Artist Biographies – Sorted by Last Name – P – R
Stephen Paley – notable album cover credits include – Sly & The Family Stone – Stand!, Anthology, Greatest Hits, There’s A Riot Going On and Listen To The Voices; The Sweet Inspirations – Sweets For My Sweet; Duane Allman – An Anthology; The Allman Brothers Band – The Allman Brothers Band, Gold and Icon 2; Iron Butterfly – In A Gadda Da Vida; Laura Nyro – New York Tendaberry, Laura Nyro Live:The Loom’s Desire and Sassafras & Moonshine; Cream – Live Cream, Vol. 1; Wilson Pickett – In Philadelphia; Aretha Franklin – Aretha’s Gold and Under Her Spell; Cher – 3614 Jackson Highway; The J. Geils Band – The J. Geils Band and The Morning After
(b. March, 1942, New York, NY) In 1961, at the age of nineteen, young Stephen Paley appeared on Broadway in Hal Prince’s production of Take Her, She’s Mine with Art Carney and Elizabeth Ashley. Since that introduction to the world of entertainment, Paley has written, photographed and produced many arts and entertainment pieces for a wide variety of media outlets.
In 1963, Stephen worked as an assistant to director George Roy Hill in the production of the film The World of Henry Orient (and would return again in that role in 1965 while the famed director worked on his 1966 film Hawaii). In 1964, Paley took on the role of assistant to CBS Television director/producer Merrill Brockway and, in 1966-67 returned to produce shows at the local CBS affiliate, WCBS-TV. 1969 found Stephen returning once again to work as a “proper producer” on their arts series Camera Three (Brockway produced six episodes from 1969-1973).
In 1966, when Stephen was in his mid-twenties, his girlfriend at the time, Caroline Reynolds, introduced him to a publicist she was working for named Ren Gravat. According to Stephen – “He was representing the Bee Gees and they needed someone to hang around with them during their first weekend in New York, shooting candid photos. Linda Eastman was supposed to do it, but she went to East Hampton for the weekend, so I got the job. The pictures turned out pretty well and when Neshui Ertegun, one of the owners of Atlantic Records, saw them, he liked what he saw – and me too – so Atlantic stared giving me photography assignments for artists on the label, such as the R & B singers Aretha and Wilson Pickett, along with rock bands including the Allman Brothers, Cream and The Young Rascals, among others.
After that initial exposure, other companies started booking me, including Vogue, Life, Look and Columbia Records, where I eventually met Clive Davis who, because I also had a talent for hearing hit songs before they were hits, hired me in 1970 to work in the Epic A & R department as a Director of Talent Acquisition for Epic Records”, a position he stayed at for six years (“until disco music was becoming popular, so I knew it was time to do something else”).
In 1976, Paley produced the first television biography of the late film music composer (and leader of the CBS Symphony) Bernard Herrmann – a show called The Film Music of Bernard Herrmann – for CBS’s Camera Three. He was also one of the first producers for the ABC News magazine 20/20. That same year, for CBS Television, Paley produced and co-wrote (with The New York Times columnist Frank Rich) Anatomy of a Song, which examined Stephen Sondheim’s creative process of writing a song.
From 1979 through 1983, Paley was head of music for Orion Pictures and The Ladd Company at the Warner Brothers studios, supervising music for the films Arthur, Blade Runner, Breathless, Caddyshack, Chariots of Fire, Excalibur, Night Shift, Reckless, The Right Stuff and Wolfen.
Callas In Her Own Words, his four-hour 1988 radio documentary about the famed soprano, was broadcast on WFMT in Chicago and KUSC in Los Angeles, along with many other NPR stations around the country. Some of Paley’s other long-form radio shows were on such subjects as the film music composer David Raksin, arranger/conductor Nelson Riddle and Atlantic Records’ years as a rhythm and blues label. For KCET, Los Angeles’s public television station, Paley produced a series of programs in 1986 about 1950s “Googie” coffee-shop architecture.
Paley’s works as a photographer have been published in Life, Look, Vogue, Newsweek, Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair magazines, as well as in The New York Times. Paley’s photographs are also included in the 1973 book titled Shooting Stars: The Rolling Stone Book of Portraits (edited by Annie Leibovitz) and also in Rolling Stone Magazine‘s 1992 book The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock and Roll.
To see more of Stephen’s work, please visit his photo site on Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/stepale/
Peter Palombi – Notable album cover work examples – Willie Nelson – The Best of..; Freddie King – Burglar; Hall & Oates – War Babies; George Benson – Breezin’; The Commodores – Movin’ On; Curtis Mayfield – There’s No Place Like America Today
Peter Palombi is an artist and illustrator best-known for his hyper-realistic airbrush work. He is one of the four “Kings of California Airbrush Art” featured in the 2008 book on the subject (titled Overspray: Riding High with the Kings of California Airbrush Art. In addition to his music industry work, he’s produced images for film industry clients that includes the movies American Graffiti and The Last Picture Show. He currently lives in the Los Angeles, CA area.
More information available at – http://www.pictureboxinc.com/artists-authors/peter-palombi
John Pasche – Notable album covers include – Art of Noise – Re-works of Art of Noise, In Visible Silence and In No Sense? Nonsense!; Budgie – In For The Kill; Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack; Bay City Rollers – Once Upon A Star; UFO – Wild, The Willing and the Innocent, Mechanix, Making Contact and Misdemeanor; Jethro Tull – Under Wraps
(b. April, 1945 – U.K.) Interested in career in the arts, Pasche earned a BA in Graphic Design in 1967 from the Brighton College of Art and a Master’s in Arts Degree from the Royal College of Art in London in 1970. His early works were influenced by the Pop Art movement, as well as the surrealism of Rene Magritte and conceptual designers such as Bob Gill, but his entree into the field of music industry design came in 1970 when Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger approached the Royal College of Art for their help in creating designs for the band. For The Rolling Stones UK label, Pasche designed the “Tongue and Lip Design” logo that they’ve used since 1971 and was originally featured on the Sticky Fingers album (with album design by Andy Warhol). Happy with his work, the band then hired Pasche, working for the Stones from 1970 to 1974, creating a number of promotional designs for posters, records and merchandise.
His design career has included stints in the advertising world (at the Benton & Bowles Agency), 13 years in Art/Creative Director roles for United Artists (Music Division) and Chrysalis Records, Ltd. and then, 12 years as the Creative Director for the Southbank Centre/Royal Festival Hall in London, leaving in 2005 to concentrate on freelance graphic design. He was also a Visiting Lecturer at the Royal College of Art.
Design Awards include the 1996 Communication Arts “Award of Excellence”, seven Music Week design awards for “Top Single/Album Sleeves”, 11 D & AD Design & Art Direction Award Certificates, and NME’s “Top Album Sleeve” Award. His works were recently included in an exhibit on rock and roll art and design hosted by the o2 Arena in London (Oct. 2012 – Jan. 2013)
For more information on this artist, please visit his web site at http://www.johnpasche.com
Terry Pastor – Notable examples of album cover work – David Bowie – Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders From Mars and Hunky Dory; Soft Machine – Six; The Beach Boys – 20 Golden Greats; Sweet – Off The Record; Imagination – Body Talk; The Flicks – Go For The Effect; Camel – A Live Record; Byzantium – Byzantium; Ariel – A Strange Fantastic Dream
Mr. Pastor has worked over 30 years working as an illustrator and photographer. Traditionally working with an airbrush, the last few years has found him working with design and illustration in digital formats. With a focus on food photography, he works alongside his wife Carol, who is a Cordon Bleu-trained cook, writer and food stylist for national magazines and cookery books.
A self -confessed motorhead, he is passionate about cars (particularly Corvettes, as a proud owner of a 1984 Crossfire) and motorcycles (he’s produced some amazingly-detailed illustrations of classic bikes and cars – you can find (and buy) editioned prints of some of his favorite machinery on his website at http://www.terrypastor.co.uk. (Curator’s note – I personally bought one of his prints of a 1947 Indian Chief, as I’m a former Indian owner myself. It is REALLY a fantastic print).
