Artist Biographies – Sorted by Last Name – S – U
Stefan Sagmeister – notable album cover credits include – Lou Reed – Set The Twilight Reeling and Ecstasy; Talking Heads – Once In A Lifetime; David Byrne – Feelings; David Byrne and Brian Eno – Everything That Happens Will Happen Today; H.P. Zinker – Mountains of Madness; The Rolling Stones – Bridges To Babylon: Marshall Crenshaw – Miracle of Science; Skeleton Key – Fantastic Spikes Through Balloon
(b. 1962 in Bregenz, Austria) – While starting his career as a creative in engineering school, at the age of 15 Stefan was asked to design and produce some graphics for a local political magazine and enjoyed that work so much that he switched his studies to focus on graphic design. After his initial application for enrollment in Vienna’s prestigious University of Applied Arts was rejected, he enrolled in a private art school and then re-applied to the University, gaining entry on this second attempt. A musician friend of his sister’s introduced Stefan to a local theater troupe and design collective and he was soon enlisted to create posters for the group’s performances. In 1987, Sagmeister received a Fulbright scholarship to study at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. and he moved there soon after.
After three years in the US, military service required that Sagmeister return to Austria but, as he was a conscientious objector, he was allowed to do community work in a refugee center while he also took on work as a graphic designer. The Hong Kong office of the Leo Burnett agency came calling in 1991 and, after coming to terms, he moved to there and worked on a number of projects before looking for something new and exciting to do in 1993. After a brief respite in Sri Lanka, he moved back to NYC , hoping to land a job at the respected graphics studio run by design guru Tibor Kalman. Stefan’s persistant calls landed him the job at M&Co but, just a few months later, Kalman closed his studio and, with a basic team that included a designer and an intern, Sagmeister launched his own studio, looking to focus his efforts on designs for the music business.
With the music industry beginning to phase out the LP (and it’s larger canvas), Stefan accepted a commission from a friend of his – musician H.P. Zinker – to create a cover for his new CD titled Mountains of Madness. Excited to test himself by stretching the limitations of the new, smaller format, Sagmeister developed a clever idea to create an optical illusion, slipping a specially-designed image of a man’s face inside a jewel case that was tinted red. After the cover is slipped out of its case, the man’s face took on a wildly-colored, fierce look. The design was so unique that the package was nominated for a Grammy Award and Sagmeister’s visibility within the music industry was boosted exponentially.
He brought a similar approach to his design for Lou Reed’s 1996 release titled Set The Twilight Reeling, with Reed’s portrait emerging into the twilight when removed from its indigo-colored plastic case. For this work and his designs for Marshall Crenshaw’s Miracle of Science album, Stefan received a rare two Grammy Award nominations (and yet another in 1998 for Fantastic Spikes Through Balloon by Skeleton Key). Also in 1997, musician and fellow artist David Byrne hired Stefan to develop designs for his new album titled Feelings, with an image of Byrne recreated as a GI Joe-styled plastic doll on the cover, and he also worked on another high-visibility assignment, helping the Rolling Stones with designs for their Bridges To Babylon record, tour posters and other related items. Other commercial projects followed, as well as volunteer work he’d do for professional organizations such as the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA).
While his growing list of clients guaranteed he’d stay busy on projects, Sagmeister was also eager to make sure that he would leave enough time in his schedule to work on projects to his own liking – things that would keep him intrigued and pushing the boundaries of his creativity. In June, 2000, he began a year’s sabbatical and worked on his first book – Sagmeister: Made You Look, re-opening his studio a year later (with Booth-Clibborn Editions publishing his book) to begin work on projects for an impressive list of clients. After completing work on the Once In A Lifetime box set for the Talking Heads, Stefan accepted a gig as a visiting professor at a school in Berlin, returning to NY the following year to teach courses on music packaging at the School of Visual Arts there. In 2005, Sagmeister won the National Design Award for Communications from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and was the recipient that same year of the Grammy Award (“Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package”) in honor of his art direction work on the previously-mentioned Talking Heads box set.
Not willing to rest on his laurels and, once again, hoping to re-invigorate his design practice, he took another sabbatical from his business in 2008 and, this time, retreated to the island of Bali for a year of soul-searching and to prepare materials for his second book, Things I Have Learned In My Life So Far, published in 2008 by Abrams, NY. Soon after, Sagmeister received a second Grammy Award (this time, in 2010 in the Best Recording Package category) for his designs for David Byrne and Brian Eno’s album Everything That Happens Will Happen Today. In 2012, teamed with designer Jessica Walsh to launch the newest iteration of his design firm, renaming Sagmeister Inc. to Sagmeister & Walsh. According to its site, the NYC-based design firm is a company “that creates identities, commercials, websites, apps, films, books and objects for clients, audiences and ourselves”. Stefan continues to teach in the graduate department of the School of Visual Arts in New York and was also appointed the Frank Stanton Chair at the Cooper Union School of Art.
Over the years, his client list grew to include Anni Kuan Design, Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities; Capitol Records; copy Magazine; the Dai Nippon Printing Company and The Guggenheim Museum. Sagmeister’s work has been included in solo/group exhibitions in Berlin, Cologne, New York, Osaka, Philadelphia, Prague, Seoul, Vienna and Zurich and in a multimedia exhibition called “The Happy Show” that ran from November, 2013 through March, 2014 at the Gaite-Lyrique exhibition hall in Paris. In 2013, to honor his impact on the field of design, Sagmeister was presented with the AIGA Medal at the “Bright Lights: The AIGA Awards” ceremonies in New York.
Mike Salisbury – Notable album cover credits include – Rickie Lee Jones – Rickie Lee Jones and Pirates; James Taylor – In The Pocket; George Harrison – George Harrison; Ike & Tina Turner – The World of Ike & Tina Turner; Michael Jackson – Off The Wall; Randy Newman – Sail Away, Little Criminals and Born Again; John Cale – Paris 1919; Ry Cooder – Bop Til You Drop
(b. 1949) Growing up in Southern California, Mike showed a passion for art and used it to start – while still in junior high school – his own automobile custom painting and pin-striping business, drawing inspiration from frequent visits to the nearby studios of custom car builder George Barris to “the father of modern pin-striping – artist Von Dutch – ply his trade. He also expanded his knowledge of graphics by learning how to set type, with both skills becoming the bases of his efforts throughout his career.
In addition to Mike’s celebrated album cover work, other music industry related commissions include the development of branding identities for Blue Note Records, Polygram, RCA, United Artists Records and MTV. Working with Michael Jackson on Off The Wall, it was Salisbury who dressed Michael in a black tuxedo, white socks and white glove, creating an image that would help launch the performer into super-stardom. He received a Grammy nomination in 1974 for his work on the cover of The World of Ike & Tina Turner.
Mike worked as an art/creative director and writer for a variety of well-known agencies including Foote Cone Belding, Ogilvy Mather, Wells Rich Green, as well as within his own agency, Mike Salisbury Communications, Inc. In the publishing arena, he served as editorial art director for Francis Ford Coppola’s City Magazine in San Francisco, Playboy, Rolling Stone, Surfer, Surfing and other magazines. Early in his career, Salisbury helped solidify the importance of the First Amendment when an ad/parody he’d created for the publisher of Chic Magazine was used as evidence against that publisher (see The People vs. Larry Flynt).
As a photo-journalist, he’s contributed to a long list of respected publications including Cycle World, Esquire, Forbes, Men’s Journal, Newsweek, Vogue and many others. Clients outside the music world who have trusted Mike to create imagery for memorable promotional campaigns include Levi’s (501 Jeans), Hasbro, Halo (Bungie/Microsoft), VW, Suzuki, Honda, L’Oreal, MGM Grand and numerous movie studios. It was Salisbury that created the “exploding boxing gloves” for Rocky IV and promo imagery for over 300 films.
Mike has published a series of books that include Movie Poster Design (Film Graphics), published in 1999; An Art Director Confesses…I Sold Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll (2000) and Overspray: Riding High With The Kings Of California Airbrush Art (2008, co-authored by Norman Hathaway). His photos were featured in “The Art of Music Photography”, staged in 2010 at the DRKRM/Gallery/West in Santa Monica, CA and are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and the Smithsonian in Washington, DC. As an educator, he’s taught design and photography at institutions in So. CA. including the Art Center, the Otis Art Institute and UCLA.
To learn more about this artist, please visit his website at http://www.mikesalisbury.net/index.cfm?page=home
Jon Sarkin – Notable album cover work includes – Guster – Easy Wonderful; Dan King – Light City and Western Lands; Willie Alexander and the Boom Boom Band – Dog Bar Yacht Club
(b. 1953 in Newark, NJ) As a youngster in New Jersey, Jon Sarkin liked to draw and enjoyed visits to the art museums in New York City where he could see works that inspired him. He particularly liked Pop art – Warhol, Rauchenberg – and the Dadaists as well. Later on, he discovered the wild and crazy art styles of R. Crumb and Ralph Steadman, with these inspirations highlighted in his sketches and in the posters he would create for the dances at his school. After graduating in 1980 with a doctor’s degree in Chiropratic, Jon began his practice after opening an office in South Hamilton, Massachusetts.
While not all that athletically inclined, he did discover a liking for golf, a game which he’d take up again later on in life. A lover of the outdoors, the shy young chiropractor would often try to steal away from the office on a beautiful day to get in 9 holes of golf with his friends. It was during a round in 1988 that Jon suffered a sudden brain hemorrhage, followed by a post-surgery stroke that nearly killed him. While the stroke left him partially blind, deaf in one ear and with his sense of balance permanently affected, some unexplained force re-awakened his artistic talents. As author Amy Ellis Nutt states so elegantly in a feature article in the NJ Star Ledger on Jon, “the once-shy, ambitious chiropractor awoke with an effusive, unfocused need to create… He didn’t approach the world anymore, the world absorbed him – overwhelming his senses, swamping the filters that protect the rest of us from the minor details of existence. Colors, sounds, smells, words and images produced a cacophony of sensations.”
Today, he lives and works in Gloucester, Massachusetts – in a studio based in an old converted fish factory – with his wife and his two daughters. As he puts it, “I mean, after all, my life has not sucked totally, and the whole art thing is pretty cool, don’t you think? And my kids are great. And my wife Kim, well, she ROCKS!”
Sarkin has work in the private collections of Tom Cruise, Robert DeNiro, Annie Leibovitz, Meryl Streep and Diane Von Furstenberg. He has shown at Diane von Furstenberg, The DeCordova and Revolving Museums in MA, Tje Museum of Modern Art in NY and others. Jon has been featured in three BBC documentary films, an episode of ABC’s Medical Mysteries and in articles in GQ, Vanity Fair, and Readers Digest.
As an actor, Sarkin has appeared in film and on stage (“I enjoy the work, but I really don’t consider myself an actor”). Jon has also written many volumes of poetry and, in addition to a long list of art commissions, he is currently writing/illustrating both a novel and his own autobiography. The rights to Jon’s life story have been purchased by United Artists for a film to be developed by Tom Cruise’s production company.
To learn more about this artist, please visit his web site at www.jsarkin.com
To watch a video on YouTube of a live interview/concert/spontaneous art performance featuring Jon, Guster and director Chad Carlberg recorded at a “Spectrum Presents” concert at NY’s Metropolitan Museum, please visit – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7g837CY9xN4. At about 37:30 into the video, you can watch Jon produce a new version of the “color wheel” artwork while Guster plays cuts from the new record.
Peter Saville – notable album cover credits include – Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures and Closer; New Order – Power, Corruption, Lies and Blue Monday; Pulp – This Is Hardcore and We Love Life; OMD – Dazzle Ships and History of Modern; King Crimson – Discipline; Peter Gabriel – So; Roxy Music – Avalon
(b. October, 1955) Peter Saville was born in Manchester, U.K. and attended St. Ambrose College, and later studied graphic design at Manchester Polytechnic Faculty of Art & Design, graduating in 1978 with a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors. His approach to design was influenced greatly by the new approaches to the use of typography displayed by Jan Tschichold and promoted by Herbert Spencer and, spurred on by the work being done by his friend Malcolm Garrett for the band The Buzzcocks, Peter began looking for opportunities in that field. After meeting music impresario/journalist Tony Wilson at a concert in 1978, Saville received his first music industry commission, creating the first Factory club poster and then joining the new Factory Records label in 1979 as a partner.
