Album Cover Hall of Fame’s News Update and Link Summary for July, 2022, posted July 1, 2022 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Happy pre-Independence Day greetings to you all. We here in Chicagoland have gone through several days of nearly 100-degree heat as we passed from Spring into Summer, so we can only hope that things moderate a bit soon so we can leave our air-conditioned cocoons and enjoy the outdoors a bit. Wish us luck, and we’ll return the favor.
The month of June did include the conclusion of another auction featuring a rare item of original album art – the cover painting for one of the late rapper Tupac Shakur’s albums – which hit a fairly-impressive sales number when all of the bidding was done, the release of some fine art books featuring the works of some of the music business’ best-known designers and photographers and the passing of one of rock music’s (and the comic book/fantasy publishing world’s) better-known illustrators, Ken Kelly, along with a lot of interesting editorial work about album cover images and the people that make them so, with all that to consider, I’m suggesting that you take a moment away from the summertime activities you might typically enjoy and take a few moments to review and absorb all of the items and links I’ve shared with you this month.
In this month’s summary, you’ll continue to find updated reports about new and ongoing exhibitions, news about the ongoing efforts and output of some of the top talents working in music packaging, new items available for sale or at auction and scores of other items on the topic of album covers (and the people that make them). In addition, you’ll find more links to the work of some of the dedicated writers we follow who work hard to produce the articles that share the stories of some of your favorite album covers and so, without further impediments to your progress, let’s begin our tour through the most-recent goings-on on our favorite topic – album cover makers and the works that they do to make us happy. Enjoy the read:
Exhibitions and Gallery Show Info (new and upcoming soon) –
a) I’m excited to report to you about the recent launch of a new exhibition at New York City’s Universal Hip Hop Museum. The show’s titled “[R]Evolution of Hip Hop: Golden Era 1986-1990” and, according to the venue’s advance PR, makes note of the fact that “the artistic and technological advancements made during the years of 1986 and 1990 were remarkable. The lyrical skills of Rakim, Kool G. Rap, Big Daddy Kane and others would transform the definition of an MC. The production mastery of chopping up beats and sampling sounds by the likes of Marley Marl, Prince Paul and the Bomb Squad would redefine the sound of Hip Hop forever.”
Fans of the genre will be able to revisit many of the highlights of the era, one which “established rap as a commodity and its acts as marketable stars that could sell products like the Adidas they wore on their feet…From the city streets and the clubs of New York to the suburban neighborhoods of Compton, California, Hip Hop expanded by leaps and bounds as regional sounds and styles established themselves. The phenomenon of Yo! MTV Raps would further intensify this expansion on a worldwide basis between 1988 and 1990…experience the street fashions of Dapper Dan, the beats of DJ Scott LaRock, the rhymes of Biz Markie and the culture of Hip Hop that was chronicled by Video Music Box, Word Up Magazine, the Source, The Arsenio Hall Show and scores of other outlets. The show opened to the public this past June 28th and is running thru 2/28/23, with info/tix available at https://uhhm.vbotickets.com/events?mc_cid=2e35322f80&mc_eid=1aeceeec6c
On a related note – I’m also pleased to share the news about the re-launch this past May of one of the aforementioned TV show that helped introduce rap/hip-hop to the masses. Originally launched in 1988, Yo! MTV Raps was helmed by Pete Dougherty and the late Ted Demme and starred rap legend Fab 5 Freddy. The new series (on Paramount +) has, as the executive producer for MTV, the wonderful and talented Jen Demme, Ted Demme’s sister and someone I had the pleasure of working with at Fuse, and this latest iteration of the show (which aired its final episodes in 1995) will feature segments from hosts Conceited and DJ Diamond Kuts along with live performances, tributes to rap royalty, reports on hip-hop fashion and lifestyle and a long list of featured guest appearances. New episodes each Tuesday, with more info at https://www.paramountplus.com/shows/yo-mtv-raps/?
b) The artwork of San Francisco Bay-area artist Stanley Mouse has helped establish that area’s music and arts scene as a center for creativity (often, drug-induced!) since the 1960s, with his album cover imagery for musical acts such as the Grateful Dead, Journey and the Jerry Garcia Band and countless posters for local venues gaining international attention and a boatload of fans over the years. In an exhibition that is running now through July 28th at San Francisco Heritage’s Gallery on Haight Street (near Ashbury, of course, in the historic Doolan-Larson Building) that celebrates the group’s new artist-in-residence program, notable examples of Mouse’s 60+ year career as a commercial and fine artist will bring smiles to all visitors. Included in the show is a brand new work of art – a new painting of the aforementioned Doolan-Larson Building, a San Francisco landmark that is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
For more information on the show and the organization hosting it, please visit https://www.haightandashbury.org/post/psychedelic-poster-artist-stanley-mouse-to-debut-june-2022-mouse-house-exhibition
I had the pleasure of both selling Mouse’s album cover and poster work in my old gallery and was able to spend an afternoon with him during his visit to NYC in 2008 where he delivered the artwork for the Grammy Awards presentations that year. My souvenir from that meeting was a napkin from the bar we met in on which he’d penned an oh-so-cute “Kilroy Was Here”-style figure (he always has his ink pens on his person, ready to spring into action when given a free moment).
Glad to see this talented individual being honored in this way – well deserved, if you ask me.
c) The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts’ Music & Recorded Sound Division acquired the late musician Lou Reed’s archive in 2017 and, in early June, to correspond with what would have been Reed’s 80th birthday, they launched a new show – Lou Reed: Caught Between the Twisted Stars – that’s set to run through March 4th, 2023 in the library’s Donald and Mary Oenslager Gallery.
