s inductees into the Society of Illustrator’s Hall of Fame. He’ll be in good company during the virtual awards ceremony – joining him are Thomas Blackshear, Edmund Dulac, Jean Henri Gaston Giraud (Mœbius), Jeffrey Catherine Jones, and Barbara Nessim. Tickets to the Zoom webinar during which guests will be treated to documentaries about each of the year’s honorees can be purchased via this link – https://www.societyillustrators.org/events/2020hall-fame
We at the ACHOF were proud to have been able to include Mr. Struzan in our Class of 2015 in the Illustration category as, in addition to the Black Sabbath artwork mentioned previously, he’s been responsible for a slew of memorable covers including Main Course for the Bee Gees, Iron Butterfly’s Scorching Beauty, Pickin’ Up The Pieces for Poco, Fantasy for Carole King and both Greatest Hits and Welcome to My Nightmare (one of Rolling Stone Magazine’s “100 Top Album Covers of All Time”) for rocker Alice Cooper.
c) For further insights into the creative inspirations and technical aspects of the many well-known-and-loved photos (including covers for Bob Dylan, The Band, Van Morrison and others) taken in the 1960s by photojournalist and long-time rock chronicler Elliott Landy, read this recent interview posted by the Magnum Photos agency (the one founded by famed photographers Henri Cartier Bresson and Robert Capa and who, incidentally, has represented Mr. Landy for licensing and print sales for 50 years – https://www.magnumphotos.com/arts-culture/music/proselytizing-new-way-free-elliott-landy-music-photography/
d) A Dutch designer – Stijn van Hapert – who has done work for Bebe Rexha, Camila Cabello, Meghan Trainor, Offset, electronic artist Stephen and more, is interviewed by Emily Gosling on the Creative Boom site – https://www.creativeboom.com/inspiration/-stijn-van-hapert/
e) Always included on “Best Album Covers of All Time” lists is Pennie Smith’s slightly-out-of-focus image of Clash bassist Paul Simonon smashing his Fender bass on the stage floor of the Palladium in NYC after a performance there in 1979 (just before the release of their London Calling record), which was then taken by graphic artist Ray Lowry and crafted into the cover we all know so well. In a recent article on the Far Out magazine site by Joe Taysom, Ms. Smith gives us the story behind her perhaps best-known photo – https://faroutmagazine.co.uk/the-clash-london-calling-story-behind-the-cover/
f) When the late rapper Juice WRLD’s posthumously-released album Legends Never Die was released mid-summer this year, it went on to become the biggest-selling album so far of 2020 (according to Billboard Magazine) and featured a cover based on a photo taken in Los Angeles earlier this year by photographer Matt Adam. Adam, a former graffiti artist from Toronto before becoming a much in-demand shooter whose clients have included Kanye West, Travis Scott and Playboi Carti (among others), shares the details of his own personal journey that led ultimately to this fateful assignment in this article on the Complex.com web site – https://www.complex.com/style/2020/09/meet-emerging-photographer-whose-captured-travis-scott-juice-wrld-kanye-west-matt-adam-interview
g) A panel of professional photographers share their opinions about what makes Kirk Weddle’s baby-in-the-pool shot he produced for Nirvanan’s Nevermind one of the best album cover photos of all time – https://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/technique/interviews/greatest-album-photography-nirvanas-nevermind-140357
h) Another informative interview found on the American Songwriter site features photographer Danny Clinch giving us the details about his photo now found on the cover for Bruce Springsteen’s new Letter To You album – one derived from a photo he shot of The Boss during Winter, 2018 – https://americansongwriter.com/photographer-danny-clinch-discusses-the-inspiration-behind-springsteens-letter-to-you-cover-photo/
Items for Sale and/or at Auction:
a) Designer/artist/all-around good guy Nick Egan has a new series of prints for sale – https://www.nickegan.com/shop According to Nick, the printed works on offer are called “Un-Pop Art” and are contemporary images that are an ‘ironic’ look at everyday images – the Gun as lipstick, the road sign, the British flag, etc. – with the images spanning from as far back as 2012 right up to just-recently. His flag print – ‘Union Fab’ – is made up of all the fabrics invented in the UK (pinstripe, tartan, hound’s-tooth and Prince of Wales Check). A print that the depicts a variety of amplifiers as the US flag is called “United Amps of America” (please note that the photo of this item that you see shows the artwork mounted on a wall – the artwork itself is simply the flag). All are fun and fascinating as we’ve seen over the years in Nick’s finely-crafted work in the album cover world – https://www.nickegan.com/album-covers
b) Famed photographer Brian Griffin is just now launching a new Kickstarter project so that more of his fans will have the opportunity to enjoy a deeper dive into his own unique personal story, one that took him from (as he now puts it) “those analogue days…growing up amongst the factories of the Black Country, studying photography in Manchester alongside my friends Daniel Meadows and Martin Parr, and then, filled with trepidation, going down to London to make a living as a photographer in the early 1970’s….Britain’s gloomiest period since the second world war, set between Harold Wilson’s ‘swinging sixties’ and Margaret Thatcher’s divisive 1980s. What was it like to be a young photographer then? By the end of the 1980’s, my photography was known throughout the world. How did I do it? What did I go through? It’s all in this book that tells the story – warts and all.”