In 1979 Saville moved from Manchester to London and became art director of DinDisc, a Virgin Records sub-label. There, he hired designer Brett Wickens and photographer Trevor Key and the trio collaborated on a number of projects for bands including Martha & The Muffins (Echo Beach)and OMD. Taking on independent projects for his old chums at Factory Records and others as well, Peter’s talents were in demand and kept him busy on projects for a number of established and emerging acts (including New Order, Joy Division, Ultravox and Rosy Music) so much so that, in 1983 (after the DinDisc label was closed), he and Wickens launched the Peter Saville Associates agency.
It was during the next seven year period that a number of well-known album cover designs emerged from Saville’s studio, including works for new clients such as Wham!, Peter Gabriel and The Dream Academy and more for clients such as New Order, Roxy Music and Joy Division. In 1990, he accepted a partnership offer from the renowned design firm Pentagram where he worked for the next three years, adding names including Paul McCartney, Revenge and The Other Two to his client list.
In 1993, Saville moved from London to Los Angeles, where he reunited with Brett Wickens at the Frankfurt Balkind agency. The reunion was short-lived and Saville soon returned to the U.K. to man the London office (based in his Mayfair apartment and known as “The Apartment”) for the Meiré & Meiré ad agency along with designer Howard Wakefield. The studio then moved to the Clerkenwell neighborhood and, in 2005, adopted the name Saville Parris Wakefield. With many of his newer clients familiar with his well-received work for the Factory Records label, his project work soon extended beyond the music industry to include commissions for department stores, consumer goods companies and, working with photographer Nick Knight, a number of firms in the fashion industry (Christian Dior, John Galliano, Stella McCartney and Jil Sander). More recently, he’s created identities and graphics for brands and organizations including the Centre Georges Pompidou and the French Ministry of Culture in Paris and the Whitechapel Art Gallery and the Natural History Museum in London.
Peter’s work has been included in exhibitions in London in 2003 (at the Design Museum, under the title The Peter Saville Show, which then toured to Manchester and Tokyo), 2008 and 2012 (at the V&A), Zurich in 2005, Reims (France) in 2010 and Berlin in 2012. He’s received a number of prestigious awards during his career as well – most notably, an honorary Doctorate from Manchester Metropolitan University (in 2006), a nomination in 2009 for the 50th anniversary Prince Philip Designers Prize and the Royal Designer for Industry (RDI) award in London in 2011.
Publications featuring his works include the books Designed by Peter Saville by Rick Poynor (2003), Factory Records: The Complete Graphic Album by Matthew Robinson (2006), Peter Saville Estate 1-127, published in 2007 and Peter Saville: Accessories to an Artwork, released in 2011.
To find out more about this artist, please visit http://www.petersaville.com/
Gerald Scarfe – Notable album cover work examples – Pink Floyd – The Wall; Roger Waters – Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking
Illustrator and cartoonist Gerald Scarfe was born in 1936 in London. He was asthmatic as a child and spent much time drawing and reading. After a brief period at the Royal College of Art in London, he established himself as a satirical cartoonist, working for Punch magazine and Private Eye during the early sixties. He has had many exhibitions worldwide, including ones in New York, Osaka, Montreal, Los Angeles, Sydney, Melbourne, Chicago and London, as well as 50 one-man shows. He has designed the sets and costumes for plays, operas and musicals in London, Houston, Los Angeles and Detroit. His film work includes designing and directing the animation for Pink Floyd’s rock opera The Wall (he also created the graphics and animation for Roger Waters’ 1984 solo album titled The Pros And Cons Of Hitch Hiking and its supporting tour). Scarfe has written and directed many live action and documentary films for BBC and Channel 4.
He has also published many books of his work, including Heroes & Villains: Scarfe at the National Portrait Gallery, which was published in September 2003. Another book, Gerald Scarfe: Drawing Blood: 45 Years of Scarfe Uncensored, was published in November 2005. Gerald Scarfe has been political cartoonist for the London Sunday Times for 40 years, and has worked for The New Yorker magazine for 14 years. His work regularly appears in many periodicals and in 2005, he was selected as one of the 40 Most-Influential Journalists by the U.K.’s Press Gazette. In 2006, he received the British Press Award as Cartoonist of the Year. More recently, he has completed working with Ozzy Osbourne on illustrating a 10-foot guitar for Gibson Guitar and their special charity event held for the Prince’s Trust.
He is married to British film/TV actress and author Jane Asher, and they have 3 three children. To see more of Mr. Scarfe’s work, please visit – www.geraldscarfe.com where you will find a large selection of illustrations covering his whole career (including the work with Pink Floyd), and more information about Gerald, his book Drawing Blood, a CV, and writings on all the different subjects of his work.
Jerry Schatzberg – Notable album cover work includes – Frank Zappa & The Mothers – We’re Only In It For The Money; Sonny & Cher – The Wonderful World of Sonny & Cher; The Rascals – Young Rascals; Bob Dylan – Blonde on Blonde; Aretha Franklin – Aretha Arrives and 3 For 1 Box Set
Born in the Bronx, New York in 1927, Jerry attended the University of Miami, and then worked as assistant to Bill Helburn (1954-1956), after which he left to start his career as a freelance photographer. His talents were then discovered by the Russian designer/photographer Alexey Brodovich, who taught Jerry the ins and outs of fashion photography.
It was his portrait photography that taught him how to deal with actors. He realized that most people feared the photographer’s lens. To relax them, he would spend as much time with them as possible, not only to know them better, but to see beyond the surface and discover their true self – the one they hid from the outside world. Most of his great portraits of the sixties – Bob Dylan, Francis Coppola, Andy Warhol, Arlo Guthrie, Roman Polanski, Fidel Castro, Milos Forman, Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, The Rolling Stones and many more – reveal these moments of truth.
After expanding into directing TV commercials, he made his debut as a film director in 1970 with Puzzle of a Downfall Child, following that debut with a string of memorable films in the 1970s including The Panic in Needle Park (1971 – starring Al Pacino), Scarecrow (1973) and 1979’s Seduction of Joe Tynan. He has continued to direct – although at a slightly slower pace – as evidenced by releases such as 1989’s Reunion, 1995’s Lumiere et Compagnie and The Day The Ponies Come Back, released in 2000.
His fashion and portrait photography has been published in magazines such as Vogue, McCalls, Esquire, Glamour, Town and Country, and Life. He was also in demand by record companies as a photographer and was the one who shot the famous cover photo image (as well as the other photos used on the record sleeve) for Bob Dylan’s 1966 LP Blonde on Blonde. His cover photo portfolio also includes images for Herbie Mann, Aretha Franklin, Carmen McRae, Wilson Pickett and many others.
He’s been nominated for 4 Golden Palm Awards at the Cannes Film Festival (winning one for Scarecrow in 1973 and serving on the jury in 2004) and continues to work on projects – writing books and screenplays – to this day. In 2006, Genesis Publications released a limited-edition collection of Schatzberg’s photos of Dylan entitled Thin Wild Mercury. In addition, several new books based on some of his earlier works have been released – one in 2010 by Rizzoli titled Women Then which features images from the period of 1954 to 1969, one of his most-prolific periods as both a photographer and film director, with another released in 2018 based on his 50+-years shooting album covers, studio portraits and concert photos from many of Bob Dylan’s shows (beginning in 1965 with shots taken at the era-changing Newport Folk Festival). Dylan By Schatzberg is available on ACC Art Books, NYC.
Jerry’s work has been featured in over 23 formal exhibitions in galleries and museums worldwide, beginning in 1982 with shows in New York, Arles and Paris, France and, more recently, in 2005 at the San Francisco Art Exchange (featured in their “Hendrix” group show), three Bob Dylan retrospectives in Paris and London and a complete retrospective of his own portfolio in the “Jerry Schatzberg: Photographs” show at the Atlas Gallery in London in 2006.
To see more examples of Jerry Schatzberg’s work, please visit his web site at: http://www.jerryschatzberg.com
Cal Schenkel – Notable album cover credits include – Frank Zappa (both with the Mothers of Invention and as a solo act) – Absolutely Free, Hot Rats, Cruising With Ruben & The Jets, Apostrophe (*), Uncle Meat; Tinseltown Rebellion, Waka/Jawaka, We’re Only In It For The Money, Lumpy Gravy, Filmore East:June ’71, Ahead of Their Time, Cheap Thrills, The Grand Wazoo, Threesome: Vols. 1-3 and Burnt Weeny Sandwich; Captain Beefheart – Trout Mask Replica; The Fugs – Golden Filth; Tom Waits – The Heart of Saturday Night and Small Change; Tim Buckley – Look At The Fool; Chris Connelly – Box Set; George Duke – Keyboard Giant; Billy Cobham/George Duke – Live On Tour In Europe
(b. 1947 in Willow Grove, PA, USA) A drop-out of the Philadelphia College of Art, designer/illustrator/painter/photographer Cal Schenkel met Frank Zappa in 1967 and became the musician’s chief visual collaborator, responsible for the art and graphic design of many of Zappa’s best-known album covers (along with the covers for Zappa-produced acts, including Captain Beefheart and The Fugs).
And though principally an artist, Cal also provided vocals for “Lumpy Gravy”, acted in Zappa’s movies Uncle Meat and Video From Hell, and was the production designer for Zappa’s classic film 200 Motels.
Today he’s an active artist and a contributor to alt.fan.frank-zappa. To see what he’s up to these days, please visit his site at www.ralf.com
Paula Scher – Notable album cover work includes – Charles Mingus – Changes One and Changes Two; Brownsville Station – Motor City Connection; Rick Derringer – Derringer; Boston – Boston; Cheap Trick – Cheap Trick, Dream Police, In Color and Heaven Tonight; Muddy Waters – Hard Again and I’m Ready; Bruce Springsteen – Darkness On The Edge Of Town; Bob James – One On One, H, Heads and Touchdown; Johnny Winter – White, Hot & Blue; Johnny & Edgar Winter – Together
(b. October, 1948, Virginia, USA) Scher holds a BFA from the Tyler School of Art (1970) where she majored in illustration (and, later, she received a Doctor of Fine Arts Honoris Causa from the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, DC ). Although, according to her bio on the Art Director’s Club website “…as a student, Scher avoided graphic design because she lacked the necessary ‘neatness skills’ and didn’t like arranging Helvetica on a grid. She didn’t draw well either (a modest liability for an illustrator), but she discovered what she could do: come up with concepts and illustrate them with type…”, Scher moved to New York City to become part of its booming arts scene and landed her first job as a layout artist for the children’s book division at the publisher Random House.
In 1972, she began what would be a ten-year stint in the music business, first joining CBS Records in their advertising and promotions department and then, two years later, she left CBS to design album covers as art director at Atlantic Records. A year later, she “boomeranged” back to CBS where, over the next eight years as an art director, she lead the efforts to designing as many as 150 album covers each year. For her efforts, she was nominated four times for packaging and design-related Grammy Awards.
Leaving CBS in 1982 to explore new opportunities in design, her first efforts were in the development of new styles of typography and, in 1982, she joined forces with fellow Tyler graduate Terry Koppel to launch the firm Koppel & Scher where, together, they spent the next six years producing a wide range of designs for clients in the publishing, advertising and product packaging arenas. When the economy tanked in the early 1990s, the partnership dissolved, with Scher joining the NYC office of top design consultancy Pentagram, where she’s been a principal partner ever since.
Her work for such prestigious clients as Citibank, Tiffany, The Public Theater, New York Times, Bloomberg, Target, The American Museum of Natural History, Comedy Central and many others has resulted in her receiving a huge number of prestigious awards (over 300, so far!) from U.S. and International design associations, including the 2001 AIGA Medal from the American Institute of Graphic Design (AIGA), the Art Director’s Club Hall of Fame (1998), The Type Directors Club (NY), and the Package Design Council. She is also a member of Alliance Graphique Internationale/AGI (elected as its president in 2009).
As an educator, she has lectured and taught at the School of Visual Arts in New York since 1992, along with programs at other top design schools including Cooper Union, Yale University and the Tyler School of Art. And as a fine artist (with an emphasis on large-scale paintings of maps), her work is included in the collections of New York’s MoMA and Cooper-Hewitt museums, the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, the Denver Art Museum, the Museum für Gestaltung in Zurich and both the Centre Georges Pompidou and the Biblioteque Nationale de France in Paris. She has served on the board of directors of The Public Theater in New York and, in 2006, she was named to the Art Commission of the City of New York.
Her books include – The Honeymoon Book: A Tribute to the Last Ritual of Sexual Innocence (published in 1981 and nominated for an American Book Award for Best Book Design); The Ultimate Album Cover Album, by Roger Dean and David Howells, published in 1987 by Prentice Hall Press; Make it Bigger, published in New York in 2002 by Princeton Architectural Press and Maps, published in 2011 in New York by Princeton Architectural Press.