According to the show’s advance PR, “the exhibition will showcase rare and never-before-displayed material from the Lou Reed Archive at the Library for the Performing Arts, spanning Reed’s creative life from his 1958 Freeport High School band, The Shades, to the Velvet Underground, to his solo albums and tours, to his final performances in 2013. Highlighting his life and work, the exhibition will feature audio and video of performances and interviews, photographers’ original prints and contact sheets, handwritten lyrics, personal correspondence, studio notes, album proofs, press, tour posters, and Reed’s personal record collections”.
In addition to the visuals put up for viewing, the exhibition includes (until the 7th of January, 2023, in the Vincent Astor Gallery) a specially produced “Lou Reed Listening Room” curated and designed by Raj Patel of the design/engineering firm Arup that will (according to the firm) “allow visitors to experience a range of Reed’s work in the original intended format including mono, stereo, quadraphonic and full ambisonic spatial audio with accompanying light and visual installation. Most notably, the room will enable ‘Metal Machine Trio: The Creation of the Universe’, a sound installation developed in 2012 by Reed and Arup, to be experienced in New York for the first time”.
The show is curated by Lou Reed Archive archivist Don Fleming and Jason Stern, who worked as Reed’s technical director.
Ben Sisario covers the music industry for the NY Times and published an article recently about his visit to the show – https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/06/arts/music/lou-reed-caught-between-the-twisted-stars.html – that includes a photo of a sweater Reed received as a gift that is decorated with the cover art from his Transformer album, featuring a photo by the late Mick Rock. The show also includes examples of the covers produced by the Drate/Salavetz design firm, who sent along several photos of their own recent visit to the show. Two of the works they produced that were used to package a couple of Mr. Reed’s memorable albums on Sire Records were included in this show’s display, including the covers for the 1989 release New York (Art Direction & Design by Spencer Drate, Judith Salavetz and Sylvia Reed, with photo by Waring Abbott) and 1992’s Magic & Loss, again by the team of Drate/Salavetz/Reed, with this image including a shot by French photographer Louis Jammes.
Judith Salavetz + Spencer Drate at NYPL opening event for June 7, 2022 (photo courtesy of Spencer Drate)
On a related note – a little later in this newsletter, you’ll also find an item featuring designers Drate and Salavetz and their latest podcast episode.
d) One of the more-interesting types of exhibitions that popped-up with more and more frequency during our long battle against COVID has been the timed-ticket “immersive” show, typically staged in a large gallery/warehouse space that’s been converted for this specific purpose. The first one of these that I had the pleasure of touring took place several years ago here at Chicago’s Navy Pier, that being one called “Exhibitionism”, which featured a tour through the music and memorabilia of the Rolling Stones (covered with photos here in an early-2018 news summary – https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/2017/12/29/album-cover-artist-and-art-news-summary-and-preview-for-december-2017-january-2018/ )
There have been similar shows staged around the world built around the careers of other famed artists and musicians, such as Van Gogh, Claude Monet, Frida Kahlo, Banksy, Pink Floyd, Coldplay and, most-recently, that most-purple of all musicians, Prince. “Prince: The Immersive Experience” is done in cooperation with the Prince Estate and Paisley Park Enterprises, staged in a customized space on Chicago’s north Michigan Ave (on now through the end of October), and produced by “an experience company” based in NYC called Superfly who, according to their web site, is “obsessed with activating and amplifying communities around common passions and unforgettable moments”. In an article I found on the Axios.com site – https://www.axios.com/local/chicago/2022/06/07/prince-immersive-experience-chicago – one of the ways that a visitor can become more personally immersed into the world of Prince is via a display (one of several) they’ve set up that allows you to sit on a deep purple customized Honda motorcycle just like the one seen on the cover of Purple Rain and be photographed in front of a re-created backdrop of the album’s memorable cover graphics.
Step inside the Purple Rain album cover (Photo credit – Superfly and Alive Coverage)
I contacted the show’s PR person – Acasia Gibson from the Chicago PR firm of Carol Fox & Associates – who was able to give me some additional information about some of the visual elements included in the show, along with some images of some of the displays, props and original photos you’ll find during your tour of the show. There’s a “discography hall” (see below) that includes the covers of The Purple One’s recorded output, plus other elements from Prince’s production career, including the props and some original photos from the “Diamonds and Pearls” music video shoot and a re-creation of the “When Doves Cry” music video along with sketches, renderings and examples from his trend-setting wardrobe.
Strike a pose with the Prince Symbol (Photo credit – Superfly and Alive Coverage)
More info and tickets at – https://princetheexperience.com/pages/about I’m hoping to tour through the show myself sometime soon and will share any pix I come back with.
e) Its so nice to see that some collectors are more than eager to share works from their collections with the viewing public, but I have to admit that I was surprised to see a work that was just purchased at a recent auction included in a new museum show! Regular readers will recall that, in last month’s newsletter, I’d shared the info about the intense bidding and final purchase of the painting by the late Ernie Barnes titled The Sugar Shack, an image well-known to both album art fans (it was the cover of Marvin Gaye’s 1976 album I Want You) and viewers of the popular comedy show Good Times (where it was an integral part of the show’s opening credits sequence). Houston, TX-based hedge fund guru and entrepreneur Bill Perkins shelled out over $15 million at a mid-May auction at Christies for the second, larger version of the painting (the one seen on Good Times, with the first, smaller version going to crooner Gaye for his use), and on June 15th at Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts, the colorful 1976 painting of partygoers enjoying a night out at a segregated music hall in North Carolina was put on display at the museum, where it will be on loan through the end of 2022.