Many of you will recall the talented Mr. Griffin’s last book project – the one back in 2018 that produced the fascinating and greatly-rewarding tome titled Pop – and since that time, we’ve been able to enjoy some tantalizing tidbits of Brian’s work in articles, gallery shows, video presentations, etc., so it will be a great joy to learn – in his own words spread across 200+ nicely-illustrated pages in a hard-cover tome he’s titling Black Country DADA: The Book – more about the man now considered one of the world’s premiere photo-artists. Scheduled for delivery in February of 2021, supporters can now pledge to support the book’s production and, in return, receive awards that include a) the book; b) a signed copy of the book; and c) a signed copy of the book along with one of several signed archival prints (including three of his best known album covers for Joe Jackson, Depeche Mode and Echo & The Bunnymen). Higher levels of support offer specially-priced 12”x16” photo prints from his archives, a portfolio of 22 prints made specifically in support of this book and, at the 5000 GBP level (approx. $6430.00 US), a private personal photo portrait session with the master himself.
More details can be found on the project’s page on the Kickstarter site – https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/briangriffindada/black-country-dada?
The all-or-nothing project, looking to raise $38,575, runs through 6:42AM CDT on Thursday, October 29, 2020. Join me, won’t you, in supporting Brian’s intensely-personal project.
c) In spite of the pandemic, the demand for Rolling Stones merchandise continues unabated and so, in response, they’ve opened up a posh retail establishment called “RS No. 9 Carnaby Street” (its address in London’s Soho section) with top brand management company Bravado. As you’ll read in Emily Zemler’s article on the Rolling Stone Magazine (no relation, I’m told) site, “The clothes range from £25 ($32) to £325 ($422), including a £30 white T-shirt that can be customized in the store alongside guitar picks (£5) and the requisite, lick-emblazoned facemasks (£15). The company hopes that the experience draws in the band’s longtime super fans, but that it also ‘brings the rest of the world in’.” – https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/rolling-stones-retail-shop-1056567/
d) In addition to the merch and memorabilia you’ll find at the band’s London retail establishment, the publishing team at Birmingham, U.K.’s St. Paul’s Gallery is also providing collectors with an opportunity to buy a limited-edition print of the “original” Rolling Stones “Lips & Tongue” logo from artist/illustrator John Pasche – https://stpaulsgallery.com/product/original-rolling-stones-logo-by-john-pache-poa/? I interviewed John a number of years ago to get his angle on how this now-ubiquitous image came to be, which you can read on my archive site at https://rockpopgallery.typepad.com/rockpop_gallery_news/2007/06/cover-story—r.html
e) Here’s something a little different – in case you see some or all of late photographer Robert Freeman’s archives for sale or up for auction, his estate hopes that you’ll call the authorities, as his archives were stolen from his London apartment – https://www.apollo-magazine.com/beatles-photographer-robert-freeman-archive-stolen/
According to this article on the Apollo Magazine web site – “Over the weekend of 14–15 December 2019, little more than a month after Freeman’s death, his former home was broken into. The entire archive, from vintage prints of Muhammad Ali, Andy Warhol and Jimmy Cliff to the diaries Freeman kept on tour with the Beatles, was taken. ‘His legacy has been snuffed out,’ says Godwin. Police investigations are ongoing, but she fears that the collection may have been broken up and will resurface in shady circumstances on the art market. The Freeman estate is appealing for anybody with any information about the theft, or who may have been approached about selling Freeman’s work, to come forward. The archive, says Godwin, is effectively priceless. ‘How valuable is history?’”
