Tag Archives: John Van Hamersveld

Album Cover Art and Artist News Summary for the Month of March, 2017

ALBUM COVER HALL OF FAME’S ALBUM COVER NEWS RECAP FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH, 2017

Greetings once again from Chicagoland. Winter is slowly turning into Spring and, I have to tell you, this past Winter wasn’t anything like the ones I remember as a kid growing up here 50+ years ago. In fact, it was almost like a Portland winter (rain, one big snow, lots of mild days) and it has confused the heck out of me (and the plants and trees and people who shovel snow for a living), but I’ll take it any day over -30 degree wind chills, snow up to here and icy sidewalks. Too bad that we had to ruin the planet to make for a nice winter in Chicago, but that’s another column for another publication…

I’m continuing to work hard on my book and, based on the feedback I’m getting from folks who’ve received some of my “leaks”, it should be something that any fan of album cover art/artists will like. Quite honestly, it’s deciding what to/not to include in this first collection that’s been the toughest part, because I want to share everyone’s stories, but I’m trying to keep the book’s length to less than a thousand pages and published price at less than a million dollars, so some things will have to be reserved for a follow-up effort. More to come, for sure.

In this month’s summary (which, luckily for me, falls on a Friday, allowing me to combine my weekly/monthly posts into one – I’m just a lazy guy), you’ll find more examples of the stories about the talented people working to produce great visuals for clients in the music business. You’ll find that the galleries, publishers, curators, etc. who support and promote these works are continuing to promote these good works and are sharing the fascinating details about what they do with the rest of us. There continues to be a significant number of items about album cover art/artists in daily the news cycle, adding items of interest and fascination to the ongoing stream of articles, interviews, museum and gallery show information you’ll read on a wide range of related topics.

Please share this info with everyone you know who are fans of great album cover-related talent and, of course, your comments and feedback are quite welcome.

1) Upcoming, recently-launched/CuRRENTLY-RUNNING and just-closed show/exhibitions –

a) One of the key events on the calendar of any fan of illustrative art is the The MoCCA Arts Festival in Manhattan, NY. This 2-day multimedia event, taking place on Saturday and Sunday, April 1st and 2nd at the Metropolitan West venue on West 46th Street (with a kick-off event taking place on Friday evening) is billed as “Manhattan’s largest independent comics, cartoon and animation festival”, drawing thousands of attendees each year.

In addition to the 400+ exhibiting artists from disciplines such as comic books, animation, commercial/editorial work and the book publishing world that will have their work on display, there will be artists on-hand – including several award-winning honorees who’ll be holding seminars/lectures and demonstrations – who’ve expanded their portfolios to include work on album covers such as Alexandra Lobo, musician/artist Jeffrey Lewis and “guests of honor” including (among others) Drew Friedman, the comic artist and prolific editorial illustrator who’s also done covers for Michael Nesmith, Mike Bloomfield & Al Kooper and several “best of” compilations, V For Vendetta’s David Lloyd and Becky Cloonan who, in addition to being the first female artist to draw Batman for DC Comics, is the artist responsible for a Gaugin-inspired 2006 album cover for a rap act with one of the best names in the business, The CunnyLinguists.

There will also be film and educational programs that will be taking place during the event, so click on over to the Society of Illustrator’s event page via the link to learn more – https://www.societyillustrators.org/mocca-arts-festival

b) Photographer Brian Griffin has long supplied the world of album art with many of its best-known images, including his work with designer Barney Bubbles and the Stiff Records label and for musical acts such as Kate Bush, Depeche Mode, Echo & The Bunnymen, Joe Jackson, Iggy Pop, R.E.M. and many others. In the late 1970s, Brian’s keen eye and unique approach to framing an image produced both several series of much-lauded photos for editorial and commercial clients and a limited-edition photo book (now out-of-print) with designer Bubbles called © Brian Griffin 1978 and, beginning April 13th at The Society Club’s gallery space in Soho, London, a series of 18 darkroom prints taken from that book will be put on display in an exhibit titled Circa 1978.

According to Mr. Griffin, in thinking back on this work, “the thing about the 1970s is that it was very still. If you look at my images from that time, and from others like my best friend Martin Parr, there’s a remarkable stillness to them. I don’t really know if we were looking forward to anything. But at the same time, there was of all this amazing music and art being made under the surface.” He’s since stated that the book was really a self-portrait of himself at the time, symbolically-represented, so if you’d like to have the opportunity to dig further into the psyche of one of the U.K.’s most-influential and awarded portrait photographers, please follow the link to The Society Club’s info page on the event – http://www.thesocietyclub.com/events-1/2017/3/14/soho-circa-1978-a-exhibition-of-work-by-brian-griffin

Show hours are Monday – Saturday from 11.00AM – 6.00PM (Closed Sundays)

c) On display now through April 23rd at Proud Galleries Camden (U.K.) is a photo show featuring the works of Paul Harries in a 20-year career retrospective exhibition titled Access All Areas: Photographs by Paul Harries. Well-known in hard rock/metal music circles for his portraits of top acts including Metallica, Muse, Nirvana, Ozzy and Slipknot (among many others) and for his many years of editorial photo contributions to Kerrang! magazine, the exhibition showcases Harries’ portfolio that also includes dozens of shots used on records released by Cradle of Filth, Killswitch Engage, Arch Enemy, Napalm Death and the Dropkick Murphys. There are a number of limited-edition prints that are on sale (at very reasonable prices, I might add), so if you’d like to see what’s on hand and learn more about this very talented shooter, please click on over to the Proud Galleries site at https://www.proudonline.co.uk/exhibitions

d) Wednesday April 5th at 1PM EST, photographer and American Crew hair care products founder David Raccuglia leads a lecture at Berklee College in Boston, MA titled “The Style of Elvis: A Talk with David Raccuglia”. Part of a week-long series of events (running April 3rd through the 7th which includes displays, lectures, discussions and film screenings) that have been developed to help showcase the business side of Elvis Presley’s career (all under the moniker “Elvis Legacy Week: Music Makes an Artist, Style Makes an Icon”), David will be highlighting the unique and long-lasting visual and stylistic aspects of Presley. hoping to imbue on these students that they can monetize their own images and, if possible, “create a recognizable brand.”

In these days of having to manage and develop valuable relationships with new and existing fans, who better to base your success story on than the man from Tupelo, MS who, while raised in a shotgun shack built by his father before starting out his career as a musician while still a young teen, grew into one of the most-successful entertainers/entertainment brands in pop music history. Raccuglia, who has helped build the visuals (including album cover shots) for entertainers including, Pete Yorn, Phanton Planet, Otis Taylor and, more recently, Iggy & The Stooges while building his company into an industry leader in salon products, seems quite qualified for the task of guiding young people poised to enter the business world. More on this lecture is available via the link at https://www.berklee.edu/events/panel-style-elvis 

e) Over his 50+ year career in the arts, designer John Van Hamersveld has ingratiated himself to art fans via his notable output in the areas of music (Magical Mystery Tour for The Beatles, Exile on Main Street for the Rolling Stones and Hotter Than Hell for KISS are just a few examples), film (the iconic surf film Endless Summer) and post-punk fashion (stylings for Blondie and post-Sex Pistols John Lydon), it’s only fitting that he be on hand as part of a group of influential local artists being presented under the moniker “California Locos” (and who’ve each contributed greatly to the Los Angeles-area cultural scene) whose works were featured in a “pop up” show that was staged over the weekend beginning March 16th (and running thru March 19th) that coincided with the long-awaited opening of the newest skate park there.

The “California Locos” are Chaz Bojorquez, Dave Tourje, John Van Hamersveld, Norton Wisdom and Gary Wong and, according to a promo by the Manhattan Beach (CA) Art Center, the venue that hosted this show, “together and separately, these forces of artistic nature embody the innovative, lively, and rebellious spirit of Los Angeles. Rather than suggesting a cohesive or coinable L.A aesthetic, California Locos presents a collision of visions – a kaleidoscopic perspective of the urban art experiences through highly individualized and expertly crafted works of art: from loose and spontaneous performance painting, to deliberate psychedelic graphics and painterly street graffiti. What unifies these artists is their shared conviction that being raised in this sprawling metropolis fundamentally and distinctively informs and guides their art.”

Fans had a chance to meet the artists, listen to some live music, tour the art exhibition and take in the cool skate park vibe in a series of events staged throughout the weekend. More info is up on the Manhattan Beach city web site – http://www.citymb.info/city-services/parks-and-recreation/cultural-arts/exhibition/upcoming-exhibitions

Add’l info and photos from the shindig can be found on the event’s Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/events/879707702172085/

f) Both an exhibition and an opportunity to meet some of the music industry’s best-known graphic artists and then buy some of their latest creations, the “Flatstock” shows have always been a great draw and, with the latest one – Flatstock 59 – having taken place recently as part of the uber-popular SXSW show in Austin, TX, I’m sure that the tradition continued in fine style. As you know, many of the artists that work in the album cover art arena also labor to provide their clients with imagery for their live shows, and with gig posters typically available at very-affordable prices, this show has always served as the place where smart collectors go to augment their collections.