His clients include: Sony, Nintendo, Ford Motor Company, Psygnosis Software, Lever Brothers, NASA, Akai, Saab, Phillips, RAF Red Arrows, Playboy Magazine, G.M.Corvette Division, Nissan, IBM, Honda, MacDonald’s, most major book publishers and record companies.
Joe Perez – notable album cover credits include – Kanye West – Yeezus; A.$.A.P. Rocky – Long. Live. A$AP; Nicki Minaj – The Pink Print and Queen; Lil Wayne – I Am Not A Human Being II; Pusha T – King Push – Darkest Before The Dawn: The Prelude; The Griswolds – High Times For Low Lives; Stacy Barthe – Becoming; Vic Mensa – The Autobiography; Big Sean – Dark Sky Paradise; Various Artists – Kanye West Presents Good Music Cruel Summer; Janelle Monae – Dirty Computer
(b. ____ in ____) Joe, the son of a highly-creative couple (his father building prototypes for a toy company and his mother a sculptor and illustrator) who graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film/New Media degree from the Art Center College of Design (Pasadena, CA) in 2003, began his career as a freelance designer several years before beginning his formal training, participating in animation, design and web-based projects before formally hanging out his shingle – “Animation Kid”. His talents allowed him to handle art direction, design and branding projects for a wide variety of clients and his work caught the attention of musician Kanye West and his team, who offered him an opportunity to work for his in-house design group in 2008 (which became DONDA in 2012), first developing and managing Mr. West’s web blogs, including kanyeuniversecity.com (a protected client site) and kanyewest.com and then producing artwork (album covers, promo materials and merch and advertising) for associated and independent clients including A$AP Rocky, A Bathing Ape, Been Trill /Pacsun, Big Sean, Lil’ Wayne, Vic Mensa , Pusha-T, Travis Scott 2 Chainz, Tyga (and many others).
Since departing the agency in 2016 and relocating to Providence, Rhode Island, he’s continued to add names to the list of satisfied clients including Adidas, BBH/LA, Fool’s Gold, Google Play, HTC, Interscope Records, Miguel, Nicki Minaj, Puff Daddy and several others. In 2017, Joe launched a line of “skate-metal” products (named “The Mason Collection”) featuring his new spins on the grunge, metal music and skate culture designs from the 1990s.
Joe’s work has been honored by Billboard Magazine (his cover for Nicki Minaj’s The Pink Print was included in their list of the “50 Greatest Album Covers of All Time” in 2015), while Complex Magazine lauded that work as the “Best Album Cover” of 2014.
More information on this artist can be found on his web site – http://www.joerperez.com/
Janet Perr – notable album cover credits include – Devo – Duty Now For The Future and Collectibles Classics (Box Set); Aerosmith – Aerosmith’s Greatest Hits; Third World – All The Way Strong; Cyndi Lauper – She’s So Unusual and The Collection; Sonia Dada – Sonia Dada; Flash & The Pan – Flash & The Pan; Miles Davis – Star People; UFO – Misdemeanor; Peter Wolf – Come As You Are; Rolling Stones – Dirty Work and The Singles:1971 – 2006; Run-DMC – Tougher Than Leather; Vanilla Ice – To The Extreme; Spin Doctors – Just Go Ahead Now; Steve Khan – Parting Shot; The Georgia Satellites – Open All Night
More information on this artist is available on her web site – http://www.janetperr.com/
Raymond Pettibon – Notable album cover credits include – Minutemen – Introducing The Minutemen and Post-Mersh, Vol. 1; Life – A Tiny Twofer; Mike Watt – Hyphenated-Man; Black Flag – My War, Jealous Again, Slip It In and The Process of Weeding Out; Sonic Youth – Goo; Foo Fighters – One By One; Off! – Off! and Wasted Years; Saccharine Trust – Past Lives
(born Raymond Ginn, June , 1957 in Tucscon, AZ) The son of an English teacher that also wrote spy novels, Raymond was raised in Southern California and studied economics at UCLA, graduating from the school in 1977. His older brother, Greg Ginn, was a guitarist and song-writer and, in the mid-70s, Raymond played bass in a band with him called “Panic”. The year prior to Raymond’s graduation from UCLA, his brother founded a punk rock band, with Raymond suggesting the new name “Black Flag” and conjuring up the band’s distinctive “four bars” logo (watch a fascinating video produced by MOCA-TV about Pettibon and the origination of the Black Flag logo – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0u04EqNVjo ). Enjoying that creative work greatly, he went on to use his prodigious self-taught skills as an illustrator for punk and other anti-establishment groups in the LA area, creating many designs for gig posters, merch and album covers. He also decided to change his name to “Pettibon” a re-working of a nickname (“petit bon”) given to him by his father.
When his brother formed the SST Record label, Raymond became the in-house illustrator, creating designs for Black Flag’s stable mates as well, with his stark designs earning him recognition in the LA modern art scene. Influenced by the works of early political cartoonists such as William Blake, his work often features hand-drawn images and bits of text based on his own writing or that of other famous writers (Faulkner, James, Joyce and others). He produced large quantities of work, with Black Flag singer Henry Rollins being quoted as saying that he was impressed with the artist’s discipline and hard work. Beginning in the late 1970s, Pettibon began to self-publish photo-copied editions of his drawings and collages in booklets he calls “Superflux Pubs”, a practice he continues to this day.
Expanding his work beyond prints and posters, Pettibon has also done work for animation, film and a variety of art-related books and magazines. In the 1980s, he began exhibiting his work in group shows in galleries and, in 1992, he was included in the Museum of Contemporary Arts (MOCA, Los Angeles) exhibition titled Helter Skelter: L.A. Art in the 1990s. The next year, his work was on display at the Whitney Biennial and since then, he’s been included in museum and gallery shows worldwide, including displays at MOMA in NYC, the Kunsthaus in Zurich, the Hammer Museum in LA, museums in Tokyo, Barcelona and The Hague in the Netherlands, several more Whitney Biennials, MOCA Chicago in 2008, the Centre Pompidou in Paris in 2014 and both the Laguna Art Museum and the Whitney Museum in New York in 2015. His first major solo exhibition took place in 1995 at the David Zwirner Gallery in New York, followed by scores of others in major cities and galleries around the world. Several books of his exhibition work have also been published to supplement these showings.
His work is included in the permanent collections of many of the world’s great museums and public/private collections, such as The Art Institute in Chicago, the Whitney Museum of American Art in NYC, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Dallas Museum of Art in Texas, the L.A. County Museum of Art, the Milwaukee Art Museum, MOMA in New York, the Neue Galerie in Linz, Austria, the Tate Modern in London, the Kunsthalle in Bern, Switzerland, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota and many others.
Raymond Pettibon has received many accolades for his work over the years. For example, in 1991, he was awarded the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award, while in 2001, the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, Germany, awarded Pettibon its Wolfgang Hahn Prize (awarded each year to “outstanding artistic personalities”).Other awards include the Grand Prize of Honor during the 25th Biennial of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana, Slovenia in 2003 and, in 2004, he received the prestigious (and lucrative – $100,000!) Bucksbaum Award from the Whitney Biennial. In 2010, the University of Vienna gave Pettibon an award in honor of the late, revered painter Oscar Kokoschka.
More information on this artist is available via his web site at http://www.raypettibon.com/
Lili Picou – notable album cover credits include – Scott Johnson – Rock, Paper, Scissors; LSG – Levert Sweat Gill and LSG 2; Busta Rhymes – Dangerous; Phish – The Story Of The Ghost; MC Lyte – Seven & Seven; Marvelous 3 – Hey! Album and ReadySexGo!; Ol’ Dirty Bastard – Nigga Please! and The Dirty Story; Brand New Immortals – Tragic Show; Missy Elliott – Miss E…So Addictive, Under Construction and This Is Not A Test!; Michael Franti – The Sound of Sunshine; Bon Jovi – Cross Road; Trina – Amazin’
(b. _____, in _____) Lili Picou earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design from the Pratt Institute in New York, graduating with highest honors in 1991 and landing a position that year with the Polygram company of record labels, spending the first several years as a designer focused on records being added to Polygram’s Classical (Deutche Grammophon, Decca/London and Philips Records) and Jazz (Verve and Point Music) labels before being promoted to the position of Art Director for Polygram in 1994, where she added responsibilities for projects for the A&M, Mercury and Island/Def Jam record labels.