Scher has been married, divorced, and then married again to another well-known designer, Seymour Chwast.
More information available at – http://pentagram.com/en/partners/paula-scher.php
Norman Seeff – Notable examples of album cover work – Carly Simon – Playin’ Possum; KISS – Hotter Than Hell; Blondie – Eat to the Beat; Joni Mitchell – Hejira; Rickie Lee Jones – Rickie Lee Jones; James Taylor – Into The Pocket; Earth Wind & Fire – That’s The Way Of The World; Seals & Crofts – Get Closer; Frank Zappa – Joe’s Garage Acts 1, 2 & 3; Merle Haggard – Big City; ASIA – Chronicles; Ray Charles – Rare Genius; War – War; Santana – Inner Secrets
Born March 5, 1939 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Seeff graduated with honors in science and art at King Edward VII School in Johannesburg and finished his medical training in 1965. He worked for three years in emergency medicine and, in the late 60s, moved to New York to look for work that would satisfy his creative passions and artistic talents. Soon after arriving in New York, Seeff’s work was seen by graphic designer Bob Cato, who collaborated with him on an album cover for The Band, which was well-received and led him to more work on assignments with the “creme de la creme” of New York’s emerging music and art scene (Robbie Robertson, Patti Smith, Andy Warhol and many others).
In 1971, he spent a year as a Professor of Photography at Bennington College in Vermont and then, in 1972 and on the recommendation of Cato, Seeff relocated to Los Angeles to become Creative Director for United Artists Records where his work in design and photography received multiple Grammy Award nominations. Three years later, he opened his own studio on Sunset Boulevard and, in 1975, decided to bring film crews in to document his photo shoots and the creative processes and the dynamics of the relationships between a photographer and his subjects. Over the next 35+ years, his film and video archive includes sessions with over 400 subjects in all aspects of entertainment, art, politics, scientists and other notables. The recordings formed the basis for “The Sessions Project”, which documents his explorations of creativity and human dynamics.
In 1990, he took a detour from his portraiture to work with clients in the area of advertising, creating TV commercials for major brands including Apple, Motorola, Levis, Glaxo and a number of auto manufacturers. He returned to his “Sessions Project” work in 1999 and also worked on documentary films for the EMP in Seattle and the California Institute of Technology. Seeff’s first book Hot Shots was published in 1978 and won the gold medal for photography from the New York Art Directors Club; a second book, titled Sessions!, was released in 1988. More recently, Seeff was working on the production of an 8-part documentary television series on the power of creativity which will feature “The Sessions Project” archive as well as new sessions with current artists. Since 2011, M Music magazine has also featured the back stories to a number of Seeff’s cover projects.
He lives in Los Angeles with his wife Sue Kiel and works out of his studio in Burbank. He has two children. Biographical information and quotes excerpted from Mr. Seeff’s bio on his web site at – www.normanseeff.com
Bob Seidemann – Notable examples of album cover work – Blind Faith – Blind Faith; Supertramp – Even In The Quietest Moments; Jerry Garcia – Garcia; Neil Young – On The Beach; Jackson Browne – Late For The Sky
(b. 1941 in New York City, NY; d. December, 2017 on Mare Island, CA) After graduating from the Manhattan High School of Aviation Trades and working first delivering film for a photo lab and then as an assistant to a commercial photographer there, Bob moved from New York to San Francisco in the late 60s to take full advantage of the counter-culture that was developing there (as he puts it on his web site bio, “it was Ground Zero of the Cultural Revolution”). He began to establish his reputation as a creative when he and his business partner published a poster of the face of Christ as an impression on a veil worn by Mary Magdalene. It was a hit and led to commissions for work from both the Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin (although the Joplin photos we not published until after her death), followed by another poster featuring an impressionist re-interpretation of The Pieta, with the subjects reversed. The poster caused such a stir that Seidemann sold his cameras and, disgusted with the U.S. involvement in Vietnam, asked his friend Eric Clapton if he could come to London and stay with him for a while. Bob soon found himself in Clapton’s Chelsea flat, partying with a crowd consisting of some of the leading artists, musicians and film-makers of the time.
After a few years (during which Seidemann found his own Chelsea apartment), Clapton’s manager Robert Stigwood called and commissioned Bob to create a cover for Clapton’s new, as-of-yet-unnamed band. Although he had quit shooting photos after his Pieta experience, he felt up for the challenge. As he put it, “if I was going take up a camera again to make a cover for Eric’s new band it would have be the antidote to the Pieta image, a picture of life.” With design help from his friend Stanley Mouse, the resulting photograph of a nude 11 year-old girl with a space ship (“the space ship would be the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge and the girl, the fruit of the Tree of Life”) would become his most famous and controversial work, entitled “Blind Faith”. Not only did it become the cover and the title of the record, it also became the name of the band as well.
Bob’s work has been included in many exhibitions of notable rock and roll photography, including Somethin’s Happening Here: Bay Area Rock n Roll 1963-73 at the Museum of Performance and Design in San Francisco in 2010 and the renowned travelling rock photo exhibition Who Shot Rock & Roll.
Seidemann died at his Bay Area home in late 2017 as the result of complications from Parkinson’s Disease. He was 75 years old.
Biographical information and quotes excerpted from Mr. Seidemann’s bio on his web site at – www.bobseidemann.com
Mark Seliger – notable album cover credits include – Lenny Kravitz – Greatest Hits; Paul McCartney – Back In The U.S.; Sheryl Crow – The Very Best of Sheryl Crow; Tony Bennett – Playin’ With My Friends and The Ultimate Tony Bennett; Bob Dylan – Blues; Bon Jovi – These Days; Ice-T – The Ice Opinion; Britney Spears – Oops!…I Did It Again; Elvis Costello – Il Sogno
(b. 1959, TX, USA) – After winning a camera from his brother in a bet, Mark set out to learn as much as he could about photography and the various ways to create and manipulate images he’d take. He attended the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston, TX (which also produced other talented alumni such as singer Beyonce’ Knowles and songwriter Brian-Michael Cox), continuing on to East Texas State University.
Seliger moved to New York City, NY in 1984 and, in 1987, began his career as a photographer for Rolling Stone Magazine where, until leaving the magazine 15 years later, he would contribute over 125 cover photographs and countless other images. It was also during his stint at the magazine that he entered into a creative relationship with the art director there, Fred Woodward, and together they applied their talents to the music video field, directing videos for Elvis Costello, Lenny Kravitz, Willie Nelson and others.
In 2002, Mark left Rolling Stone to take on assignments for magazines within the Conde’ Nast publishing group, shooting photos for GQ, Italian Vogue and Vanity Fair while also taking on commercial assignments for Miramax, MTV Networks, Sony and Universal Pictures. His specialty is creating stunning, large-scale prints using a high-end photographic printing process called “platinum palladium printing”, similar to the technique used by artistically-inclined photographers such as Edward S. Curtis, Edward Weston and Alfred Stieglitz.
Throughout his career, Seliger has received many awards for his photographs, including the Alfred Eisenstaedt Award in 1999 and the Gold Medal Awards from the Society of Publication Designers in 2001 and 2004. Books featuring his work include: Listen (published by Rizzoli International in 2010); Mark Seliger: In My Stairwell (Rizzoli, 2005); Lenny Kravitz (Arena Editions, 2001); Physionomie (Editions du Collectionneur, 2000) and When They Came to Take My Father – Voices of the Holocaust (Skyhorse, 1996). In addition to the many other books on various subjects that he’s licensed his photos to, Seliger has also exhibited his work in museums and galleries all over the world.
In 2006, working with lighting director Brent Langton, the pair established a non-profit photography gallery called 401 Projects next to Seliger’s studio in NY’s Greenwich Village. Exhibitions there have included shows by Albert Watson, Mikhail Baryshnikov and David Burnett.
For more information on this artist, please visit – http://www.markseligerphotography.com
Martin Sharp – Notable album cover work examples – Cream – Disraeli Gears, Wheels of Fire and Those Were The Days; Mighty Baby – Mighty Baby; Ginger Baker – Do What You Like; Cold Chisel– Ringside
(b. 1942 – Sydney, Australia; d. December, 2013 – Sydney, Australia) Educated first at the Cranbrook School under noted artist Justin O’Brien and then enrolling at the National Art School (NAS) in East Sydney in 1960, his first contributions were to a student magazine titled The Arty Wild Oat and submissions to The Bulletin. Switching gears the next year, he studied Architecture for a year at Sydney University and then returned to the NAS to complete his studies. In 1963, he met Richard Neville and Richard Walsh, both editors of the student magazines at the University of New South Wales and Sydney University, respectively, and joined a team that aspired to publish a new “magazine of dissent” that was dubbed Oz. Martin became the Art Director and after the magazine’s premiere in April, 1963, a regular contributor as well, serving in those roles and staging his first successful gallery show in Sydney titled “Art for Mart’s Sake” in 1965.
Like many student magazines of the era, its irreverent content was not appreciated by those in “the Establishment” and was the target of those forces who worked hard to shut the operation down. The three principal Oz staffers were twice charged with obscenity and, without the aid of proper legal representation, were convicted and sentenced to prison after the second trial. Public outcry was so great that the sentences were overturned on appeal, but the trio decided that they could no longer spend their time and resources fighting the Censors, so they closed the publication in 1965 and, after publishing a book of his cartoon artwork in 1966 (titled Martin Sharp Cartoons), Martin headed to London (overland, via Kathmandu) to join the burgeoning arts scene there.
Soon after his arrival, while spending an evening at The Speakeasy nightclub in London, he was introduced to a musician there, sharing a poem he’d recently written with that musician, who told Martin that he’d been looking for lyrics for some new music he’d written. The musician was guitarist Eric Clapton, who then used Sharp’s poem as the lyrics for a song titled “Tales of Brave Ulysses”, one of the singles released as part of Cream’s hit LP titled Disraeli Gears. Clapton also asked Martin to create the album cover for the record and, using a photograph by Robert Whitaker as the central image, the artist created the fantastic psychedelic image that has become one of the best-known album covers of the era. The following year, Martin was asked to design the gatefold double-album sleeve for the band’s next release, a live album titled Wheels of Fire, which was awarded with a prize from the New York Art Directors Club for “Best Album Design” in 1969.
Martin then moved to a place in Chelsea called The Pheasantry, which provided live/work studios for artists and ran a nightclub in its basement (other residents included Clapton, feminist author Germaine Greer and Beatles photographer Robert Whitaker). Musical acts that played the basement club included singer Yvonne Elliman, Lou Reed, Hawkwind and Queen. From his studio there, Martin found a number of clients who came to him to produce posters for their shows, including Bob Dylan, Donovan and Jimi Hendrix. The Hendrix poster – featuring the guitarist mid-explosion – was based on a photo by Linda McCartney and has remained one of Sharp’s best-loved images.
After his second solo exhibition, held in 1969 and titled “Sharp Martin and his Silver Scissors” as it featured collages he’d produced based on famous works of art, Martin returned to Australia for a series of exhibitions there. He was also instrumental in setting up the Yellow House, a multimedia art space, and returned again to London in 1972 where he created a production titled “Art Book” and featuring collages based on miniature reproductions of modernist masterworks. Well received in Europe after its publishing there, Sharp returned to Australia in 1973 to release the book there and stage an exhibition in Sydney. For the rest of the 1970s, Martin was kept busy with poster and album cover work for concert spaces (including a famous series for the Nimrod Theatre) and with design and art assignments as part of the effort to restore Sydney’s Luna Park. This huge Pop Art project allowed Martin to display the full range of his creative talents, creating amazing imagery in the form of large-scale sculptures (including a huge laughing face at the park’s entrance), lighting and paintings that would awe visitors to the park and its many attractions. A suspicious fire in 1979 on the park’s Ghost Train killed seven, ruined much of Sharp’s new works and severely dampened the optimism for the restored park. Working with other supporters and friends in the arts, Martin formed the Friends of Luna Park organization to gather support from the local community and government officials to rebuild the park.
In addition to modern masters including Van Gogh and Magritte, Martin counted singer Tiny Tim and famed Sydney evangelist Arthur Stace (also known as “Mr. Eternity”) as key inspirations to his works. In honoring Stace, Martin created a poster for a 1999 New Year’s celebration at Sydney’s Haymarket (and again at the 2000 Olympic Games) that, according to the Australian Art & Society Federation, “has evolved into a symbol of Australian confidence and optimism”. His most-recent works were published in Australia by Berkeley Editions.