This year’s show – organized by the American Poster Institute – ran for three full days beginning March 16th and was available for viewing by all SXSW pass holders inside the Austin Convention Center. More info on the show can be found on their Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/events/686209521550960/?  while more about Flatstock and the American Poster Institute, organizers of the event, can be seen on this site – http://americanposterinstitute.com/flatstock

g) And I thought that I was a hoarder! Turns out that, when you’re in a band for 40 or 50 years, you tend to accumulate a lot of stuff and, when you’re a big-enough act, you get the opportunity to share what you’ve collected with your fans, and charge for the privilege! I’d like to point out two such examples today – one continuing on its world-wide tour and the other launching later this Spring:

– The Rolling Stones’ Exhibitionism tour continues its major city/venue conquest when it closes in NYC on March 12 and then moves its over 18,000 square feet of rare memorabilia to Chicago’s Navy Pier area this coming April. According to the folks staging the display, the show will “immerse visitors into the largest touring exhibition of its kind ever to be staged…core to Chicago’s brand and history is our amazing tradition of music – from the birthplace of the Blues and Jazz to the continued evolution of all forms of music and entertainment today – on our stages, on our festival grounds and in our nightclubs,” said David Whitaker, President & CEO of Choose Chicago. “Having the privilege of hosting The Rolling Stones Exhibitionism gives us a tremendous platform to provide visitors with not only anew reason to visit, but also a compelling opportunity to experience it in the heart of our city at Navy Pier – one of the most successful attractions in the United States.”

The exhibition launched last year at London’s Saatchi Gallery and, after setting attendance records there, moved to the Industria venue in New York City, where it has garnered many positive reviews there as well. After its Chicago run, the show will travel across the globe to Sydney, Australia.

Complete information on the show can be found at http://www.stonesexhibitionism.com/exhibitionism-is-coming-to-chicago/

– London’s Victoria & Albert (V&A) Museum has hosted some stellar rock music-oriented shows within its hallowed halls in the past, the most-recent being the exhibition built around the life and music of the late David Bowie. The positive reviews (and major bump in attendance) the venue received from that show certainly served as the inspiration for the development of the next show slated to open there this May 13th that, based on the advance press info, looks like it’ll be a smash. Working with Pink Floyd alumni Nick Mason, Roger Waters and designer Aubrey Powell (from the famed Hipgnosis design firm), The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains will showcase over 350 examples of artwork, stage props, photographs, video and more from the band’s earliest incarnation (including the talented-yet-tortured Syd Barratt) up to their 2014 Endless River release and will include a re-creation of the famed underground club UFO, where Floyd was the “house band” nearly 50 years ago.

DesignWeek’s Tom Banks provides a nice overview of the upcoming show, including comments from all of the players involved in the organizing and staging of it – https://www.designweek.co.uk/issues/13-19-february-2017/va-set-blockbuster-pink-floyd-exhibition/

2) Artist interviews/profile articles –

a) When you’re both a top-tier designer and a huge Pink Floyd fan, I’d assume that when you’re given the opportunity to work with the band and their long-time design guru Aubrey Powell to design the packaging for a huge, multi-volume collection of PF music (“6 Individual Volumes available as Multi-disc Book-bound packages Featuring Rare Tracks, Demos, Interviews, and Film Footage Each ‘Year’ CD, DVD & Blu-Ray package includes Photo Book & Memorabilia”, as described on their product promo site), it becomes an opportunity to really “show your chops”. And as it was an opportunity added on to an original design brief that was limited to designing some type for a re-working of the band’s Animals record, you can also assume that they’d want to rise to the occasion and present the best work possible to this very important client, with the story behind this new work by Pentagram’s Harry Pearce and his team now detailed in TWO new stories that have been posted, the first by Katharine Schwab on Fast Company’s Design site (https://www.fastcodesign.com/3069074/pink-floyd-records-new-identity-was-40-years-in-the-making) with the other by Rachael Steven on the Creative Review site – https://www.creativereview.co.uk/pink-floyd-records-early-years-box-set-hipgnosis/

Released last year on Pink Floyd Records, Pink Floyd: The Early Years documents the band’s early output from 1965-1972. You can review all what’s included in each of the volumes on their site at http://the-early-years.pinkfloyd.com/

b) In this recent NME profile featuring 2X Grammy-nominated designer Mark Farrow of London’s Farrow Design, you’ll get the inside scoop about his latest work for UK hip-hop artist Michael Omari, better known to his fans as “Stormzy”. Teaming up with photographer John Ross, whose portfolio includes album cover images for musical acts including Manic Street Preachers, Pet Shop Boys, Spiritualized, David Gray, Kylie Minogue and DJ Shadow as well as promo imagery for Quentin Tarantino’s film Inglorious Basterds and commercial work for brands including Piaget, Ducati and The Botanist Islay Gin (a personal favorite of yours truly), the pair chose to produce a recreation of DaVinci’s The Last Supper, with a balaclava-clad Stormzy and his compadres stepping in to the roles of Christ and his disciples, for the cover of the young grime sensation’s latest release titled Gang Signs & Prayer (AKA “GSAP”).

Farrow, who has music client credits for work for many of the aforementioned acts as well as others including Burt Bacharach and Snow Patrol, worked with Stormzy and Ross for weeks before they arrived at an approach that would not be seen as a parody of the highly-revered but, rather, as a modern representation of the musician’s faith.

Read more of reporter Jamie Milton’s profile at http://www.nme.com/blogs/how-stormzy-made-gang-signs-prayer-album-cover-1999236

To see more of the work of photographer Ross, click on over to his web site at http://www.johnross.co.uk/  and, to dig into the portfolio of Farrow Design, visit http://www.farrowdesign.com/

c) The April 2017 issue of Juxtapoz Magazine has a profile/interview I think you’ll find interesting with Brooklyn-based artist/musician/collector of all things odd-yet-beautiful-in-their-own-special-way, Joe Coleman, Jr. Interviewed by noted production designer Gregg Gibbs in advance of an upcoming solo art exhibition that launches April 8th at the Nicholas & Lee Begovich Gallery on the campus of Cal State Fullerton (CA) – one that takes visitors back to his early days as a comic book artist and then over several decades to his more-recent work as a fine artist, producing highly-detailed epic-scale works that can often include as much text as imagery.

With a personal collection of macabre artifacts that’s been organized into what’s known as The Odditorium, Coleman also has several album cover credits including work for musical acts such as The Delgados, Damnation and Ambush, along with a late 70s disc by his own band, Steel Tips. He also created promo art for the John McNaughton-directed film Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer that proved to be as controversial as the film’s subject material. This profile will give you a deeper look into what has sculpted Joe’s approach to art-making, including time he spent as a taxi driver in New York City back in the days when it was a tad seedier than visitors will find it these days….https://www.juxtapoz.com/news/magazine/joe-coleman-the-devil-and-design-in-the-details/

Details on the upcoming art show (including the April 8th opening reception) can be found on the gallery’s site at http://www.fullerton.edu/arts/art/galleries/begovich_gallery/begovich_detail-3.php

d) Famed album cover art director Paula Scher is the subject of Episode 6 in the recently-released Netflix series featuring profiles on eight different artists who’ve made names for themselves in all aspects of the graphic arts world. Now available for binge-watching are the eight episodes that make up the first season of Abstract: The Art of Design, with this batch including hour-long portraits of Scher and her compatriots in the design world including notables such as architect Bjarke Ingels, illustrator Christoph Niemann, Nike’s Tinker Hatfield (of Air Jordans fame) and set/stage designer Es Devlin, who counts music industry design consumer Kanye W. amongst her clients.

The New Yorker‘s Rob Walker takes us on a brief tour of the series, produced by former Wired Magazine editor Scott Dadich, and his accompanying commentary makes us think a bit about just how broadly-defined the word “designer” seems these day – the same way that the use of the word “architect” has been expanded beyond its original (perhaps a bit too far, in some cases). Read Rob’s article/intro (“Celebrating Design Without Contending With It”) via the link at http://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/celebrating-design-without-contending-with-it  and, to learn more about the series and watch its trailer, click on over to https://www.netflix.com/title/80057883

e) In case you missed my mid-week post touting my interview with Taschen Publishing’s Julius Wiedemann regarding his take on the roles album cover art serves in the worlds of fine art and pop culture (in support of his latest book, Art Record Covers), I’d invite you to take a moment and link over to the ACHOF site to read it – https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/2017/03/08/interview-with-taschens-julius-wiedemann-about-his-newest-book-art-record-covers/

f) The Detroit-based Whign design collective (“a creative team composed of Thinkers, Artists, Progressers and Entrepreneurs, linked with a common purpose, possessing skills and talents that vary depending on the task at hand”), lead by 25-year-old design phenom Antonio “Tony The Whlgn” Robinson, has been responsible for the memorable designs featured  on records and promo materials for music industry clients such as Joey BadA$$’s Pro Era collective, Big K.R.I.T.,  Dej Loaf and the Cinematic Music Group and commercial clients including Mark Ecko Enterprises and KITH NYC.