This article on the ArtDaily news site provides us with some additional info about this work, its owner and why he was so eager to share it with fellow Houstonians/art fans – https://artdaily.cc/news/147252/Ernie-Barnes–The-Sugar-Shack-goes-on-view-at-the-Museum-of-Fine-Arts–Houston-June-15
Ongoing and Upcoming Exhibitions –
COMING IN LATE JULY – In an exhibition that will be opening on July 21st at the Pelham (NY) Art Center, the top vote-getters from the latest juried competition featuring “remixed iconic album cover art” that ends on July 10th will be on display for all fans of great album art to see and appreciate. On display until August 27th, Cover Lover Remix (CLR) – an annual competition that launched back in 2011 in Brooklyn, NY – explores (as is stated in the show’s advance PR) “the transition of visual artists from consumers of album art to creators of reimagined album covers.”
The show is organized by curator, writer, DJ and cultural observer Dick Burroughs and “selected artists are chosen for their style, energy, and vibrancy to create exceptional expressions of the Cover Lover Remix curatorial theme,” with more information available on both the contest’s site – https://coverloverremixii.artcall.org/ and in this release on the local Patch.com site – https://patch.com/new-york/pelham/cover-lover-remix-exhibition-summer-pelham-art-center
While there are several examples of entries shown on the Patch.com site article, I’ll try to get some additional images of the show once it’s been set up so we can all get a better idea of what highly-rated “remixes” of album art look like…
EXTENDED THRU JULY 17) – There’s a 50th anniversary photo show featuring over 30 vintage photos selected from Norman Seeff’s Exile On Main Street photo portfolio currently on display (extended now thru Sunday, July 17, 2022) at LA’s Rock Photography Museum Special Exhibition Space (in Glendale, CA)
Here are the details from the PR release I received – “Legendary photographer Norman Seeff is set to unveil rare and unseen vintage photographs from his 1972 session with the Rolling Stones, staged prior to the release of the group’s masterpiece, Exile on Main St…Along with over 30 vintage 16×20 photographs, the show will feature the original paste-up layout used to produce a set of postcards which were included with the original pressing of the album, originally released on May 12, 1972 – 50 years ago”. More can be found on the museum’s website at https://www.rockphotographymuseum.com/norman-seeff-50-years-in-exile/
CONTINUING THROUGH SEPTEMBER) – After a successful showing of his works at the Brian Liss Gallery in Toronto that closed at the end of May, Canadian rock photographer Richard Beland – someone who has been shooting live music events all over the world for more than 30 years (over 3000 shows!) including shows by U2, David Bowie, Lady Gaga, Kiss, Dolly Parton and The Rolling Stones, among others – brought his career-retrospective collection – one he calls “Our Immortal Stars” – to a gallery in his home town for a show that opened on June 3rd and is set to run through September 5th at the ISObar Gallery in downtown Sarnia (a town in Ontario, Canada, just across the St. Clair River from Port Huron, Michigan).
Beland was nominated for a Juno Award for his photographic contribution to the solo record released by Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie, Battle of the Nudes and for two Canadian Country Music Award for his shots used in the packaging of Jason McCoy’s Greatest Hits CD and Johnny Reid’s album Kickin’ Stones. HIs photos have appeared in Rolling Stone, SPIN, Mojo, Kerrang, People and McLean’s magazines. He also shares his passion for photography with students while working as a tenured professor of photography for the program he developed at Lambton College.
The local paper was happy to add their take on the show built around the talents of this hometown hero – https://thesarniajournal.ca/music-photographer-brings-career-retrospective-to-his-hometown/
And I also found a recent Interview with Richard Beland done by Bill King on his FYI Music News (Canada) podcast – https://www.fyimusicnews.ca/articles/2022/05/17/%C2%A0-podcast-conversation-%C2%A0-richard-beland
BONUS – The team at the Brian Liss gallery recently posted a Virtual Walk Thru of the Beland exhibit as it was mounted recently there. It gives you as close to an in-person opportunity as can be to tour the show and learn more about the prints on display – well worth the time spent – https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=fGSyVht5omx
CONTINUING THROUGH DECEMBER) Friend of ACHOF Dr. Richard Forrest’s Banksy album art collection is a featured part of a new show on the mysterious artist that opened in late May in NYC – “Banksy – Building Castles in the Sky” – (An unauthorized exhibition) – which opened in late May at the former International Center of Photography Museum. 250 Bowery, New York, and is slated to run through December 31, 2022.
This is a continuation of the travelling show sponsored by the Italian Fondazione Metamorfosi and been shown in prestigious exhibition halls in several Italian cities including Rome, Genoa, Ferrara and Parma, and also in Basel and Lugarno in Switzerland. This is a truly-impressive, multi-media exhibition of one of the world’s most-talked-about artists, with more info on the show available at – https://www.newyorkbanksy.com/
Curated by Stefano Antonelli and Gianluca Marziani, the exhibition that includes paintings, sculptures, prints and over 30 record and CD covers from Richard’s amazing collection (which we’ve toured through a bit previously – https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/2019/08/02/achof-featured-fan-portfolio-a-tour-through-collector-richard-forrests-favorite-album-covers/ ).