More information available at – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Sharp
Larry Shaw – notable album cover credits include – The Staples Singers – The Staples Swingers; Isaac Hayes – Shaft (Music From The Soundtrack), Black Moses, Joy and Live At The Sahara Tahoe; Booker T. & The MGs – Melting Pot ; The Dramatics – Watcha See Is Watcha Get; Albert King – I’ll Play The Blues For You and I Wanna Get Funky; The Sons of Truth – A Message From The Ghetto; Little Milton – Waiting For Little Milton; Johnny Taylor – Taylored In Silk; The Sweet Inspirations – Estelle, Myrna and Sylvia; Various Artists – Wattstax: The Living Word
(b. 1938 in _____; d. June, 2003 in Memphis, TN) Larry Shaw’s career path to record company Creative Director was a bit different than most you’ll find in our biography section. Beginning his career in the field of advertising and marketing – with a focus on developing concepts and programs that would enable his clients to target their promotions to the rapidly-growing African American and multi-cultural markets in the U.S. in the 1960s and 70s – Shaw built strong, successful relationships with product companies including Johnson Products, Lorillard, Sears and Standard Oil, along with cultural organizations including the SCLC/Operation PUSH and The Urban League.
Working to support both the economic development and civil libertarian efforts of Black consumers, Shaw brought strategic thought to efforts such as the first Black Expos in Chicago, events that put black entrepreneurs, business leaders and nearly a million consumers in front of each other in the city’s International Amphitheater to help illustrate the opportunities for growth and prosperity that were made possible by supporting each other. Shaw’s abilities as a marketer were noticed by Stax Records owner Al Bell, who then recruited Shaw to come to Memphis to join the label as its Vice President of Advertising and Marketing where, over the next few years, Shaw lead a creative renaissance for the company and its Stax and Volt labels. Prior to his arrival, the company’s album covers were straight-forward affairs and, in several cases, were done in a “lowest common denominator” style, while Shaw was committed to producing memorable, world-class packaging. When Isaac Hayes’ Black Moses was in production, Shaw felt that the record was so important that it deserved an iconic package and, when it was released, the double LP, which featured a full-body photo by lensman Joel Brodsky that pictured Hayes in a desert caftan, arms out-stretched and printed on a fold-out poster done in the shape of a cross, it sealed its place in album art history.
The success of efforts like these and, in particular, the renown earned for his work on films that the company either produced, promoted or distributed (including Mario Van Peebles’ Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, the Golden Globe-nominated concert documentary WATTSTAX and Shaft, which featured a soundtrack by Stax artist Isaac Hayes) brought the company great success and entertainment/advertising industry kudos, including several Oscars, a Grammy Award and nominations for BAFTA, Golden Globe and other awards (including an NAACP Image Award).
After some bad deals, tragic accidents and alleged company shenanigans forced the original Stax to close in the mid-1970s, Shaw went on to start his own ad agency called The Shaw Group, the first Black-owned agency of its kind in the American South, where he’d develop and execute PR, advertising and promotional programs for a whole host of clients, including The Adolph Coors Company, Harrah’s, McDonalds, NBC Bank, Xerox and many others. Later on, Larry offered his talents as a consultant for religious and other organizations. He died at the age of 65 in 2003.
More on the history of Stax Records can be found on the Stax Museum’s web site – http://staxmuseum.com/1957-1968/
Tom Sheehan – notable album cover/package credits include – Flamin’ Groovies – Flamin’ Groovies Now; Code Blue – Code Blue; Teenage Fanclub – Howdy!; The Charlatans UK – Songs From The Other Side and Us & Us Only; Oasis – Complete Set; The Smiths – The Sound of the Smiths; Engineers – Three Fact Fader; The Stands – All Years Leaving; Steve Hackett – Spectral Mornings; Kathryn Williams – The Quickening; Aztec Camera – The Best of Aztec Camera; Luther Vandross – The Collection
(b. ___ in Camberwell, South London, U.K.) – a son of Irish immigrants, Tom felt that his career options were going to be limited and so, instead, he thought he’d choose to work in the arts. He didn’t show much promise as a painter so, instead, he decided to work as a photographic printer, learning the trade assisting other photographers in the darkroom (“mixing developer and making tea”, he remembers in a recent interview by Michael Mulligan). A relative of his gave him his first opportunity duplicating plans for buildings and other commercial work, but it was love for the music and music photography of the mid-late 1960s that spurred him on and so, although he had no formal training, he bought a camera (a Praktica Nova 1B with a built-in light meter) and started taking it to the concerts he attended.
Dissatisfied with what he was seeing and reading in the popular music press, a mutual contact put him in touch with a gentleman (John Tobler) who was publishing an alternative mag called Zigzag and also served as the Press Officer at CBS Records and, in 1975, he joined the label’s in-house photo department, working there for 3.5 years and being on hand to see the launching of the careers of musical acts including The Clash and The Vibrators (along with a large roster in the U.S.). In mid-1978, Tom left to start his own photo agency, producing shots for publications including Melody Maker, NME, Sounds and others. Melody Maker writer/critic Harry Doherty was so impressed with Sheehan’s work that he sent him on special assignments, a relationship that lasted 25 years.
He’s since added photos for other publications such as The Guardian, NME, The Observer, Q, The Sunday Times and others to his portfolio and, via a long-standing relationship with Chris Marksberry at the U.K.-based publisher/gallery called Flood Gallery, Sheehan has also published a series of well-regarded photo books, including Aim High: Paul Weller In Photographs, 1978-2015; In Between Days: The Cure In Photographs, 1982-2005; You Love Us: Manic Street Preachers In Photographs, 1991-2001 and, in 2018, a collection titled R.E.M. Athens, GA., 1984-2005 (all available from Flood Gallery Publications).
More information on this artist can be found on his website at http://www.tomsheehan.co.uk
Dave Sheridan – notable album cover credits include – Carl Oglesby – Goin’ To Damascus; John Bassette – Weed & Wine; John Lee Hooker – Free Beer & Chicken; Father Guido Sarducci – Live At St. Douglas Convent
(b. June, 1943 in Cleveland, OH; d. March, 1982 in San Francisco, CA) –
Born and raised in the Cleveland, OH area, Dave set out for the San Francisco Bay area in the early 1970s to join the crop of talented cartoonists and illustrators working for the underground press at the time (R. Crumb, Gilbert Shelton, etc.). He’s best know for his comic books, such as Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers with Gilbert Shelton, Dealer McDope, Tales From The Leather Nun, Mother’s Oats, and others.
Dave’s talents also lead him to jobs creating posters and ad illustrations for clients such as Capitol Records and Pink Floyd and, in 1972, a job as the art editor for the Rip Off Review of Western Culture.
Although he’d only been married to Dava Stone just a few months, Dave died in 1982 from brain a brain hemorrhage associated with the cancer he’d been diagnosed with just a few weeks earlier. His wife gave birth to a daughter just one week after his passing…
A more complete bio on this artist is coming soon.
To see more of Dave’s work, there’s a Facebook page run by fans that includes additional info – https://www.facebook.com/Dave-Sheridan-Art-635586556471669/
Some of his work is still available via RipOff Press (“World Suppliers of Laughter, Since 1969 – Home of the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers”) – https://ripoffpress.com/tags/dave-sheridan
You might also enjoy the obituary former collaborator Fred Schrier penned after his friend’s sudden death – http://www.comixjoint.com/mothersoats-sheridanobituary.html
Bill Sienkiewicz – notable album covers include – EPMD – Business As Usual; Dio – The Very Beast Of Dio; Soilent Green – A Deleted Symphony For The Beaten Down; Glenn Danzig – Black Aria II; Kid Cudi – Man On The Moon: The End Of Day; Corrosion Of Conformity – Blind; T.I. – Trouble Man: Heavy Is The Head; Jimi Hendrix – Jimi By Himself: The Home Recordings; RZA – Bobby Digital; Bruce Cockburn – The Charity of Night
(b. May, 1958, Blakely, PA, USA) Award-winning artist/illustrator, best-known for his work as an author of comic books including The New Mutants and Elektra: Assassin for Marvel Comics.
In 2006, Sienkiewicz teamed with fellow comic/graphic novelist Neal Adams to create art used in video projections during Pink Floyd founding bassist Roger Waters’ stage shows.
Bill was inducted into the ACHOF in 2016. A more detailed bio will be posted soon.
More information on this artist is available on his web site – http://www.billsienkiewiczart.com/index.asp
Catherine “Kate” Simon – notable album cover credits include – Richard Hell & The Voidoids – Blank Generation; The Clash – The Clash and Clash on Broadway; Bob Marley & The Wailers – Kaya, Babylon By Bus and Live!; Lynyrd Skynyrd – Skynyrd’s First..And Last; David Johanson – Here Comes The Night and Sweet Revenge; Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band – Bluejeans & Moonbeams; John Cale – The Island Years; Peter Tosh – Honorary Citizen; Led Zeppelin – Latter Days: The Best of Led Zeppelin, Vol. 2; Patti Smith – Land (1975 – 2002); Rod Stewart – Some Guys Have All The Luck; Talking Heads – Chronology
(b. June, 1953 in Poughkeepsie, NY, USA) After, at the age of seven, young Kate’s father, an avid amateur photographer, gave her a Polariod camera so that she could share his love for the artform and the works he’d produce, she felt the same passion, she knew she’d been hooked. Moving to London after completing her college studies – including coursework in photography at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C. – she took on a job in the library of London’s Photographer’s Gallery, where she was able to watch commercial photographers at work, which inspired her to begin work as a shooter for the popular British music weekly Disc/Music Echo, and it was during this period that she began to build what would turn into long-time relationships with many of the acts she’d photograph, including Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bob Marley, Rod Stewart, The Who and others who’d just began their ascent into the rock star stratosphere. Kate was also fortunate enough to be on hand to witness the emergence and preserve the visuals of the punk music scene in the U.K., with one of her best-known album cover images – that for the cover of the debut album by The Clash – taken at that time.
After working at gigs all over Europe, Kate returned to New York in 1977, where she began to expand her portfolio to include, in addition to concert/performance images, more formal portraiture of people working in all aspects of the entertainment world, including counter-culture icons such as William Burroughs and Andy Warhol. Since then, her works have been included in a number of museum/gallery exhibitions, books and other publications, including the 2004 photo book Rebel Music: Bob Marley and Roots Reggae, which chronicled the years she spent with Marley and The Wailers, with hundreds more of her shots of Marley & Co. featured in her 2012 compendium for Genesis Publications simply titled Rebel Music. Her works are now included in the permanent collections of NYC’s Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. and the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, PA. In 2011, several of her works were included in the Snap Gallery (U.K.) photo show titled Women In Rock and, in 2019, at a show titled Kate Simon: Chaos and Cosmos staged at Fort Works Art in Fort Worth, TX, over 135 of her works from 1973 to 2011 were put on display.
Additional info on this artist is available on Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kate_Simon_(photographer)
Peter Simon – Notable album cover credits include – Carly Simon – Carly Simon, Anticipation, No Secrets, Hello Big Man and Christmas Is Almost Here; James Taylor – One Man Dog
(b. 1947 in Bronx, NY; died November, 2018, Martha’s Vineyard, MA) The son of Richard Simon, co-founder of the Simon & Schuster publishing company and noted civil rights and mental health activist Andrea Heinemann Simon, Peter was raised in the Fieldston, Riverdale section of the Bronx, New York City along with three very musical older sisters: Joanna (a former mezzo-soprano and TV arts correspondent), Lucy (a noted composer best known for the musical The Secret Garden) and Carly (the Grammy Award-winning musician, songwriter and children’s book author).
According to Simon, his father always kept a camera nearby, shooting pictures whenever the opportunity presented itself, and Peter would soon take on the same habits when given a simple toy camera as a gift. His interest in the arts and current events drew him, while still in high school, into a photography gig for his local paper, The Riverdale Press, where he was given the chance to take snapshots of visiting dignitaries including Dr. Martin Luther King and Senator Robert Kennedy.