Andre Ellington recently contributed an article to the Rolling Out entertainment web site in which he interviewed the group’s manager, Allante Steele, about Tony’s background, career and the importance of relationships and networking when it comes to doing business these days – http://rollingout.com/2017/02/21/tony-whlgn-designer-behind-favorite-album-covers/

Based on what we’ve seen so far, this young artist will be impressing us for many years to come.

g) Be on the lookout later today (March 31) for a specially-posted article featuring excerpts from a feature by designer/music journalist Andrew Dineley on the talented French design team of Pierre et Gilles. I’m very pleased to be able to share this with you, so check back soon.

3) Sales/Auctions –

a) As I had reported a couple weeks back, the San Francisco Art Exchange LLC (SFAE) has been selected to offer collectors a chance to own part of what the gallery is calling “the most valuable collection of rock and roll artwork ever to be offered for sale”, that being a group of eleven original paintings by artist Gerald Scarfe that served as the visual backbone for both the film and record album of Pink Floyd’s 1982 epic productions of The Wall.

According to a newer press release I received this week on the topic, “the paintings being offered have been carefully selected by Scarfe as his most important works, and include several of the most famous images in rock history due to their association with The Wall. Among the paintings are the true definitive originals for iconic artworks such as The Scream, Wife With Flaming Hair, Giant Judge and Hammers, The Mother, Education For What? No Jobs!, The Wife’s Shadow, One of The Frightened Ones, The Gross Inflatable Pig, Comfortably Numb, and The Teacher, as well as the massive original storyboard created for the film which incorporates 50 original renderings.”

One of the paintings available for purchase, Giant Judge and Hammers, will be prominently on display in London beginning May 13, 2017 as part of the Victoria & Albert Museum’s eagerly anticipated The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains, while a major exhibition will be held in July with Scarfe in attendance at the invitation-only premier to be held at SFAE’s gallery on Geary Street in San Francisco, CA, with more details to be announced soon. Gallery reps have told me that several of the works have already been spoken for, so if you’d like to see what remains and grab a bit of rock ‘n’ roll history to add to your own collection, I’d suggest clicking on over to the gallery’s site at http://www.sfae.com/announcements/2017/the_wall/index.html

b) The Heritage Auction house hosted another Entertainment & Music Memorabilia auction in mid-March in Dallas, TX that had several album art-based offerings should have been of interest to collectors. While autographed record albums aren’t usually the focus of my reporting, the variety of signed covers – along with other items such as promo displays, original tour art illustrations and the like – being offered was such that I thought I’d pass the info on…

Included in the auction were signed record cover presentations from musical acts such as Aerosmith, Eurythmics, The Police, The Beatles, Def Leppard and many others. Online bidding started at 12:00PM Central Time, Saturday, March 18, 2017, while Live Proxy bidding on Heritage Live started 24 hours before the live session and continued through the session’s end.

Here’s a link to the auction’s page on the Heritage site –

https://entertainment.ha.com/c/search-results.zx?N=2156+4294944953+794+793+792&Ntk=SI_Titles-Desc&Nty=1&Ntt=cover&limitTo=4294944953&ic4=KeywordSearch-A-Y-071316

UPDATE – I checked back after the auction to see what was sold, and it looks as though some items did quite well for their previous owners, while others were had at less-than-expected prices. For example, an autographed photo of Michael Jackson taken during the cover shoot for Bad sold for $4750 (it had a starting bid of $500), and a signed Bad LP sold for $1500. A cardboard store display for the Rolling Stones’ Some Girls – featuring a design by Peter Corriston, who’d go on to design the band’s next 3 covers, along with the eye-catching Illustrations of Hubert Kretzschmar – sold for $3750 and a fully-autographed copy of Regatta de Blanc from the Police was picked up for $425, while on the other end of the spectrum, autographed copies of Touch by Eurythmics, Whiplash Smile by Billy Idol and Love Bites by Judas Priest (delivered on a very colorful picture disc, to boot) sold for $137.50, $94 and $79 respectively, showing collectors that bargains may still be had in these big-name auctions!

c) Alisdair and Mike at Visual Gallery are having a sale featuring some special pricing on a nice selection of album cover art prints including AC/DC’s Back In Black, John Lennon’s Walls & Bridges, several different Rolling Stones cover prints (inc. Sticky Fingers, Exile On Main Street and Some Girls) and a print of the gatefold cover for The Who’s Tommy (with art by Mike McInnerney) that has been autographed by lead singer Roger Daltry. You can take a look at these and some of the other sales items they have available via this link – http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?m=1101302370472&ca=a9df76cc-e19d-494a-b06f-728e5f743f93

d) On March 11th, the Potter & Potter Auction House in Chicago staged a Movie & Music Memorabilia Auction that included a couple of items that fans of album art should have been of interest to collectors. The first item is a limited-edition lithograph print of the cover art for Billy Joel’s 1993 record River of Dreams (which boasts a cover painting by then-wife Christie Brinkley) that’s been autographed by the Piano Man himself – http://www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/billy-joel-autographed-river-of-dreams-lithograph-608-c-64f47b2909

The print had a pre-auction estimate of anywhere from $150 – $300, but sold to a lucky collector who presented  a $200 high bid. I’d expected this to sell for more than the asking price, but then, what do I know?.

Another item I’d highlighted – a purple hooded cape that the talented and mysterious singer Stevie Nicks wore to her photo shoot with Herb Worthington for the cover image for her 1983 release The Wild Heart, was up for sale to those  willing to add a significant charge to your credit card account this month. This bit of rock & roll history had a pre-auction estimated value of $1000 – $2000, with current bidding at $600 when I’d first written about it and which ultimately sold for $1000.

http://www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/stevie-nicks-cape-worn-for-wild-hearts-album-ar-533-c-c85461a9ac

I’m certain that whoever purchased this cape is bound to show up to an event with this on, with fans in the know either Standing Back (or would they Run To You)?

4) New Print/Book Publishing –

a) Friend of the ACHOF Andrew Dineley (of Liverpool’s SoftOctopus Design Studio) is now writing a new column for a new print/digital publication – an offshoot of the popular Classic Pop magazine) that’s targeted at the growing base of vinyl record fans (and, I can only assume, fans of LP and 7″-sized record artwork and packaging). About ready to release its second issue in the UK, Long Live Vinyl magazine will be home to Andrew’s regular contributions about “collecting and fandom” under the banner “A Few of my Favourite Things”. The pub’s first issue included his article about a “super fan of Prince” and his personal memorabilia collection, along with a nice feature on famed album artist Roger Dean. Andrew’s second article – to be included in the upcoming issue – will be quite personal as it is built around his own personal collection of all things Pet Shop Boys.

If you’d like to learn more about this new publication, click on over to the publisher’s page at  http://anthem-publishing.com/longlivevinyl

Here is a link to a subscription page for UK customers – https://anthem.subscribeonline.co.uk/vinyl

and for folks in the US and Canada, here’s a link to their North American distribution partner’s site – http://www.imsnews.com/home.php?page=magPage&pubid=10314

Those on Facebook can stay updated via their news stream – https://www.facebook.com/longlivevinyl

Update – The magazine has launched its own web site, which can now be visited and its news stories explored via the link – http://www.longlivevinyl.net/category/news/

b) While I’d previously told you (see Section 5, item D, below) about the upcoming series of postage stamps created to honor the memory of the late, great David Bowie, the folks at Goldmine Magazine recently pointed me to a company called Buckingham Covers that provides collectors with “something special” – in this case, a series of limited-edition, framed art pieces built around these stamps. For example, they’re promoting an item called the “Limited Edition David Bowie Vinyl Art Framed with UK First Day Cover” (priced from £101.06) that puts six of the new stamps featuring the following album covers: Hunky Dory (1971); Aladdin Sane (1973); Heroes (1977); Let’s Dance (1983); Earthling (1997) and 2016’s Blackstar and a Heddon Street postmark (14th March, 2017) on top of a photo taken at a live concert. Topping this off is a work of vinyl art, cut with a water jet, done in the shape of Bowie’s Aladdin Sane

Other items in the collection include two more first day cover sets, so if you’d like to grab something a little different for yourself or the David Bowie fans in your life, click on over to the Buckingham Covers site to view what’s available…https://buckinghamcovers.com/goldmine?

c) Heralded designer Aubrey Powell teased us all several years ago with a book about some of the work done by the much-lauded design group called Hipgnosis when he authored the 2014 tome titled Hipgnosis Portraits (which included a nice forward by Robert Plant) but, hey folks, it’s 2017 and now we want it all and Mr. Powell and the folks at the Thames & Hudson publishing house will be fulfilling that request next month when they release Album.Cover.Art, a collection that includes all 377 record covers the group produced throughout its entire history. With a portfolio that begins in 1967 with work for their chums Pink Floyd through instantly-recognizable covers for Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Peter Gabriel, Genesis, 10ccs and many others, the book (with a foreword by the aforementioned Mr. Gabriel) is an instant classic. Due to be published on April 13th, pre-orders are now being accepted at your favorite booksellers and, if you’d like to read a short preview article on the topic, Anton Spice has provided such a thing on The Vinyl Factory’s site – http://thevinylfactory.com/news/vinyl-album-cover-art-hipgnosis-book/

d) Nearly every “best album cover” list you read has the cover for The Beatles’ Pepper’s at or near the top of it, and with music fans celebrating the 50th anniversary of the record’s fall from Heaven onto our turntables later this Spring, I was happy to receive notice from author Bill DeMain about his collaboration with famed artist Mike McInnerney and writer Gillian G. Gaar which has resulted in a new book titled Sgt Pepper at 50: The Mood, The Look, The Sound, The Legacy Of The Beatles’ Great Masterpiece that will bring all of the unique aspects of the album’s conception and production to light for us.