In 1997, she moved on to serve as the Senior Art Director for Time Warner Inc’s Elektra Entertainment Group, impressing the company with her work so that, in 1999, she was promoted to Vice President and Creative Director for the group and taking on the responsibilities for promoting, packaging and merchandising the careers of a large roster of artists including Yolanda Adams, Missy Elliott, Gerald Levert, Natalie Merchant, Metallica, Keith Sweat and Tamia, among many others. She remained at that job until leaving in 2004 to start her career as a freelance designer/art director, first for an ad agency that included brands such as Foot Locker/Lady Foot Locker, Fuze Energy Drinks, the NBA and Royal Doulton and then her own full-service agency called Kush Design.
Since starting Kush, Lili and her cohorts have built and impressive and wide-ranging portfolio of clients in a number of industries (entertainment, fashion & beauty, financial, health care, hospitality, luxury, non-profit, etc. ) and have produced memorable examples of work in all aspects of those companies’ brand-development and extension efforts . Some of those clients include EMI Latin, Nickelodeon, Sandals Resorts International, Silversea Cruises, Sony Records, Universal Records and the cities of Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood.
More information on this artist can be found on her company’s web site at http://kushdesign.com/clients.html
Simon Posthuma (part of The Fool Design Collective) – see entry on “The Fool” – https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/artist-biographies-d-f/
Aubrey Powell – Notable album cover art credits – Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Discovery and Animals; T.Rex – Electric Warrior; Led Zeppelin – Houses of The Holy and Presence; Genesis – The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway; Judas Priest – Rising In The East; UB40 – Who You Fighting For?; Robert Plant – Sixty Six To Timbuktu; Bad Company – Company of Strangers; Deep Purple – Nobody’s Perfect; Paul McCartney & Wings – Venus & Mars
Aubrey “Po” Powell was born in Sussex, England in September of 1946 and attended The Kings School near Cambridge. After completing his studies, his circle of friends in Cambridge included artist Storm Thorgerson and a young musician named Syd Barrett, who’d recently started a band called Pink Floyd (the three would be roommates for a while, sharing a flat in South Kensington, London). He took a job as a production set designer in London in 1965 and joined forces with Thorgerson in 1968 to form their own design firm, which they’d call Hipgnosis after seeing the unknown-but-intriguing word scribbled on a door frame (perhaps by Barrett?) in their apartment.
The young design/photography firm produced their first album cover – for Pink Floyd’s A Saucerful of Secrets – in 1968 and soon after moved into a studio space in Soho, where they’d they stay busy until 1982 working with on projects both in the music business (for Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Yes, Genesis, Black Sabbath and many others) and for other traditional advertising clients including Levis, Volvo, Peugeot, Xerox and Kronenbourg beer. During this period, the firm received five nominations for packaging design awards from the Grammy organization.
When the first iteration of Hipgnosis split in 1982, Powell began work as a film maker, working both alone and with Thorgerson (and Hipgnosis alum Peter Christopherson) to write, produce and direct a series of film and music video projects. As Green Back Films, the trio produced music videos for Yes, David Gilmour, Robert Plant (and others) and produced three feature films, with Powell venturing off on his own in 1985, launching Aubrey Powell Productions and expanding the range of projects to include TV commercials along with more music videos and films. In 1989, Po was hired on as the creative director for Paul McCartney’s World Tour and was responsible for all set design, video production and direction of the documentary From Rio to Liverpool for the BBC and for co-directing (with Richard Lester) the film Get Back.
In 1993, Sir Paul once again asked Po to stage direct his New World Tour and to direct two films – the documentary Movin’ On and the CableACE-winning concert film Live in the New World. The next year, Powell resurrected the Hipgnosis name when he launched Hipgnosis Ltd to produce and direct a broad range of live and recorded video/film/commercial projects, which he continues to do to this day.
Books on the work of Powell and his Hipgnosis teammates include:
Walk Away Renee – The Work of Hipgnosis, published in 1978 by Aubrey Powell & Storm Thorgerson; Wings Over America by Hipgnosis, with all photographs by Aubrey Powell, 1978; The Goodbye Look – The Photodesigns of Hipgnosis, published by Powell and Thorgerson in 1982; Classic Album Covers of the 1970s, by Aubrey Powell, first published in 1994 (and updated in Autumn, 2012) and 1999′s 100 Best Album Covers by Powell and Thorgerson. Published in 2008, For the Love of Vinyl – The Album Art of Hipgnosis was the first book to give fans an in-depth broad survey of Powell and Thorgerson’s work together, providing detailed accounts of over 60 package designs, and in 2012, the pair published Bad Habits and Poor Traits – Photographic Portraits by Hipgnosis.
More information available at – http://www.aubreypowell.com
Neal Preston – Notable album cover credits include – Bruce Springsteen – Live 1975-85 and Streets of Philadelphia; Alice Cooper – Beast of Alice Cooper; Peter Frampton – Peter Frampton and A Day In The Sun; Heart – Passionworks; The Traveling Wilburys – The Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 1; Captain & Tennille – Song of Joy and Songs Of Joy; Tom Petty – The Live Anthology; Various Artists – Almost Famous and Elizabethtown soundtracks; Billy Joel – A Matter Of Trust; Patty Scialfa – Rumble Doll; Fleetwood Mac – Say You Will and Live In Boston; Stevie Nicks – Trouble In Shangri-La
(b. 1952 in New York City, NY) Preston began his life-long affair with the camera in his early teens, taking one to musical events he’d attend in the New York City area so that, before graduating from Forest Hills High School in 1970, he’d already built a large portfolio of images and started his own photo agency, taking on assignments from a number of publications. The next year, he moved to Los Angeles and began to expand his client base outside the music arena.
He joined Ken Regan’s Camera 5 photo agency in 1978 and, the next year, he took on his first assignments for People Magazine (a relationship that has produced hundreds of shoots over the years). Other magazine clients have included Newsweek, Rolling Stone and Time and, in the sports arena, he’s photographed contests in the NBA and MLB, World Cup Soccer, professional boxing and figure skating and the Olympic Games.
One of his music business clients on the West Coast – Atlantic Records – had Neal working for them whenever one of their artists was in the area for a show, to accept an award, at a press conference, etc., and it was in 1975 that he was introduced to band manager Peter Grant, who then asked Preston to join him and his biggest band – Led Zeppelin – on their tour as their official photographer. When he wasn’t on the road with the band, Preston added a number of musical acts to his list of portrait and live event credits, including Duran Duran, Fleetwood Mac, Peter Gabriel, Marvin Gaye, Heart, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5, Billy Joel, Tom Petty, Iggy Pop, Queen, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Wham! and The Who. He was one of the official photographers at the “Live Aid” event in London in 1985 and the 1986 Amnesty International “Conspiracy of Hope” tour, adding shots of U2, Bryan Adams, Lour Reed, Joan Baez and the Neville Brothers to his roster of subjects. With the advent of music television, the producers of VH-1’s Behind The Music documentaries used over 1000 photographs from Neil’s archives while creating 50+ episodes of the series.
Continuing to expand his experiences outside of traditional photograph, Preston has done a number of film projects with his friend, producer/director Cameron Crowe, where he’s worked as both a unit and a special photographer for films including Almost Famous, Elizabethtown, Vanilla Sky and We Bought A Zoo.
Books featuring Neal’s images taken during his time with Led Zeppelin include Led Zeppelin Portraits (1986, published by Harper Collins), Led Zeppelin (2009, published by Omnibus Press) and, in 2012, Led Zeppelin: Sound and Fury was published. This comprehensive, 300-page digital multi-media collection (available via the iTunes Bookstore) includes over 250 photos, of which over 100 were previously unpublished.
Preston has exhibited his work in a number of prestigious galleries, including a pair of 2006 shows at the Morrison Hotel Galleries in NYC and Los Angeles and a 2012 exhibition at London’s Snap Gallery. You’ll also find his work in the collections of the Smithsonian Exhibition in Washington D.C., the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio and in the photo gallery at London’s Wembley Stadium.
