Artist Biographies – Sorted by Last Name – V – Z
Nitin Vadukul – notable album cover credits include – Ozzy Osbourne – Down To Earth and The Essential Ozzy Osbourne; Our Lady Peace – A Decade and Happiness Is Not A Fish That You Can Catch; Poison – Crack a Smile…And More; Mudvayne – Lost and Found; DMX – …And Then There Was X; Eve – Scorpion; Herbie Hancock – Future 2 Future; Systematic – Somewhere In Between
(b. 1965, Nariobi, Kenya) At the age of 4, Nitin’s family moved to London, England, where he’d grow up. At the age of 8, he developed a passion for art His photography career started at the age of 14 and he lived in London and Paris before settling in New York City in 1994, where he now lives.
Nitin has photographed well know musicians, actors and celebrities including Donald Sutherland, Tommy Lee Jones, Tim Roth, Radiohead and many others for publications such as Detour, Esquire, Rolling Stone and Vogue magazines. He has also built up an impressive list of commercial and advertising clients including Adidas, Argent Mortgage, Credit Suisse, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Jordan, Nike and Peugeot.
For music clients, he has created groundbreaking record and publicity packages for musicians such as Radiohead , Mudvayne , Korn, Moby, Iggy Pop, The Secret Machines, Wyclef , Missy Elliott, DMX, Eve, Dr.Dre, Eminem, Herbie Hancock and Ozzy Osbourne.
In 2007, Nitin completed a series of images for an exhibition called The Art of War, depicting an epic journey of warriors in worlds unknown. His solo exhibitions include shows for the Marianne Courville Gallery (Hudson, N.Y. – 2009); BBH Advertising (New York City – 2007) and the Richard Sena Gallery (Hudson, N.Y. – 2006), and he’s participated in recent group exhibitions including Art Miami (Miami, FL – 2007), Photo Miami (Miami,FL – 2006), the Vaknin Gallery (Atlanta,GA – 2006), Hudson Arts Walk (2006), the Hardcore Art Contemporary Space (Miami, FL – 2006), the “Hip Hop Immortals” showing at Galerie Patricia Dorfmann (Paris, France – 2004), the Govinda Gallery (Washington, D.C – 2004), the Proud Gallery (London, UK – 2003), the Adidas Store (NYC, NY – 2003), the Plus 81 Gallery (Tokyo, Japan – 2002) and the Festival R’encontre (Arles, France – 1998). His photo portrait of Radiohead was included in the Who Shot Rock & Roll exhibition that toured museums throughout the U.S. and New Zealand from 2009 – 2013.
To learn more about this artist, please visit his website at http://www.nitinvadukul.com
Steve Vance – notable album cover credits include – Less Than Jake – Hello Rockview and Anthem; The Simpsons – Yellow Album; Grateful Dead – Golden Road (1965 – 1973), Vault Box and Winterland 1973: The Complete Recordings; The Doobie Brothers – Doobie’s Choice; The Ramones – Weird Tales of the Ramones; T-Bone Burnett – Proof Through The Night & The Complete Trap Door; Frank Sinatra – New York and Best of Vegas; Various Artists – Rockin’ Bones: 1950s Punk & Rockabilly and Brain in a Box:The Science Fiction Collection (Grammy Award winner, 2002); Loudon Wainwright III – Here Come The Choppers; The Band – Last Waltz (Box Set); The Connells – One Simple Word
Steve is an award-winning designer and cartoonist based in Los Angeles, CA.
Full bio coming soon – thanks for your patience.
More information on this artist is available at his web site – www.stevevance.com
John Van Hamersveld – Notable album cover work examples – KISS – Hotter Than Hell; The Beatles – Magical Mystery Tour; The Rolling Stones – Exile on Main Street; Blondie – Eat To The Beat and Autoamerican; Sir Douglas Quintet – Live Texas Tornado and Border Wave; Grateful Dead – Skeletons From The Closet; Steve Miller – Fly Like An Eagle and The Joker; Van Morrison – T.B. Sheets; Robin Trower – Passion; John Fahey – Live In Tasmania; John Mellencamp – American Fool; Jefferson Airplane – Crown Of Creation
Born in 1941 in Baltimore, MD, John is an artist and designer who is responsible for an enormous catalog of well-known music industry and pop culture-related images. His early works include the promo poster for the soundtrack for 1966’s surf-culture movie The Endless Summer and his album cover work for The Beatles (Magical Mystery Tour) and Jefferson Airplane (Crown of Creation), continuing on in the 1970s with his iconic covers for the Rolling Stones (Exile on Main Street), The Grateful Dead (Skeletons from the Closet), KISS (Hotter than Hell), and Steve Miller (The Joker and Fly Like an Eagle) and then on to his imagery that helped introduce the world to Punk Fashion, such as the covers for Blondie’s Eat to the Beat and Autoamerica and John Lydon’s post-Pistols solo efforts (This Is What You Want, This is What You Get).
Van Hamersveld’s images continue to set the path that the rest of the industry followed for style. His recent posters and graphics for the Cream reunion shows in New York and London and for the Clapton/Winwood reunions worldwide have been fan and collector favorites, and who but JVH could have so appropriately designed Led Zeppelin’s recent Mothership package?
Van Hamersveld also created the famous “grinning Johnny” image in 1969, a version of which is said to have been the inspiration for John Pasche’s later designs for the Rolling Stones’ “Lips & Tongue” logo.
To learn more about John and visit his site, please follow this link –
Jay Vigon – notable album cover credits include – Stevie Wonder – The Invisible Life Of Plants; Bon Jovi – 7800 Degrees Fahrenheit; The Doobie Brothers – Farewell Tour; Fleetwood Mac – Tusk; Quiet Riot – Mental Health and Condition Critical; David Lee Roth – Eat ‘Em And Smile and Crazy From The Heart; Black Sabbath – Live Evil and The Rules Of Hell; Three Dog Night – The Best of Three Dog Night; Lita Ford – Dancin’ On The Edge; Crackin – Crackin; Rose Royce – Jump Street; Billy Thorpe – Stimulation; Dial M – Dial M; Animotion – Strange Behavior
While we work to add a more-detailed bio about this artist, more information on Jay and his work can be found on his web site – http://www.jayvigon.com/portfolio/DesignStudio-Branding-Music.html
Larry Vigon – Notable album cover credits include – Eric Clapton – Behind The Sun; Counting Crows – August And Everything After; Thomas Dolby – Astronauts & Heretics and Close But No Cigar; Pablo Cruise – Reflectors; Bob Welch – Bob Welch; Missing Persons – Rhyme & Reason; Oingo Boingo – Dead Man’s Party; Boney James – Sweet Thing; Chicago – Chicago 17 and Night & Day; Olivia Newton John – Warm and Tender; Bonnie Raitt – Nick Of Time; The Rembrandts – The Rembrandts; Rick Springfield – Rock Of Life; Richard Marx – Rush Street and Paid Vacation; Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers; Sparks – In Outer Space and Pulling Rabits Out Of A Hat along with the records he did for Fleetwood Mac – Fleetwood Mac, Rumours, Mirage and Tusk
(b. September, 1949 in Chicago, Illinois, USA) After his family (including his twin brother, Jay) moved to Los Angeles when he was 3 years old, Larry attended several different schools before graduating from Santa Monica High School. He’d go on to attend Santa Monica City College and, after two years there, he transferred to the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles and went on to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Advertising Design degree in 1973.
After graduating, he partnered with two fellow Art Center students – Margo Nahas and his brother Jay – and, together, they launched the Vigon Nahas Vigon Studio, where Larry served as joint creative director, art director, designer, illustrator and typographer. For the next seven years – through 1980 – this studio team worked on scores of album cover and single sleeve designs and also designed and art-directed a book for Lucas Film titled The Art of The Empire Strikes Back.
Looking to expand his portfolio to encompass the broader entertainment industry and the fashion industry, Larry started his own studio – the Larry Vigon Studio in the Hancock Park area in LA – in 1980 and for the next 16 years, he’d serve clients including the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, the Glen Williams fashion label, the United Paramount Network (UPN), photographer Helmut Newton (designing a limited-edition portfolio package) and album art for Eric Clapton, Ian Dury and the Blockheads and many others. During this time, Larry also shared his knowledge and experience with students as a teacher at his alma mater, the Art Center College of Design, now in Pasadena.
In 1996, Larry partnered with a talented copywriter/business development guru named David Ellis in a new design studio they set up in Studio City that was called VIGON ELLIS and began to work with clients in more corporate and diverse sectors such as IBM, Epson, Hewlett Packard, LAX Airport and ValleyCrest (the biggest landscaping company in America) and others while still remaining firmly established in the entertainment world, doing work for the Los Angeles Opera, UCLA Performing Arts, ESPN, Disney, Dreamworks and even designing the Broadway posters for slight-of-hand artist Ricky Jay’s shows (which were directed by David Mamet). Album covers produced in this period include projects for Carole King, Boney James, Jeff Lorber, Clint Black and others.
In 2006, after splitting with his partner due to philosophical differences, Larry worked solo out of his home studio where he soon received a call from Nutrilite – a $6 billion company that is the largest vitamin and nutritional supplement supplier in the world – who asked him to create a full graphics package for a new division within the company. Finishing the project seven months later, Larry and his wife then moved to Europe – first, to Italy for two-and-a-half years and then for ten years in London, where he worked on his own as Larry Vigon Studio. The diversity in the designer’s portfolio continued to grow…from one extreme, designing graphics for Nutrilite and, at the other end of the spectrum, designing and art-directing a special edition of psychiatrist Carl Jung’s Red Book, which was published in 2009 to great acclaim worldwide. Longing once more for the sun and surf of Southern California, Larry returned to the U.S. (Santa Barbara, CA) in 2019 and established his own studio there, where he continues to work today.