DeMain, whose contributions to publications such as MOJO, Classic Rock, Mental Floss and Performing Songwriter, also leads visitors to Nashville, TN on the top-rated walking tour of this music-centric town – “Walkin’ Nashville”, while McInnerney, the former art editor for Britain’s International Times and the painter of the image used on the gatefold cover of The Who’s Tommy, received an Individual Achievement Award for that work in 2012 from the Album Cover Hall of Fame . Set for release on June 1st (the date of the record’s release in 1967), the 176-page full-color book (with over 225 illustrations) can be pre-ordered now at your favorite bookseller.

https://www.sterlingpublishing.com/9781454923787/?category=

5) Other articles of interest –

a) Like anyone who was an avid reader of Rolling Stone Magazine in the 1970s and early 1980s, I was always more-than-impressed by the wonderful portraits of celebs from all walks of life that were included, with most of them shot by the mag’s top photographer, Annie Leibovitz. During that time (and continuing on until this day), she also fed album cover fans with a steady stream of memorable images, including cover shots for acts such as The Band, Boz Scaggs and Cyndi Lauper, and so it was with great interest that I read this recent Artnet.com article (https://news.artnet.com/art-world/annie-leibovitz-archive-luma-foundation-890540?) by Caroline Elbaor about an archive of over 8,000 photographs that were donated to Switzerland’s LUMA Foundation and which selections of will soon be put on display in a new show at the group’s Frank Gehry-designed digs in Arles, France (the Grand Hall in the Parc des Ateliers) called “Annie Leibovitz Archive Project #1: The Early Years”.

Opening on May 27th, the exhibition will, according to the article, “focus on the photographer’s work between 1968 and 1983 and is intended as the first of several projects dedicated to Leibovitz’s career-beginnings. The show will also mark the first time that the archives become available to the public.” The Foundation declared that the show is “Intended as the first of several major projects dedicated to the study and reinterpretation of the artist’s living archives” and “traces her development as a young artist, and follows her successes in the 1970s as she documented the culture that defined this pivotal era.”

The show will be on display until the 24th of September, with more info available on their web site at http://www.luma-arles.org/programme/#annieleibovitzarchiveproject#1

b) The Herb Ritts Foundation estimates that, during the photographer’s brief-but-influential career (he died in 2002 at the age of 50), Ritts shot over 2 MILLION rolls of film, out of which scores of memorable images, including album cover photos for clients such as Madonna, Olivia Newton-John, Billy Idol, Warren Zevon and many, many others. Another of his famous subjects was Elton John who, readers of this news feed know, is quite the art collector himself and who, during the many years of their friendship and working relationship, added a number of Ritts’ fine art prints to his personal collection.

On April 6th, as part of a fund-raising effort for Sir Elton’s Elton John AIDS Foundation, one of the photographer’s better-known shots – Backflip, Paradise Cove, 1987 – will be included in an auction held in NYC by Christie’s. This particular image is made even more valuable as it was one that Ritts hung in his own home, and so the charity will certainly benefit nicely from this sale, with a pre-auction estimate set at $40,000 – $60,000. As part of the promotion of this event, the auction house has posted an article on the item that also includes a 4-minute video about the photographer that fans will certainly enjoy –

http://www.christies.com/features/Inside-the-archives-of-photographer-Herb-Ritts-8170-3.aspx

c) Ken Robbins left his job as an editor for the Doubleday publishing house in New York City in the early 1970s and moved out to the East End of Long Island – better-known as The Hamptons – to live a quieter life there. He and his wife first opened up a small movie theater and then began photographing the local landscape, with his pictures soon becoming as much-appreciated as his wit and generosity. Expanding his subject material to create a greater range of still life photos, his work would go on to be used in many books, magazines and album covers, where his credits include work for Miles Davis (Circle In The Round), John Hammond (Nobody But You) and several designs and photos for Aretha Franklin.

As news sometimes doesn’t get to me that quickly, I have the sad task of reporting that Ken Robbins died 2 weeks ago at his home in Springs, NY at the age of 71. I’d seen his work several times in galleries, as illustrations in local papers and at the Hecksher Museum in Huntington (where I lived at the time)  and also remember some of his beautifully-illustrated educational kids books. Truly someone who used his talents to make broad swaths of people happy, it’s sad to see him gone so young.

Here’s Ken’s obit in the local East Hampton Star paper – http://easthamptonstar.com/Obituaries/2017323/Ken-Robbins-Noted-Photographer

d) Writing for Design Week (UK), Tom Banks talks to the talented folks who helped design and develop the new series of Royal Mail postage stamps based on the career of the late David Bowie. The latest in the organization’s Classic Album Art series (now in its 7th year), the stamps are sold alongside a collection of ancillary items including specially-curated “presentation packs”, a series of art prints and other collectibles created by the Supple Studio in Bath, UK. , whose other work for their Royal Mail clients includes several “year packs”, “collector’s packs”, commemorative designs for the Queen’s 90th birthday and products based on the Adam Hargreaves-authored “ Men & Little Miss” book series.

In addition to the album cover-based stamps, there’s an entire group of items that showcase Bowie’s time spent in Berlin, Germany (1976-78) rightly-titled David Bowie: The Berlin Years.

https://www.designweek.co.uk/issues/13-19-march-2017/royal-mails-david-bowie-stamps-designed/

See more of Supple Studio’s work, along with a nicely-illustrated tour of their Bowie-related output, on their site a http://supplestudio.com/work/david-bowie

Finally, as if Bowie’s fame and influence were not enough to entice collectors, a rather-unique stunt was launched – and I do me “launched” – that took 52 sets of the new stamps into space via weather balloon. The balloon rose to over 110,000 feet before trackers lost contact with the craft, but if you go to the project’s site at http://www.royalmail.com/stampstoearth  you’ll be able to watch a 20-minute video shot by a camera on the balloon before it finally tumbled to the ground. Where did “The Stamps That Fell To Earth” fall? If you can guess the answer sometime between now and March 26th, you could win one of the high-flying stamp sets for your very own. Grab your compass and trident and take your best guess…

e) The art historian behind the Art Record Covers book previously discussed on this site – Francesco Spampinato – has grabbed 13 of the covers he and Julius W. have included in the book and provided some anecdotes on each in an article recently published on the Creative Review web site – https://www.creativereview.co.uk/art-record-covers-10-great-sleeves-visual-artists/

As part of my own work history included some years in the music television business, I was pleasantly surprised to see one of the covers that has always reminded me of the fun some musical acts have while creating the promo packaging and videos they do for their recordings – this one being the very funny-yet-disturbing cover derived from the identity-bending music video (featuring a stretch limo that will remind movie fans of the opening scene from Spaceballs) crafted by British video pro Chris Cunningham for Irish electronic act Aphex Twin’s 1999 release Windowlicker.

For a quick bit of entertainment, Cunningham has one of the more-intriguing web site home pages you’ll find, too – certainly a test for your video card – http://chriscunninghamstudio.com/

f) The people of the Brixton neighborhood in London, U.K., have always been proud of their local-boy-done-good, the late rocker David Bowie, but now that he’s gone, they’ve decided to work on a more-permanent way to honor his legacy. Launched in late February, there’s a crowd-funding effort to build a Aladdin Sane-influenced lightning bolt sculpture – tentatively-titled Ziggy Zap – that would stand almost 30 feet tall, with comps supplied by the This Ain’t Rock ‘n’ Roll design team (Jon Daniel and Daniel Fisher) – the same folks who created the artwork for the specially-produced £10 note circulated locally beginning in 2011 that bears Brian Duffy’s famous Aladdin Sane cover photo on the front of that currency.