COMING LATER THIS SUMMER) – Recently-deceased designer Virgil Abloh’s career will be given the star treatment later this year with a show at the Brooklyn Museum. ArtNet News site contributor Caroline Goldstein (no relation) provides us with a bit of an intro in this recent article – https://news.artnet.com/art-world/brooklyn-museum-virgil-abloh-2069386? where she describes the show thusly – “This summer, the Brooklyn Museum will stage a version of the first institutional survey dedicated to the late fashion designer and creative visionary Virgil Abloh. The show, titled “Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech,” will build on an earlier exhibition of the same name that originated at the MCA Chicago in 2019, and then traveled to ICA Boston, the High Museum in Atlanta, and Qatar Museums”. As I wrote soon after Abloh’s untimely passing last December from cancer at the age of 41, Abloh was a major name in the fashion industry who was famous in hip-hop circles for his “Off-White” brand of clothing and accessories and had previously served in the position of Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton’s Men’s collections.
He met and befriended rapper Kanye West in the early 2000s after having worked at the Fendi fashion house and then launched his own space – the RSVP Gallery in his hometown of Chicago – while also taking on the role of Creative Director for Kanye’s DONDA design agency. His thorough understanding of his audience and his unique fashion sense found him applying his talents to a number of memorable album covers, too, a retrospective of that work being found on the XXL Magazine site at https://www.xxlmag.com/virgil-abloh-album-covers/?
Artist News and Interviews –
a) Noted British artist Peter Blake turned 90 (on June 25th) and was recently interviewed by Jonathan Jones for The Guardian.com site and in which he talks about his life, his interest in Pop Art and the “scenes” it inspired and the fact that, while he may have liked The Beatles, they weren’t his favorite band at the time – https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2022/jun/15/the-beatles-i-was-more-a-fan-of-the-beach-boys-peter-blake-at-90-on-pop-art-and-clubbing-with-the-fab-four
b) – Interview with photographer/gallery owner Henry Diltz at the 2022 NAMM convention –
c) In the latest installment (their 10th) of their ongoing videocast “Indie Café 2wo,” album artist Spencer Drate and his cohort, artist/producer Patrick Bamburak welcome back Making Vinyl co-founder Bryan Ekus to discuss the recent Nashville, TN staging of the 2022 Making Vinyl Conference, which took place this past June 23-24th and garnered world-wide attention. Bryan shares the latest about what’s new and exciting in the vinyl record manufacturing industry, which is still strong with sales of vinyl records up 4% over the same time last year – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkUkWKYvbSc
d) Canadian rapper/pop star Drake is a well-known patron of the fine arts, so its not at all surprising to see that his latest line of merchandise borrows from both his album cover portfolio and from the works of a fine artist who relied on Drake’s music to help him survive through some of the toughest moments of his life. Read Dorian Batyka’s telling of this moving tale on the Artnet.com site – https://news.artnet.com/art-world/british-artist-richie-culver-listened-to-drake-on-repeat-he-was-floored-when-the-hip-hop-star-asked-to-use-his-work-in-new-merch-2134511
e) 2016 ACHOF Inductee Ed Caraeff is a photographer, designer, illustrator and art director whose music industry credits in the 1960s and 1970s included hundreds of album covers for acts including Strawberry Alarm Clock, Mark Lindsay, Three Dog Night, Ten Years After, Linda Ronstadt, Van Morrison, Ambrosia, The Bee Gees, The Doors and many others. His photography has also appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine and has been on display in exhibitions at The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the “Who Shot Rock and Roll” touring rock photo exhibition.
In 1980, Ed switched gears and went on to spend his life as a chef, although requests to license his work continued, including one from Rolling Stone in 1987 to use a shot of Jimi Hendrix at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival for a cover of a special edition of the magazine. The photo would go on to become one of rock music’s most-iconic – the one of Hendrix kneeling “in prayer” in front of his burning guitar on the festival’s stage.
You might recall that I’ve covered this talented man’s career for quite some time now, particularly after he’d decided to permanently call it quits (work-wise) in 2015 and to embark on a multi-year journey across the U.S. in his tricked-out VW camper named “Moonbeam” (you can follow his progress via his Instagram page – https://www.instagram.com/thebucketlisttrip/) . Recently, KCBX (Central Coast’s Public Radio) reporter Benjamin Purper caught up with the always-on-the-move Mr. Caraeff as he passed through the area (the best place to source parts for vintage Volkswagens, he says) to learn more about his life these days, his love of cooking and his 2018 book (Burning Desire – Jimi Hendrix: The Jimi Hendrix Experience through the Lens of Ed Caraeff) about how a 17-year-old photographer happened to be in the right place at the right time to produce one of rock music’s most-iconic photographs (you know which one) –
FINAL REMINDER) – Award-winning designer/art director Gail Marowitz, who has teamed with singer/songwriter Aimee Mann on several of her record packages – including the Grammy-winning 2006 album The Forgotten Arm – will soon be participating on a panel discussion with Ms. Mann and her partner in the band called the Both – multi-instrumentalist Ted Leo – to talk about how musicians and designers/art directors collaborate to produce album covers.
In addition to Grammy earned for The Forgotten Arm, Aimee Mann’s next record – 2008’s @#%&*! Smilers – was also nominated for an award in the “Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package” category, with that record available in a limited-edition, hard-bound version featuring illustrations by Canadian artist/illustrator Gary Taxali and art director by Ms. Marowitz. A 2017 inductee into the ACHOF in the Art Director category, Gail’s portfolio includes packages for many esteemed recording acts, including Paula Cole, Tears For Fears, George Clinton & The P-Funk All-Stars, Ric Ocasek, Aerosmith, Lynyrd Skynyrd, James Taylor and many others.