As a student at Boston University in the 1960s, he continued to develop his photographic chops as a photographer for the BU campus newspaper, then for The Boston Globe and Rolling Stone magazine. His portfolio expanded to include shots of anti-war protests, communes, “love-ins”, Jack Kerouac’s funeral in 1969, etc., with a principal focus on the musical acts of the day (including his sister, Carly and, later on, the Grateful Dead, with whom he toured in 1980 and published a book of those images titled Playing In The Band). Looking to escape the tensions of the city, Simon went to live on a “New Age” commune in Vermont, studied the teachings of spiritual advisor Ram Dass and became fascinated with Jamaican culture and, more specifically, reggae music, using his skills as a photographer to capture images of Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and many others. He was on hand at the 1979 No Nukes concert at Madison Square Garden in NY which resulted in a wonderful portfolio of images of the show’s stars, including Bruce Springsteen, The Doobie Brothers, Jackson Browne, Crosby Still & Nash and, of course, sister Carly and her then-husband James Taylor.
Becoming a full-time photojournalist, over the years Peter’s work has been featured in many print publications including The Atlantic Monthly, Boston Magazine, Newsweek, New York Magazine, People, Rolling Stone, Time and The Village Voice. After moving to the Cape Cod area and becoming a resident of Martha’s Vineyard in 1973, he became a contributing photographer for the Vineyard Gazette, the Martha’s Vineyard Times (since 1984) and Cape Cod Life.
Books featuring Simon’s work include Decent Exposures (published by Wingbow Press, 1973), Carly Simon Complete (Knopf, 1975), Reggae Bloodlines (Doubleday, 1976), On the Vineyard (published by Doubleday, 1980), the first of a series including On the Vineyard II (Simon Press, 1990), and On the Vineyard III (Simon Press, 2000), the aforementioned Playing in the Band (St. Martin’s Press, 1983), The New York Mets: 25 Years of Baseball Magic (Henry Holt, 1987) and, in 2001, a career retrospective titled I And Eye (Bullfinch Press). In 2007, Peter released a book titled Reggae Scrapbook via Palace Press.
In 2008, Peter, with his wife Ronni, opened up their own gallery (The Simon Gallery) on Main Street in Vineyard Haven, which features prints of Peter’s works and Ronni’s unique hand-crafted jewelry. Other venues that have exhibited Peter’s work include local galleries such as The Field Gallery, On The Vineyard Gallery and The Old Sculpin Gallery; The Kiva Gallery and Yes.Oui.Si Gallery in Boston and the Nikon House and Niekrug Gallery in New York City. In 2013, noted designer John Varvatos opened a new store at Copley Place in Boston and teamed with Peter Simon “to put something on the walls”. His one-person show of his rock ’n’ roll images then traveled to other JV boutiques in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York.
Simon died of a heart-attack on his beloved Martha’s Vineyard in November, 2018. He was 71 years old.
To learn more about this artist, please visit his website at – http://www.petersimon.com/
Vic Singh – Individual Achievement Award inductee 2015 – notable album cover credits include – Pink Floyd – Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, Oh By The Way and Discovery; The Spencer Davis Group – Autumn ‘66; Phosphene – Projection
Vic was born in Lucknow, India, his father a son of Raja of Kalakankar, situated on the banks of The Ganges in northern India and his mother a daughter of a well-known Austrian society photographer in Vienna. He was sent to St. Christopher’s College in Letchworth, Hertfordshire as a young child and his mother decided to move to London.
In his teens, he attended St. Martin’s College of Art in London and then got a job at Mayflower Studios as a junior assistant – delivering prints, sweeping the floor, making tea, etc. He then moved on to his first job as a photographer with Studio Five in London’s Mayfair, and a couple of years later, he opened his own photo studio called “Vic Singh Limited” also in Mayfair.
He worked for the fashion, advertising and music industries. Being a member of “the Swinging 60’s In-Crowd” from it’s formation, he had many acquaintances in the music industry. Also at that time in the record business (1967), it was an “industry standard” to feature a photograph of the recording artist on the cover, and Vic Singh has the distinction of having shot the image that turned out to be the only one that featured the band – and that featured the soon-to-be-sacked Syd Barrett. Vic, too, was interested in creating something unusual (and “psychedelic”) for this commission, and the result was an image that represented the “vibe” of the time exceptionally well. After they had reached a certain degree of fame (i.e., right after their first album), the band members did not appear on the cover of any other PF album…
Besides photographing various musical artists such as Pink Floyd, Marc Bolan and others, he also worked for Chris Blackwell of Island Records with other musical acts such as Jimmy Cliff, The Spencer Davis Group (Stevie Winwood) and others shooting PR, record covers and music videos (on 16-mm b/w film), including The Beatles film ‘A Day in the Life’ (from Sgt.Pepper) for Apple Records. In the last few years, Vic’s concentrated his efforts on the digital side of photography and video and is working in a new environment of the avant-garde music and fashion scene that is, at present, evolving in London.
His impressive list of commercial clients include publications such as Brides Magazine, the Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, Daily and Sunday Mirror and the Sunday Times newspapers, Harpers Bazaar Magazine, Playboy Magazine, Tatler Magazine, Vogue Magazine and Zoom Magazine (among many others), as well as branded companies including Apple Records, British Celanese, Island Records, John Paul Mitchell Systems, Paramount Pictures, P&O Lines, Taya Japan and Vidal Sasson, to name just a few.
More information on this artist can be found on his web site at
Philip Lloyd-Smee (AKA Phil Smee) – notable album cover credits include – Mike Oldfield – Hergest Ridge and Incantations; Badfinger – The Very Best of Badfinger; The Moody Blues – Days of Future Passed (50th Anniversary); Ten Years After – Ten Years After; Small Faces – From The Beginning; Jethro Tull – Stand Up; T. Rex – Bolan at the Beeb; Eric Clapton – Life In 12 Bars (Soundtrack); Pentangle – Open The Door; Richard Thompson – Across A Crowded Room; Tom Newman – Faerie Symphony & Other Stories; Maria Muldaur – Live In London; The Chocolate Watchband – 44; Love – Out There; Rory Ghallager – Defender; Syd Barret – Opel; The Yardbirds – Little Games
More info on this artist can be found on his LinkedIn page – linkedin.com/in/philip-lloyd-smee-2840668
Bill Smith – Notable album cover work examples – Genesis – Genesis, Duke and Abacab; King Crimson – Starless & Bible Black; The Jam – Setting Sons and In The City; Eric Clapton – Time Pieces: The Best of Eric Clapton; Mike Oldfield – Guitars; Paul Carrack – Satisfy My Soul; Ian Matthews – Shook; The Who – Who Are You?: Queen – The Works
Bill Smith worked as Art Director for Octopus Books from 1974-76, leaving there to accept the same post at Polydor Records, where he worked from 1976-78. He set up his own studio – Bill Smith Studio (BSS) – and served as the Creative Director there from 1978-2002.
At Bill Smith Studios, he specialized in work for the entertainment and sports sectors, acting as consultants to a number of record companies and organizations such as International Amateur Athletic Federation and British Athletic Federation. Bill was creative director for hundreds of music artists including Rolling Stones, Kate Bush, Genesis, The Jam, Van Morrison and Mike Oldfield. BSS were also design consultants to the International Amateur Athletic Federation from ’83-’90, designing all publications, branding World Athletic Championships for global use, and event programs for European events, as well as IDs for onscreen programming.
In 1993, BSS became consultants to Dorna Sports – rights holders of the World Motorcycle Championships – and have been responsible for the MotoGP program license since that time, helping to grow the program business steadily ever since. The partnership with Dorna has led to creative work for other companies involved with moto sport including, in 2004, the launch of Scalextric MotoGP product range for their slot track technology.
Bill has been responsible for branding and design for eccentric thinking clients including, Forensic Science Service, FSS Shoemarks and FSSiii projects, Marriott Hotels 47 park Street, Mayfair, BDC in Tuscany, Hornby/Scalextric and Mike Oldfield for Warner Music, as well as producing radio commercials for Samsung Electronics. He’s also done record company work for Sanctuary Records, Universal Music and Warner Brothers for artists including Alison Moyet, Jack Bruce and Melanie C. Bill has also been responsible for writing and directing several promo videos and TV spots for a number of music artists including Mike Oldfield, The Jam, Clannad, Paul Young, Elaine aige and Alison Moyet for the UK and European markets. In addition, he’s also written and directed several short promotional films for clients such as Marriott Hotels, Craggenmore Estates and Hornby PLC.
Since 2005 BSSP has worked on music, web and design projects for clients, Lensvelt UK, Backbone UK, Crease Clothing, Sanctuary Records, Peter Vettese and still works with Dorna on the MotoGP official programs.
More information on this artist is available on his web site at http://www.bssp.co.uk/#!
Jeff Smith – see “Tornado Design” entry.
Pennie Smith – Notable album cover credits include – The Pink Fairies – What A Bunch Of Sweeties; The Clash – London Calling, Combat Rock, The Clash on Broadway and Essential Clash; Robyn Hitchcock – Kershaw Sessions; Andy White – Rave On; The Jam – Jam At The BBC; Various Artists – Sandanista! Project
(b. 1949 in London, U.K.) Pennie began her artistic studies at Twickenham Art School, with a focus on fine art and graphics, taking photo courses her last year. Her first graphics-related work involved doing layout for an underground magazine and it was there she met writer/reporter Nick Kent, with whom she collaborated on stories (he writing, she shooting photos to illustrate the articles). Together with designer Barney Bubbles, the trio went on to produce their own music journalism magazine titled Friends, which they published from 1969 to 1972.
Pennie followed Kent to NME magazine in 1975, shooting many B&W portraits (her specialty) for the magazine’s cover and articles and remained there until 1982, when the magazine became a full-color publication. During her time there, she also covered many bands while they were on tour, but her best-known photos focused on the emerging punk/new wave scene in the late 1970s, featuring bands including Debbie Harry, Iggy Pop, The Jam, The Slits, Siouxsie & The Bansees and, most-famously, The Clash.
Using old Pentax ES2 cameras, she shot a series of photos of The Clash while on tour in the U.S. in 1979, and one of those shots – a photo of bassist Paul Simonon wielding his Fender Bass like an axe and about to shatter it on the stage of The Palladium club in NY City – was used by designer Ray Lowry as the basis for his album cover for the band’s London Calling album. This homage to the design of Elvis Presley’s debut album was voted (in 2003) as “the best rock and roll photograph of all time” by Britain’s Q Magazine. So iconic was the image that it was selected by the Royal Mail in 2010 as one of 10 “Classic Album Cover” images that were released that year as postage stamps.
In 1980, Pennie published the book, The Clash: Before & After (now also in paperback), which features a large portfolio of her photos of the band/band members. In 2002, while awarding her their “Godlike Genius Award” for her contributions to the paper, the NME wrote: “Throughout the ‘70s, Pennie Smith’s photos and Nick Kent’s writing defined music journalism, and set a consistent benchmark that few have got near since..”
She still lives and works in an abandoned train station in West London, which she bought and converted into a studio. Her list of subjects has grown to include Blur, Led Zeppelin, Morrissey, Oasis, Radiohead, The Rolling Stones, The Strokes, The Who and U2, among many others. A number of her photos were included in the highly-regarded Who Shot Rock and Roll photography exhibition that debuted in 2009 and 11 of her photo portraits (The Clash, Debbie Harry, Siouxie & The Banshees and others) are in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery in London.
Winston Smith – Notable album cover credits include – Dead Kennedys – Frankenchrist, In God We Trust. Inc., Plastic Surgery Disasters, Bedtime For Democracy, Give Me Convenience Or Give Me Death, Tijuana No! – Contra-Revolucion Avenue; Green Day – Insomnia and Singles Box; Lard – The Last Temptation of Reid; One Hit Wonder – Outfall; Ben Harper – White Lies For Dark Times; Jello Biafra – If Evolution Is Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Evolve and White People & The Damage Done; Fish Karma – The Theory Of Intelligent Design; Plainfield – Smear The Queer; Various Artists – Let There Be Singles
Armed with razor blade and a fiendish wit, Winston Smith’s modus operandi since the 1970′s has been to kidnap “innocent” images from the pages of vintage magazines and then to diabolically glue them into compromising or politically revealing positions in his surreal collage landscapes. “Perhaps the most vibrant collage maestro since Max Ernst,” wrote popular underground artist Frank Kozik, who goes on to credit Winston with being “single-handedly responsible for an entire generation’s graphic style.”
Winston first came to infamy by way of his hard hitting political shock piece, “Idol” – a “bowling trophy style” Jesus nailed to a cross of dollars that was used for the Dead Kennedys’ album In God We Trust, Inc. That album, which was subsequently banned in England and condemned by the American Religious Right, landed Smith and Dead Kennedys “a permanent spot in the punk culture hall of shame.”