Creative Review’s Mark Sinclair posted an article recently that provides us with the background on this project – https://www.creativereview.co.uk/david-bowie-memorial-project-launched/

As of this date, the organizers have earned about £50,000 of the £990,000 they’ve determined they need. With only 17 days left to the campaign, it’s looking as though the area near the local Underground station will have to be happy with the large-scale mural that was installed a few years back, but perhaps some well-heeled Bowie fans will come in soon to save the day. You can contribute to the cause via the link – http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/bowie

UPDATE – The project did not raise the needed funds so, sadly, the initial project scope will have to be revisited. Nonetheless, the organizers are undaunted and, according to their project funding site, ” we have no plans to go away. We are still determined to celebrate David Bowie, in Brixton, with a challenging and appropriate piece of public art.  We’re just going to have to approach the fundraising in a different way…Along the way, we’ve learned a hell of a lot. And we’ll be able to plough that learning back into the project, and return with a ZiggyZag #2 that’s even better (and hopefully a bit cheaper).” With over 700 pledges made from fans all over the world, I’ll be sure to follow up on this as more information becomes available.

g) Judas Priest album art fans who clicked on over to the Goldmine Magazine web site before March 15th had the chance to enter to win a limited-edition, autographed litho print of the band’s Turbo 30 record cover. Fans will recall the original Doug Johnson design featured on the band’s original 1986 release Turbo (featuring fan favorite tune “Turbo Lover”) and will really be impressed with the sound of this newly-remastered album, so while you might be a little too late for this particular contest, I’d invite you to sign up to get Goldmine‘s e-newsletter, where you’ll greatly improve both your knowledge of all things classic vinyl and get advanced notice about future contest opportunities. If you’d like to see what you missed, click on over when you get the chance – http://www.goldminemag.com/features/judas-priest-turbo-autographed-lithograph-giveaway?#/

SPECIAL NOTE IN SUPPORT OF THE ARTS – I have always worked to make sure that my reporting was focused on the facts and not so much an expression of my own tastes, keeping my editorial comments mostly of the humorous variety. With today’s news regarding the new Administration’s proposed gutting of Arts and Humanities program funding from the federal budget, I find it necessary to appeal to everyone who understands the importance of these programs to both a well-rounded education for our kids and the livelihoods of those who use government grants to further their efforts to produce great art, music and writing for all of us and ask you to make sure to contact your local/state/federal representatives to implore them to maintain these investments in our country’s future.

Unless, of course, the plan is to hire all of these artists to paint the border wall and have musicians and poets perform on stages set up along the way but, somehow, I don’t think so…

To read more about what’s been proposed and how it will affect the targeted programs and the products they produce, click over to writer Caroline Elbaor’s recap on the Artnet site – https://news.artnet.com/art-world/trump-proposes-eliminating-national-endowment-arts-893744

That’s all for now – look for updates every week (typically, on a Friday) on our news feed – https://www.facebook.com/AlbumCoverHallOfFame – we’ll be back early next month with another summary for you.

All text Copyright 2017 Mike Goldstein and AlbumCoverHallofFame.com – All Rights Reserved. All of trade names mentioned in these summaries are the properties of their respective owners and are used for reference only.

Album Cover Art and Artist News Summary for the Month of February, 2017

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ALBUM COVER HALL OF FAME’S ALBUM COVER NEWS RECAP FOR THE MONTH OF FEBRUary, 2017

by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

Greetings from Chicagoland. It’s “awards season”, what with the Grammy Awards, BAFTAs, Writer’s Guild and Independent Spirit Awards and, to end the month with a bang,  the Oscars (followed, in a few months, by another flurry including the Billboard, Tony and BET Awards shows). I don’t know about you, but I’m growing a bit overwhelmed by the sheer number of these shows and am somewhat confused as regards their relevance beyond the steady stream of production-related income enjoyed by the folks that stage them…Of course, people should be proud of what they do and want to praise the best examples of work within their respective fields of artistic endeavor, but I find it somewhat sad that some of the most-talented people – those working behinds the scenes, with their credits listed well-down from the top (you know, the part that’s sped through at an impossible-to-read pace during on-screen credit rolls) – are only mentioned in passing or, as we saw during the Oscar telecast, relegated to their own sparsely-attended and covered award ceremonies. Trust me, I understand why this is the case. I mean, who wouldn’t rather see a popular musician’s acceptance speech than hear from the recording engineer or the music video director (or the team that created the group’s logo and album cover), so that’s what sponsors and fans expect to see during an award show telecast. I guess that we fans of cover art can only take solace in the fact that you’ll probably see many more people wearing Dark Side of the Moon t-shirts than clothing emblazoned with a photo of Katy Perry thanking her fans, the label, her manager and her accountant for their support…

In this month’s summary, you’ll continue to be impressed with the stories about the talented people working to produce great visuals for clients in the music business. You can be sure that the galleries, publishers, curators, etc. who support and promote these works will continue to promote these good works and will share what they do with the rest of us. There continues to be a number of articles about album cover art/artists in daily the news cycle, adding items of interest and fascination to the ongoing stream of articles, interviews, museum and gallery show information you’ll read on a wide range of related topics.

Please share this info with everyone you know who are fans of great album cover-related talent and, of course, your comments and feedback are quite welcome.

1) Upcoming, recently-launched/CuRRENTLY-RUNNING and just-closed show/exhibitions –

a) You know his work and, beginning March 11th at the University of Brighton (UK), you’ll be able to tour through an exhibition culled from his 50+ year portfolio of work as a world-class designer, illustrator and, alongside his commercial practice, educator. George Hardie’s credits include work he did while part of the Hipgnosis team for clients including Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Alan Parsons, Genesis and many other classic acts and then, working independently and in collaborations since the early 1980s (with design firms including Pentagram, The Partners and Trickett & Webb), Hardie provided his talents to a wide range of clients and garnered widespread recognition for his stamp designs for the Royal Mail, including the Channel Tunnel commemorative stamps in 1994, the Millennium stamp (for which he won a D&AD design award) and the Magic stamps in 2007.

An experienced educator, Professor George Hardie taught postgraduate students of graphic design at the University of Brighton’s Faculty of Arts and Architecture from 1990 until his retirement in 2014. He has run a number of design workshops world-wide and was a visiting professor at the University of Nagoya, Japan in 2006. In 1994, Hardie became a member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale (where he served as International Secretary from 2007-2010) and was elected as a Royal Designer for Industry by Britain’s Royal Society of Arts in 2005, an award given to design professionals who have shown “sustained excellence in aesthetic and efficient design for industry”.

His work has been exhibited extensively, including shows at the University of Brighton (1993′s “George Hardie Works”), Barcelona and in Ljublijana in 2008. His books – Available in Other Colours: the Illustrations of George Hardie: A Book of Scraps (1993, and winner of the graphic design section of the Pantone International Color Award that year). Denouement (1996) and Colour Atlas (1997) have been included in design exhibitions at the Pentagram Gallery and in Nagoya, Japan.

This new show at the University of Brighton’s University Gallery in Grand Parade will include a display of the original artwork for one of his best-known album covers – the dirigible-covered Led Zeppelin – the size of which, to fans of record art, will come as a bit of a surprise, much like the first time you see the Mona Lisa (it’s smaller than you think). Hardie shares a bit of the story behind that cover  in an intro article by Andre Rhoden-Paul   on The Argus (UK) web site – http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/15099162.A_stairway_to_heaven_for_fans_of_record_covers/

The “George Hardie: 50 Odd Years” exhibition will be on display through April 7th, with more info available on the following web sites – https://www.brighton.ac.uk/about-us/news-and-events/news/2017/02-14-george-hardie-%e2%80%93-50-odd-years.aspx

University Gallery info – http://arts.brighton.ac.uk/whats-on/gallery/gallery-exhibitions-2017/march-2017/george-hardie-fifty-odd-years

b) This past month marked the launch of a newly-curated rock photo show at the prestigious Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, VT titled Backstage Pass: Rock & Roll Photography that, as you’ll read in the article recently posted on the New England Cable News site (which also gives you a nice video tour of the show along with an interview with the show’s curator – and the museum’s director – Tom Denenberg), gives fans a lot to see during their visits. Over 250 photos, including both well-known and little-seen images shot by a virtual “who’s who” of photographers from the world of music, features work by a number of people who’ve contributed photos for album covers including George DuBose, Bob Gruen, Lynn Goldsmith, Laura Levine, Jim Marshall, Baron Wolman and many others.

Fans will remember Denenberg’s original staging of the “Backstage Pass” show several years ago at the Portland (ME) Art Museum and, for this updated showing, they’ll be able to take home a new souvenir catalog – published by Yale University Press – that includes over 100 of the images on display, along with essays by Greil Marcus, Glenn O’Brien, Laura Levine and Kate Simon.

http://www.necn.com/news/new-england/Backstage-Pass-to-Exhibit-Photos-of-Music-Icons-413437183.html

For more information on the show, which runs through May 7th, visit the museum’s site at https://shelburnemuseum.org/exhibition/backstage-pass/

c) Chicago-native Jim Marshall moved at an early age with his family to the Fillmore District in San Francisco, and purchasing a camera while still in high school, began his career by capturing the musicians and artists working  in the Bay Area on film. In 1964 he covered performances at the Newport Folk Festival and then moved back to San Francisco later that year. From that point forward, he was given unprecedented access to most of the iconic events in the history of popular music, shooting The Beatles’ final concert at Candlestick Park (the only photographer allowed backstage) in 1966, the Monterey Pop Festival and the pre-eminent acts performing during the “Summer of Love” in 1967 (Santana, Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Cream, etc.), Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison in 1968, Woodstock, Johnny Cash “flipping the bird” at San Quentin and adding his images to the album covers for The Allman Brothers Live At The Fillmore East, Moby Grape and Commander Cody’s Country Casanova.