More details on the Saturday July 2nd at the ICON 11 Illustration Conference in Kansas City, MO can be found at – https://theillustrationconference.org/gail-marowitz
I had the pleasure of interviewing Gail after she’d won the Grammy for her work on The Forgotten Arm, so I’d invite you to read that as well to learn more about her and her work – https://rockpopgallery.typepad.com/rockpop_gallery_news/2007/11/cover-story—a.html
UPDATE FOR JUNE/JULY – I’d briefly touched on the publication of artist Steve Keene’s new career retrospective book – cleverly titled The Steve Keene Art Book – in last month’s newsletter, but there’s a newer article on this new tome on the Pitchfork.com site by Matthew Ismael Ruiz that gives us a deeper look into the artist, his inspirations, his somewhat-unique take on the value of his works and “why his paintings are like pizzas” (you’ll see – it all makes sense) – https://pitchfork.com/thepitch/steve-keene-artist-interview-the-steve-keene-art-book/
a) This month’s album art-related features on the Muse By Clio site finds the editorial team asking ad agency CEO and motion design director Greg Brokaw of the Cleveland-based firm Brokaw and Favorite Brother to pen a “10 Great Album Covers, Chosen By…” article in which we discover the degree to which he was influenced by the music/artwork of the 1980s and 1990s (any fan of Split Enz is a friend of mine) – https://musebycl.io/art-album/10-great-album-covers-chosen-gregg-brokaw-brokaw-and-favorite-brother
This was soon followed by “10 Great Album Covers, Chosen by Music Journalist Adam Bernard” – Montrose, Jefferson Starship, Wu-Tang Clan and more – https://musebycl.io/art-album/10-great-album-covers-chosen-music-journalist-adam-bernard In addition to covering the music industry for newspapers, magazines and blog sites for the past 20+ years, Adam’s also a serious practitioner of the martial arts (he’s a 5th degree black belt in Kempo karate) and a cancer survivor who has penned a memoir (ChemBro: Embracing Beastmode to Beat Cancer) about his struggle to beat off cancer while still training to attain his goals as an athlete.
Learn more about Adam via his website at https://adambernard.blogspot.com/
Items for Sale and/or at Auction –
a) Just in time for your Summer fun! Why not be the coolest guy/gal at the beach or local pool with your official Rolling Stones’ beach products? Australian manufacturer/retailer Sunnylife is offering an entire series of goodies featuring the band’s famous Lips & Tongue (Tongue & Lips? You choose – Sunnylife has landed on “Hot Lips”) logo – floats, accessories and even an oddly-shaped paddle ball set –
b) Album art print collectors – pay attention here! Just a reminder that a new series of album cover prints featuring the artwork found on Jethro Tull’s LP discography will begin shipping in July, with the first limited edition print – based on the famed Burton Silverman painting – being from 1971’s Aqualung and available in both signed/unsigned versions (signed by JT front man Ian Anderson), priced from £50 – £175. Pre-orders still being accepted at https://jethrotullart.com/collections/aqualung
c) This June marked the re-release of a seminal Mick Rock book about the late rocker David Bowie – Moonage Daydream – available now from fine art book publisher Genesis Publishing in a special bookstore edition meant to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the release of the Ziggy Stardust album – https://www.genesis-publications.com/news/david-bowies-life-and-times-of-ziggy-stardust-gets-new-release/0202
Originally released in 2002, the book is Bowie’s personal account of introduction and ultimate shelving of his Ziggy Stardust persona and features 600+ gorgeous photographs by the late Mr. Rock. Rock Cellar Magazine provides readers with an overview of the latest iteration of this wonderfully-illustrated tome on one of rock’s most-enduring characters – https://www.rockcellarmagazine.com/moonage-daydream-david-bowies-ziggy-stardust-autobiographical-photo-book-gets-re-released-for-50th-anniversary/
d) It always makes me happy when I have the opportunity to promote the work of Chicago area creatives, so I’m pleased to share the announcement of the upcoming publishing (due out 7/12) of photographer Paul Natkin’s new book, titled Natkin: The Moment of Truth –
Publisher’s description – “Over the past four decades, Paul Natkin has had a front-row seat for music history, attending over 10,000 shows and concerts to chronicle the excitement and excess of the music industry. Since the 1970s, he has photographed most of the major music stars of the last half of the 20th century, shooting album covers for Ozzy Osbourne and Johnny Winter and countless magazine covers, including Newsweek, People, Spin and Ebony. The Moment of Truth is Natkin’s documentary as a witness to the music industry during his illustrious 40-plus years as a photographer and fan.”
The publisher is offering customers ordering from their site an exclusive – buying the book in one of five exclusive paperboard slipcases featuring some of our favorite images from the book. https://trope.com/collections/books/products/natkin-the-moment-of-truth
Preview the book in this article I found on the NY Post site – https://nypost.com/2022/06/20/prince-bowie-van-halen-behind-the-scenes-of-famous-photos/ and feel free to visit the publisher’s site to see both the book and the collection of fine art prints of Paul’s that are on offer there –
Also available thru Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Paul-Natkin-Moment-Truth/dp/1951963032?