Larry has been the recipient of numerous industry awards and plaudits from the press, including a Gold Award for Editorial Design he received from the New York Art Directors Club; eight “Maggie” Awards for Editorial Art Direction and Design from the Western Publishing Association and, at an award ceremony at the United Nations in 1996, the Performing Arts International “Poster Of The Year” for work he did for UCLA.
His work on the book Dream: A Journal by Larry Vigon (published in 2006 by WW Norton in NY), which was based on his efforts to record – and then paint pictures of – every dream he could remember over the course of 17 years, became the subject of several articles, including two features in Graphis Magazine and one in the publication Psychological Perspectives and the book has been sold all over the world. In 2022, a limited-edition 2-book retrospective of Larry’s career as a designer, art director and painter was published (by Palman Publishing) titled Serious Play. In addition, his work on logos, marketing materials and album covers can be found in numerous books on these topics, such as The Ultimate Album Cover Album, The Art of the LP and Taschen’s Art Record Covers, to name just a few. Larry also works a fine artist where, over a period spanning four decades, he has painted both on commission and for exhibitions and has sold his art to collectors all over the world.
Larry has been happily married to his wife Sandra – a native of Britain and a psychoanalyst in private practice – for over 42 years. The couple met in L.A. while he was working on the Rumours album for Fleetwood Mac (she was Christine McVie’s room-mate and Peter Greene’s ex) and lived together there for many years before their moves to Italy, England and then back to coastal California.
To find more information on Larry and his work, please visit his web site at – http://www.larryvigon.com/about/
Klaus Voormann – Notable album cover work examples – The Beatles – Revolver and Anthology; The Bee Gees – Bee Gees 1st and Idea; Ringo Starr – Ringo; Spooky Tooth – You Broke My Heart, So I Busted Your Jaw
(b. April, 1938 in Berlin, Germany) One of six sons born to a physician father and raised in the suburbs of North Berlin, Voorman was exposed at a young age to the arts and literature (studying classical piano from age 8-15) and was enrolled to study commercial art at the Master School of Visual Business in Berlin, transferring to the Master School of Design in Hamburg to continue his schooling. Prior to graduation, he moved to Dusseldorf to begin his career in the graphic arts, doing freelance work for magazine, art and fashion clients. He returned to Hamburg in 1960 and, while attending a show at the Kaiserkeller Club, he met an early iteration of The Beatles (John, Paul, George, Stuart and Pete). Impressed with the music he heard, the next night he brought two of his friends – Astrid Kirchherr and Jurgen Vollmer – to enjoy the band’s music. They became regulars there and, a short while later, introduced themselves to the band, with whom they became friendly with. Klaus was invited by his new friends George and Ringo (who’d replaced Pete Best in the band) to visit them in London and he took them up on their invitation, staying with them in London while looking for work as a commercial artist and picking up a bass guitar, hoping to join a rock band himself at some point.
Finding work at a London ad agency, Klaus was soon invited back to Hamburg to join a rock band there and, while on the road touring England with the band (named Paddy, Klaus & Gibson), he met band manager Brian Epstein after a performance at the Pickwick Club in London, who signed the band to his roster. The band would become his principal focus until 1965, when John Lennon called him to see if he’d be available to produce a design for the next Beatles record. He accepted the commission and created an image that combined his black and white line drawings of the band members with a series of small photographs. The resulting work was well-received by his new clients (Brian Epstein thought that it was so beautiful that he cried) and it went on to grace the cover of the now-classic record Revolver. The album was also a tour-de-force for the band and the cover so well represented the change in direction in popular music inspired by the record that it won the Grammy Award in 1966 for “Best Album Cover” (the first non-photographic cover to ever win the honor).
Klaus stayed busy in the music world from 1966 through the end of the decade, playing bass (and producing records for) the Manfred Mann band and Yoko Ono’s Plastic Ono Band and then joined George Harrison to perform on his 1970 solo recording All Things Must Pass and then join him on stage during the Concert for Bangladesh in New York in 1971. This concert began the rock music industry’s penchant for producing concerts in support of humanitarian causes and continues to raise money for the relief organization it supports to this day.
In 1973, Klaus moved from the UK to Los Angeles and began a string of session gigs with the top pop artists of the day, playing on a number of records for various ex-Beatles, Harry Nilsson, Carly Simon, Randy Newman, Leon Russell, Peter Frampton, The Band and many others. He can also be seen in two films – Son of Dracula and Popeye – which both featured tunes by Nilsson. Returning to Germany in 1980, he began to apply his talents to A&R efforts – discovering and promoting new talent – but was drawn back to the graphic arts in the early 1990s, beginning with work on a book about the early days of The Beatles with old friend Astrid Kirchherr. This book would feature Voorman’s paintings of his (and Astrid’s and Paul McCartney’s) recollections of the events that took place in Hamburg in the early 1960s and was titled Hamburg Days. In 1996, Apple Records commissioned Klaus to create the wonderful collage-style painted images that would be used on the covers of the three records in The Beatles Anthology series (a bit of trivia – the three covers are actually segments of one large painting – lay the three side-by-side – you’ll see!).
Today, Voorman lives with his family near Munich and continues to produce compelling art and designs for a variety of projects. Limited-edition versions of Hamburg Days book, as well as fine art prints of some of the paintings he created for the book, are available from Genesis Publications. He’s also crafted a customized VW Beetle featuring imagery from The Beatles’ Revolver record – it’s a beauty!
More information available at – http://www.voormann.com
Paul Wakefield – Notable album cover credits include – Supertramp – Crime of the Century and Crisis? What Crisis?; Siouxie and the Banshees – The Scream; Vangelis – Heaven & Hell; City Boy – Dinner at the Ritz; Ian Gillan – Child In Time; Jack Lancaster & Robin Lumley – Marscape; Sally Oldfield – Water Bearer; No Dice – No Dice
(b. 1949 in Hong Kong, China). After his term in a Japanese POW camp during World War 2, Paul’s father took on a position in the Hong Kong government, with son Paul being born several years later. He was schooled there until the age of 14, when he moved back to his family’s native U.K. to attend boarding school there. His first exposure to photography came at the age of 12 when, with his father’s Zeiss camera, he took photos of a troop of monkeys he saw often near his home (the photos were not good, he admits). As nature and wildlife were his main interests at the time, he tried again by shooting photos of the caged birds at the Botanical Gardens. These, too, were not good, but he was intrigued with the possibilities and felt that he could, with practice, overcome his lack of technical skill with a camera.
When he arrived at his U.K. boarding school, he spent a lot of time looking at the photography found in magazines such as Life and National Geographic, trying to decode the secrets of the photos that impressed him and, after spending the next five years “within a system of mindless authority” (i.e., his boarding school), he found himself making the decision to focus all of his attention on learning what he needed to pursue his passion for beautiful imagery and headed for Art school. He spent a year – 1969-70 – doing a general “foundation course” at the Bournemouth & Poole College of Art, and then the next 3 years in photography courses at the Birmingham College of Art, graduating with a BA in Photography in 1973.
During his final year in school, Paul moved to London and began knocking on doors at publishing companies, looking to get freelance jobs. Armed with those commissions, he’d bring that work back to the studios at his school, working on them during the week. He’s been a freelancer ever since, spending the first nine years of his professional career bringing his slightly-surreal approach to photography to his work for clients in the publishing, music and design industries, with his first record cover being the image for Supertramp’s hit 1974 studio LP, Crime of the Century.
In 1978, Paul’s love of Nature and landscapes was rekindled when he went to photograph singer Sally Oldfield near a waterfall in Wales for her debut record titled Water Bearer. He continued to photograph the beautiful Welsh landscape and those photos served as the basis for his first book with British historian and writer Jan Morris, Wales: The First Place, published in 1982. This was also about the time that he expanded his practice to include photographing for advertising agencies, which he continues to do today, with his portfolio growing to include work for clients such as Absolut Vodka, Aigle Clothing, Audi, Bank of America, Barclays Bank, BMW, Glenfiddich, Harley-Davidson, Jameson, Mercedez-Benz, New Balance, Smirnoff, Philipe Stark, Ritz-Carlton Hotels, Toyota, Volkswagen and many others.
His photos have been featured in several more books, including Britain: A World By Itself (first published in 1984); Scotland: The Place of Visions (with Jan Morris) 1986; Ireland: Your Only Place (with Jan Morris) 1988 and his latest, titled The Landscape, published in 2014 with a foreword by Robert Macfarlane and an intro by Andrew Wilton.
His work has been included in both solo and group exhibitions throughout the U.K., the U.S. and Japan, including shows at the Zelda Cheatle Gallery in London, London’s Maritime Museum, the Kodak Gallery in Tokyo, the Hendershot Gallery in NYC and the Redfern Gallery in London.
Throughout his career, Wakefield has been honored with a series of notable awards, including a D&AD Silver award in 1990 for his work for Dunlop Tires; Association of Photographers (AOP) Gold and Silver Awards in 1997 and 1998; Communication Arts awards in 1998, 2004 and 2005; a 2008 Grand Prix de L’APPM & 1st Prix Club de Directuers Arte for an Aigle Clothing campaign; a Creativity International Awards Silver for his campaign for Air Mauritius and, most-recently, the 2014 International Photography Award in the “Nature Books” category for his book The Landscape.