The Freeman estate can be contacted with any information regarding the whereabouts of the archive at firstname.lastname@example.org.
f) To commemorate the 40th anniversary of influential English rock band Killing Joke’s self-titled debut record, the team at the U.K.’s Flood Gallery have partnered with designer Mike Coles to offer a specially-produced collection of print which, if ordered before December 11th, will come signed by Coles. More info on the collection can be found at – https://www.thefloodgallery.com/collections/killing-joke-1?
g) The details of two new auctions at Bonham’s in London are now both available for viewing online: The first, their October 8th “Pop X Culture” auction, includes an item that should entice both album art collectors looking for ORIGINAL works and those who collect hip-hop-related art/memorabilia….Lot 71. In 1988, Tommy Boy Records contracted the Grey Organization to create a visual graphic identity for the hip hop group, De La Soul, including art direction for their debut album, 3 Feet High And Rising. Released on March 3, 1989, the album became a critical and commercial landmark of late 20th century pop culture, selling millions of copies worldwide and expanding the vocabulary of hip hop as an emerging art form. In 1998, 3 Feet High And Rising was named as one of The Source magazine’s ‘100 Best Rap Albums’ of all time and, in 2010, the US Library Of Congress selected the album for inclusion in the National Recording Registry.
In the Lot’s description on the Bonham’s site, they’ve provided some additional detail regarding how the cover was made – “For the album cover photo shoot, De La Soul visited the Grey Organization’s loft, where Mott asked Posdnuos, Trugoy and Mase to lie down on the floor, facing up, so their heads would form a triangle. “We [Mott and photographer Marie Hennechart] photographed them precariously from the top of a step ladder, one idea being that the cover would not have a right way up.” Since compact discs had not yet become the dominant musical format, the design process centered on production for the album’s 12inch LP record sleeve. Working at scale, Mott layered brightly colored hand-drawn flower designs made with Posca paint pens on acetate as an overlay for Hennechart’s black and white portrait of the group. “This was well before the time of Apple Macs and scanning,” Mott recalls. “Our intent was to be new and bright, with the overlaying of the fluorescent flowers and text reflecting a synthetic pop cartoon look. For De La Soul, it was a self-conscious move away from the prevailing macho hip hop visual codes of the era, which continue to dominate today.” [Note: The final album cover layout based on this artwork is credited to graphic designer Steven Migilo].”
What’s up for auction (with a pre-auction estimate of $2600 – $5100) is an original hand-drawn mock up for the 12inch vinyl album record sleeve, as approved for development by Tommy Boy Records, comprising a vintage black and white photographic silver gelatin print of the group, the portrait shot by Mott and Marie Hennechart, with overlaid sheet of transparent acetate hand-coloured in Posca paint pen, pigments by Mott, together with an album flat and sticker. The work measures 30 x 30cm (11 13/16 x 11 13/16in).
The following week (with final bidding taking place on October 13th), the company is holding an entertainment memorabilia auction that includes several items that album art fans should pay close attention to: 1) Lot 175 – ORIGINAL CONCEPT ARTWORK BY COLDPLAY AND PILAR ZETA FOR THE BAND’S 2015 ALBUM on Parlophone/Atlantic Records titled A HEAD FULL OF DREAMS. “The original collage conceived and created specifically as cover art for the hugely successful album; the creation of the collage was a collaboration by the artist Pilar Zeta and Coldplay resulting in a large mixed media montage which combines childhood photographs of each band member, their children’s artwork, printed card, metallic paper, acrylic paint, gold leaf, coloured pencil on paper, cut out text, all applied to a large canvas – pre-auction estimate of $26K-$39K, with all proceeds going to the Oxfam charity (Pilar Zeta is an Argentinean art director, known of her surrealist ideology and commissions for music labels such as Island Records, Big Beat Records and several others. An interview on Coldplay’s web site gives us some of the back story about her collaboration with Coldplay, during which “she instructed the band to include their own childhood photographs, original artwork and their children’s drawings into the artwork to see what they could create…Guy had this huge box with really awesome old photos that he was cutting out, and Chris would come and he would do a painting and then we’d try to include it in the collage, or he would come and paint a bit of the collage. So it was like a mix of things. And then all of a sudden, a week later we have this huge collage done…I didn’t do a mock-up of how the collage would look. It was just organic.”).