While perhaps better-known as a concert photographer, Paul does have several fine album cover images in his portfolio, including works for Iggy Pop, Johnny Winter, The Smithereens, Ozzy Osbourne, John Lee Hooker and others.
e) In the running for this month’s “Aw, ain’t that cute?” award, an album cover art-themed limited-edition Teddy bear proudly displaying the imagery from Sir Elton John’s classic Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album has just been announced (with pre-orders being accepted now, and available on the manufacturer’s site as of July 4th), made by one of the world’s most-respected doll-makers.
There will only be 3,000 of these limited-edition bears available, for $395 each.
Site description – “Steiff Rocks! The second Teddy bear in our new series is a tribute to the outstanding musician Elton John and celebrates his iconic album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, released in 1973. Parts of the legendary album cover are detailed on his footpads and are mirrored by the great musician’s jacket made of mohair as part of his body. Wearing exclusive sunglasses from the Elton John Eyewear collection, including logo and branding, completes the perfect accolade. A real star in any collection!”
This is the latest pop-culture-inspired collectible from Steiff and is part of the Steiff Rocks! Series, which was introduced in 2021 with the release of their limited-edition Queen (the band, not HRH) bear – https://www.steiffusa.com/steiff-rocks-queen-teddy-bear-14-inches-ean-355783/
f) Make up/cosmetics have always played an important part of rock and roll visuals, so it only makes sense to see products created for consumers built around rock imagery. Case in point – here’s a link to an article that describes the products found in a limited-edition make-up line (by Rock and Roll Beauty) that commemorates Def Leppard’s 45th anniversary – https://www.everettpost.com/music/rock/makeup-mania-def-leppard-launches-limited-edition-cosmetics-line The “Def Leppard x Rock and Roll Beauty” collection is available exclusively in Ulta Beauty stores across the U.S., and online at Ulta.com and RockandRollBeauty.com.
Now, if the Electric Prunes would only consider lending their name to a make-up collection for geezers like me….
REMINDER FOR US customers – While we’re on the subject of good new books to add to your collection…Just a reminder that there’s a newly-revised and updated version of author Paul Gorman’s book on the art of the late great designer known as Barney Bubbles that hit the shelves in the UK in late June (coming to booksellers in the US in late July). This new edition of The Wild World of Barney Bubbles features, according to the publisher’s site, “hundreds of rare and previously unpublished photographs, working sketches, notebooks, and original artwork. It includes new essays and sixteen extra pages of rare ephemera painstakingly collected by the author over the years”.
I’d included some additional info straight from the author in last month’s summary, so please take a look and then pre-order your copy of Paul’s book at –
The folks at Creative Boom recently published a bit of a deep dive (nicely illustrated, too) into Paul’s new BB book, if you’d like to see a bit more about what’s included and what the package looks like (plus some nice quotes from Paul about his new work) – https://www.creativeboom.com/features/barney-bubbles/
Auction Results Updates –
UPDATED WITH RESULTS – Last month, I’d shared the details about a work of original artwork for an iconic Tupac Shakur album that was recently on offer on the Heritage Auctions site. For this auction, artist Riskie Forever partnered with Zelus and Heritage Auctions to auction the original album cover art painting from 2Pac’s The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory album, which was recorded in 1996 under his pseudonym “Makaveli”. According to the pre-auction press, the original painting was created in airbrush and mixed media on a 29” x 47” canvas visible through a 35” x 53” frame.
Per the description of the item found on the Heritage Auction site, “Tupac saw the finished product the day before he was shot, Riskie said. “It was Sept. 6, 1996, and I went to visit him in Malibu, California, as Suge wanted a first draft by then! Pac loved it, he was in good spirits and thanked me for making what was in his head a reality.” The next day, after watching a Mike Tyson fight in Las Vegas, Tupac, just 25 years old, was shot while riding in the passenger seat of Suge Knight’s car while en route to a night club. He was rushed to the hospital and died six days later.”
The image proved to be quite controversial – so controversial, in fact, that the most-noticeable difference between the original painting and the resulting album cover image is the size of the “Parental Advisory” sticker.
Bidding began online on May 17th, with a minimum bid set at $125,000 ($156,250 inc. buyer’s premium). The lot included a one-of-a-kind NFT, with final bids accepted on June 18th, and when the bidding was over, the package had sold for the impressive sum of $212,500 –https://entertainment.ha.com/c/auction-home.zx?saleNo=7300
If you’re thinking that several hundred thousand dollars for the original is a bit more than your art budget can bear, the artist is selling a limited run, signed print on metal (called the 25th Anniversary 7 Day Theory Metalprint™), sized from 8” x 12” up to 30” x 45” and priced from $125 to $1496 – https://riskieforever.com/collections/freshhome/products/24thmakavelitupac?variant=33161483878477
Learn more about artist Riskie Forever on his web site at https://riskieforever.com/pages/bioofriskie
Special Award Show updates –
New For JUNE/JULY – Southern California’s Stoughton Publishing wins the Peoples’ Choice Award (plus several others) in the 2022 (17th Annual) PISC (Printing Industries of Southern California) Annual Print Excellence Awards. For their work on the Wizard of Oz Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Deluxe Edition trifold pop-up vinyl record jackets they crafted for their clients A to Z Media/Mondo, the team won three “Best of Category” awards in the ‘Media Packaging’, ‘Die Cuts & Pop-Ups’, and ‘Other Special Finishing Techniques’ categories, along with one Specialty Award for ‘Best Design’ and the highly coveted People’s Choice Award.
Not content with winning for just one work of art, Stoughton also won two awards – “Best of Category” in the ‘Foil Stamping’ category and the prestigious “Best of Show” award – for the Crosby Stills Nash & Young Deja Vu 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition Vinyl LP box set they created for Rhino Records.