Paul now sells his fine-art photographic prints through The Redfern Gallery in London. More on this artist can be found on his web site at http://www.paulwakefield.co.uk
Andy Warhol – Notable album cover work examples – Rolling Stones – Sticky Fingers and Love You Live; Velvet Underground – Velvet Underground & Nico; John Lennon – Menlove Ave., Diana Ross – Silk Electric
(b. August, 1928 in Pittsburgh, PA – d. February, 1987) Born Andrew Warhola, the youngest of three sons of Carpatho-Rusyn immigrants, laborer Andrej and his wife, Julia Warhola. Finding talent in drawing early on, he took advantage of free art classes offered at Carnegie Institute and, a fan of films and photography, enjoyed using his camera and developing his photos in his basement. After high school, he attended Carnegie Institute of Technology (working in the display department of a local department store) and earned his BFA in Pictorial Design in 1949, moving after graduation to New York City with hopes of finding work as a commercial illustrator and, soon after his arrival, finding success when the first of his works appeared in Glamour magazine in late 1949. His unique illustration stylings caught the attention of many clients and his career in the field grew quickly throughout the 1950s.
Beginning in the late 1950s, Warhol began to devote his time to creating works that would ultimately establish him as the first “King of Pop” (paintings). These images, first published in 1961, were based on popular images from comic books, advertising and celebrity portraits. He then expanded the range of his productions to include films, sculptures and a travelling multimedia extravaganza called The Exploding Plastic Inevitable, which featured the music of The Velvet Underground and Nico (who he produced his iconic yellow banana album cover for). His silver-painted studio, dubbed “The Factory”, became a place where the “it” people from the local music and arts scene would come to meet and party. Adding to his enormous output at the end of the 1960s, he published an art design book in 1967 titled Andy Warhol’s Index (Book) and then co-founded the pop culture magazine Interview in 1969.
He continued to publish a series of books throughout the 70’s and 80s and, taking advantage of the relationships he enjoyed with the cream of the NYC social scene (including Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Truman Capote, Liza Minnelli and others), took on a series of commissions to paint hundreds of celebrity portraits. He also collaborated with, and promoted the works of, a series of talented young artists, including Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, and produced television shows, music videos and other projects for local and national distribution outlets. An unmistakable presence, he also found time to model in ads in print and on television.
His final two collections of works included a series of paintings taking off on DaVinci’s Last Supper and an exhibition called Sewn Photos. The shows – one in Milan and the other in NYC – both opened in January, 1987, shortly before his death. In 2008, author Paul Marechal published a compendium featuring the artwork and stories behind the 50 album covers – for early jazz clients, rock bands and solo performers from many genres of music – that Warhol produced during his career in a book titled Andy Warhol: The Album Covers 1949 – 1987.
More information is available at http://www.warhol.org/collection/aboutandy/biography/#ixzz2EIwqNNsc
Jim Warren – Notable album cover credits include – Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band – Against The Wind; Alice Cooper – Raise Your Fist And Yell; Billy Cobham/George Duke Band – Live On Tour In Europe; Prince – Around The World In A Day
(b. November, 1949 – Los Angeles, CA) Born and raised in Southern California, Jim began showing some artistic talent at the age of two and continued drawing all through his school-age years. According to Jim, while in high school he “considered all the usual career choices – whether to be an artist, a magician or a rock star” – but it wasn’t until 1967 that he decided to be an artist, a “Rich and Famous” one, at that. He made this decision in spite of the fact that he’d flunked the only art class he’d taken in high school due to his tendency of not doing the assignments he’d been given. Instead, he’d draw pretend album covers in both his art class and while at home, “so it was a big dream to actually be able to paint one someday and see it in a record store”.
As a self-taught artist, inspired by a wide range of master painters such as Dali, Rockwell and Rembrandt, Jim worked using only traditional painting techniques – using oil paints on stretched canvases – and began his career as a fine artist in the early 1970s, exhibiting (and winning awards) at outdoor art fairs throughout California. It was sometime later, during the 1980s, that Jim finally chose to pursue his dream of producing artwork for magazines, movie posters, book covers (including several for the British playwright, novelist and visual artist Clive Barker) and, of course, album covers, landing commissions to produce memorable images for clients such as Alice Cooper, Prince and Bob Seger, with his cover for Seger’s top-selling 1980 studio album with the Silver Bullet Band – Against The Wind – garnering Jim a Grammy Award in 1981 for “Best Album Package” (the original now is in the collection of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, donated by Seger after his induction into the Hall in 2010).
As his career continued, Jim began to focus his attention on environmental issues, with an image he created titled “Earth: Love It or Lose It” finding its way onto t-shirts, posters, billboards and magazine articles that covered the “save the earth” movement globally. In the mid-1990s, Jim began to incorporate the images of celebrities and people he knew into a series of “personalized paintings, eventually leading to a relationship with Disney in 2004 in which Jim’s unique interpretations of Disney characters served as the basis of a series of fine art prints.
In 2009, as part of the ongoing “Fame Wall” projects found in New York, Hollywood and London (www.fame-wall.com ), Jim began to contribute portraits he’d painted of actors, musicians and other celebrities (from Kristen Chenoweth, Chaka Khan and The Beach Boys to Alfred Hitchcock, Kelsey Grammar and Brooke Shields, among others), a project he continues to work on regularly. Since that time, Warren has focused his efforts on producing fine art for galleries, taking on the occasional commercial illustration project when he’s approached with something that interests and inspires him.
Jim’s advice to aspiring painters – “To hell with the rules…paint what you like.”
John Warwicker – notable album cover credits include – Prince Charles & The City Beat Band – Combat Zone; Shriek Back – Oil & Gold; Warwicker – Lover Speaks – The Lover Speaks; Chris de Burgh – Into The Light; The Police – Every Breath You Take: The Singles; Sting – Bring On The Night; Suzanne Vega – Solitude Standing; The Rolling Stones – Steel Wheels and The Singles: 1971 – 2006; Duran Duran – Astronaut; Underworld – Oblivion With Bells, Athens, Barking and 1992-2012
More information on this artist is available on his web sites – http://www.johnwarwicker.com/dubnobasswithmyheadman-singles/ and http://www.johnwarwicker.com/read-me/
Albert Watson – Notable album cover credits include – Jay-Z – The Blueprints 2: The Gift and the Curse; Mason Profit – Come and Gone (Grammy Award, 1975); Diana Ross – Diana Extended and One Woman: The Ultimate Collection; Sade – Love Deluxe, Lovers Rock and Greatest Hits; Mary J. Blige – Mary and Ballads; Jennifer Lopez – The Reel Me; P.M. Dawn – Jesus Wept; Geronimo Black – Geronimo Black; Carly Simon – The Best of Carly Simon; Faith Evans – Keep The Faith; Michael Jackson – Invincible; LL Cool J – All The World: Greatest Hits; Haerts – Haerts; Aaliyah – Aaliyah
(b. 1942 in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK) Born in Scotland and raised in Penicuik, Midlothian, a town SW of the city, Albert’s technical training in the arts took place first at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design (up the East Coast, in Dundee) where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in graphic design and then at the Royal College of Art in London, where his focus was on film and television. Born blind in one eye, he nevertheless enrolled in photography classes as well and, in 1970, moved to Los Angeles, where his wife had accepted a teaching job and he began his search for work as a photographer. Within a year’s time, he’d sold a couple of images to Max Factor and drew attention to his talents behind the lens.
Watson opened his own photo studio in L.A. in 1974 and travelled between the coasts frequently on fashion magazine assignments for clients including GQ, Mademoiselle and Harper’s Bazaar magazines (his 1973 portrait of film director Alfred Hitchcock launched his career as one of the most sought-after celebrity portaitists). A portrait of an Indian Chief he’d taken was selected for use on the cover of Chicago folk band Mason Proffit’s 1974 double LP compilation titled Come And Gone and won him the Grammy Award for “Best Album Cover” the next year. In 1976, he landed a gig at Vogue magazine, which brought him to NYC to stay.
Since that time, Watson’s photos have been featured on over 250 covers for Vogue and its international editions. His celebrity photos have appeared in Arena, Esquire, Interview, Max, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Stern, Time, Vibe and others, while his list of clients in the advertising world includes companies such as Acura, Armani, Chanel, Clairol, Escada, Estee Lauder, Gap, Lancome, Levis, L’Oreal, Max Factor, Revlon, Sony Music, Toyota and many more. He found more work in the entertainment world producing photos for dozens of films/film promo posters, including The DaVinci Code, Flashdance, Kill Bill, Memoirs of a Geisha and others and further applied his film and TV production training by directing more than 650 TV commercials. Additionally, Watson has served as the official Royal Photographer for Prince Andrew’s wedding to Sarah Ferguson and for His Majesty Mohammed VI of Morocco.
In addition to his busy commercial schedule, Albert has spent much of his “free” time working on projects based on his travels around the world. These images, along with his portraits of celebrities from all aspects of the entertainment, sports and political worlds, have been featured in a number of museum and gallery shows, including exhibitions at the National Portrait Gallery in London, the City Art Centre in Edinburgh, the Museum of Modern Art in Milan, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the International Center of Photography in New York City and others and are included in the permanent collections at the NPG and the Met.
Watson has been honored many times throughout his career, receiving (in addition to the aforementioned Grammy Award) the Hasselblad Masters Award in 2004, a 2006 Lucie Award for his achievements in advertising and three ANDY Awards from The Advertising Club for global creativity in advertising. In 2006, Watson was inducted into the Scottish Fashion Awards Hall of Fame and, In 2010, he was awarded The Royal Photographic Society’s Centenary Medal and Honorary Fellowship and Graphis presented him with a Platinum Award in 2012 for being one of the “100 Best In Photography”.