The 1970s found Jim continuing his streak of award-winning images, many of which graced the covers of Rolling Stone and LIFE magazines, including photos of the Rolling Stones, Willie Nelson, T-Rex, Joni Mitchell, jazz greats Carmen Mcrae and Dizzy Gillespie and Karl Malden and Michael Douglas on the set of the TV series Streets of San Francisco. In 2004, Jim received the Lucie Award for “Outstanding Achievement in Music Photography” and a book, titled Jim Marshall: Proof, which provided a rare look at the creative process, was published. In 2005, he was the recipient of MOJO magazine’s 2005 “Honours List Image Award”.

Two photo shows that chronicle the late photographer’s life titled Jim Marshall: 1967 – one at San Francisco City hall (Ground Floor Exhibition + North Light Court Banners) now thru June 17th, with a separate show in Los Angeles at the Grammy Museum’s  Special Exhibits Gallery on the second floor beginning March 10th (and running through May 14th) – are available for public consumption and, for a recent article that introduces us to these shows and how they were organized, the team at Juxtapoz Magazine interviewed SFAC Director Meg Shiffler as well as several other well-known chroniclers of the Bay Area music scene, the results of which can be read via the link at https://www.juxtapoz.com/news/magazine/jim-marshall-s-1967-an-all-access-pass/

d) For a new installation at two venues in downtown Los Angeles (FigAt7th and the Bank of America Plaza) that premiered February 10th and runs through the end of March, psychedelic art legend John Van Hamersveld has produced several monumental images in vinyl that will serve as centerpieces to a show of his works from the late 1960s to present day. Titled Signs of Life, you’ll get a chance to get up close and personal with examples of artwork produced by the talent responsible for some of your all-time favorite album covers, including Magical Mystery Tour for The Beatles; Blondie’s Eat To The Beat; Hotter Than Hell for KISS; The Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main Street and many others.

Produced by the Arts Brookfield organization, you can learn more about the show on their site at http://www.artsbrookfield.com/event/signs-of-life/

Events that will be taking place in conjunction with this exhibition run from a special, psychedelic-themed Valentine’s Day party to a series of luncheons that will be held every 2nd and 4th Friday in February and March, during which you’ll be entertained by musicians from the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO) who’ll perform music by each iconic musician (Beethoven, Mozart, John Lennon, and Jimi Hendrix) portrayed on the windows of Bank of America Plaza.

e) On February 8th, 2017, the New Museum in NYC opened a major exhibition focusing on the work of artist Raymond Pettibon. Presented on three full floors of the museum, “Raymond Pettibon: A Pen of All Work” is the largest curated show of Pettibon’s work to date and features more than 700 works he’s created, from the 1960s to the present. One of the best-known artists to emerge from the LA-area punk rock scene of the late ’70s-early ’80s, Pettibon – the brother of Black Flag guitarist/song-writer Greg Ginn – rose to fame creating the minimalist and hand-drawn images for the band and their label, SST Records. Pettibon’s album cover credits include Introducing The Minutemen and Post-Mersh, Vol. 1 for The Minutemen; Life – A Tiny Twofer; Mike Watt – Hyphenated-Man; Black Flag – My War, Jealous Again, Slip It In and The Process of Weeding Out; Sonic Youth – Goo; Foo Fighters – One By One; Off! – Off! and Wasted Years and Saccharine Trust – Past Lives.

The museum’s show was curated by Gary Carrion-Murayari, Kraus Family Curator, and Massimiliano Gioni, Edlis Neeson Artistic Director. Visitors and fans will be able to purchase an illustrated catalog of the show (co-published by the New Museum and Phaidon Press Limited), and following its run at the New Museum (on display through April 9th), the exhibition will travel to the Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht, the Netherlands, where it will be on view from June 1–October 30, 2017.

http://www.newmuseum.org/exhibitions/view/raymond-pettibon-a-pen-of-all-work

Writing for Juxtapoz Magazine, Carlo McCormick also provides a bit of an art world overview in this recently-published article on the magazine’s web site – https://www.juxtapoz.com/news/magazine/raymond-pettibon-the-pen-for-these-times/

f) The popularity of themed cruises – particularly among Baby Boomers, who quickly snap up cabins on the several music-themed excursions that feature name acts performing for, and then mingling with, appreciative audiences – continues to grow, but this one’s the first I’ve seen that also included an exhibition and gallery of notable music imagery as well as the featured artist – in this case, Roger Dean – on board to help promote the sale of his works.

Departing from Tampa, FL this past February 7th and headed out on a fun-packed four-day cruise to Cozumel, Mexico, classic rock fans on the “Cruise To The Edge” were treated to a schedule of performances by musical acts including YES, Kansas, Steve Hackett, Focus, Spock’s Beard, Mike Portnoy, Pat Moraz and many others. In between sets, album art fans were able to head on over to the Diamond Club on Deck 13 to view the exhibition mounted by Dean and his U.K. fine art dealer, Trading Boundaries and, when so motivated, purchase one or more of the many prints that were on sale there. Dean was also selling collectible doodles and produced a special-edition Cruise To The Edge 2017 print just for tour participants. Details on this sold-out cruse are posted on gallery’s site at https://therogerdeangallery.smugmug.com/Exhibition-Dates as well as on the cruise line’s site – http://cruisetotheedge.com/

Now that they’ve returned to dry land, I’m able to point you to an article posted by Elmore Magazine’s Ira Kantor who, as a traveler on that cruise, was able to report back on what he experienced on board, from all of the music he was able to eat to an overview of the Dean exhibit, where he met Roger and shared his love of the album that kicked the artist’s career as a record cover designer into high gear – Afro-Pop band Osibisa’s self-titled 1971 debut, which featured flying elephants that would become the band’s signature visuals ( side note – after Dean did the band’s first 2 covers,  the group brought in another fantasy-inspired artist – Mati Klarwein of Santana/Miles Davis album cover fame – to do their third record’s cover). He also walked away with a personalized print of one of Dean’s wonderful covers for YES – Tales from Topographic Oceans. Lucky guy.

http://www.elmoremagazine.com/2017/02/music-news/cruise-to-the-edge-diary-day-3

 2) Artist interviews/profile articles –

a) Jamaican-born (but now Los Angeles-based) artist and photographer Neville Garrick has enjoyed a long association with the late, great Bob Marley (and several other well-known reggae music acts), having produced record covers, stage props and the like for his clients, so it would only make sense that, as they extended their brands into new areas, he’s be brought on to help design promo imagery/packaging for these new efforts as well.

Being as it is that a major component of the Rastafarian religion is the consumption of cannabis, the Marley family name has, for some time now, been used to brand a line of cannabis products sold in the U.S. called “Marley Natural” which, according to their site, “celebrates Bob Marley’s appreciation for the healing power of nature, the beauty of the earth and the relationship we all share with it.” As it is that Garrick is also one of the founders and Executive Director of the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston, he’s brought his in-depth knowledge of both the musical legacy and ongoing promotion of pot-related activities to task by coming up with the package designs for the brand’s first Anniversary product line, which you can find out more about in this recent article by Oscar Pascual on the SFGate.com site – http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2017/02/21/bob-marleys-album-cover-artist-now-designs-music-legends-cannabis-packaging/

Each of the four designs created by Garrick was greatly inspired by Herb (and not the “Peaches &” variety)…

b) To offer local musical acts “something special” when it came to album cover design/packaging, designer/art director David S. Blanco took it upon himself to expand his service offering a bit further than most. In fact, he created a record label – called Blank Editions – which creates and sells limited-edition music packages, recorded on vinyl and cassette tape, that incorporate Blanco’s biggest design influences, including architecture, minimalist art and the design aesthetic promoted in the 1970s by the Sainsbury grocery chain.

Writing for the Creative Boom site, Emily Gosling profiles David and the London-area company he launched in late 2011, showing off a number of his eye-catching packages he’s created for the three lines of projects he publishes – the Solo Series, which are limited-edition vinyl singles sold in handmade packaging; the Blank Tapes series, “mini albums”, EPs and experimental work from local acts which are released on cassette tape; and The Blank Community,  which is, according to the label’s site, “an open ended series to service more official work by local bands and artists.”  Artists who’ve worked to release music through Blanco’s label include Thurston Moore from Sonic Youth, Douglas Hart from The Jesus and Mary Chain, Yuki Tsujii from Bo Ningen, Ted Milton from Blurt and several others. An in-demand designer/illustrator, Blanco has also done work for happy commercial clients such as The Guardian, Independent and Observer news organizations, Porter Air, Marquis Vodka, Nat Boyd and other record labels including All Saints, Heavenly, Polyvinyl, RCA and Universal Records.