See pix and more from the show at https://www.piasc.org/printexcellence/2022-print-excellence-awards-winners/ and then watch the announcement of the “Best of Show” award at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxuD6Dyp8xk
As company head Jack Stoughton is headed for retirement, it was nice to see him and his cohorts receive such a warm and award-filled sendoff – congratulations to them all.
Miscellaneous Items and other Brief Bits –
As always, I’m going to have to keep these short-and-sweet (well, most of them, anyway):
OBIT) I’m sad to have to report that artist Ken Kelly has died at the age of 76. According to the artist’s web site bio, “Ken Kelly practically came into our world with a pencil in his hand. He started drawing at the fragile age of two and has not stopped since”. An art teacher recognized Ken’s talents and eagerness to explore his artistic side and served as his mentor throughout his formative years. After a stint in Marines (where he did the illustrations for The Gitmo Gazette while stationed in Cuba), Ken paid a visit to the studios of noted illustrator Frank Frazetta in 1968 (his uncle through marriage) and impressed him with his portfolio, after which he was invited to both study and work with Frazetta, getting his first commission within the year, creating a painting titled The Lurking Terror for Vampirella Magazine.
Soon after this initial success, Kelly turned his sights towards creating book covers and, from that time forward, found himself getting calls for work from most major authors/publishers in the fantasy art world and completing hundreds of great covers for books and magazines. His fame also found him work in the toy/model/video game businesses and, along the way, with a number of recording acts, including album covers for KISS (Destroyer and Love Gun), Manowar, Coheed & Cambria and many others.
After Kelly’s death was announced, KISS frontmen Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley posted tributes via their social media accounts, with Stanley writing – “A moment to remember the great Ken Kelly. His fantasy art captured the larger-than-life image of KISS perfectly. Rest In Peace”, while Simmons noted that he was “Sad to find out Ken Kelly, who painted our Destroyer album cover, passed away. A kind and beloved gentleman. Rest In Peace.” On his website, former Kiss drummer Peter Criss wrote that he was “heartbroken to hear of the passing of my dear friend Ken Kelly. He was an amazing man and talent. A gentle, kind, funny honorable man. A man of integrity and grace. I loved him so much… He brought out the super heros in us. He will live on through his incredible work.” Manowar’s bassist Joey DeMaio stated that he was “deeply saddened by the passing of the great Ken Kelly…He was a giant and will live forever through his art and the memories he left with those who got to know him. I will never forget our years together. Condolences to his family. RIP, Ken. Valhalla awaits you.”
More information on this artist is available on his web site at – https://www.kenkellyfantasyart.com/musicalbums.html
More coverage of Kelly’s career and his passing can be found on several web sites – https://ultimateclassicrock.com/ken-kelly-kiss-artist-dead/; https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/ken-kelly-artist-kiss-destroyer-love-gun-covers-dead-obit-1363197/; https://metalheadzone.com/paul-stanley-and-gene-simmons-bid-farewell-to-kiss-album-cover-artist-ken-kelly/
a) Here’s a recent retelling of the story behind Clash bassist Paul Simonon’s mythic guitar smashing episode at the Palladium in NYC in late September, 1979 that was first captured by photographer Pennie Smith and then incorporated into designer Ray Lowry’s cover image for the band’s self-titled album, a tribute to the cover for another pioneering rocker’s (i.e., Elvis Presley’s) debut album.
b) I’ve been doing some research for an upcoming article that will help answer a question that I’ve been asked a number of times over the years, that being “so, where are they now?”, referring to the original works of art (design comps, paintings, photos, illustrations and other production-related elements) that were used in the packaging of some of our favorite album covers. Some of my previous customers/friends from my old retail art gallery are collectors who have sourced some of these items, while others are owned by a) the record labels b) the musical acts who commissioned them and c) the people that created them and either licensed them to their clients or negotiated to retain ownership (wholly or with restrictions) of these objects of desire.