More than three decades down the line, Winston’s style continues to have political punch, but has also developed an almost classical surrealism. According to Smith – “We have entered the twenty first century. It’s time to call off the art police.” Through his ongoing work, exhibitions and featured interviews (including segments in the 2012 film Vinylmania and in Vice magazine), the insight and impact of mischievous art-criminal Winston Smith is finally being brought to full color justice.
See more of this artist’s work at his website – www.winstonsmith.com
SMOG Design – see listing under “Jeri & John Heiden”
Michael Spencer-Jones – notable album cover credits include – Oasis – Whatever, Definitely Maybe, (What’s The Story) Morning Glory, Be Here Now, Don’t Look Back In Anger and Wonderwall; Suede – Stay Together, Singles and So Young; The Verve – A Storm In Heaven, Urban Hymns and A Northern Soul; New Fast Automatic Daffodils – Bong and Body Exit Mind; Lyres – On Fire; The Farm – Don’t Let Me Down; Ruthless Rap Assassins – Less Mellow; Bis – Music For A Stranger World
(b. 1961, U.K.) According to Michael, he first became interested in photography around the age of 12, when he had the chance to see a special anniversary edition of LIFE Magazine in which he found a number of photos that intrigued him, particularly the shots of an historical nature and those experimental images – such as Harold E. Edgerton’s famous electronic strobe-enhanced photo of a bullet passing through an apple – that demonstrated the scope of what could be accomplished with good ideas and techniques. As he grew older and his artistic interests grew to include music and other forms of visual expression (and, in particular, the images found on record album jackets from bands like The Beatles and Pink Floyd), he decided to venture far away from his Sheffield roots and attend the Bournemouth & Poole College of Art in the South of England, where he studied photography and film – approaching each assignment with a degree of experimentation – and landed a job as an assistant up in London for influential advertising photographer Stak, where he’d learn much about the art and craft of commercial photography. Another famous friend of Stak’s – photographer Terence Donovan – also encouraged Spencer-Jones to search for opportunities in the world of photography.
Moving back up to Manchester after graduation, Michael’s first job of two years was as an assistant/photographer in a local studio that produced shots for catalogue companies such as Kay & Co. and Grattan, where the long hours and less-than-exciting subject materials (household goods, toys, clothing, etc.) eventually forced him to confront his bosses, who immediately fired him (on his birthday, no less) and it was at that point he decided to make his career as a freelancer. He also embedded himself in the Manchester-area music scene (AKA “Madchester”), taking a gig with a local underground rag and covering the performances of burgeoning area talent, such as The Stone Roses (at the Spike Island Nature Reserve), Happy Mondays, The Charlatans and, ultimately, performances at the Factory Records-run nightclub/venue called the Hacienda, where he’d meet label exec Tony Wilson and Brian Cannon, the Microdot studio head that made covers for the label. Assignments for covers for The Verve came in the early 1990s and, in 1993, he was introduced to Oasis guitarist/singer/songwriter Noel Gallagher, who’d seen his covers for The Verve and asked him to work his magic for them. The rest, as they say, is history, with Spencer-Jones producing thousands of photos for the band, including the cover shots for their best-known records.
Since then, Michael’s worked closely on both digital and analog assignments for a number of clients inside and outside the entertainment world, producing great work for clients including The Times and The Guardian, luxury retailer Harvey Nichols and record companies such as EMI, Parlophone and Virgin Records. He also produced a series of acclaimed portraits for the exhibition ‘Children in War’ at Manchester’s Imperial War Museum North.
Michael resides in the United Kingdom. In order to bring both his own work and also that of other photographers he’s collaborated with, Michael launched his own publishing company – Spellbound Publications Ltd. – and a web portal and store called Spellbound Galleries (http://spellboundgalleries.com/index.html) where you’ll find limited-edition prints, books and other customized products. There, you’ll find four special collections of his work, including Out Of The Blue – The Oasis Photographs; Supersonic – The Oasis Photographs; Definitely Maybe and the Albums & Singles Collection, along with intimate photos of other subjects including David Bowie, The Verve, the Stone Roses and, with photographer David Porter, The Beatles.
More information on this artist is available on his web site at http://www.michaelspencerjones.com/
Tommy Steele – notable album cover credits include – Foo Fighters – The Colour and the Shape; Fetchin’ Bones – Monster; Various Artists – Ultra Lounge; Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Damn The Torpedoes, Southern Accents and Hard Promises ; Neil Young – Trans, Everybody’s Rockin’ and Old Ways; Steve Miller Band – Abracadabra; Blind Melon – Blind Melon; Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band – Greatest Hits; James Taylor – One Man Band; The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds and Friends; Crowded House – Temple of Low Men and Woodface; Smithereens – 11; MC Hammer – Too Legit To Quit; Tina Turner – Simply The Best; Frank Sinatra – Duets and Duets II; Megadeth – Youthanasia
(b. ______ in ________) Fresh out of his schooling at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA, Tommy Steele (not to be confused with the 1950s British pop star with the same name) broke into the design world in 1974, working in the design departments at several LA-based record companies including Warner Bros. Records (where he worked with Ed Thrasher and Jeri Heiden), then on to Columbia Records (under the leadership of John Berg), Elektra-Asylum, and MCA Records before starting his own firm – Steeleworks – in 1984. He worked independently until being until he was asked to join the team at Capitol Records/EMI/Virgin Records in 1988, rising to the position of Vice President, Creative Services (Art + Design) and working on hundreds of covers for the company over the next 14 years.
As you’d figure, Tommy worked on projects for a virtual “who’s who” of superstars in the music industry, with his teams creating the packaging, advertising and marketing materials for an eclectic mix of music and artists—from The Beatles to the Beach (and Beastie) Boys, Foo Fighters, Steve Miller Band, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Bonnie Raitt, Frank Sinatra, Tina Turner and many more. As a result, he was nominated six times for Grammy Awards in the packaging categories, winning one in 1997 (with co-art director Andy Engel) for the too-cool-for-school cover for Capitol’s Ultra Lounge: Leopard Skin Sampler hits package.
After leaving Capitol in 2002, Steele joined the Design Group at Team One/Saatchi + Saatchi as its Creative Director where to supervised projects for clients including the Lexus luxury care line and Ritz-Carlton Hotels, working there until 2007 when he left to become the Creative Director for Workbook, a company that helps its clients find talented people/teams for creative projects of all types. In mid-2011, Tommy took on the role of Associate Creative Director (Print/Packaging/Branding) for the Santa Monica, CA-based health and fitness company Beachbody, creating everything from promotional campaigns, product packaging, collateral materials and health/nutrition/exercise guides for the company’s popular products (P90X, 21 Day Fix, etc.).
Steele is also the author of a number of award-winning, Pop Culture design-related books, including A Thousand Clowns – A Visual History of the American Clown (2004); The Ukulele – A Visual History (1997); Lick’em, Stick’em – The Lost Art of Poster Stamps (1989); Close Cover Before Striking – Early Matchcover Art Graphics (1987); Bowl-O-Rama – Visual Arts of Bowling (1986) and 1984’s The Hawaiian Shirt – The Art and History of this Folk Art. In addition to his Grammy Award honors, Tommy has received awards for his work from the AIGA/American Institute of Graphic Arts, Print Magazine, Graphis, Communication Arts, I.D. Magazine, the Type Directors Club, the International Typographers Association, Art Directors Club of LA, a Silver award from the NY One Show and a “Best In Show” from the historic Gilbert Paper company. A frequent participant on design/music discussion panels, you’ll also find Steele’s words of wisdom in author Steven Heller’s 1999 book Becoming A Graphic Designer – A Guide To Careers in Design.
More information on this artist can be found via his LinkedIn page at https://www.linkedin.com/in/tommy-steele-59b4841
Steven Stickler – notable album cover credits include – Iggy Pop – American Caesar; Korn – Korn and Life Is Peachy; 311 – Transistor; The Urge – Too Much Stereo; The Donnas – Spend The Night; Lil Rob – Twelve Eighteen, Pt. 1; Jeff Buckley – You And I; Stryper – Reborn; Sugar Ray – Lemonade & Brownies; Ugly Kid Joe – Motel California; DJ Hurricane – Don’t Sleep; DJ Jean – Madhouse 2002; Rage Against The Machine – Rage Against The Machine XX
(b. July, 1965 in Seoul, S. Korea; d. June, 2015 in Hollywood, CA) Stephen Han Stickler – son of a Seoul-based radio adman and an artist mother, Stephen and his brother spent their younger years living in the New Itaewon diplomatic housing compound until his family moved to the U.S. (Northern California) when he was eleven. Showing artistic talent at an early age, Stephen was enrolled in a multi-cultural college prep academy called The Athenian School, where he graduated in 1982. His portfolios gained him some early notice (earning him a scholarship to a photo workshop at the University of Arizona) and, subsequently, he enrolled in the Art College of Design down in Pasadena, CA where he’d go on to graduate as a Photography major. In a 2013 interview on the Lens/Scratch photo site, he was quoted as saying that “I came to photography by way of drawing and painting. Lacking the patience to pursue either seriously, I was drawn to photography for its immediate gratification – pictures with the click of a button!”
His talents served to find him work as a photographer and photo-journalist with serious credentials, first serving as the Executive Editor for Bikini Magazine (“ACTION. FILM. CARS AND ROCK N. ROLL”) from 1993-1996 and then as Fashion and Photography editor for Raygun Magazine. His work would go on to be published in many magazines, including general interest publications such as Newsweek, Life and Alternative Press and special interest pubs in the music and fashion world, including Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, Playboy, Seventeen, Maxim, Revolver, CMJ and many others.
His record label packaging work (as well as his portrait photography) served to fashionably promote a wide range of artists on a “who’s who” list of labels including Sony, Atlantic, Virgin, Warner Brothers, Tommy Boy, Elektra, Universal, Dreamworks, MCA, Mercury and A&M, while his fashion work improved the fortunes of companies such as Fresh Jive, Ocean Pacific, Sketchers and many more.
Living and working in the LA area led to early symptoms of “burn out” for the talented photographer and, sadly for fans of his past work in the record packaging area, he moved on to focus his efforts and talents in more supervisory roles, i.e., directing and producing. As he put it at the time (and to which this author had to agree to at the time we met in 2007) – “The glory days of album photography are over, as are the days of big cover budgets. I was lucky to catch the tail end of 12-inch vinyl covers. CDs are dying and, really, so is cover art. It’s just not the same looking at a record cover on a 2″ iPod screen, whereas I’ll always have fond memories of putting on a new album I’d bought and studying the packing while listening to the record for the first time.”
In May 2013, at age 48, Stephen was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer. In an article penned by his father soon after he died just four days shy of his 50th birthday, he proudly said of his son that “despite intensive rounds of chemotherapy and major operations, he showed courage and resolve, even rising from his recovery bed after a major procedure in April 2014 to attend an event in Los Angeles in which he was one of three L.A. rock photographers recognized for his 20th-century body of work…two years ago, he started a Tumblr blog titled ‘Fear of Beauty,’ in which he reflected on his journey through the pain and healing, and support of his family and friends, in candid detail. He kept up his writing all the way up to June 2015, the month of his passing. Never bitter, but grateful for the remarkable journey that was his life—that was my son.”
Some of Stephen’s work can still be seen at www.society6.com/stephenhan
Drew Struzan – Notable album cover credits include – Bee Gees – Main Course, Black Sabbath – Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, Alice Cooper – Greatest Hits and Welcome to My Nightmare (one of Rolling Stone Magazine’s “100 Top Album Covers of All Time”); Iron Butterfly – Scorching Beauty; Black Oak Arkansas – Early Times and High On The Hog; Brothers Johnson – Blam; Earth Wind & Fire – Open Our Eyes; Grand Funk Railroad – Phoenix and Jefferson Airplane – Long John Silver.
Born in 1947 in Oregon City, OR, Struzan attended school at the prestigious Art Center College of Design in West Los Angeles, CA. After graduating college and still living in Los Angeles, a trip to an employment agency found artist Drew Struzan a job as a staff artist for Pacific Eye and Ear, a local design studio that had a number of music industry clients . There, he began designing album covers, enjoying the creative challenges of a 12″ square canvas, and over the next 5 years, he would create album cover artwork for a long line of musical artists, including The Beach Boys, Bee Gees, Black Sabbath, Earth Wind & Fire and Tony Orlando and Dawn.
Striking out on his own in 1975 and becoming a master of airbrush techniques, Struzan began doing promotional posters for films and, since then, has established a reputation as “the go-to guy” for movie studios large and small. His impressive portfolio of work includes posters for Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Blade Runner, Risky Business, Hook, Hellboy and the Harry Potter series, among many others.