The influential Photo District News magazine named Albert one of the 20 most influential photographers of all time in 2004, and he has received honorary degrees from the University of Dundee and Napier University in Edinburgh.
Books featuring Albert’s work include Cyclops: Albert Watson (1994), Albert Watson: Maroc (1998), Albert Watson: The Vienna Album (2005), Albert Watson: Phaidon 55s (2007), UFO: Albert Watson (a 2010 book of his fashion photos) and a 2010 2-volume set of his photos taken in and near Las Vegas titled Strip Search.
More information on this artist can be found on his web site at http://www.albertwatson.com/
Lawrence Watson – notable album package credits include – John Martyn – And; David Gray – This Year’s Love; Paul Weller – Studio 150 and More Modern Classic, Vol. 2; Ray Davies – Collected and Other People’s Lives; Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – AKA…What A Life! And Back The Way We Came: Vol. 1 2011 – 2021; Feeder – Pushing The Senses; Ocean Colour Scene – The Collection; The Smiths – The World Won’t Listen; The Style Council – Confessions of a Pop Group; Pet Shop Boys – Discography;
(b. 1963 in Hammersmith, London, U.K.) In 1979, 16-year-old Lawrence left school to follow his dream to be a commercial photographer, landing a job as an apprentice in a commercial photographic darkroom on Old Street in one of central London’s creative havens. He then graduated to a darkroom at ITV’s London Weekend Television programming unit and used his free time/access to equipment to develop his own portfolio of work. In the early 1980s, he took on assignments at the popular and influential NME/New Musical Express publication, who sent him to New York City to cover the emerging hip-hop scene there, capturing rising acts such as the Beastie Boys, Eric B & Rakim, LL Cool J, Public Enemy and Run-DMC. Back in the UK, he contributed memorable shots of 80s – 90s superstars such as David Bowie, Erasure, Eurythmics, Jesus & Mary Chain, Morrissey, Oasis, New Order, Pet Shop Boys, Pulp, U2 and Paul Weller while still adding more shots of R&B/dance/hip-hop artists such as Neneh Cherry, George Clinton, Grace Jones, Isaac Hayes, Snoop Dogg and many others. The relationships he developed with many of these artists have lasted to this day, with Watson working as the preferred photographer for Style Council’s Paul Weller and Oasis co-founder Noel Gallagher.
Books featuring Watson’s work include the 2009 career retrospective release The World Is Yours, the limited-edition 2015 book for Genesis Publishing that was based on his 20+ year portfolio of inages of Paul Weller titled Into Tomorrow, and the 2020 book by author Chris Heath titled Pet Shop Boys, Literally. There have been several exhibitions featuring his work and, in 2021, as part of the Soho Music Month celebrations, there was an exhibition in Newburgh Quarter that showcased Watson’s work as an in-demand music photographer.
More information on this artist is available on his web site at https://lawrencewatsonphotography.com/
Guy Webster – Notable album cover work includes – The Mamas & The Papas – If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears; The Rolling Stones – Big Hits and Flowers; The Turtles – Greatest Hits; Paul Revere & The Raiders – Just Like Us; Simon & Garfunkel – Sounds of Silence; KC & The Sunshine Band – The Painter
(b. 1940 – d. Feb., 2019) The son of an Oscar and Grammy-winning songwriter (Paul Francis Webster, who won a Grammy in 1966 for “The Shadow of Your Smile”) and an enterprising teenager, Guy Webster went to Fox studios (where his father worked) and, without any real experience, talked himself into a job as a hand in the electrical department. When he was drafted into the Army as a conscientious objector, he was given a range of non-combat jobs (e.g., decorating base Christmas trees) until, one day, they told him that they needed someone to teach troops in the photography department how to develop and print photographs. Telling his superiors that he was “perfect” for the job, he went home that evening and poured through books on photography, learning enough to take on the teaching the subject. It was his first job as a professional photographer!
After the Army, Webster enrolled in art school and, when asked by a friend who happened to be a record producer for help shoot a cover for a recording of a song he’d written (“Three Window Coupe”, by the Rip Chords), he was happy to do it as it was a way to meet this particular girl he’d had his eye on (who they hired to appear in the photo). Soon after, he was introduced to Lou Adler (the “A” in A&M Records), who needed someone to photograph his wife, actress Shelley Fabares. Happy with the results, Adler hired Guy to produce the cover images for the new record label he was launching – Dunhill Records. His first assignment was to shoot Barry McGuire for the cover for a new single titled “Eve of Destruction”. While the label could, at that point, only afford to do the cover in black and white, the song turned out to be a huge hit, boosting both the label’s fortunes and Webster’s visibility as a photographer.
The next record he did the cover for was the (in)famous “everyone in the bathtub, near the toilet” cover for The Mamas & The Papa’s If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears. In spite of the fact that the cover was nearly banned (no toilets on record covers, it seemed), a clever sticker placement on the plastic wrap allowed sales to go on and the album hit #1 on the album sales charts. Adler then asked Webster to join his team working on the Monterey Pop Festival, using his photos of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin & Big Brother and others to illustrate the festival’s booklet.
From that point on, Guy became one of the most in-demand photographers in the music business, with his list of music subjects including The Byrds, The Doors, Chicago, The Rolling Stones, Simon & Garfunkel and many others. He expanded his range of subjects to include celebrities in all walks of life, from stars of the stage and screen (Candice Bergen, Rita Hayworth, Jack Nicholson, Barbra Streisand, Natalie Wood), classical artists including Igor Stravinski and Zubin Mehta, writers, athletes and Presidents Reagan and Clinton.
After 50+ years as a photographer for entertainment industry and publishing clients, Webster was still shooting in his studio in Venice, California. His works have been included in numerous exhibition both in the U.S. and internationally, including the successful “Who Shot Rock & Roll” show and one in 2011 at the Museum of Ventura County (CA) that featured both his photo portfolio and examples from his huge collection of exotic and vintage motorcycles. When not with his family, Guy split his time between his studio and his private motorcycle museum located in Ojai, CA.
Mr. Webster died in February, 2019 after suffering from diabetes and liver cancer. He was 79 years old.
For more information on this artist, please visit http://www.guywebster.com
Kirk Weddle – Notable album cover credits include – Nirvana – Nevermind; Weird Al Yankovic – Off The Deep End and Greatest Hits, Vol. 2
After being injured during a stint in the military while in his late teens, Weddle took advantage of his government benefits to return to school to earn his BFA degree in Photography from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA in 1985. He trained early on in aquatic photography and has specialized in this style of photography as the owner of his own photography studio ever since.
According to his web site, Kirk “specializes in portrait photography for advertising, design, editorial and corporate clients around the world.” That list includes publications such as GQ, Maxim, Rolling Stone and Time magazines along with corporate clients such as Coca-Cola, DGC and Geffen Records, Microsoft and Toshiba. As of the date of this document, Kirk Weddle Photography is based in Austin, Texas.
To learn more about this artist, please visit his website at http://www.kirkweddle.com/
Mark Weiss – notable album cover credits include – Twisted Sister – Stay Hungry; Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet and One Wild Night Live; 38 Special – Live At Sturgis; Dokken – Erase The Slate; Christina Aguilera – Mi Reflejo; Van Halen – Live Without A Net (DVD); Cinderella – Heartbreak Station and Gold
(b. 1959 – New Jersey, USA) Making his first investment towards his career as a photographer, 14-year-old Mark Weiss bartered some manual labor mowing lawns for his first camera and converted his family bathroom into his darkroom. Later that year, he began sneaking his camera into local rock concerts, maneuvering himself up towards the front row so that he could best-capture close-ups of his favorite musical acts while they performed. Pleased with the results of his efforts, he embarked on his first professional enterprise – selling his photos of acts including David Bowie, Led Zeppelin and Queen to fans outside his favorite venues. In 1977, after an extended stint by KISS at Madison Square Garden in New York City, the young Mr. Weiss was attempting to sell his photos from the event outside the venue when he was arrested for bootlegging, leading him to believe that the next best step for him in his career would be as a paid professional.
After his release from his night in prison, Mark took his portfolio and headed straight to the offices of Circus Magazine and introduced himself to the art director there. In 1978, a photo he’d taken of Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler became his first published work in the magazine and he then joined their staff as a photographer, responsible for shots for the magazine’s features and covers. As a self-professed “super fan” of his subjects (in particular, the hard rock, metal and glam bands so popular at the time), he built strong relationships with his subjects, their managers and the record labels and earned the nick-name “Weissguy” for his ability to show the bands from a fan’s perspective.
By the end of the 1980s, Mark’s photos were featured in a number of influential rock magazines including Circus, Creem, Hit Parader, Rock Scene and Rolling Stone. Expanding his subject list to include celebrities in all walks of life, Mark was also on hand when MTV launched in 1981, serving as their principal in-studio photographer and capturing shots from a series of iconic in-studio performances and interviews. He was also an in-demand photographer for album cover shots, beginning with his well-known image of Twisted Sister’s Dee Snyder holding a bone on the cover of their 1984 release Stay Hungry (a cover featured prominently in the PMRC’s case against violent song lyrics and imagery, during which Snyder eloquently defended himself against the ridiculous questions of the prudish Committee members) and adding many others to his portfolio thereafter.