While this article will be delivered at some point in the future, I’m happy to be able to share some of the things I’m discovering along the way, such as this recent article on the Revolver Magazine site in which the widow of one of metal music’s best-known guitarists – Slayer’s Jeff Hanneman – shares the details and images of some of the original prototypes she has in her possession of the late artist Larry Carroll’s disturbing/fascinating paintings and production artwork he crafted for Slayer’s 1986 album Reign In Blood – https://www.revolvermag.com/music/slayer-reign-blood-jeff-hannemans-widow-shares-original-cover-art-prototype . The article does go on to mention that Ms. Hanneman is pretty sure who owns the actual original artwork used on the record, and you’ll not be surprised to learn that it’s in the collection of a well-known record producer/label owner…
c) I’ve had the pleasure of corresponding with extreme collector (and Beatle fan extraordinaire) Ken Orth since first writing about him and his collection back in 2016, but after I’d published an article recently about a recent photo show in LA, it reminded him of a video he produced several years ago in which he looked to see if there were any hidden images in a certain Beatles album cover – I think you’ll all enjoy the scientific approach Ken and his team brought to this experiment – https://www.youtube.com/user/TheScruphy/featured
d) In a recent installment in our coverage of the “whatever happened to the man/woman/place/animal (etc.) featured on the cover of this album,” a random shot of a dedicated fan (groupie?) of the band The Deftones taken at a post-shoot hot tub party (gotta love rock’n’roll-related festivities, right?) serves as the memorable image found on the packaging for their band’s gold-selling album Around The Fur. This article on the GNRCentral.com site includes info and commentary from both the photographer (Rick Kosick) and model Lisa Hughes – https://gnrcentral.com/2022/06/27/deftones-whatever-happened-to-the-girl-on-the-around-the-fur-album/
e) While supply shortages have been detrimental to maintaining the normal course of business in many aspects of our lives, one of the industries that has been working double/triple-time to keep up with consumer demand is one near and dear to us album art fans, that being the business of vinyl record manufacturing. In this recent article posted by Associated Press writer David Sharp – https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/manufacturers-struggle-to-keep-pace-with-vinyl-record-demand/ar-AAYQ21D? – you’ll learn more about how record manufacturers both old and new are scrambling to rebuild their capabilities, hoping to be able to keep up with orders that topped $1 billion for the first time in many years last year. Collectors both old and new are certainly hoping that these companies take advantage of this rising demand and plan accordingly…
f) With superhero movies dominating the box office around the world (is Tom Cruise a superhero? To some, perhaps), one forgets just how long some of these characters have been part of pop culture, so it might come as no surprise to you to learn about the appearance of one of Marvel comicdom’s longest-running characters – Dr. Strange – smack dab on the cover of one of Pink Floyd’s early psychedelic albums – https://faroutmagazine.co.uk/marvel-superhero-in-pink-floyd-album-cover/ Far Out Magazine’s Jordan Potter gives us the details of one of Hipgnosis’ early works for the group, so set your controls for the heart of the sun and learn more about how Earth’s protector found his way onto this trippy record sleeve.
g) I’ve always tried to keep my readers up-to-date regarding some of the legal wrangling taking place in the intellectual property space, giving you info about the latest in the eternal questions of “who owns what and when” and “what do I actually own when I invest in a NFT,” among others. A recent case popped up on my Google Alert screen that looks to be an important one, at least on the “who owns what and when” strands of our discussions, with photographer Jeffrey B. Sedlik suing tattoo artist and reality star Kat Von D over her replication (and subsequent promotion of that use) of one of his better-known images of the late musician Miles Davis. As a tattoo fan myself, my first reaction was whether I’d be needing an appointment with a laser tattoo-removal service, as I have innocently appropriated (strictly as a parody, with no commercial intent, of course) certain bits of album art in some of my own body art but, as you’ll read in this detailed coverage on the subject I found posted by Sarah Cascone on the Artnet.com site – https://news.artnet.com/art-world/a-photographer-is-suing-tattoo-artist-kat-von-d-after-she-inked-his-portrait-of-miles-davis-on-a-friends-body-2135112? – there are as many questions as there are answers at this point, so it might help us all get a better sense of just what our legal system makes of such uses (whatever your current opinion is of the institution).
Legal case update – The U.S. Supreme Court also recently announced that they will be reviewing a lower court’s decision concerning the ongoing suit/counter-suit involving famed rock photographer Lynn Goldsmith and the estate/foundation of the late Andy Warhol. As I’ve reported previously, Warhol used one of Ms. Goldsmith’s photos of Prince as the basis of derivative artwork for a magazine publisher and a series of art prints without her permission, so the case’s outcome will have a significant impact on the whole “fair use” discussion that’s long dominated the art world. You can read more about some of the latest details (written by Jordan Zolliecoffer) on the JDSupra legal news site via this link – https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/a-royal-circuit-split-supreme-court-1961723/
a) Steve Fairclough writes in Amateur Photographer (UK) about the Sgt Pepper’s album cover – https://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/iconic-images/greatest-album-photography-sgt-peppers-lonely-hearts-club-band-by-the-beatles-167172 Lots of details and behind-the-scenes photos, plus commentary by Aubrey Powell, Christie Goodwin and Rankin.
b) Another Beatles cover-inspired activity made the news as part of a Pride celebration in El Paso, TX – https://kisselpaso.com/the-beatles-famous-crossing-recreated-at-pride-square-in-el-paso/
c) The newest entry in Far Out Magazine’s “The Cover Uncovered” series of articles finds writers Jordan Potter and Sam Kemp giving us the details on what they’re calling “The 10 Most Controversial Album Covers of All Time” – https://faroutmagazine.co.uk/10-controversial-album-covers/, with some covers making us wonder why they were so shocking when considering the context they were introduced into (all right, the Type O Negative cover can still be a bit shocking even today), while Tyler Golsen pitches in with an article on The Beatles’ Rubber Soul – https://faroutmagazine.co.uk/the-album-cover-the-beatles-potheads/ – enlightening us with a discussion of Robert Freeman’s stretchy-faced photo, created for the cover of one of the band’s most-psychedelic albums in an effort to move the band’s image from cutesy mop tops to something a bit less “clean-cut”…
That’s all for now – stay tuned and be on the lookout for timely news alerts on our news feeds (sign up below to get an automatic email every time there’s something new on the ACHOF site). Unless the Supreme Court slaps an injunction on me for posting my news summary without first letting the Appropriateness Police review my work for items that might be too offensive for publication, I’ll be returning right around the first of next month with another news summary for you. Until then, enjoy your early Summer season, Independence Day in the U.S. and whatever else brings joy to you and those you love. Peace and Love and wishes of Good Health (and a LOT more common sense and compassion for those less fortunate) to you all.
Unless otherwise noted, all text and images included in this article are Copyright 2022 Mike Goldstein and AlbumCoverHallofFame.com – All Rights Reserved. All of the trade names mentioned in these summaries are the properties of their respective owners and are used for reference only.