Lot 139 – French comic book artist ENKI BILAL’s ORIGINAL 1984 ARTWORK USED ON THE COVER OF THE DURAN DURAN FILM ARENA (AN ABSURD NOTION), “the highly detailed gouache and acrylic painting on paper, a privately commissioned piece inspired by the imagery from Duran Duran’s video for their hit single “The Wild Boys” released in 1984, and subsequently used on the film sleeve for the concept concert video Arena (An Absurd Notion) released by Tritec in 1985, which was filmed during the course of Duran Duran’s 1984 “Sing Blue Silver” North American Tour in support of the album Seven and the Ragged Tiger – there’s a pre-auction estimate of $65K – $91K. The item is from the collection of Paul Berrow, Duran Duran’s Manager from 1980-1986 and producer of the film Arena (An Absurd Notion). The artwork was commissioned by him while he was living in Paris in 1984.; Finally, there are three great items – Lots 185, 188 and 190 – that allow the winning bidder to own important parts of Beatles album art history. The first lot is the actual Hasselblad 500C camera used by late photographer Iain Macmillan to shoot the famous cover image for the Abbey Road record (est $2600 – $3200); the second is a print of the photo MacMillan shot for Paul McCartney’s Paul Is Live album, inscribed from Paul and Linda McCartney to Iain M. ($2600 – $3900 est.) and the third is an 8×10” transparency of The Beatles crossing Abbey Road, walking in the opposite direction they were as seen on the 1969 album’s cover ($1300 – $2600 pre-auction estimate).
More info on these items is available at https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/25996/#/aa1=1&MR1_length=12&w1=list&q1=album%2520cover&m1=1
h) I’d like to provide you with an update on one of the auctions I told you about last month – that being the sales of a number of items from former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman’s personal collection – with a focus on the album cover-related items included in the sale. Highlights of the lots that might be of interest to art, music and memorabilia collectors include: Lot 614 – an Andy Warhol-designed poster featuring photos shot for the band’s Love You Live album (est $5-7K; sold for $7680); Lot 723 is a framed litho featuring Peter Corriston’s marvelous artwork for the cover of the band’s 1981 album Tattoo You (Est $1-1.5K, sold for $2880); Lot 843 included a framed copy of the sleeve for the 1984 single “She Was Hot” (with a great cover by artist Roger Shipp that’s been signed by Wyman and all of the Stones except Mick J.(est $300-$500, sold for $4480!) and a collection of 10 silk neckties decorated with album cover and tour poster art sold for $3200, quite a bit above the $800-$1200 pre-auction estimate.
Also included in the sale was a 1962 Vox AC30 amplifier (pre-auction estimate of $80-$100K, sold for a tad above the high estimate at $106,250); a late 60’s Fender Mustang and some custom-made Travis Bean bass guitars (the Mustang sold at the “bargain price of $384,000, with a pre-auction estimate ranging form $300k – $500K, while the Travis Bean sold for $125,000, well below the $200K – $300K they’d hoped to get) and a pair of silver boots he was wearing while he accidentally fell off a stage and nearly killed himself (garnering a winning bid of $3,520, with a pre-auction estimate of only $400 – $600).
Take a look at all the results on the Julien’s Live website at https://www.julienslive.com/m/view-auctions/catalog/id/341?page=2&view=list&key=album+cover&sale=undefined&catm=any&order=order_num&xclosed=no&featured=no
i) At long last…The final Secret 7” fund-raising auction, originally scheduled for this past May, has been re-scheduled to begin October 14th (running through November 1st). My readers should recall having seen my annual reporting on the “Secret 7” hand-made record sleeve project and the impressive amount of talent on display each year. 2020 celebrates the organization’s seventh edition of the show – with this year being the final one – and so, as you might imagine, there will be a number of big-name participants who’ll be donating both music and art in an effort to raise funds for their chosen charity – pioneering humanitarian aid agency Help Refugees. As I quoted in an article about the project earlier this year, “Combining Music and Art for Good, Secret 7” takes 7 tracks from 7 of the best-known musicians around and presses each one 100 times to 7” vinyl. We then openly invite visual artists to create artwork for the 7 tracks, resulting in 700 unique records which are exhibited in London from September 4th through the 13th before being sold on a first come, first served basis (limit 4 to a customer – no online sales) in a quick sale staged on the final day“. Priced at £70 each, buyers don’t know who created the artwork or even which song it’s for, until they have parted with their cash. In past years, lucky buyers have gone home with art by contributors such as David Shrigley, Gilbert & George, Ai Weiwei, Es Devlin, Sir Paul Smith, Sir Antony Gormley, Jeremy Deller, Polly Morgan, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Yoko Ono, Sir Peter Blake, Julian Opie, Martin Parr, Jenny Holzer, Harland Miller, Gavin Turk and many other photographers, illustrators, painters, graffiti artists and sculptors. With the support of these collectors, they’re hoping to take their grand total given to charity to over £250,000.