Mark went on to become the official photographer for the Moscow Peace festival in 1989 and he continues to work with long-established clients including Aerosmith, KISS, Guns N Roses and Ozzy while adding a number of current musical acts such as Christina Aguilera, Black Eyed Peas, Rihanna, Gwen Sefani, Justin Timberlake and Usher, just to name a few. More recently, a selection of Mark’s images were used to line the walls at the Helen Hayes Theater in NYC for the hit Broadway hit musical Rock of Ages. He also is involved with many charitable and educational organizations where he donates his time and resources to teach young and at-risk youth more about the opportunities available to photographers. Here’s a link to a video of him in action – http://www.app.com/videonetwork/2287234136001/IN-OUR-CLASSROOMS-OCVTS-photographers-learn-from-the-pros
Mark’s work has been included in a variety of rock-related books, including Twisted Sister (1985, with Garry Bushell), 2008’s Time Flies When You’re In a Coma (with writer/producer Mike Daly), Bon Jovi’s When We Were Beautiful (2010) and Ozzy Osbourne’s 2011 autobiography titled I Am Ozzy. In 2020, Mark gathered hundreds of images and, in a 378-page book titled The Decade That Rocked, shared the stories behind many of those notable photos.
In June, 2009, an exhibition of his work took place at The Boogie Nights Rock & Pop Art Gallery at the Resorts Atlantic City Casino which included many of his portraits, concert shots, album cover images and and out-takes from the photo sessions for Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet. More recently, in June, 2012, the RockPaperPhoto Gallery teamed up with Def Leppard guitarist/guest curator Phil Collen to stage an exhibit built around Weiss’s 80’s portfolio titled The Decade That Rocked The Ages – Through the Eyes of Mark ‘Weissguy’ Weiss.
For more information on this artist, please visit his web site at www.WEISSGUYgallery.com
Dawud West – notable album cover credits include – DJ Clue? – The Professional and The Professional. Part 2; Jay-Z – The Dynasty: Roc La Familia 2000; Irv Gotti – Irv Gotti Presents: The Inc.; Young Gunz – Tough Love and Brother From Another; Ghostface Killah – The Pretty Toney Album and Fishscale; Method Man – 4:21…The Day After; Redman – Red Gone Wild: Thee Album and Reggie; Nelly – M.O.; Big Sean – Hall of Fame; Rick Ross – Mastermind; Ludacris – Ludaversal; Tamia – Love Life; Sean Price – Song In The Key Of Price; Various Artists – Def Jam 30 (box set); Soundtracks – Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, Cradle 2 The Grave, Fast & Furious 6, Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas Album and Bring It On: Fight To The Finish
(b._____ in ________) After attending Tennesee State University, Dawud West worked primarily as a freelance designer before joining the team of talented individuals (including founders Cey Adams and Steve Carr) working as the in-house design team (known as “Drawing Board Graphic Design”) – in the late 1990s to provide creative services to clients of the label and others, including Bad Boy, Island, MCA, and Universal. When Drawing Board dissolved in 1999, West stayed on and accepted the position of Art Director and then Senior Art Director at Island Def Jam Record Group, where he stayed until mid-2007, except for a year (2004-05) where he’d taken on the same role at Atlantic Records before returning to complete his run at DJRG.
Wanting to expand his portfolio to clients outside the record business, in 2003 (“in his spare time”) West also launched his own studio called Darkness Brothers, Inc., and moved there permanently after his time at Def Jam. In addition to continuing to do work with labels and artists big and small (including Jay-Z, Method Man, Beanie Seigel and others), he’s done work (logos, packaging, promo materials and advertising, etc. ) for a wide variety of consumer brands Bravado Merchandising, Burton Snowboards, Diageo, Fontana Distribution and its Sobe Entertainment subsidiary, among many others.
More information on this artist is available on his company’s promo site – http://cargocollective.com/Darknessbros
Or via its Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Darkness-Bros-Inc-359537656409/
Kevin Westenberg – Notable album cover credits include – Soundgarden – Superunknown, Down On The Upside and Pretty Noose; Bon Jovi – The Circle and Bounce; BB King – One Kind Favor; Luther Vandross – Luther Vandross; Mary J Blige – Share My World; Sting – Ten Summoner’s Tales; U2 – 7; Richard Ashcroft – Alone With Everybody; The Rapture – Echoes; The Divine Comedy – Fin De Secle and Casanova; Ozzy Osbourne – Under Cover; Supergrass – Diamond Hoo Ha; EMF – Stigma; Placebo – Black Market Music; Pixies – Bossanova and Death To The Pixies 1987-1991
(b. _____, USA) Shortly after receiving a Masters in Architecture degree, British punk fan Westenberg moved to London in 1983, where he’s been based ever since. A self-taught photographer (but, with a degree in architecture, most-certainly blessed with an innate sense of design and style), Kevin bought his first camera in Denmark and practiced his new art form covering the fashion scene in Europe, earning himself photo gigs with UK-based publications such as NME/New Musical Express and Melody Maker. For much of the late 1980s and early 1990s, he produced editorial images of the British music scene, with his leap into photo-making fame coming in 1993 and 1994 with his trend-setting cover shots for Sting’s Ten Summoner’s Tales and Mary J Blige’s Share My World.
A more-complete bio of this artist will be posted soon. In the meantime, please visit his Instagram site at https://www.instagram.com/kevinwestenberg/ if you’d like more information on his work.
Glen Wexler – Notable album cover credits include – Van Halen – Balance; Slaughter – Stick It To Ya and Stick It Live; Heaven & Earth – Dig; Black Sabbath – Reunion; Rush – Hold Your Fire: Missing Persons – Spring Session M and Late Nights, Early Days; Chaka Khan – Naughty; House of Lords – House of Lords, Sahara and Demons Down; Stir – Holy Dogs; Oslo – The Rise & Fall of Love & Hate; ZZ Top – Greatest Hits
(b. September, 1955 in Palm Springs, California) The son of noted mid-century architect, Donald Wexler FAIA, Glen studied fine art photography at Humboldt State University and then transferred to the Art Center College of Design, in Pasadena, California, where he was exposed to the works of leading advertising and fashion photographers, finding this type of work more interesting to him than what a fine art curriculum might provide. Ultimately, it was the music industry that provided the opportunities for innovation and experimentation to hone his vision and craft.
Wexler was interested in album cover art at a young age, with some of his early inspiration coming from the works of the Hipgnosis design firm, whose works graced the covers of many of Glen’s favorite records. He was intrigued by the way their work used photography in new and exciting ways, working to suspend the viewers’ disbelief in what they were seeing. When, at the age of 22, he was given an opportunity to work in the record industry, he left school and went full time into cover design.
Wexler’s first album cover assignment was for Blam! by The Brothers Johnson but, since then, he has been hired to work on images for many well-known musical acts, including rockers the Black Crowes, Black Sabbath, Boston, Peter Frampton, Kansas, KISS, Rush, Van Halen, Whitesnake, YES and ZZ Top, R&B and pop acts including Chaka Kahn and Michael Jackson, and jazz greats including Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock. In addition to his album cover projects, Wexler’s photographic projects include ad images, corporate logos, film titles and book covers for clients including Acura, Allstate, AT&T, Adobe Systems, Capital One, Coca-Cola, Dell, Ford Motor, Frito Lay, Master Card, Microsoft, Nike, Pepsi, Pfizer, P&G, Sony, Time Magazine, Toshiba, Toyota, Warner Bros. Pictures and Yahoo, among others. Introduced to digital imaging technology in 1987, Wexler was among the first artists to adopt this technology as a tool in his creative process and is now recognized as a worldwide leader in the use of these technologies.
In 1996, Wexler won first place at The Hollywood Reporter’s Key Art Awards for the film poster for Batman Forever and he received the “Photojournalism of the Year” award from the International Photography Awards in 2003. In 2004, he won first place Best of Photojournalism award from the National Press Photographers Association and a “200 Best Ad Photographers Worldwide” award from Lürzer’s Archives, while also receiving accolades from the Andy Awards, Beldings, Communication Arts, Graphis, Icon Awards and Photo District News. In 2003, he lectured about album cover work at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH, and his album cover artwork was featured at the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences’ “The Art Of Music” event in 2006.
Books that feature Glen’s photos include 2005′s 25:25 (limited-edition monograph) and The Secret Life of Cows, published in 2007 by PQ Publishers, with the latter book winning an award for best digital imaging book of 2007 from Shutterbug.
To learn more about Glen and see more of his work, please visit his websites at:
Robert Whitaker – Notable examples of album cover work – The Beatles – Revolver and Yesterday & Today (inc. the “Butcher Cover”); Cream – Disraeli Gears; Gerry & The Pacemakers – How Do You Like It and Ferry Across The Mersey; The Seekers – Seekers Seen In Green
(b. November, 1939 U.K.; d. September, 2011) Born in the UK, Robert began his career in London in the late 1950s, but as both his father and grandfather were Australian, he had a strong designre to work in Australia and moved to Melbourne in 1961 to continue his studies at the University of Melbourne and then start a small photo studio soon after.
In 1964, while The Beatles were in Australia to perform, Robert accompanied a journalist friend of his who was assigned to interview the band’s manager Brian Epstein and took some photos which were published along with the interview article. Impressed with the composition of the photos he’d seen, Epstein contacted Whitaker and invited him to first photograph the band while they were in Australia and, soon after, offered him a staff photographer position at NEMS Enterprises (Epstein’s company), moving to the UK to shoot all of the label’s artists. While Robert was not eager to return to England, he was so impressed with the excitement surrounding the band (“I was overwhelmed by all the screaming fans”) that, in August, 1964, he accepted the offer and immediately after his arrival began shooting NEMS artists including Cilla Black, The Cyrkle, Gerry & The Pacemakers, Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas and The Seekers.