In 2010, a documentary on Struzan titled Drew: The Man Behind The Poster was released that featured interviews with many of his most-famous fans and, in 2020 Drew was inducted into the Society of Illustrator’s Hall of Fame.
“In my opinion, Drew Struzan is the only collectable artist since the second World War.” -George Lucas-
See more of Drew’s work at his website – www.drewstruzan.com
Hugh Syme – Notable album cover credits include – Def Leppard – Retroactive; Megadeth – Countdown To Extinction and Youthanasia; Supertramp – Some Things Never Change; Celine Dion – Live A Paris; Aerosmith – Get A Grip; Rush – All album covers since 1975
Having studied art both the New School of Art in Toronto and York University in York, England, Canadian artist/illustrator/musician Hugh Syme found that he was able to express himself creatively – both musically and artistically – in the rock music business, where he collaborated with singer/songwriter Ian Thomas and, later on, played keyboards for SRO/Anthem labelmates Rush.
It seems clear that the members of Rush felt early on that Hugh was on the same wavelength as they were, hiring him in 1975 to create the cover image for their third record, titled Caress of Steel and, impressively, every record of theirs since. He’s also responsible for the band’s iconic “Starman” logo, which has been featured on a broad range of band-related promotional imagery and merchandise (including the cover for Rush drummer Neal Peart’s 1996 travel book titled The Masked Rider). He’s since been nominated 18 times for Juno Awards (Canada’s top music award) for his designs, winning five times for designs including Rush’s Moving Pictures, Power Windows, Presto and Roll The Bones and Levity for Ian Thomas.
Focusing his talents on music-related design, he took on commissions as an art director working alongside Spencer Proffer at Pasha/CBS Records and, ten years later, accepting the role as Art Director at Geffen Records. His music industry clients include labels such as A&M, Atlantic, Capitol, EMI, Geffen, Mercury, RCA, Sony Music and Warner Bros., doing designs for acts including Aerosmith, Chick Corea, Celine Dion, Def Leppard, Dream Theater, Fates Warning, Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Queensryche, Saga, Styx and Whitesnake.
More recently, Syme joined forces again with Proffer at the Los Angeles-based Meteor 17 design firm, where he has designed firm’s own style guide, book covers for the Huqua/Padaro imprint and graphic materials/album covers for M17 projects with clients in the music, film and TV arenas. Other commercial advertising clients include Accenture, Alpine Audio, AT&T, Bausch & Lomb, Denon, Disney, Forbes, MGM Grand, Microsoft, Panasonic, Paramount, Sony, Time Warner, Virgin, The Washington Post and many other international firms.
For more information on this artist, please visit his web site at www.hughsyme.com
Bruce Talamon – notable album package credits include – Earth Wind & Fire – Faces, The Eternal Dance, Elements of Love and The Essential Earth Wind & Fire; George Duke – My Soul and Master of the Game; Marvin Gaye – Marvin Gaye’s Greatest Hits and The Master: 1961 – 1984; Alice Coltrane – Transfiguration; Miles Davis – We Want Miles; Quincy Jones – Q: The Musical Biography of Quincy Jones; Teddy Pendergrass – The Essential Teddy Pendergrass
(b. July, 1949 in Los Angeles, CA, USA) While working towards a Bachelor’s degree in political science at Whittier College in Southern California – with plans to attend law school after graduating – in 1970 Bruce chose to spend time studying abroad in Berlin, Germany. While there, he bought his first camera and used it to shoot performers playing in Europe and discovered that his true love was photography so, after graduation the following year, he chose to forego further schooling and instead set out to become a professional photographer.
Back in LA, Bruce met photographer Howard Bingham while both were in attendance at the 1972 Watts Festival and, via an intro by Bingham to Regina Jones, owner of the weekly Soul Newspaper, landed a gig as a contributing photographer for that showcase of Black entertainment and news. In 1974, Bruce landed his first corporate client – Motown Records – and would soon expand his portfolio to include editorial/publicity photo commissions from companies including CBS Records and Black Stars, Ebony and Jet Magazines. He’d continue to serve as a preferred shooter for touring acts such as Bob Marley & The Wailers and Earth Wind & Fire through the late 1970s – early 1980s (he’d take on the role as the stills photographer for the hit TV music/dance series Soul Train in 1980), when he also expanded his area of interest outside of the music business to begin working for media clients such as ABC Television, Columbia Pictures and many other film studios and, in 1984, Time Magazine, where he was hired to cover the presidential primaries, including the candidacy of the Revered Jesse Jackson. He’d cover the 1988 election season for the magazine as well.
Since that time, Talamon’s work as a photojournalist has been included in a number of photography books and museum/gallery exhibitions. His photos have also been shown in shows and exhibitions in galleries and museums all over the world, including the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, the Annenberg Space for Photography in Losa Angeles (part of “Photoville LA”) and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, OH.
He was the author of the 1994 book Bob Marley Spirit Dancer, based on images of Bob Marley that Talamon took between 1978 and 1980 “when he was granted unprecedented access to Bob Marley; on stage, backstage, center stage and unstaged. The resulting images are one of the most uniquely comprehensive collections of Bob Marley images available.” After a successful 2014 R&B photography exhibition based on his images, September 2021 marked the release of a new Taschen book – titled Bruce W. Talamon. Soul. R&B. Funk. Photographs 1972–1982 – of Bruce’s photos of stars “from the golden age of soul, R&B and funk”, including many never-before-published images of top talent such as James Brown, Earth, Wind & Fire, Funkadelic, Marvin Gaye, Al Green, The Jackson 5, Chaka Khan, Diana Ross, Nina Simone, Donna Summer, Barry White, Stevie Wonder and many more.
His editorial client list has grown to include studios such as Dreamworks, Paramount, Sony, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, and Universal and leading publications including New York Times, LA Times, Paris Match, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, People and many others.
More information on this artist is available on his web site at https://www.brucetalamon.com/
Storm Thorgerson – Notable album cover work examples – Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals, A Momentary Lapse of Reason, Discovery and Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd; Led Zeppelin – Houses of the Holy; Black Sabbath – Technical Ecstasy; Muse – Absolution; The Cranberries – Bury The Hatchet and Wake Up & Smell The Coffee; Alan Parsons – The Time Machine; Peter Gabriel – Peter Gabriel; Anthrax – Stomp 442; Ian Dury – Reasons To Be Cheerful; Phish – Slip, Stitch & Pass; Audioslave – Audioslave
(b. 1944, d. April, 2013) Born and raised in Potter’s Bar Middlesex, U.K., Thorgerson earned a BA with Honors in English and Philosophy from Leicester University in 1966 and an MA in film and TV from the Royal College of Art, London in 1969.
Storm formed Hipgnosis in 1968 with Aubrey Powell (Po), a graphic design studio specializing in creative photography and working mainly in the music business designing album covers for many rock ‘n’ roll bands including Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Genesis, 10cc, Yes, Peter Gabriel, Black Sabbath, Paul McCartney, Syd Barrett and Styx, among others. He also started a series of books on album cover art with Roger Dean called Album Cover Album.
In 1983, he joined with Po and Peter Christopherson to form Green Back Films embarked on producing numerous rock videos including material for Paul Young, Yes, Nik Kershaw, Robert Plant, Interferon, Nona Hendryx, Big Country and many. “Learning To Fly” for Pink Floyd won the “best director” from Billboard magazine.
Going solo after folding the film company in 1985, Storm continued designing album covers for Pink Floyd, Catherine Wheel, Alan Parsons, Anthrax, amongst others, and branched out into documentaries, and in 1994 he directed six short films for Pink Floyd which were screened at concerts during their world tour (these can be seen again on the hugely successful Pink Floyd DVD Pulse). Storm continued to design album covers (Phish, Cranberries, Pink Floyd, Alan Parsons, Ween, etc.) and to execute assorted graphics for DVDs, websites, programs, T-shirts and so on, and to direct the occasional film. In addition to his Album Cover Album books, he has written and designed several other books including Walk Away Rene, The Goodbye Look, Mind Over Matter and Eye Of The Storm (Sanctuary Books), 100 Best Album Covers (Dorling Kindersley) and The Raging Storm through StormStudios.
After a stroke and a long battle with cancer, Thorgerson died in April, 2013.
For more info on this artist, please visit his studio site at http://www.stormthorgerson.com/
Ed Thrasher – Notable examples of album cover work – Frank Sinatra – Strangers in The Night and That’s Life; Arlo Guthrie – Alice’s Restaurant; Jimi Hendrix – Are You Experienced?, Axis: Bold As Love and Electric Ladyland; James Taylor – Sweet Baby James; Mason Proffit – Come & Gone; Prince – Purple Rain; George Benson – Breezin’; Foghat – Night Shift; Doobie Brothers – The Captain & Me and Takin’ It To The Streets; America – History: America’s Greatest Hits; Gram Parsons – Grievous Angel; Seals & Crofts – Summer Breeze
(b. March, 1932; d. August, 2006) The son of a Los Angeles city councilman, Edward Lee Thrasher Jr. was born in 1932 in Glendale, CA and, after a stint in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War, he enrolled in an art and illustration program at the Los Angeles Trade Tech College. After additional studies at the LA County Art Institute, he was hired in 1957 for a entry-level position in the art department at Capitol Records, ultimately rising to the position of Art Director. He moved on to Warner Brothers Records, becoming their Art Director in 1964 (and taking an important role in the design of the new company headquarters) where he applied his talents in both design and photography to the creation of album cover images for the company’s wide range of talent.
This being the mid-1960s, most record companies were just beginning to see just how important the designs and graphics were to the marketing of music, so Thrasher’s imagination was able to run wild, allowing him and his team to create progressive artwork for progressive musicians. The results of his efforts were memorable branding elements and record covers for pop acts (Van Morrison, Frank Sinatra and James Taylor), psychedelic acts (the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Cream, the Grateful Dead, etc.) and acts that spoke of the times they lived in (Arlo Guthrie, Joni Mitchell, Country Joe & The Fish and Tiny Tim). He also was instrumental in the trend to allow musical acts to show off their own talents as designers and graphic artists, as evidenced in the covers done by Joni Mitchell for her own albums beginning in 1969.
In addition to designing record covers, Ed’s department also produced much of the music-related promotional graphics and materials, including posters and advertisements. During his 15-year tenure at the label, Thrasher was nominated 12 times for a Grammy Award for best cover/package design, winning in 1975 (along with co-art director Chris Whorf) for the work he did on the album Come And Gone by Chicago-based folk rock band Mason Proffit.
As much of a photographic talent as an art director, Thrasher began a successful career as an entertainment industry photographer after leaving WB Records in 1979 and also launched his own advertising company – Ed Thrasher & Associates – where he created album covers and promotional materials for music and film/TV clients.
He was married for 22 years to actress Linda Gray who, after their divorce, went on to star as Sue Ellen Ewing on the hit TV series “Dallas.” Ed died at his home in Big Bear Lake, CA in August, 2006. He was 74 years old.
You can read more about Ed’s life and accomplishments via two 2006 obituaries, one in the LA Times and one in the NY Times – https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2006-aug-21-me-thrasher21-story.html and https://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/24/obituaries/ed-thrasher-74-album-designer-dies.html
Paul Till – Notable album cover credits include – Bob Dylan – Blood On The Tracks; FM – Black Noise, Surveillance and City of Fear; The Ugly – Disorder
(b. June, 1953) Born in London, England, Till’s family moved to Canada in 1957. Paul was educated at the University of Toronto and at Humber College in Toronto, where he received a diploma in Creative Photography in 1977 (he also has teaching credentials, teaching ESL classes and classes in photography/advanced darkroom techniques).
In 1973, while still in school, Paul attended a Bob Dylan concert in Toronto and brought his father’s 1930s Leica III camera to the event. Taking a number of shots at the event, he then retreated to his darkroom where, inspired by the concert he’d seen, he created a number of artistically-interpreted prints of some of the photos and sent them to Dylan’s office. A year later, one of them was selected for use on Blood On The Tracks’ album cover!
After the success of the Blood on the Tracks photos, Paul figured that he’d pursue a career as a professional photographer. He completed his studies at Humber College and has been a photographer ever since. As a freelancer, he’s been a regular contributor to Toronto’s Now magazine and stays busy with work for a wide variety of commercial clients.
Paul’s works are featured in the collections of the Canada Council Art Bank, City of Toronto Archives, Forum Research Inc., the University of Toronto Archives, and in many private collections in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K.. His photos have been included in over two dozen individual and group exhibitions, including shows in Toronto, London and Amsterdam.