For more information on this artist, please visit his web site at –http://www.prestonpictures.com/
Michael Putland – Notable examples of album cover work – Harry Nilsson – Son of Schmilsson; Eric Clapton – Rainbow Concert; AC/DC – High Voltage
Born in 1947 in Harrow-on-the-Hill, near London. Encouraged by his uncle, he took up photography at the age of 9 and, upon leaving school at the age of 16, he started work at a London studio where he assisted in advertising, fashion and architectural photography. Michael was priviledged to work with Louis Klementaski, the legendary motor racing photographer, during this period. After briefly assisting Time/Life photographer Walter Curtain, he decided to go out on his own, sharing a studio with two friends and eventually securing work with the magazine Disc & Music Echo, where his first assignment was with Mick Jagger.
He went on to photograph Elton John and John Lennon before moving on to Sounds Magazine and continuing to photograph the biggest names in the music & entertainment business. He began to travel extensively and worked for most of the major record companies, including Warner Bros., Elektra, Atlantic, CBS, Polydor, RCA and EMI. Michael relocated to New York in 1977 where he continued his record company and editorial assignments, shooting artists as diverse as Billy Joel, The Clash and the Bee Gees. While in NY, he founded the Retna photo agency and, after returning to London in the early 1980s, he opened the London branch of the agency and continued to focus on music clients including Madonna and George Michael.
He has recently sold the company to allow himself more time to concentrate on his first love – photography. While his current work is predominantly portraiture, his subjects are likely to be classical, jazz and world music artists, as well as lifestyle subjects.
More information available at – www.michaelputland.com
Al Quattrocchi – see “Tornado Design” entry
Rankin – notable album cover credits include – Natlaie Imbruglia – Left Of The Middle; Example – #hits; Demi Lovato – Demi; Alanis Morissette – Precious Illusions and Under Rug Swept; Shelby Lynne – I Am Shelby Lynne; Kylie Minogue – Kylie Minogue; Kelis – Flesh Tone; Busted – Half Way There; Gaz Coombes – Matador; Rick Astley – Beautiful Life; Ren Harvieu – Revel In The Drama; Pulp – Help The Aged and Something Changed #1 & #2; Madonna – Drowned World and GHV2; Morrissey – The Best of Morrissey; Eminem – Business
(b. 1966 in Paisley, U.K. as John Rankin Waddell) After switching the focus of his education from the study of accounting to photography (with classwork done first at Barnfield College in Luton and then at the London College of Printing), Rankin teamed with fellow student Jefferson Hack to launch Dazed & Confused magazine in 1991, an “alternative lifestyle and culture” publication that gave readers a close-up look at the underground music, youth culture and fashion scenes.
Now a publisher, photographer, corporate communications guru and film and music video director, Rankin has also published over 30 books and his work is regularly exhibited in galleries and exhibitions around the world, as well as in his own gallery in London.
A more-complete biography of this artist will be published soon. In the meantime, if you’d like to learn more about this artist and his work, please visit his web site at https://rankinphoto.co.uk/home/
Aaron Rapoport – notable album cover credits include – REO Speedwagon – High Infidelity; Supertramp – Breakfast In America; Larry Graham – Fired Up; Eagles – Eagles Live; Josie Cotton – Convertible Music; Saga – Wildest Dreams; Van Halen – 5150 and Van Halen Box; 1986 – 1993; James Taylor – The Collection; John Cougar – Nothing Matters and What If It Did; Highway 101 – Paint The Town; Linda Ronstadt – Get Closer
(b. May, 1954, San Mateo County, CA) During his 30+ year career as a commercial photographer, Aaron has produced an impressive portfolio of images for clients both inside and outside of the music/entertainment industry, including work for companies including Bacardi, Coca-Cola, Frito-Lay, HGTV, Hulu, Irish Tourism & Travel, Korbel, Seagrams and others. His entertainment industry credits include shots for music, film & TV stars such as Jeff Beck, Annette Benning, David Bowie, Miles Davis, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Katy Perry, Tom Petty, Lionel Ritchie, Steven Speilberg, Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr, Tina Turner and many others. Film poster credits include Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, Bachelor Party, Demolition Man, Let’s Spend The Night Together, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, This Is Spinal Tap and others.
His work can be found in a number of well-known rock photo and art galleries world-wide and, based in Southern California, Aaron continues to impress while maintaining a busy schedule.
More information about this artist is available on his web site at – http://www.aaronrapoport.com/
Gabrielle Raumberger – notable album cover credits include – Frank Zappa – Them or Us; Hank Williams, Jr. – Greatest Hits, Vol.2, Five-O-Five and Montana Cafe; Aerosmith – Pump and Chronicles; Barbra Streisand – Just For The Record…, The Concert, A Love Like Ours, Timeless: Live in Concert and Duets; Natalie Cole – Holly & Ivy and Stardust; Neil Diamond – Live in America and In My Lifetime; Dwight Yoakam – Hillbilly Deluxe and Under The Covers; Olivia Newton-John – Grace and Gratitude, Magic: The Very Best of… and Back With A Heart; Fleetwood Mac – Time; Cher – Cher
Gabrielle began her career in the creative arts in 1979 as an Art Director for the McCann-Erickson agency in Los Angeles, where she worked on broadcast and print ad campaigns for almost five years before accepting a job as the Art Director for Warner Brothers Records, moving in early 1988 to a VP/ Head Art Director position at Geffen Records, where she was responsible for the staff of designers/directors charged with creating the label’s packaging, advertising and related materials.
Raumberger set out on her own in 1990, opening a new southern California-based graphic design studio – targeted at the entertainment industry – that she named EPOS (Endless Possibilities Productions, Inc.). Looking to service her client base in “developing new campaigns or breathe fresh life into existing brands”, her agency has created campaigns for an amazing list of clients both in-and-outside the music business, including Dick Clark Communications, EMI Music, Roland USA, Sony Music and Universal Music; publishers such as Harcourt Brace and Harper Collins; film companies including Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Lionsgate and Paramount; TV studios including Disney/ABC, Fox, HBO and VH-1 and consumer products firms such as Disney, Hewlett-Packard, Jafra Cosmetics, Loews Hotels, Mattel, Microsoft, Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic and University of Farmers.
Industry recognition has included a Grammy nomination in 1991-2 for her album cover work on Elvis Costello’s Mighty Like a Rose special package, and she later worked again for the Recording Academy when she served as the art director for The Ultimate Grammy Box: From the Recording Academy’s Collection, a 4-disc compendium released in 2001.
Further extending her talents, Gabrielle was also the designer of The Secret of a Happy Relationship™, a game about personal relationships from creator Aurelia Haslboeck.
For more information on this artist, please visit her website at –http://www.eposinc.com/work/
Rex Ray – notable album cover credits include – David Bowie – Hours, Reality, Best of Bowie and The David Bowie Box; The Residents – Mark of The Mole, Tunes of Two Cities, The King & Eye, Our Finest Flowers and The Gingerbread Man; Matmos – Matmos, The West, Quasi-Objects, Supreme Balloon, The Ganzfield and The Marriage of True Minds; Joe Satriani – Crystal Planet, Engines of Creation, Supercolossal , Strange Beautiful Music, Professor Satchafunkilus & The Musterion of Rock and Black Swans & Wormhole Wizards; The Soft Pink Truth – Do You Party?; Diamanda Galas – La Serpenta Canta
(b. 1956, Germany, real name was Michael Patterson; d. Feb., 2015 in San Francisco, CA) An “army brat”, Rex was exposed to designs from around the world and knew that he wanted to be a designer since he was a young man. Progressing from creating his own “pop art masterpieces” when he was 10-11 years old, he designed his own record sleeves for his collection of David Bowie and punk music 45s while he was a teen living in the suburbs of Denver, CO. Moving ahead with his design education, he became a 1988 BFA graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute and had intended on doing post-graduate work but left to start his career as a freelancer when he felt that the school environment wasn’t conducive to his own aesthetic sensibilities. He selected his clients carefully, only working with those that allowed him to express his creativity in a unique fashion, building his confidence (and an impressive portfolio) along the way.