Read more about this multi-talented (and greatly committed) artist via the link at http://www.creativeboom.com/inspiration/david-blanco/

c) “I always thought music and art went hand in hand together” is a quote from U2 bassist Adam Clayton as he talks with Francis Outred, Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art for the Christie’s auction house prior to a sale that includes works by the late Pop artist jean-Michel Basquiat, about his passion for Basquiat’s work (which he collects) and about how the creative spirits of artists and musicians are similarly applied and how and when they intermingle, what comes out the other side…

Like his mentor/friend Andy Warhol, Basquiat also produced some notable album art work, including the fascinating covers for the Beat Bop series for Tartown/Profile Records, The Offs and German jazz musician Peter Kowald, but it was the painter and graffiti artist’s ability to easily mingle with both the fine art and hipster crowds of his era that impressed Clayton the most  –  http://www.christies.com/features/U2-Adam-Clayton-on-Basquiat-8034-1.aspx?

d) In a recent episode of Oregon Public Broadcasting’s State of Wonder radio show, host April Baer and reporter Matt Drenik interview two local artists who’ve made names for themselves in the world of album cover design – Orion Landau, whose impressive work as a graphic designer and art director for the metal music label Relapse has provided stunning designs for company’s acts such as Pentagram, Pig Destroyer and Red Fang (along with many others) for over 15 years, and local design legend Aaron Draplin of Draplin Design Co, who has produced impressive record package and merchandise designs for musical acts including Richmond Fontaine, Dawes, Conor Oberst, Danava, the Old 97s and Dinosaur Jr. (among others) and other notable work for commercial clients including Nike, SubPop Records, Timberline, Target, Bernie Sanders and more.

You’ll learn more about what it takes to deliver impressive designs these days in a field where consumers are looking for imagery for covers (and related items, such as tour posters and merchandise)  that (in Landau’s case) must appeal to a metal fan’s over-the-top expectations while guiding his clients away from “me-too” cover ideas (and producing great art on sometimes-meager budget), while Draplin is constantly challenged to create memorable work for clients who often don’t realize that they need to impress fans with quality graphics now because, quite honestly, “how many records are your really going to make in your life?”

You can listen to “What It Takes To Design An Iconic Album Cover” via the link at http://www.opb.org/radio/programs/stateofwonder/segment/chloe-eudaly-portland-winter-lights-festival-tony-furtado-sallie-tilsdale/

The interviews begin at around the 17:30 mark in the stream…

e) Photographer Piper Ferguson is one busy person these days! The LA-based shooter, well-regarded for her work over the years for a host of clients in the music business (from classic acts such as Merle Haggard, David Crosby and Kenny Rogers through the Backstreet Boys, Kasabian and the Shins to breaking acts such as Capital Cities and Bad Flower) continues to impress with projects that show off her talents as both a photographer and video director. I just received an email from Piper in which she lists some of her most-recent accomplishments, including several new music videos and some really well-shot commercial gigs (Zenni Eyewear and promo imagery for the 2017 Backstreet Boys “Larger Than Life” show in Las Vegas).

I’ve been a fan of Piper’s for a number of years now (she got me hooked with her great portraits of Merle Haggard standing in a swamp and Joe Strummer just sittin’ on a porch), so I’d invite you to take a look at her latest via this link to the web version of her recent email – http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=13a601b2c2b2ac92204379c01&id=48b49da285&e=3b62189452

f) Over the years, I’ve written several articles about the interesting fact that there are many people working as musicians who were either serious student of the visual arts or amateur image-makers, as evidenced by paintings, sculptures and the like produced by rock music luminaries including Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix and many others. In some cases, however, these musicians-turned-artists have gone on to do double-duty or switched their career focuses altogether to work first and foremost as a designer, art director, photographer, etc. (e.g., Dean Torrence of Jan & Dean fame comes to mind).

In a recent article posted on The Week (U.K.) web site that excerpts from Francesco Spampinato’s interview of Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon done for the new Art Record Covers book by Taschen, you can read about this artist’s ongoing efforts to participate fully as an artist of both the musical and graphic arts persuasions, beginning with her training at the famed Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles (and some time spent later on working at various art galleries in NYC’s Soho art district), writing for several art scene publications and, along the way, curating art shows and presenting her own works in curated events. She’s also produced album artwork for records by acts she’s been involved with including Sonic Youth, Thurston Moore and Free Kitten as well as Essential Logic and Mirror, among others, and used her connections to the NY art scene to secure the participation of major artists such as Gerhard Richter, Mike Kelley and Raymond Pettibon to produce memorable album art for her own records (well done!).

http://www.theweek.co.uk/80781/art-record-covers-kim-gordon

 3) Sales/Auctions –

a) In case you weren’t aware – mid-February was Grammy time (!!) and, as part of the boatload of Grammy-related activities, fans and collectors were able to help support the organizations two charitable arms – The Grammy Foundation and MusiCares – by participating in their annual signed memorabilia auction, which this year featured a number of album art-related offerings including a selection of artist-signed album presentations featuring noted Grammy Award noms and winners (Adele, Coldplay, Lady Gaga, Hall & Oates, Linda Ronstadt, Carrie Underwood, The Weeknd, Stevie Wonder and many others). Bidding ended February 19th and, on some of the items, was quite hot and heavy… While the original set of items has been snapped up by lucky collectors, there is a post-award show collection that’s now available that includes several items signed by Grammy show participants, as well has a number of items – including a 2018 Grammy Award Show VIP Experience package (with bidding starting at $5,000) now up for bid , so why not take a look and add something wonderful to your collection as you simultaneously give your support to these charities’ great work.

http://www.ebay.com/rpp/grammy/59th-awards/signed-memorabilia

b) In celebration of Black Sabbath’s return (and final) engagement in their hometown of Birmingham, England at the Genting Arena on Saturday, February 4th, the folks at St. Paul’s Gallery are offering album art fans an opportunity to buy a very limited-edition print (one of 195) of the Hipgnosis-designed Technical Ecstasy cover – hand-signed by both artist Storm Thorgerson and Sabbath guitar legend Tony Iommi.

This album – a Gold-selling record that rose to #51 on Billboard Magazine’s Pop Album chart – featured the somewhat-controversial cover art that showed, as Ozzy would put it, “two robots screwing on an escalator.” As always, the Hipgnosis team arrived at a very-interesting way to graphically-depict the record’s title, and with less than 200 copies available world-wide (and fewer-still featuring Iommi’s signature), right-minded fans might want to click on over to the gallery’s site to grab one before they’re gone – http://www.stpaulsgallery.com/album-prints/storm-thorgerson-black-sabbath-print.asp?

I first saw the band play at the Auditorium Theater in Chicago in 1971 (I think it was ’71, but might have been ’73. Wishbone Ash was the opening act…) and it was awe-inspiring for a kid in his teens. Lots of cool album art over the years, with Hipgnosis adding their unique stylings to both the 1976 Technical Ecstasy cover and the 1978 Never Say Die! cover with the two plugged-in pilots (the last studio record featuring all of the original members). Sad to see the end of their reign as the Godfathers of Metal Music, but they had a great run…

4) New Print/Book Publishing –

a) In advance of my long-form interview with Taschen’s Julius Wiedemann about his new book on the art of the album cover called Art Record Covers (which will soon be available on the ACHOF site ), I did want to point you to several nice articles on the book that, in varying degrees, help both introduce the book and the stunning works found between its covers:

– The first was posted recently by Stephanie Strasnick on the Architectural Digest site and provides you with a bit of an intro, along with some nice examples of art taken from the book. The book’s cover is Andy Warhol’s seemingly neon-inspired work for John Lennon’s Menlove Avenue record, the posthumous 1986 album of unreleased music recorded during the Walls & Bridges and Rock ‘n’ Roll sessions, so with a cover like that, you’re bound to find much to interest you on the inside –  http://www.architecturaldigest.com/gallery/proof-that-artist-designed-album-covers-are-better-than-the-rest#

– In The Guardian (UK)’s Art & Design section, the editors have selected works created by several of the world’s better-known artists and designers and have provided a bit of text, too, to go along with the large, colorful examples on display. You’ll find covers done by noted artists such as Ai Weiwei, Ed Ruscha and Keith Haring along with those by newer talents such as Ryan McGinley, Albert Oehlen and the Dutch design team Metahaven, among others – https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2017/jan/20/sound-art-album-artist-record-covers-taschen-ai-weiwei-ed-ruscha-keith-haring-takashi-murakami

– In Mungo Glaysher’s recent brief article on the topic for the Middle East edition of Esquire Magazine (based in Dubai), a somewhat different selection of covers are highlighted, such as those for musical acts including the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Tyler The Creator and Blondes, with art by Urs Fischer, Mark Ryden and Guyton/Walker, respectively.