While those of us not in the London area can only watch with intense jealousy, it is always fun to see who each year’s sale brings to the table in reports after the event. On the music side, this year’s participants include Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, The Internet Come Over, Koffee Toast, Miles Davis, Vampire Weekend and the Foo Fighters, with more info on the event available on both their web site at https://secret-7.com/page/about and in this article on The Guardian (UK) web site – https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2020/jun/15/the-best-new-design-from-african-arcade-games-to-art-you-can-smell Best of luck to the Secret 7” team – I’m sure we’ll see more from them in the future.
OBITS) None that I’m aware of…thank goodness, I don’t think my poor heart could stand the loss!
a) Originally posted 9-16-20 – News on the Best Art Vinyl annual album art awards, from the UK agency that sponsors this fan-driven vote…”In just a few weeks’ time, we will be announcing the 50 nominations for this year’s Best Art Vinyl 2020 Award. Looking back over this collage of contemporary Art and Music from the past 15 years, it’s very satisfying to see how our award found its place at the start of the vinyl revival and also how sleeve design found Art Vinyl as a natural partner to bring it to the fore again.
THIS IS A CALL TO ACTION for any Labels, Artists and Designers, who wish their creative output to be considered in the final 50 nominations, to get in touch so we can make sure the records get seen by the panel. The only criteria – it must be an LP/12” Single that’s been out/coming out in 2020 and on the vinyl format. Any music genre will be considered, more Classical and Death Metal please. Remember it’s all about the artwork and design! Email submissions to: email@example.com”
To view the previous winners of this prestigious award, click on over to the Art Vinyl site at https://artvinyl.com/lp-records-displayed-as-artwork-prize/
b) Originally posted 9-19-20 – Today marks the 50th anniversary of the death of guitarist Jimi Hendrix. Yesterday, I rec’d an email from the team at the San Francisco Art Exchange gallery in which they’re promoting their archive of iconic images from photographers including Karl Ferris, Jim Marshall, Gered Mankowitz, Ed Caraeff, Eddie Kramer and Bruce Fleming – https://sfae.com/Special-Pages/Search?searchtext=jimi+hendrix … He’d be 77 years old today – imagine what music he’d have made…I listened to three songs – “Little Wing”, “Red House” (one of many versions) and finished with “Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)”. Just perfect.
I also spent some time listening to GOLDMINE magazine’s latest podcast featuring Brian Bromberg, who’s discussing his new Hendrix tribute album (Bromberg Plays Hendrix) and hypothesizing what it might have been like had Jimi taken a turn towards jazz – https://www.goldminemag.com/podcast/brian-brombergs-instrumental-homage-to-jimi-hendrix-proves-to-be-as-powerful-as-ever
One last thing, as mentioned near the top of this month’s summary – On Thursday, Sept. 24th, music education organization TeachRock and guitarist/rock historian Steven Van Zandt partnered up to present a new “Virtual Road Show” episode (“In Los Angeles”, hosted by comedian/show host Drew Carey, sporting a very cool beard) during which there was a segment where you’ll find The Door’s Robby Krieger interviewing photographer Henry Diltz. The interview, which starts at approx. 1:26:00 in the video on YouTube you’ll find via this link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57yQDlu784Q&feature=youtu.be
One of the things I learned was that Diltz got his start in photography while still working as a musician with “Wall of Sound” producer (and eligible for parole in 2025 convicted murderer) Phil Spector. We’re very happy that Henry stumbled across that cheap camera (and led a much happier life than his old producer).