When he first moved to San Francisco, Rex worked in a record store and, during that time, built a collection of thousands of records and CDs and, to this day, he selects the musical background for his studio to both suit his mood and provide inspiration for whatever project he’s working on. With clients including Apple, David Bowie, City Lights Publishers, Crown Books, Dreamworks, Matador Records, Mute Records, Powerhouse, Sony Music, The Residents, Joe Satriani and Warner Brothers Records (among many others), his collages, paintings and design work have been exhibited at galleries and museums throughout the US and overseas, beginning with a one man show at the Hassel Haeseler Gallery in Denver, CO, Rex has been the subject of solo exhibitions in San Francisco (Gallery 16 and Michael Martin Galleries), Scottsdale, AZ, Palo Alto and Dallas, TX. His work has also been included in group exhibitions in museums and galleries including the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, the San Jose Museum of Modern Art, the Monterey Museum of Modern Art and others in London, Seattle, San Diego, Santa Fe and Dallas.
In April, 2008, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art launched a Rex Ray gift line of 30+ different products, including T-shirts, coffee mugs, scarves, puzzles, and many more items. More recently, a collection of his works were included in traveling art exhibition called “Beauty Reigns,” organized by McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, TX. Rex’s art was featured in a 2008 children’s book (published by Triangle Square) titled 10,000 Dresses, featuring a story by Marcus Ewert. Also available is the 2007 Chronicle Book Rex Ray Art + Design.
Rex Ray died in February, 2015 after a long battle with cancer. He was 58 years old.
For more about this artist, please visit his website at www.rexray.com
Kevin Reagan – notable album cover credits include – Madonna – Ray of Light and Music; Guns N’ Roses – Use Your Illusion 1 and 2 and The Spaghetti Incident?; Dixie Chicks – Home; Deftones – Around The Fur; Sonic Youth – Goo and Dirty; BB King – One Kind Favor; Rickie Lee Jones – Pop Pop and Traffic From Paradise; Weezer – Pinkerton; Alanis Morissette – Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie; Nelly Furtado – Whoa, Nelly!; Bon Jovi – Crush; Aerosmith – Just Push Play; Beck – Sea Change; Foo Fighters – In Your Honor
A three–time Grammy Award winner (in 1999 for Ray of Light by Madonna; in 2001 for Music, also by Madonna and in 2003 for Home by the Dixie Chicks), designer/art director Kevin Reagan stays very busy with projects while also teaching Graphic Design at California’s FIDM (Fashion Institute For Design & Merchandising, something he’s done since 2005. Kevin is the former Art Director for Geffen, MCA and Maverick Records and is the author of Alex Steinweiss, The Inventor of the Modern Album Cover, an extensive collection representing over 60 years of Steinweiss’ work, published in 2009 by Taschen .
Kevin’s online portfolio is available at http://kevinreagandesign.com/
Tom Recchion – notable album covers include (Grammy) – The B-52s – Good Stuff and Channel Z; Megadeth – Peace Sells, But Who’s Buying? and Warchest; R.E.M. – Out Of Time, Automatic For The People, Nightswimming and Monster; Prince – Diamonds & Pearls and Batman; Porno For Pyros – Porno For Pyros; Alanis Morissette – Jagged Little Pill; Los Lobos – Colossal Head; R. Kelly – R.; Ozomatli – Ozomatli; Ministry – In Case You Didn’t Feel Like Showing Up; Babes in Toyland – Painkillers; The Beach Boys – The SMiLE Sessions; Matching Mole – March; Van Dyke Parks – Moonlighting: Live At The Ash Grove
Interview with Mr. Recchion on the LA Free Music Society (LAFMS) web site – https://lafms.wordpress.com/tom-recchion-interview/
Jamie Reid – Notable album cover work examples – The Sex Pistols – Never Mind the Bollocks…Here’s The Sex Pistols, Anarchy in the U.K. and The Great Rock and Roll Swindle; Afro Celt Sound System – Volume 1: Sound Magic, Volume 2: Release and Release Remixes, Volume 1: Billy Childish – Thatcher’s Children
(b. January, 1947 in London, U.K.) Jamie Reid is “an artist with a capital ‘A’” whose ‘Never Mind The Bollocks’ sleeve was voted second best ever by Rolling Stone magazine, and an artist who you cannot get through art school without studying. His father, the City Editor on London’s Daily Sketch, and his mother, (who, according to Reid, was “a firm believer in fairies”), were steeped in spiritual socialism. Their philosophical legacy inspired Jamie to dive into the protest movement at the first opportunity, which just happened to be the student movement of ’68, organizing an occupation of Croydon Art College together with Malcolm McLaren.
The pair teamed-up later that year to make a film about the ‘History Of Oxford Street’, before going their separate ways – McLaren into the fashion business and Reid “into the rebellion business”, where he co-founded Suburban Press magazine in 1970. It was here that Jamie developed his unique style that was later used in Punk. Punk, inspired by Reid’s accessible, easy to copy graphics, started a do-it-yourself revolution which is still very much kicking, and ripping-up the rules the world over. His covers and promo graphics for the Sex Pistols in the mid-1970s – particularly, the image of Queen Elizabeth II (based on the “classic” Cecil Beaton photo) with a safety pin pushed through her lips – was called by one reporter for The Guardian “the single most iconic image of the punk era”.
More recently, Reid has continued to produce artwork that brings his anti-establishment sensibilities to highlight the absurdities in today’s world of political and corporate chicanery. He’s also produced artwork for a project called Eight-fold Year, during which he’s released a new work of art every day based on the Druid concept of the year being divided into eight “essential” parts (solstices, equinoxes and four other critical seasonal dates.
More information on this artist can be found on his web site at http://www.jamiereid.org/
Terry Richardson – Notable album cover credits include – Russell Simins – Public Places, Corrosion of Conformity – Deliverance; Joan Osborne – Relish; Bad Religion – No Substance; Spice Girls – Forever; Lenny Kravitz – Lenny and Baptism/Lenny; Pink – Don’t Let Me Get Me; David Guetta – F*** Me! I’m Famous; Justin Timberlake – Future Sex/Love Sounds; N.E.R.D. – In Search Of.. and Nothing; Robin Thicke – Blurred Lines
(b. August, 1965 in New York, NY, USA) The son of noted fashion photographers Bob Richardson (Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue) and Anny Lomax, Terry was raised in Hollywood, CA and attended Hollywood High before moving up the coast, skateboard in hand, to Ojai, where he went to Nordhoff High School. He began his affair with music and the creative arts as a teen after his mother had badly injured herself in a car accident and a therapist suggested he get a hobby, so he began to play bass in a punk rock band and, a few years later, took up taking pictures as well, landing a job as the assistant to his mother’s friend, photographer Tony Kent.
After moving to New York in 1992 and driven by an urge to test the limits of both photography and what was acceptable within popular culture, Terry’s photos of the people and places in the East Village proved to be quite controversial, with many exploring overt sexual themes and the characters who lived their lives exploring them. Many of the leading publications at the time selected Richardson to provide them with illustrations for their articles on pop culture and fashion, with his works being featured in magazines including Dazed & Confused, The Face, GQ, Harper’s Bazaar, i-D, Purple Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair and the American, French and U.K. editions of Vogue.
Expanding his client base to include a number of commercial firms as well, Richardson has created campaigns for companies including Aldo, Diesel (including portraits of the company’s founder, Renzo Rosso), Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs, Supreme and Yves Saint Laurent.
Over the years, Richardson’s work has been featured in a series of both solo and group shows in galleries and museums all over the world, including: “Terry Richardson”, hosted by Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris, France (1999), “Chick Clicks” at the Modefotografie zwischen Kunst und Auftrag – Fotomuseum Winterthur, Winterthur, Switzerland and “Archeology of Elegance” at the Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, Germany (both in 2002), “Terry Richardson: Too Much” at the Kunst-Werke Berlin e.V. – KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany in 2003, “Beautiful Losers: Contemporary Art And Street Culture” a travelling show that was curated in 2004 by Christian Strike and Aaron Rose at the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, Ohio and then travelled until 2009, with stops at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA; Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA; The Contemporary Museum, Baltimore, MD; The University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa, FL; Fondazione La Triennale, Milan, Italy; Le Tri Postal, Lille, France; Muzeum Sztuki, Lodz, Poland and La Casa Encendida, Madrid, Spain. In 2012, Richardson curated a solo exhibition at Los Angeles’s OHWOW Gallery titled “Terrywood”. Other gallery shows have been presented at the Alleged Gallery and the Deitch Projects in New York and the Shine Gallery in London.