However, it was his photos of The Beatles that became his best-known and most-iconic work. His assignments included touring with the band during their 1965 American tour (which included the historic concert at NY’s Shea Stadium) and then travelling with the band, photographing all aspects of their professional and personal lives – and producing their formal portrait sittings – for the next two years. One of his best-known images from this period is the original cover he shot for the band’s 1966 release titled Yesterday and Today. Taking style cues from German Surrealist imagery, the photo showed the Fab Four (three sitting, and George standing) wearing white coats and covered with slabs of meat, sets of false teeth and body parts from dismembered baby dolls. Known today as “The Butcher Cover”, the original U.S. shipments were immediately returned to their distributors and a second, much-less-bloody image was used on subsequent shipments. A large number of the original records were re-packaged by simply gluing the new cover slick over the old, and in-tact examples of the original and repackaged records are amongst the most-prized Beatles collectibles, with some mint copies selling at auction for many thousands of dollars (over the years, Whitaker has battled with the Beatles’ Apple Corps for the rights to his “butcher” photographs and has withheld the use of many of his other images from them in what seems to be a stand-off).
After retiring from photography in the early 1970s to work on his farm in Sussex and in 1991 published his first book of photographs titled The Unseen Beatles. His works have been exhibited in museum and gallery shows in Australia (in 1997 at Melbourne’s Gallery 101), Washington D.C. (in 2002) and at a 40-year retrospective show staged in late 2002 at the Monash Gallery of Art back in Melbourne. More information is available at – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Whitaker_(photographer)
Charles E. White III (Charlie) – notable album cover credits include – Chuck Berry – Chuck Berry’s Golden Decade; The Tramps – Disco Inferno; Cheech & Chong – Up In Smoke and Let’s Make A New Dope Deal; The Who/London Symphony Orchestra – Tommy; Chubby Checker – Greatest Hits; Gentle Giant – Octopus; Styx – Paradise Theater
(b. 1940 in San Diego, CA, USA – d. March, 2022) – Born in So. California, Charlie enrolled at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles in 1960 and began his career in design and illustration in 1964, excelling with an air brush. Although he hadn’t set out to become an album art designer, he entered the field after the noted Warner Brothers Records art director Ed Thrasher asked him to create the album artwork for the 1965 Frank Sinatra: A Man and his Music double LP set (which went on to win the Grammy Award in 1967 for “Album of the Year”). As Charlie put it – “I never went after album cover art jobs…at that time, the fees were very low and I was having a ball in other areas but my first album cover for Frank Sinatra was done for Ed Thrasher of Warner Records, one of the top AD’s of his time”.
In addition to serving as an artist/illustrator working in the art department for the seminal films Star Wars and Heavy Metal, White partnered with fellow illustrator David Willardson in the 80’s and their studio “did a ton of albums for A&M Records”, with White serving as the art director. Charlie spent from 1992 to 2010 “working on major immersive projects” and, in 2011, curated (along with Mr. Berman and Mr. Willardson) a major art show in Santa Monica at the Robert Berman Gallery titled PAID TO PLAY, Illustrating Los Angeles: 1945 – 1985 – which provided attendees with “an overview of the oft overlooked Southern California artists rooted in illustration, commissioned to create imagery for record albums, magazines and advertisements”. His works were featured in many books, including Overspray, Air Powered, Hot Air, Radio Eyes and several album cover tomes and included in exhibitions at the Smithsonian, MOMA and De Young museums.
More information on this artist is available at http://www.olioinc.net/ and on the Grammy.com web site at https://www.grammy.com/grammys/artists/charles-e-white-iii
Paul Whitehead – Notable album cover credits include – Genesis – Trespass, Nursery Cryme and Foxtrot; Van der Graaf Generator – Pawn Hearts and 68-71; Le Orme – Elementi and L’Infinito; Charisma Records – “Mad Hatter” logo; Peter Hammill – Fool’s Mate; Redbone – Cycles; Renaissance – First & Illusion; Shaun Guerin – By The Dark of the Light and Archives; The Timedivers – Timedivers; Barock Project – Skyline
(b. 1945 – Dartford, U.K.) Best-known as the artist that painted the record covers for Genesis and Van der Graaf Generator in the 70’s. According to Paul, choosing “artist” as your job description “is rather like giving yourself permission to spend your life creating and approaching life as it comes to you – as an artist”.
His education came in London in the 60’s, a time of great change, vitality and immense creativity. He designed his first record cover in 1967 for Fats Domino and became an in-house designer for Liberty Records in London. Shortly thereafter, he became the original Art Director for Time Out magazine in London, an entertainment guide to everything going on in “Swinging London”. Naturally, every band – both the up and coming hopefuls and the already successful – came through their doors to place an ad or seeking a review of their latest LP. His design skills were often called on and he soon met Genesis through their producer.
The results were Trespass, Nursery Cryme & Foxtrot – great examples of the successful collaboration between artist and musician, as they created the music and he made original paintings that reflected exactly the contents of the records.
Other bands on Charisma that he worked with included Van der Graaf Generator, Peter Hammill on his solo projects, Lindisfarne & Trevor Bilmus. Quickly becoming known as “the painter and designer who worked with rock bands”, this lead to further collaborations with Renaissance, IF, High Tide, Mott the Hoople, Matthews Southern Comfort, Colin Scott & Steamhammer .
Afterwards, he emigrated to the United States and finally settled in Los Angeles, where he continues to create paintings for record covers and immediately worked with Tom Fogarty and Le Orme, who came to L.A. to make Smogmagica. Most of the record cover work he’s done has been for Progressive Rock bands, although he’s made record covers for everything from R&B & New Age to Funk.
Record cover work is, however, only a part of Paul’s work as an artist. For example, did you know that he’s in the Guinness Book of World Records for painting the largest mural in the world (the spacey “The Sky’s The Limit” artwork which graced the side of the Vegas World Hotel), or that he conceived and organized the Eyes & Ears Billboard Art Show, which was the first “Drive Though Art Gallery” in – where else – Los Angeles? He’s also designed many corporate logos and worked for three years as the creative services director at The Universal Studios Theme Park in L.A.
More on Paul is available at his web site – http://www.paulwhitehead.com/
Mason Williams – notable album cover credits include – Mason Williams & The Santa Fe Recital – Fresh Fish; Mason Williams – Handmade, Sharepickers and Music (w/Ed Ruscha)
(b. August, 1938 in Abilene, TX) – Splitting his time as a youth between families in Oklahoma and Oregon, Mason was initially smitten with pop music as a teenager, singing along with music on the radio, joining his school choir and forming his first group – an acapella quartet that called themselves The Imperials. After graduating in 1956, Williams and his lifelong chum – an artist named Ed Ruscha – moved to Los Angeles to attend college and dive deep into the music/club scene there. The happiness he found in music prompted him to drop his math major and look for ways to make a living in the music business.
After moving back to Oklahoma City to study the piano (and flute and the double bass), Mason supported himself by working evenings in a record store. Buying his first guitar in 1958, he then met several fellow musicians who joined him in various folk groups, leading to the writing of his first songs and recording of his first two albums in 1960. Over the next several years, Mason continued to play and learn new instruments until he was called to serve in the U.S. Navy in 1961, moving him to the San Diego, CA area, where he “sailored during the day”, played local clubs at night and, in 1962, releasing his first guitar/banjo instrumental album. Mason left the Navy in late 1963, hoping to re-start his education, but again his love for music got in the way again and, in 1964, he moved back to LA to room with his old chum Ed Ruscha, playing local clubs and landing his first song-writing gigs, delivering songs for Glenn Yarbrough and The Kingston Trio, among others. One song – the kinda goofy “Them Poems” – was a hit for the Kingston Trio and rewarded Mason with a new record contract and opportunities to play with other talented musicians. In December, 1964, Mason published a collection of poems, lyrics and photos in a book called Bicyclists Dismount, which caught the attention of The Smothers Brothers, who brought Williams on to write songs and back them on an album they were working on, launching what’s be a valuable relationship and, ultimately in 1966, a TV comedy writing gig on The Roger Miller Show on NBC.
From that point forward, Mason’s talents found him ongoing work in television writing (The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, Saturday Night Live and several other shows and specials), as a book author and conceptual fine artist and, of course, as a musician. In late 1967, Mason established himself as a musical artist with a world-wide following with the release of his first album for Warner Bros. Records (produced by Mike Post) called The Mason Williams Phonograph Record which contained the #1 single “Classical Gas”. The instrumental track won three Grammy Awards in 1968 and led (along with another hit easy-listening single, “Greensleeves”) to a slew of concert and club gigs, TV variety and talk show appearances. In 1970-71, the work he did on the covers for his fourth and fifth record albums on WB Records – Handmade and Sharepickers – brought Mason two additional Grammy Award nominations in the “Best Album Cover” category.
His career as an artist also received national/international recognition built on two late 1960s projects – a sky-written work called Sunflower and the display of a life-sized photo poster of a Greyhound bus titled Bus. Since that time, these and other works have been included in gallery, museum and public displays at institutions such as the Pasadena Art Museum, the New York Museum of Modern Art, the Norton Simon Museum, the Hammer Museum and many others.
All of this work kept him fully-engaged until a point in 1972 at which he decided he’d had enough of, as he puts it, “burning the candle at both ends” and escaped to rejuvenate himself by resotirng an old camper and travelling the West, settling ultimately in Santa Fe, NM, where he resolved to learn how to play a flat-picked guitar. Since then, he’s used his great talent and immense energy to remain engaged in a variety of musical and artistic activities (including a series of yearly “Christmas Holiday Pops” concerts with orchestras in central Oregon, where he now resides), winning accolades and making countless fans happy with his efforts.