To see more of Paul’s work, please visit his website at www.PaulTill.com
Tornado Design (Al Quattrocchi and Jeff Smith, partners) – notable album cover credits include: Los Lobos – Tin Can Trust, The Town & The City, Good Morning Aztlan, The Ride and Los Lobos: El Cancionero Mas y Mas (Grammy nom, 2001); Various Artists – Titanic: Music As Heard On The Fateful Voyage (Grammy, 1997) and Standing In The Shadows of Motown: The Motown Story; Richard Thompson – Dream Attic, Front Parlour Ballads; Sir Douglas Quintet – Sir Douglas Quintet (Anthology); Nat King Cole – The Classic Singles; Quincy Jones – Q: The Musical Biography of Quincy Jones; Frank Sinatra – Frank Sinatra’s Greatest Love Songs; Fleetwood Mac – The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac; Lenny Bruce – Lenny Bruce: Let The Buyer Beware; Bobby Blue Bland – The Anthology
Al Quattrocchi – The son of a successful typographer who worked in the printing business both in Los Angeles and the New York area, Al was born in Brooklyn, NY and attended Loyola Marymount College for 2 years before transferring to the Art Center College of Design, where he was awarded with a BA in Advertising Design.
Jeff Smith – Jeff’s father was also a professional designer/illustrator with a long career in the graphics world, founding his own design company – David Smith Design & Advertising – in Los Gatos, CA, so Jeff’s first exposure to the graphic arts came via his playtime underneath his father’s drafting table in their home. He moved to So. CA to attend UCLA, where he earned a degree in Communications Studies. After graduation, he tried his hand as a ceramic artist before switching to focus his attention on graphic design jobs, first as a designer for Cimarron/Bacon/O’Brien – Aviation & Aerospace industry (1991 – 1995) and teaming up in 1992 with Al Quattrocchi to form Tornado Design in Los Angeles, where he now serves as co-Principal/Creative Director.
Music industry clients over the years have included Capitol Records, Cooking Vinyl, Ry Cooder, EMI Records, Hip-O Records, Hollywood Records, Motown, Rhino Records, Shout! Factory (worked on the 2004 Grammy Award Nominated record Lenny Bruce: Let The Buyer Beware) and the Universal Music Group. Other media companies in their portfolio include 20th Century Fox, Columbia Pictures, E! Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting, HBO, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Quincy Jones Music Publishing, Time Life and Warner Brothers Theatrical. A long list of retail and institutional clients include Cedar-Sinai Medical Center, The Film Music Society, Last Gasp Publishing, LA County Museum of Art, the Museum of Neon Art and the Peterson Auto Museum, among many others.
Books they’ve designed or that feature their artwork include The Richard Thompson Songbook Collection (pub. by Beeswing Productions), Los Angeles Stories by Ry Cooder, The Right Brain Guitar Method by James McVay, Rat Fink: The Art of Ed “Big Daddy” Roth (pub. by Last Gasp Publishing) and Evolution: Night of the Tiki (Copro/Nason Gallery). They’ve authored several design books as well, including The Art of Von Dutch, Rat Fink’s Revenge and a 20-year studio retrospective published in 2012 titled Tornado Design: 20 Years.
The duo has received a number of industry honors and awards, including the 1997 Grammy Award for “Best Recording Package” for their work on Titanic: Music As Heard On The Fateful Voyage; they also received a 2001 Grammy Award nomination for “Best Boxed Recording Package” for Los Lobos: El Cancionero Mas y Mas by multi-Grammy winners Los Lobos. Their work has also been recognized by publications and professional organizations including Communication Arts, Graphis, Print and the AIGA.
More information on this studio is available on their website at http://www.tornadodesign.la/index.html
Dean Torrence – Notable album cover work includes – Harry Nilsson – Point!, Harry, Nilsson Schmilsson and Nilsson Sings Newman; Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddie, Let’s Go and Will The Circle Be Unbroken; The Beach Boys – 15 Big Ones, Beach Boys Live and Love You; Dennis Wilson – Pacific Ocean Blue; Pollution – Pollution; The Everly Brothers – Stories We Could Tell; Linda Ronstadt – Linda Ronstadt; Anne Murray – Annie; Diana Ross & The Supremes – Let The Sunshine In; ; Canned Heat – Cook Book; Captain & Tennille – Song of Joy; Steve Martin – Let’s Get Small, Wild and Crazy Guy and Comedy Is Not Pretty
(b. March, 1940) Dean Torrence was born in Los Angeles, CA, the son of an oil company sales executive. Starting with art lessons at the age of five, he ultimately graduated with a degree in Advertising Design from the School of Fine Arts at USC. In addition to his love of art, Dean was also into sports and music, playing on his high school’s football team and harmonizing in the locker room with fellow team-mate William “Jan” Berry.
Torrence and Berry entered a high school talent contest after forming a doo-wop singing group called “The Barons”, with Berry later joining another group and releasing a few singles. In early 1958, Torrence shipped out for a six-month stint in the US Army Reserve and, upon his return, hooked up again with Berry and started recording and performing both cover songs and their own music as “Jan and Dean”. Working with record producers Lou Adler and Herb Alpert, the pair released their first record (“Baby Talk”) in 1959, a song that contained the earliest elements of what would become known as “surf music”. After meeting and playing with the Beach Boys, the duo committed (while still in college) to creating more music in this genre both for themselves and for other recording acts. And even though Torrance was studying art and design (where he also joined the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity) and Berry was about to enter medical school, they went on to record a series of hit records (inc. “Surf City”, “Dead Man’s Curve” and “Little Old Lady from Pasadena”), reaching a creative peak in the mid-1960s.
Fate made a decision about Dean’s career when, in April, 1966, Jan Berry crashed his Corvette into a parked car, leaving him with severe brain injuries and partially paralyzed. While Dean stood by his singing partner’s side, hoping that they’d soon be able to record again, when it seemed clear that it’d be a long while before this might happen, Dean exited the music business and opened up his own design firm, Kittyhawk Graphics, in an office on Sunset Boulevard in LA. Taking advantage of all of his contacts at the record companies, he pitched his talents to executives there, letting them know that he “felt their pain” with regards to the quality of the design and graphics that were at the time featured on their record releases, offering them a solution based on his insider knowledge and considerable talents as a freelance designer and project manager.
While his first project – for his friends the Beach Boys – showed him that in-house art departments were not all that receptive to the notion of working with a freelance design team, he used another contact to get a gig for some projects for Columbia Records, first for Blood, Sweat & Tears and then an institutional-style logo for Chicago Transit Authority. Although the second project was sidetracked, The Turtles then came knocking, needing a cover for their upcoming Turtles Golden Hits release, with this work quickly followed by covers for signer Harry Nilsson and, after the band switched from Capitol Records to Warner Brothers, the Beach Boys, with whom Dean would work on a series of covers for both the band and their solo projects.
For the next 13 years, Dean’s agency worked with a variety of label clients, with his work receiving four Grammy Award nominations for album cover design, winning the award in 1972 for the cover for the band Pollution’s self-titled album. With Jan’s voice returning in the 1970s, the duo began to perform together on occasion on the nostalgia circuit and at other events during the next 25 years, until Berry died of a seizure in 2004. Torrance continues to perform with his band, the Surf City All Stars, and still uses his talents in graphic design on the maintenance of his own http://www.JanandDean.com web site. He lives with his family in “Surf City, USA” – Huntington Beach, CA.
A more-detailed look through Dean’s portfolio of work (album covers, posters, logos and more) is available on Dean’s Kittyhawk Graphics page – http://www.jananddean.com/kittyhawk/kty.html
Philip Travers – Notable album cover artwork examples – The Moody Blues – In Search of the Lost Chord, On The Threshold of a Dream, To Our Children’s Children’s Children, Question of Balance, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour and Seventh Sojourn
Born in 1945, Philip studied art and design at the Sutton School of Art and the London School of Printing. After college, he spent several years working as a designer and illustrator in studios in the London area. It was at this time that he became associated with the internationally-renowned rock group – The Moody Blues – for whom he produced record sleeves in the late 1960s and early `70s.
Coming initially from London, he grew up enjoying the landscape of Surrey and the surrounding counties, and his paintings at this time were exhibited at galleries in Wimbledon, Thames Ditton, Windsor and Petersfield. Philip moved to Cornwall in 1976 after spending several holidays in the area and then deciding that he should live there. He felt that the close proximity of the sea, and the diverse and exciting landscape that it engendered created a stimulating environment in which to work. Phil is mainly concerned to convey the mood and atmosphere of the subjects he is painting, and with his bold use of light and shade, he continues to produce highly-dramatic images. He often likes to include animals and sometimes figures in his work, as they provide not only life and a focus but also a narrative element.
In addition to the images for The Moody Blues, Philip created a couple of sleeves for the band `Trapeze` (the seminal hard rock band produced by John Lodge and featuring Glenn Hughes and Dave Holland) on the Threshold Label and, according to Phil, “I did do a sleeve for The Four Tops single `A Simple Game`. This was produced by Tony Clarke. However, it was never used, which is a pity because I think it was really good!”
In 2014, Phil moved to Chang Mai, a city in northern Thailand that dates back to the 1200s, where he continues to paint.
To see more of Phil Travers’ current work, please visit his website at www.philiptravers.co.uk
George Underwood – notable album cover credits include – David Bowie – Hunky Dory, The Space Oddity Album and The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars; Tyrannosaurus Rex – Electric Warrior (inner sleeve), Futuristic Dragon, My People Were Fair and Had Sky In Their Hair, But Now They’re Content To Wear Stars On Their Brows* and Metal Guru; The Fixx – Reach The Beach, Less Cities More Moving People, Phantoms, Calm Animals and Beautiful Friction; Gentle Giant – Gentle Giant and Scraping The Barrel; Procol Harum – Shine On Brightly; The Driven – Monkey in a Cage and Secret Police; Mott The Hoople – All The Young Dudes
(b. 1947 in Bromley, Kent, UK) Perhaps just as well-known for his punching childhood chum David Joes (soon to become Bowie) in the eye during a schoolyard fight – the punch that partially created Bowie’s distinctive visuals – as he is as an artist and illustrator, George Underwood began his education attending Bromley Technical School and then the Beckenham Art School, where he initially tried his hand in music as a musician in a couple of bands with Bowie before deciding to return to school at the Ravensbourne College Of Art (now known simply as Ravensbourne College) to focus on art studies, with his first music industry job beginning in 1966 when he began working designing record covers for the British pop record label Pye Records. The following year, he moved over to book publisher New English Library to do work as a designer and illustrator (with a focus on science fiction and fantasy titles) before leaving in 1968 to begin work as a freelancer.
Working on his own, his friends and satisfied clients in the music and book publishing businesses turned to him to produce designs and illustrations for scores of records, including the artwork for Tyrannosaurus Rex (Futuristic Dragon), David Bowie, Procol Harum, Mott The Hoople and many others. In the early 1970s, his “fine art” leanings prompted him to take up the brush, canvas and oils and create his own paintings, with the style and subjects of his imaginative, futuristic and realistic works – including portraits of many of the talented people populating the music business, such as The Beatles, Elton John, the Rolling Stones, Bob Marley, Oasis, Muddy Waters and many others – proving to be quite popular with collectors, galleries and museums as, since he began to focus on his paintings, he’s been included in dozens of shows in venues throughout the world.
A quote on Underwood’s site attributed to his late friend David Bowie works to sum up George’s place in the upper echelons of the fine art world (you’ll recall that Bowie himself was a famously astute collector) – “George has, over the years, refined his work to the point where I would put him among the top figurative painters coming out of the UK right now. There’s a sublime isolation surrounding his subjects that really touches the viewer, the figures being both heroic and vulnerable simultaneously. There’s a timeless element in the choice of subject matter that overlaps with the mythical world of Odd Nerdrum, say. Now that a huge shift to painting is taking place, I would expect to see George’s name pushed further and further to the front”.
More information on this artist can be found on his website at – http://www.georgeunderwood.com/home
Side note – *this record’s full title – My People Were Fair And Had Sky In Their Hair, But Now They’re Content To Wear Stars On Their Brows – is the unofficial record-holder for highest-charting LP (Top 20 in the UK) with the longest formal title. The label, Regal Zonophone, re-released this early Bolan record and combined it into a double album with Prophets, Seers, Sages and the package reached #1, making it the longest-titled record package to ever hit the top of the charts.
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