Terry was awarded a “Silver Lion for Print” in 2007 at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, while in December, 2012, musician Lady Gaga announced that Richardson would head up the filming for a documentary about her life.
There have been a number of books featuring Terry’s photographs published over the years, including Hysteric Glamour (published by Hysteric Glamour, Tokyo, 1998), Son of Bob (Little More, Tokyo, 1999), Terry Richardson – Feared by Men, Desired by Women (Shine Gallery, London, 2000), Too Much (Sisley, Italy, 2002), Terry: The Terry Richardson Purple Book (Purple Institute, Paris 2004), Terryworld, by Dian Hanson (Tashen, Hong Kong, 2004), Kibosh (Damiani Editor, Bologna, Italy, 2006), Mom & Dad (Morel Books, London, 2011) and Lady Gaga X Terry Richardson (Grand Central Publishing, New York, 2011).
For more information on this artist, please visit his web site at –http://www.terryrichardson.com/index.html
Derek Riggs – Notable album cover art credits include – Iron Maiden – Iron Maiden, Killers, Number of the Beast, Piece of Mind, Power Slave, Somewhere in Time, Live After Death, No Prayer For The Dying and Brave New World; Stratovarius – Infinite and Elements Pt. 1 & Pt. 2; Budgie – Nightflight; Bruce Dickinson – Accident of Birth; Gamma Ray – Power Plant
(b. February, 1958 in Portsmouth, U.K.) Largely a self-taught artist (save for a failed attempt at art school), young Derek Riggs took his portfolio and set out to become a painter for science fiction book covers and, when he wasn’t able to find work in that area, he set out to visit every major record company he could at the time (being that it was the 1970s, there were only a few majors who employed a qualified art director), ultimately taking on a commission with EMI to create an overall “look” for a series of soon-to-be-released jazz recordings. While his work ended up being shelved (because, according to Riggs, the featured musicians thought that the paintings that were to be used made them look “too commercial”), it was the foot in the door – and the experience in how to best work within the music business – that set him on his path as a freelance designer/artist.
While many of the art directors at the “proper” labels didn’t quite know what to make of Riggs’ portfolio (one AD suggested that he get a haircut and some therapy), it was during an introductory meeting with the management of the metal band Iron Maiden that he showed them a sketch of a character he’d done, ostensibly to be used on a punk record. With punk all the rage at that time in the U.K., Riggs built his imagery on his recreations of the neighborhoods he lived in, representing his feelings about the decay of society, the hopelessness the youth of the day felt about where they lived and the expected bleakness of their future prospects. Seeing that this could also represent the anger and despair that underlay heavy metal music, the execs asked Derek to make the character (then known as “Electric Matthew”) less punk and more metal and, after adding some hair and making some other modifications, “Eddie” was born. Used first on the band’s 1980 debut album titled Iron Maiden, Riggs and Eddie became the team that would exclusively create the band’s imagery for the next 12 years.
By the early 1990’s, the band’s success relied more on their iconography and merchandise than the popularity of their music and so, to take advantage of this situation, the band’s management asked Riggs to create multiple images of album and single covers. Riggs felt that the strain of his work load was becoming greater than he cared for and so, in 1992, he and the band parted ways with their next record, titled Fear of the Dark, featuring a reworking of the Eddie character by another artist.
Switching from painted works to computer-based artwork in the mid-1990s (after developing a reaction to metal-based paints), Derek continued to work on record covers and also developed clients outside the music business including Gremlin Glass (Paperweights), Killertech Computer Supplies, Knott’s Berry Farm and Sprit Soft Drinks. After moving to California a number of years ago, in 2006 he worked with author Martin Popoff to publish Run For Cover: The Art of Derek Riggs, a critically-acclaimed book that includes reproductions of over 80 of his favorite works along with a selection of interviews and articles.
To learn more about this artist, please visit his web site at http://derek.server311.com/
Michael V. Rios – notable album cover credits include – Santana – Supernatural, Dance of the Rainbow Serpent, Sacred Fire, Hymns For Peace (Live at Montreaux) and Ultimate Santana; Pancho Sanchez – Latin Spirits; Various Artists – Live Forever; Various Artists – 2002 Latin Grammy Nominees; Testament – Live At The Fillmore; Malo – Senorita; Steve Winwood – About Time
(b. December, 1947 in Oakland, CA, USA) With his talents as an artist recognized by his high school teachers, in 1964 Michael was awarded with a scholarship to the San Francisco Academy of Art College, graduating from the school in 1966 and stepping right in to a job as an illustrator for upscale men’s clothier Roos Atkins, where he worked until deciding to hang out his own shingle in San Francisco’s North Beach area. There, he worked on a variety of projects for clients in the advertising, book publishing and other commercial industries, building an impressive portfolio of clients and ultimately landing the role as the creative partner in the Winston, Rios & Brown agency on Union Street.
With the prominence of the psychedelic music and art scenes in the Bay Area in the late 60s – early 70s affecting him, Rios grew tired producing traditional artwork “for squares” and thought that he’d find more inspiration in Europe, moving himself to Paris and deciding there that he wanted to start over with a clean slate. After an extended stay, he returned to San Francisco, landing in the Mission District, the historical center for Latin culture in the area and meeting a group of artists with similar backgrounds to his own. He was soon asked to help decorate the side of a neighborhood community group’s building located at 23rd St. and Folsom St.. That group was supporting a local gallery and so, looking to both make an impression and do something appropriate for the site, Michael created a mural (with all the characters featured in that mural done to look like cats, dogs, rats and, for the police, pigs – that was the vernacular at the time, remember?) that would serve as the first of many others he’d be asked to do going forward.
A mural he painted at 22nd St./South Van Ness Ave. in appreciation of the talents of another local artist – guitarist Carlos Santana – garnered a lot of attention, including that of Santana band drummer extraordinaire Michael Shrieve, who asked Rios to custom-paint a drum set for him. When Santana saw the finished product, he arranged for a meeting with the painter and that, as they say, “was the start of a lifelong friendship”. Since that time, Rios has been commissioned to create the imagery for a number of Santana’s record albums, including the 12X Grammy-and-Latin Grammy-winning, many-time platinum-selling 1999 record Supernatural as well as musical instruments, band merchandise, stage designs and more. He has since contributed artwork for other well-known musical acts, including Steve Winwood, Malo and Jazz great Pancho Sanchez while also creating original artwork for such clients as the Latin Recording Academy (for whom he produced the program cover for the 3rd annual Latin Grammy Awards in 2002), AGInteractive, the Andre Agassi Foundation, the Mars Family, LP Percussion and Sony Signatures. He also serves on the Arts & Letters Council for the Mexican Museum in San Francisco.
Recent gallery exhibitions include shows in 2010 at the Lush Life Gallery and the Jazz Heritage Center (San Francisco); in 2011 at The Mishkin Gallery, The Summit Gallery, and the San Francisco Public Library, where a number of his works were included in the “American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music” exhibition; and in 2015 at San Diego, CA’s Digital Gym as part of the show there titled “A Tribute To Santana”.