In 1998, the BMI music licensing organization presented Williams with a special Citation of Achievement in recognition of Classical Gas having logged over three million air plays, making it the #1 all-time most-played instrumental track at the time.
More information on this artist can be found on his web site at http://www.masonwilliams-online.com/bio.html
Tom Wilkes – Notable album cover work includes – Flying Burrito Brothers – The Gilded Place of Sin and Burrito Deluxe; Janis Joplin – Pearl; George Harrison – Concert for Bangladesh; Neil Young – Harvest; The Carpenters – Close To You; London Symphony Orchestra – Tommy soundtrack; Spirit – The Family That Plays Together and Spirit; Poco – Rose of Cimmaron; REO Speedwagon – You Can Tune A Piano But You Can’t Tuna Fish; The Strawbs – Strawbs; The Rolling Stones – Flowers and Beggar’s Banquet; Joe Cocker – Mad Dogs & Englishmen and With A Little Help From My Friends; Eric Clapton – Eric Clapton; Barbra Streisand – Stoney End; Delaney & Bonnie – Home; Seals & Crofts – Greatest Hits; Dave Mason – Alone Together
(b. July, 1939; d. June, 2009) Born in Long Beach, California and raised in southern California, Wilkes attended Long Beach City College, UCLA and the Art Center College of Design in the 1950s and 1960s. While in college, he’d earn extra cash doing pin-striping work on custom cars. After school, Wilkes started his formal career in the arts with a small advertising agency in Long Beach, doing freelance work on the side. He began working inside the music industry after being introduced to photographer Guy Webster, joining him on a few projects and then, in 1967, he was approached by Lou Adler (manager of Jan & Dean, the Mamas & the Papas and Carole King) to develop the graphics and promo materials for what would be the first large-scale rock music festival – the Monterey Pop Festival held in June, 1967.
After impressing music industry executives with the graphics package he produced for the Festival (including a psychedelic poster printed on aluminum foil stock!), Wilkes was offered the Art Director position at A&M Records, which he accepted with the provision that he would still be able to do freelance work for some of his favorite clients. So, in addition to the covers he’d design for A&M acts including Herb Alpert, Phil Ochs and Sergio Mendes, he’d also produce great covers for George Harrison and The Rolling Stones. He left A&M in 1969 and, the next year, he partnered with photographer Barry Feinstein to create Camouflage Productions (creating, for example, the memorable packaging and materials for George Harrison’s Concert for Bangladesh and All Things Must Pass), splitting in 1973 to join with Craig Braun to form Wilkes & Braun, Inc.
While at Wilkes & Braun, Inc., the pair were awarded a Grammy Award in 1974 for “Best Recording Package” for their designs for the London Symphony Orchestra’s 1973 recording of the orchestral stage version of The Who’s Tommy. The partnership ended in 1974, with Tom moving on to serve as art director for ABC Records for the next two years until launching, in 1978, Tom Wilkes Productions, where he’d go on to produce a long list of designs and productions for print, radio, film and TV. Over the next 30 years, his design work would be featured on album covers for artists including Emmylou Harris, George Strait, Ringo Starr, Janis Joplin, Aretha Franklin and many others.
Also in 1978, Wilkes launched an organization called Project Interspeak, a not-for-profit environmental and human rights organization devoted to planetary enhancement programs. Married and divorced three times, Wilkes died in 2009 while fighting a form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease).
More information available at – http://www.wilkesworx.com/gallery.html
More info on Project Interspeak is available at http://www.wilkesworx.com/projint.html
Baron Wolman – Notable album cover credits include – Janis Joplin – Cheap Thrills (back cover), Super Hits, Collection and Live At Winterland ’68; Sun Ra – Antique Blacks; Tony Bennett – Sings His All-Time Hall Of Fame Hits; Chuck Berry – Gold and Anthology; Booker T. & The MGs – Essentials; Credence Clearwater Revival – Platinum and Absolute Originals
(b. June, 1937 – Bexley/Columbus, OH; d. November, 2020 – Santa Fe, NM) Growing up in the Columbus, OH area where his father ran a sheet metal company and his mother worked as a volunteer for a number of local Jewish organizations, Baron Wolman graduated from Bexley High School in 1955 and went on to graduate from Northwestern University in Chicago, IL in 1959 with a degree in philosophy. In 1961, after enlisting in the Army, learning the German language and counter-intelligence skills and then being stationed in Germany, he photographed President Kennedy during his tour of the newly-erected Berlin Wall and contacted his hometown paper, The Columbus Dispatch, to see if they’d be interested in the photos. After the paper agreed (and paid him $50 for his work as a photo-journalist), Wolman decided that this would be a fine way to make a living – turning a hobby and a passion for photography into a career.
After his discharge from the Army, Baron returned to the U.S. and moved first to Los Angeles, eventually finding his way up the coast and settling in San Francisco where he photographed some of the acts driving the burgeoning music scene there. Happy that someone – anyone! – was paying attention to them, the bands gave him free access to their performances. In April of 1967, Wolman was introduced to a young Berkeley student/writer by the name of Jann Wenner who, with local music writer Ralph Gleason, was going to launch a new music magazine called Rolling Stone. Wenner was hoping that Baron would join him in that effort, and Wolman agreed, working for free in exchange for being able to retain ownership of all the photos he’d take for the magazine. The deal was struck on those terms and, for the next three years, Wolman’s access to the local music venues and acts resulted in a treasure trove of photographs for the magazine of the acts that would become the “who’s who” of the late-60s music scene – the Grateful Dead, Santana, the Doors, Frank Zappa, Janis Joplin and visiting acts such as Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd, Iggy & The Stooges and the Rolling Stones. Baron also covered the first Woodstock Music Festival in 1969 and was responsible for many well-known images of that event.
Wolman left Rolling Stone in 1970 to launch his own SF-based street fashion magazine titled Rags and, after publishing 13 issues, left to learn every aspect of aerial landscape photography. From that effort, he published two books of photographs on his own “Squarebooks” imprint – California From the Air: The Golden Coast in 1981 and The Holy Land: Israel From the Air in 1987. In 1975, after spending an entire season with football’s Oakland Raiders, he published another photo essay book titled Oakland Raiders: The Good Guys. He also moved from San Francisco to Marin County, doing free-lance work for magazines including Esquire and Vogue.
In 1992, he published Classic Rock & Other Rollers/Photo Portfolio, a collection of 123 color and black & white photographs of his favorite rock music subjects. In 2001, Wolman moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he continues to work (contributing to a vast array of photo books and photo postcard books) and publish books of essays and photographs such as 2005’s Visions of Santa Fe: Photographers See The City Different. In 2011, Wolman released Baron Wolman: Every Picture Tells A Story, the Rolling Stone Years, a retrospective collection that tells the tale of his time at Rolling Stone magazine, offering stories about “the making of” many of his best-known images.
Also in 2011, Wolman received a VIP Award during Classic Rock Magazine’s “Roll of Honour” Awards show from fellow photographer Ross Halfin, during which he smashed a camera on stage in homage to one of his earliest subject, guitarist Pete Townshend of The Who.
Baron’s photos are exhibited in galleries and in solo and group exhibitions around the world. Notable shows include Who Shot Rock & Roll, which launched its national tour at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in 2009; a number of gallery and museum shows in support of the aforementioned 2011 release of his book The Rolling Stone Years, The Groupies (photos of famous/infamous “entourage” members) in London in October, 2012; and On Assignment: Woodstock Photographs by Rolling Stone Photographer Baron Wolman at the Bethel Woods Center Museum in NY in April, 2013.
In 2018, as a Kickstarter project, Baron and archivist/editor Dagon James produced a 98-page book built around Wolman’s entire portfolio of shots he’d taken of the late musician Jimi Hendrix titled Jimi Hendrix, 1968-1970 and, in late 2019, Baron brought his “Backstage Pass” travelling show to the Museum of the Gulf Coast in Port Arthur, TX. This museum is perhaps best-known to rock music fans for its collection of memorabilia featuring their hometown heroine Janis Joplin, along with several of Wolman’s better-known images of the singer and her band, such as the one found on the back cover (though originally intended for the front) of Big Brother and the Holding Company’s Cheap Thrills record.
After a long battle with ALS, Baron Wolman died at his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico on November 2, 2020 at the age of 83.
To learn more about this artist, please visit his website at http://www.fotobaron.com/
Herbert Worthington III – Notable album cover work examples – Fleetwood Mac – Rumours; Stevie Nicks – Bella Donna, Crystal Visions: The Very Best of Stevie Nicks and The Wild Heart; Love – Black Beauty; Sandy Stewart – Cat Dancer; Lita Ford – Out For Blood; Paris – Paris
(b. 1944 – d. 2013) Based in the Pasadena, CA area, Herbert (“Herbie”) Worthington was best-known as the principal photographer for Fleetwood Mac and their singer, Stevie Nicks. He began his love affair with the camera after receiving one as a gift. After three photography lessons, his natural talent began to show through and he embarked on a career, using his winning personality to establish close working relationships with his subjects.
In addition to his work with Fleetwood Mac and Ms. Nicks, Worthington also photographed covers for Lita Ford, Buddy Miles and Paris in his 25+ years as a rock photographer.