c) Here we go again….another writer has decided to sacrifice himself to the Top 100 Gods – this time, its Brett Milano, writing for the UDiscoverMusic.com site – https://www.udiscovermusic.com/stories/the-100-greatest-album-covers/
Brett’s past output includes the books Vinyl Junkies: Adventures in Record Collecting through St. Martin’s Press (published in 2001) and The Sound of Our Town: A History of Boston Rock & Roll (available through Commonwealth Editions and released in May 2007) and, after a look at his full bio http://www.brettmilano.com/bio/, he seems better-equipped to handle the “why didn’t you include…” feedback he’s sure to get (which is why I never do this sort of thing personally).
BONUS CONTENT – Digging around on the site, I also noted that an anonymous group of UDiscoverMusic writers gave us a list last September of the “25 Most Iconic Album Covers of All Time” – https://www.udiscovermusic.com/stories/25-iconic-album-covers/ – with an intro that read “iconic album covers don’t just define an album, they define an era, a generation and, in some cases, an entire musical genre. Sometimes they do all three: what is The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club album cover, if not the ultimate manifestation of 60s psychedelia for the “peace and love” crowd?”
I dunno – why? 😉
Very brief bits:
d) On the Vogue.com site, here’s the story behind Prince’s Sign O The Times album cover, in the words of Prince photographer Jeff Katz – https://www.vogue.com/article/prince-exclusive-sign-o-the-times
e) In an article published recently on the Ultimate Classic Rock web site, writers Ryan Reed and Matthew Wilkening take us through a tour of the album art found on 16 of the “most interesting” (from an album cover standpoint) albums by hard rock superstars Metallica – https://ultimateclassicrock.com/metallica-album-covers/
f) I was very impressed by artist Roger Dean’s new album art for Flower Kings which, I think you’ll agree, takes us for a more-detailed tour of the world he shared with us about 15 years ago in a print called Islands. If I remember the circumstances correctly, he produced this print to help raise some $$ for a film project he was working on (here’s a picture of my copy and, yes, its in my master bathroom) – https://www.loudersound.com/news/the-flower-kings-announce-new-double-album-islands
g) Earlier in September, the chief curator of Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Karen Herman, stepped down from her post – https://www.cleveland.com/entertainment/2020/09/rock-roll-hall-of-fames-chief-curator-karen-herman-stepping-down.html
h) The editors of the Muse by Clio style site asked designer David Gorman to pick his Top 7 album covers – https://musebycl.io/art-album/7-great-album-covers-chosen-david-gorman-1021-creative I’m hoping to get a few more details about David’s choices and find out what he’s up to in the area these days as well…
i) Wax Poetics magazine relaunch update (Original article posted in early September) – During its initial 15-year run as a print publication (based in NYC), Wax Poetics provided its readers a penetrating mix of long-form coverage of music industry/record collecting topics – with particular interest paid to the musicians and visual artists fueling the rise of hip-hop music into becoming the most-consumed genre in the record business. While the print pub mailed its last regular issue back in 2016 (although they’ve released several specialized issues since), demand for high-impact, high-quality music journalism hasn’t waned, and so a group of enterprising individuals based in Amsterdam and an editorial team that includes three of the publication’s founders has launched a project on Kickstarter that aimed to resurrect the print pub AND expand it online into something they’re calling “a membership-based music journalism platform for music fans that like to dig deeper.” They were looking to raise a little over $107,000 by the end of day, September 30th, and I’d like to report the good news – THEY DID IT (YEAH!)!! Actually, they hit their goal on September 20th after YOU, me and almost 1400 other supporters pledged their support, in the end raising approx. $140,000 and, according to their most-recent update – “Wax Poetics is returning! We are hugely excited, but mostly so thankful to each of you that has supported us so far. We quite literally could not have done this without each of you and cannot wait to launch the next era of Wax Poetics together. Thank you! So much love. Thank you all again. Wax Poetics
How about that – I got to end the summary with some GOOD NEWS!!
That’s all for now – stay tuned and be on the lookout for timely news alerts on our news feed –https://www.facebook.com/AlbumCoverHallOfFame – 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 AlbumCoverHallofFame.com – All Rights Reserved. All of trade names mentioned in these summaries are the properties of their respective owners and are used for reference only.