More information on this artist is available at http://mvrios.com/welcome/
Herb Ritts – Notable album cover credits include – Olivia Newton-John – Physical; Gloria Estefan – Destiny, The Essential Gloria Estefan, Mi Tierra/Destiny; Billy Idol – Whiplash Smile; Warren Zevon – Sentimental Hygiene; Cher – Chronicles; Diana Ross – Love & Life; Madonna – True Blue; Tracy Chapman – Matters of the Heart; James Taylor – Hourglass; Prince – The Hits/The B-Sides
(b. August, 1952 – d. December, 2002) Herbert Ritts was born in Los Angeles, CA, the son of a furniture designer/dealer father and interior designer mother. Growing up in Brentwood, West LA, he went on to attend college at Bard College in New York, where he majored in economics and also studied art history. While he enjoyed learning, he didn’t stay to finish his degree; rather, he returned to LA, taking up photography as a hobby while working as a salesman in the family business. After a chum brought him on to the set of the movie The Champ, he brought the actors Ricky Schroeder and Jon Voight together for a quick shot which was soon published in Newsweek magazine. Soon after, some pictures he’d taken of his friend, soon-to-be famous actor Richard Gere, later found their way to the pages of Vogue, Esquire and Mademoiselle magazines and, as he recalled in a 2000 interview prior to an exhibition in Paris, “one day soon thereafter, Mademoiselle tracked me down and asked me to do Brooke Shields, and I said sure. I didn’t say I wasn’t a photographer.”
Confident of his talents and “eye” for a good shot, he combined his business sense with his creative skills and set out to learn more about photography and develop his own sense of what made for a great photo, looking to better his abilities all while taking on assignments for editorial, fashion and music clients. During the 1980s and 1990s, Ritts photographed a huge cast of actors (George Clooney, Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson, Jack Nicholson, Michele Pfeiffer, Brad Pitt, Christopher Reeve, Elizabeth Taylor and others), musicians (Mariah Carey, Cher, Michael Jackson, Elton John, Madonna, Diana Ross, Britney Spears, Tina Turner, more) and celebrities from all walks of life, including Cindy Crawford (who he later introduced to his friend and her future husband Richard Gere), the Dalai Lama, Mikhail Gorbachev, Stephen Hawking, Michael Jordan, and Ronald Reagan.
In addition to his editorial work for magazines including Details, Esquire, GQ, Harper’s Bazaar, Interview, Rolling Stone and Time, he worked closely with a number of fashion companies and retail brands (Gianfranco Ferre, Giorgio Armani, Chanel, Calvin Klien, Ralph Lauren, Revlon, TAG Heuer, Gianni Versace, etc.) to produce photo books of their work. He expanded his talents into film and video, directing “Cherish” for Madonna in 1989 and further establishing his reputation by winning MTV Video Awards for the videos he produced for Chris Isaak and Janet Jackson (other videos included singles for Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears and Shakira).
His first gallery exhibitions took place in 1985, in LA at the G. Ray Hawkins Gallery and in NY at the Staley-Wise Gallery. Since then, his works have been featured in many group and solo exhibitions in galleries and museums around the world. An exhibition titled “Herb Ritts: WORK” went on the road beginning in 1996 at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, attracting more than 250,000 people to the exhibit before moving to the Kunsthaus Wien, Vienna, Austria, in 1997. In 2003, after his death, the Fahey/Klein Gallery in LA put a memorial exhibition on display, while in 2012 the J. Paul Getty Museum hosted “Herb Ritts – LA Style”, which has since also been shown in museums in Cincinnati and Sarasota, FL.
Books based on his work and career include: Pictures (Twin Palms Publishers, 1988), Men/Women (Twin Palms Publishers, 1989), Duo (Twin Palms Publishers, 1991), Notorious (Little, Brown and Company/Bulfinch Press, 1992), Africa (Little, Brown and Company/Bulfinch Press, 1994), Work (Little, Brown and Company/Bulfinch Press, 1996), Herb Ritts (Foundation Cartier Pour L’art Contemporain, 1999) and Herb Ritts – L.A. Style (Getty Publications, 2012).
For more information on this artist, please visit his website at http://www.herbritts.com/
William V. “Red” Robertson – Notable album cover credits – Elvis Presley – Elvis Presley
(b. 1908? – d. 1963) A native of Augusta, Ga., photographer William V. “Red” Robertson was a partner in the Tampa, FL-based Robertson & Fresh commercial photo studio, launched with his partner Harry Fresh in 1932. Quite active in the visual documentation of life in the Tampa area since the end of the Depression, Robertson handled the photo shoots while Fresh was responsible for film processing and printing. Well-regarded locally, they were chosen by Elvis Presley’s manager Col. Tom Parker to photograph the rising star’s act during a mid-1955 visit to the area which culminated in a concert at the Fort Homer W. Hesterly Armory venue in Tampa.
A photo of Presley taken during that performance – known by fans as “the tonsil shot”, showing Presley with eyes closed, mouth open and singing (and swinging) his heart out – was selected by Parker to be used on the cover for the singer’s debut record, released on RCA Records in 1956 and simply titled Elvis Presley. While the cover image itself (which also shows bassist Bill Black in the background) has become a photo icon, setting the bar for album cover photographers, designers and typographers, the shot itself is not without some controversy on several levels. First, the image was seen by some in the clergy (and by friendly local politicians and judges) as being amoral and obscene, with one Jacksonville-based judge calling Elvis a “savage” and that Presley’s music and hip-swiveling was undermining America’s youth, going as far as to ban him from such movements during a concert in the area.
Secondly, there’s been a bit of mystery regarding whether (or not) Robertson actually took that specific shot, as another local talent, celebrity photographer William S. “Popsie” Randolph (who took the photos that were used on the back cover) has been credited by some for that specific photo. While some of the evidence in the controversy – such as the fact that that one particular shot did not bear the stamp of the Robertson & Fresh studio – did lead several Presley experts to conclude that Randolph had taken that one photo instead of Robertson, most researchers/authorities today are convinced that the image in question was, in fact, taken by Robertson as its details fit a series of photos taken by him that day. Since both of the principals are long dead (Robertson in 1963, Randolph in 1978), it seems clear that this issue will remain open (in the minds of a few) for time in memoriam…
While the image may be surrounded in controversy, it is undeniably an important one in the chronicles of rock & roll music. It is included in nearly every book, magazine and article on the history of album cover art and design and is mentioned by many album cover artists when they’re asked about designs that have influenced their work. One designer, Ray Lowry, paid homage to the Presley cover when approaching his own cover design for The Clash’s 1979 record London Calling. Using a photo by Pennie Smith, Lowry took design cues – including the use of green and pink lettering and letting the powerful photograph carry the day – straight from the Elvis cover, with both covers now considered classics. While this is the one record album Robertson was credited with, the work of both he and the unknown graphic designer that assembled the record will hold a place of honor in the Album Cover Hall of Fame.
While a student at the University of South Florida in the early 1970s, photographer Walter Smalling worked with the faculty to rescue the archives of Robertson & Fresh after finding almost 50,000 images in storage and in various states of decomposition. Nearly 3,000 Robertson & Fresh photos (but none of Presley, whose rights are controlled by Elvis Presley Enterprises) are available for online searches through the USF library’s Web site –
Mick Rock – Notable examples of album cover work – Lou Reed – Transformer and Coney Island Baby, Iggy & The Stooges – Raw Power, Queen – Queen II and Sheer Heart Attack, The Ramones – End of the Century
(b. 1948 in London, U.K.; d. November, 2021 on Staten Island, NY, USA) Often referred to as “The Man Who Shot the Seventies”, legendary rock and roll photographer Mick Rock first met David Bowie in early 1972. Most of the memorable images of David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust were shot by Mick Rock in his capacity as Bowie’s official photographer. Rock was instrumental in creating many other key rock ‘n roll images such as album covers for Syd Barrett’s The Madcap Laughs, Lou Reed’s Transformer, Queen’s Queen II (recreated for their classic music video ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’) and Joan Jett’s I Love Rock ‘N Roll. He was the chief photographer on the films The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Shortbus. He also produced and directed the seminal music videos for Bowie to be found on Bowie’s Sound and Vision DVD collection: ‘John, I’m Only Dancing’, ‘Jean Genie’, ‘Space Oddity’, and ‘Life On Mars’.