For more information on this artist, please visit his web site at-http://www.hwworthington.com/
Tony Wright – notable album cover credits include – Traffic – Low Spark of High Heeled Boys and Shootout at The Fantasy Factory; Bob Marley – Natty Dread; Steve Winwood – Arc of A Diver; Black Uhuru – Sensimilla; Gryphon – Raindance; B-52s – High Fidelity; John Martyn – One World; Sly and Robbie – Rhythm Killers; Bob Dylan – Saved; Marianne Faithfull – A Child’s Adventure; Stomu Yamashita’s Go – Live From Paris; Chic – Take It Off; Ian Gillan Band – Scarabus; Gary Windo – Deep Water; Suicide – Suicide; Ramones – Too Tough To Die and Subterranean Jungle
(b. October, 1949 in London, U.K.) After attending the Chelsea Art School in the late 1960s, he began works as an illustrator and art director, creating some of his best-known designs for clients such as Traffic, Steve Winwood, Bob Marley, Third World and others. His first cover – that for Traffic’s Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys – is now in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in NYC. After completing his last cover while living in England (Steve Winwood’s Arc of a Diver) and moving to the U.S. in 1980, Wright accepted a job as a Creative Director for Island Records after his arrival, a position he remained in for the next 10 years and created the illustrations for over 40 albums and a myriad of artists, including Black Uhuru, Ramones, Bob Dylan, Chic and Bob Marley.
After leaving Island, Tony helped launch two art-related companies. The first, called Record Art, was the first print publisher to build a catalog of album cover-based fine art prints, allowing collectors to purchase limited-edition prints of famous covers from The Who, Bob Dylan, Cream, Elvis Presley, Traffic, Steves Winwood and Wonder, U2 and several others. His book publishing company, called Broken Glass, achieved success early on with his illustrated version of St. Francis of Assisi’s beloved poem “Hymn of the Sun”, released in 1990 and winning a first prize award in the Religion/Metaphysics/Spirituality category in the 1991 Benjamin Franklin Awards, as well as a first prize that same year from the Catholic Press Association.
Tony’s gone on to win awards for his designs and illustrations from Print Magazine and Graphic Design Magazine (GDUSA’s “American Graphic Design Awards”).
More information on this artist is available on his web site at www.tonywright-art.com/pages/album_art.html
Phil Yarnall – Notable examples of album cover work – Jimi Hendrix – Valleys of Neptune and Live at Winterland box set; WEEN – Quebec; Janis Joplin – The Pearl Sessions; AC/DC – Plug Me In box set
A talented graphic artist/designer and musician with deep roots in the underground music scene, Phil began his design career as a freelancer out of his small apartment in NYC’s West Village. His talents were noticed by well-known album cover designer/art director Peter Corriston, who became a mentor and enlisted Phil to help him with work for musical acts including Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones. This experience fueled both his desire to work as a designer within the music industry and, using his freelancer pay and the money he raised selling some of his music collection to used record stores in NYC, he opened his own design studio that he called “Smay Vision” in 1993. He took on a wide variety of jobs to pay the bills until, one day, he was asked to pitch for a planned box set for the Velvet Underground. Winning that job and creating an impressive package for his client (which have been displayed at both the Warhol Museum in PA and the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum in NYC), he was able to establish a strong foothold within the industry.
Since then, his firm (now called “SMAY Design”) has created graphics and packaging for an impressive list of industry clients, including AC/DC, The Allman Brothers, Cheap Trick, Cream, Connie Francis, Buddy Guy, Jimi Hendrix, George Jones, Janis Joplin, Hank Williams and many others. He’s also produced covers for music-related books including the Encyclopedia of Punk (by Brian Cogan), The Who – Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere (by A. Neill and M. Kent) and John, Paul, George & Ringo by Tim Hill and includes an industry first in his portfolio – the design of a working amplifier that was included in the AC/DC box set!
For more information, please visit – http://www.smaydesign.com
Roland Young – notable album covers include – Cat Stevens – Foreigner and Buddha & The Chocolate Box; Canned Heat – Kings Of The Boogie; Patti Austin – Every Home Should Have One; The Flying Burrito Brothers – The Flying Burrito Brothers; Carole King – Tapestry and Music; Humble Pie – Rockin’ The Fillmore; Carpenters – Carpenters, A Song For You and Now & Then; Peter Frampton – Frampton and Frampton Comes Alive!; Barry De Vorzon – Nadia’s Theme; Styx – Equinox and The Grand Illusion; Chuck Mangione – Feels So Good; Herb Alpert – Midnight Sun and In The Mood; .38 Special – Rockin’ Into The Night and Special Delivery; The Tubes – Young & Rich and Remote Control; The Brothers Johnson – Blam!!
(b. 1938) After attending classes at California College of Arts and Crafts and the Chouinard Art Institute, Los Angeles, Young graduated with a BFA in Advertising in 1961 from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and then began his career working as an apprentice for noted designer Louis Danziger. In 1964, he joined the design staff at Capitol/Angel Records, moving on later to become Creative Director at A&M Records, where he lead design projects for 10 years. Other design work includes a long partnership with designer Tracey Shiffman at the Shiffman Young Design Group as well as stints as a consultant at Meryl Pollen Design and at Paper Design Magazine (Taiwan). Young has shared his talents with students and design professionals since the late 1960s, teaching at schools/universities both in the U.S. (Art Center College of Design in LA) and abroad, spending 2008 as a professor at the National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei, Taiwan.
Young received three Grammy Award nominations in 1977 for his work on Chuck Mangione’s Bellavia, The End of the Beginning by Richie Havens and Mirrors, performed by Peggy Lee. Other honors were bestowed on him from Art Directors Clubs in Los Angeles and New York and the AIGA has featured his work in several exhibitions on design and the graphic arts. Young’s work has been featured in scores of design/art magazines and journals including Art Direction, Communication Arts, Graphis, Print Casebooks and Vision.
Stanislav Zagorski – Notable album cover work examples – Yusef Lateef – The Blue Yusef Lateef; Velvet Underground – Loaded; Aretha Franklin – Young Gifted & Black; Professor Longhair – New Orleans Piano; The Spinners – Mighty Love
Stanislaw Zagorski (b. 1933 in Warsaw , Poland) is a prize-winning Polish graphic artist, designer and illustrator specializing in commercial art and known internationally for his poster art (with a focus on works for movies). He studied at the Art Academy in Warsaw, graduating in 1957. He quickly established a reputation for excellence and began a long collaborative relationship with designer Roslaw Szaybo.
His works were included in a number of exhibitions around Europe and the Mediterranean, including shows in Beirut (1961), Warsaw (1961), Munich (1962), Copenhagen (1963) and multiple shows in Italy. His poster titled Lenin 1870 – 1960 won first prize, as did his work with Szaybo for the Millennium of the Polish state. He received the Tadeusz Trepkowski Award in the early 60s for his poster commemorating 300 years of Polish newspapers.
He travelled to the U.S. in 1963 to work in New York City and then teach at the Tyler School of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, PA. In 1964, a selection of his posters were included in the Documenta III exhibition of Modern Art in Kassel, Germany and, in 1965, he was commissioned to provide the illustrations for one of famed author Gay Talese’s earliest books, titled The Overreachers.
He lives and works in Warsaw.
More information available at – N/A
Neil Zlozower – notable album cover credits include – Black Label Society – Shot To Hell; David Lee Roth – The Best; U.K. – Night After Night; Lita Ford – Dancin’ On The Edge; Poison – Open Up And Say…Ahh!; Steve Vai – Alien Love Secrets; Stephen Pearcy – Before And Laughter; Slipknot – Spit It Out; Alice Cooper – Dragontown; The Motels – Classic Masters; Edgar Winter – Rebel Road; John 5 – Remixploitation; Ted Nugent – Love Grenade
(b. 1954 – California) Photographer Neil Zlozower (aka “Zloz”) spent as much time as possible in Hollywood record shops and concerts – bringing with him a Honeywell Pentax camera that he and his father bought in an East L.A. pawn shop when he was just 14. Using phony backstage passes to get closer to his subjects (“they didn’t have the big, fat bouncers then, so you could just buy cheap seats and walk to the front and sit there all night and shoot photos just for fun.”), Zloz began his career as a professional photographer selling these photos at a record shop across from his high school, splitting the $1 he charged with the shop 60/40 and selling 60 photos his first month. He took one of his best-known shots – of Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones – in 1972 when he was 18 years old.
As a fixture in the rock n’ roll photography business for more than 40 years, Zlozower has watched more than his fair share of rising stars from behind the camera. Spending “quality time” with the likes of Whitesnake, Poison, Dokken, Motley Crue, Ratt, Extreme and Van Halen – as they made their way to the top of the charts – “Zloz” got to know the behind-the-music business of rock long before they became fixtures on music television. He was particularly close to Van Halen, having met them in 1978 and soon became their friend and a fixture in their entourage. As a benefit to this relationship, Zloz toured America with the band, becoming their principal photographer. As he puts it in his own bio, “he was their friend who had the intimate access to the band that no one else had. Whether on the stage of a football stadium, poolside at a Holiday Inn or at ‘Diamond Dave’s’ dad’s house, Neil and his camera were there, and in everyone’s face..”
Now one of the industry’s most-prolific shooters, his work has appeared in most music-industry and fan magazines and on the album covers of major artists including Alice Cooper, Slipknot, Nickelback, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Paul Stanley, Zakk Wylde/Black Label Society and many others. In addition to the appearances of his work in periodicals, Zlozower has published four book of his photographs:
Van Halen: A Visual History 1978-84 (2007)
Fuck You: Rock & Roll Portraits (2008)
Motley Crue: A Visual History 1983-2005 (2009)
Six String Heroes (2009) Co-written with guitarist Steve Vai
He’s also produced a number of interviews with many of his best-known subjects in an online video series titled “Zloz Hour”.
For more information on this artist, please visit his web site at http://www.zloz.com
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