Mick Rock’s enthusiasm for his art has remained undimmed and he has continues to capture the musical spirit of succeeding eras through his work with musicians of the 1980’s and 1990’s and the new millennium. He has had major exhibitions in London, Liverpool, Manchester Berlin, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oslo, Stockholm and Rotterdam, Milan, Paris, Adelaide, Tokyo and Helsinki. His subjects include Michael Stipe of REM, Kate Moss, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Chemical Brothers, The Rapture, The Killers, Razorlight, The Libertines, Queens of the Stone Age, New Order, The Editors, the Magic Numbers, The Flaming Lips, Kasabian, The Scissor Sisters, Snow Patrol, The Fratellis, The Horrors, Mika, The Klaxons, Peaches, Franz Ferdinand, Fat Joe and old friends Bowie, Lou Reed and Debbie Harry.
In recent years, he has published a series of books, many based on his classic images, including: A Photographic Record 1969-1980 (Century 22 Books 1995), Glam: An Eyewitness Account with foreword by David Bowie (Omnibus Books, Spring 2006)), Psychedelic Renegades / Syd Barrett (Genesis Publications 2002), Moonage Daydream / Ziggy Stardust (with David Bowie)(Genesis Publications), Rock ‘n Roll Eye (Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography 2003), Killer Queen (with Brian May and Roger Taylor) (Genesis Publications 2003), Picture This – Debbie Harry & Blondie with foreword by Debbie Harry (Sanctuary Books 2004), Raw Power – Iggy & The Stooges with foreword by Iggy Pop (Omnibus Books 2005), Rocky Horror with foreword by Richard O’Brien (Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf, Autumn 2006), Classic Queen (Palazzo Editions 2007) and Exposures – a 35 year retrospective (Palazzo Editions, Autumn 2008). Mr. Rock died in November, 2021 in his home on Staten Island, NY, with a statement on his web site reading “it is with the heaviest of hearts that we share our beloved psychedelic renegade Mick Rock has made the Jungian journey to the other side”. A man as unique as his work, he’ll surely be missed.
To find out more about Mick Rock and his work, please visit his site at www.mickrock.com
Brian Roettinger – notable album cover credits include – Death From Above 1979 – Romantic Nights; Steve Aoki – Pillowface & His Airplane Chronicles and Neon Future, Vol. 1; Liars – Liars and Sisterworld; Beach House – Bloom; Jay-Z – Magna Carta Holy Grail (Grammy Award nom, 2013); No Age – Everything In Between, Nouns (2010 Grammy Award nom) and An Object; St. Vincent – St. Vincent; The Notwist – Close To The Glass
In the late ’90s, Brian Roettinger was the bassist for So. California hardcore band This Machine Kills, an act that featured Steve Aoki (who went on to great fame in the dance music world) on vocals. Since 2004, the Los Angeles-based designer has worked at his own small design firm called “Hand Held Heart”. In addition, Brian held the position of design director at the Southern California Institute of Architecture from 2004 to 2009. “SCI-Arc” is a center of innovation and one of the nation’s few independent architecture schools.
In late 2014, in a show staged at Portland OR’s FISK Gallery, Brian premiered Young Urban Proletariat, a hand-made, letter-pressed poster collection made with fragments of broken wood type sourced from the famous Colby Poster Printing Company, a Los Angeles printing institution that closed its doors in 2012 (after nearly 65 years in the business, having printed promo posters for musical acts including Jimi Hendrix and the Sex Pistols). Roettinger worked with the original owners and fellow authors/artists to establish an archive of the company’s work and staged a retrospective show in 2012 at the For Your Art gallery in LA featuring many examples of the firm’s eye-catching poster designs.
Full Bio forthcoming – thanks for your patience
More information on this artist is available on his web site at http://brianroettinger.com/
Michael Ross – Notable album cover credits include – Elton John – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Only The Piano Player; Joe Jackson – Look Sharp!; The Police – Outlandos D’Amour and Reggatta De Blanc; Paul McCartney – Back in the USSR; Squeeze – Squeeze and Cool For Cats; Bob Geldof – The Happy Club; Joan Armatrading – The Key
(b. 1946 – West Sussex, U.K.) Michael Ross began his journey to the wonderful world of album cover creation with a 1969 B.A. degree in Graphic Design from Kingston University in SW London. His first design-related position was as a designer with The Observer weekly newspaper in London (the world’s oldest weekly paper, first published in 1791!) where he initially worked on the monthly magazine, soon switching to the newspaper in the role of Assistant Art Editor. During his two years at the paper, it was awarded “Best Newspaper Design” twice.
His first job in the music business started in 1971, when Michael signed on to become Art Director at DJM Records, an independent record label formed by music publisher Dick James, and then followed one of the label’s principal artists, Elton John, to Rocket Records in 1973 after John (along with songwriting partner Bernie Taupin, and others) established the new marquee to further develop his own career, along with those of other acts including Cliff Richard, Kiki Dee, Neil Sedaka and others. Sister label A&M Records was impressed with Michael’s talents and, in 1977, offered him the opportunity to become their Art Director. He stayed with A&M for 9 years, becoming their Director of Visual Arts in 1984.
In 1987, Ross joined Normal Service Productions, Ltd. and continued to design covers and packaging for a long list of clients including Paul McCartney, The Fixx, Charlie Daniels, Tone-Loc, Young MC, Chris de Burgh, George Jones and Squeeze. He became a director of the company in 1994 and remained there until 1997. He extended his resume to include photographer and video director and, as a director, he has shot over 50 music videos, commercials and corporate films.
In 2005, Mike relocated to the island of Gozo, Malta and became a Lecturer in Graphic Design at the Malta College of Arts, Science & Technology (MCAST). For students at the Higher National Diploma level, he has been teaching courses, in Idea Generation, Packaging, Editorial Design, Typographic Skills, Communicating with Images and Corporate Identity. He also continues to work as an independent/consulting creative director for a well-established local marketing and advertising company called MAS Communications, Ltd., and has also launched his own professional photography service under the name of Mike Ross Photo/Graphic where he works (as he states it) ” on design and photographic commissions for selective clients while pursuing a wide range of personal creative projects.”
For more information on this artist, please visit his web site at http://www.mikerossphotographic.com/
Ethan Russell – Notable examples of album cover work – The Who – Who’s Next; Linda Ronstadt – Hasten Down The Wind; Rolling Stones – More Hot Rocks and Through The Past, Darkly; The Beatles – Let It Be
Born in November, 1945, in Mt. Kisco, New York, his family moved to Manhattan in 1950, then on to San Francisco in 1952. Russell later attended the University of California, Davis, where he majored in English and Art. He was first introduced and became interested in photography at Davis and then moved to London in 1968 with aspirations of becoming a writer, working (and photographing) in a home for autistic children part time.
He was introduced to Mick Jagger that year and, after befriending the Rolling Stones’ singer, served from 1968-72 as the band’s main photographer and, from that unique position, took some of the last photos ever taken of Brian Jones, before the founding member was fired from the band and drowned a short time later. A photo from this session was used as the album cover on 1969′s Through the Past, Darkly (Big Hits Vol. 2), which was dedicated to Brian Jones. His roster of subjects includes a wide range of music industry subjects, including Eric Clapton, Cream, Traffic, The Everly Bros., Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, The Moody Blues, Linda Ronstadt and many others.
With his keen eye leading the way, Russell shifted his talents from photos to film and video in 1978, becoming one of the first producers of music videos and working with acts including Rickie Lee Jones, k.d. lang, Leon Redbone and Paul Simon, among others, and earned two Grammy nominations for his work. His portfolio expanded in the 1990s to include multimedia design and interactive production and interface design while continuing to add to his photo archive and direct films and videos. In the 1990s he added interactive production and design to the mix, spending several years as creative director for a broad-band media company with particular focus on interface design.
Books and e-books include – Dear Mr. Fantasy: Diary of a Decade: Our Time and Rock and Roll (1985), Let It Bleed: The Rolling Stones 1969 Tour (2007) and Ethan Russell: An American Story (2014), with corresponding exhibitions touring throughout the world. In addition, Mr. Russell stages a 70+ minute multi-media presentation in museums and galleries world-wide, during which he shows hundreds of his photos set to music, followed by a Q&A session with the audience members.
He lives in Marin, California with his wife, stepson, and son. Biographical information and quotes excerpted from Mr. Russell’s bio on his web site at – www.ethanrussell.com
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