http://www.esquireme.com/content/19491-sound-art

– Over on the It’s Nice That site – Rebecca Fulleylove writes with an eye towards that site’s design and art-oriented readers/viewers, displaying even more of the covers included in the book, adding images by Robert Mapplethorpe, Jean-Michel Basquiat, David Shrigley and Banksy, among others – http://www.itsnicethat.com/articles/taschen-art-record-covers-040117

b) In early 1965, cartoonist/caricaturist Gerald Scarfe was visiting the Twickenham Studios set where The Beatles were shooting segments for their film Help! and had the opportunity to sketch the band-members while they were in costume. When he was finished, he had the lads sign the work he’d created (which was later published in London Life magazine) and added it to his personal collection. Now, all these years later, Scarfe has asked the folks at the San Francisco Art Exchange to help him find a new home for this rare and unusual work. For well-heeled collectors who might be interested, click on over to the special page that’s been set up on the gallery’s site (more info on this effort is coming soon – stay tuned) –

http://www.sfae.com/announcements/2017/scarfe_beatles/

If you are, perhaps, looking for a somewhat more-affordable Scarfe-designed option, there is another Beatles-themed print currently for sale on the illustrator’s personal web site. This particular print – produced on archival matte paper in a signed and numbered edition of 100, approximately 13″ x 19″ – is of a drawing from Gerald’s book and exhibition titled, Heroes & Villains, that was held at the National Portrait Gallery in London in 2003.

http://www.geraldscarfe.com/shop/discount/the-beatles/

You’ll note that Mr. Scarfe’s work will also be included in the upcoming Pink Floyd art-related extravaganza opening on May 13th of this year at the V&A Museum in London (called Their Mortal Remains – more details forthcoming).

c) In 2013, author/broadcaster Jon Kirkman produced a gift for YES fans built around his 35+ year involvement with the band – a limited-edition book titled Time And A Word: The Yes Interviews. The autographed art book was priced for collectors, but now, working with Simon Robinson’s Stereo33 books, he’s re-worked the tome (including some updates) and is now offering the much more affordably priced, 260-page book with a new name – YES Dialogues – which features cover art, and interviews with, long-time YES collaborator Roger Dean. The new version also adds interviews with the late YES bassist Chris Squire, YES/ASIA keyboardist Geoff Downes and some members of a band named Mabel Greer’s Toyshop, the group that, in 1968, would evolve into the first iteration of YES. Learn more about this new release on the publisher’s sites – https://stereo33books.com/yes-dialogues/ and

http://www.ekmpowershop28.com/ekmps/shops/easyontheeye/yes–dialogue-full-order-292-p.asp

d) With the Grammy Awards taking place this past month, it’s important for fans of album cover art to understand the sometimes long-lasting impact that certain Grammy-winning album cover designs have had on the art and music scenes, and what better way to illustrate that than to report on the recent success of a new, limited-edition book offered by the U.K. publishing house Genesis Publishing that celebrates the work of the multi-talented illustrator Klaus Voorman for 1967’s Grammy winner for “Best Album Cover – Graphic Arts”, that being Revolver by The Beatles.

In 1965, the band began to experiment with what had been, to that point, a pretty standard-issue, photo-based approach to album cover imagery when they released Rubber Soul with a cover that was pretty “trippy” and used psychedelic lettering and contained NO MENTION of the band’s name (!!). The next year, when they began the efforts to select an approach for the cover for their new album Revolver, they turned to their chum (and occasional bass-player) Voorman to apply his talents to creating an illustration that would ultimately incorporate photos that the band supplied and would go on to free other album cover art directors to try out some of their more-experimental ideas for their own clients hoping to compete for the buying public’s eyeballs going forward.

According to the publishing company’s promotional materials about the now-fully-subscribed (that means SOLD OUT) art book, “Voormann is working with Genesis Publications on a limited, Grammy Anniversary edition of a book he has created, entitled REVOLVER 50. Including new artwork, photos, and introductions by Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, the book offers a fascinating insight into the making of the legendary cover artwork. The commemorative REVOLVER 50: THE GRAMMY ANNIVERSARY EDITION is limited to only 500 copies. Each book comes with a signed original drawing by the artist; a one-of-a-kind artwork, from a selection Voormann has curated exclusively for this anniversary edition, as well as a special Grammy Anniversary 12-page commemorative booklet.”

As I noted previously, the two versions – a “Deluxe” edition of 67 copies (of 500 total in the edition) and priced at £325.00 and a “Collector’s” edition (#s 68 thru 500) – sold out in 12 days. Congratulations to all of you who managed to grab a copy, but for all of us who weren’t so lucky but who’d still like to go over the details (we can dream, can’t we?), here’s a link – http://www.genesis-publications.com/revolver-50-birth-of-an-icon-by-klaus-voormann/default.htm

e) Fans of minimalist-inspired album artwork ala that created by ACHOF “Early Influencers” Alex Steinweiss, Saul Bass and S. Neil Fujita and others including Josef Albers and Andy Warhol should really get a kick out of a new series of prints being offered by LA-based label/retailer Daylight Curfew, who recently collaborated with artist/designer Mick Watson who, working under the moniker Smartesgiant, has created art inspired by some of Hip-Hop’s classic albums. According to Daylight Curfew’s PR, the team chose “some of our favorite hip hop records, ones that inspire us daily, and those we classify as instant classics. Each are reinterpreted and abstracted in minimal form. Being huge fans of minimalism, abstract expressionism, and hip hop, we figured you may enjoy the collection as well.”

Included in the offering are wonderful re-interpretations of covers from musical acts including Nas, Outkast, Run DMC, Run The Jewels, Salt-N-Pepa and Kanye West.

Priced at only $45.00 unframed and $95.00 framed, each giclee’ print is sized at 18×24″ (unframed) and has been produced to museum-quality standards. They’re printed on 310gsm fine art matte cotton rag and printed with Roland eco archival inks on a bleach-free, soft-textured surface.  To see the entire collection and learn more about what’s available, click on over to https://www.daylightcurfew.com/blogs/daylight-curfew/smartestgiant-x-daylight-curfew

5) Other articles of interest –

a) While Spoon’s newest album – Hot Thoughts – might not be hitting shelves until later in March, fans can get a head-start on their immersion into the new music package by spending some time with a new app called the Aura Reader that will allow you to make your own album cover image. The first step is to click on over to the special site they’ve created – http://aura.spoontheband.com/ – and then begin the process by creating a Spotify playlist of 10 songs that “describe yourself”. The app will then analyze your playlist and…well, since I’m an old person and can’t name 10 Spoon songs, let alone 10 that describe me, I’ll have to let one of my readers go through the process and then share the results with the rest of us.

Exclaim.ca’s Brock Thiessen recently published a brief overview of the app that helps explain things a bit – http://exclaim.ca/music/article/you_can_now_make_your_own_album_cover_for_spoons_hot_thoughts#  Maybe if I get the time, I’ll be able to see what color my aura is but, in the meantime, enjoy yourself.

b) I hope that all you professional and aspiring album art/packaging designers/art directors saw my recent posting regarding the last date you were able to submit your work to the 2016-17 A Design Award international design competition (that being this past Tuesday, February 28th).

This huge competition – with a judging panel of over 160 scholars, professors, designers and members of the press – covers great design in hundreds of categories and, in the packaging category – everything from works for distilled beverage companies, seeds, frozen foods, cosmetics and other goods to CD and DVD sleeves and boxes. If you’d like to see the submissions turned in by the individuals and teams from around the world that beat the deadline (best of luck to you all), you can click on over to http://www.designaward.com,  where winning designs will be highlighted later this year. More info at  #adesignaward

c) Grammy Award Show Results – In case you didn’t get a chance to see them…during the pre-telecast “Premiere Ceremony” event on the Sunday afternoon prior to the recent award show in Los Angeles, the winners for the two design and packaging related Grammy Awards were announced, and they were:

For “Best Recording Package” –  Jonathan Barnbrook (art director) for Blackstar, performed by David Bowie and released on ISO/Columbia Records, and

For “Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package” – Gérard Lo Monaco, art director for Edith Piaf 1915-2015, with music by Edith Piaf and released on the Warner Music France label.

Although not album image-related, I would like to congratulate album note writers Ken Bloom and Richard Carlin for their Grammy-winning work on the liner notes for  Harbinger Record’s Sissle And Blake Sing Shuffle Along.

Congratulations to both the winners and this year’s other nominees for their continued great work in the field of album art and packaging design and production.

d) One of the tributes that was performed during the recent Grammy Awards telecast was in honor of the late David Bowie, so it’s nice to be able to report that one of this year’s Grammy-nominated works (and the eventual winner – Jonathan Barnbrook’s titillating cover for what would turn out to be Bowie’s final album – Blackstar ) was also recently honored with one of this year’s “Beazley Designs of the Year” awards, announced by London’s Design Museum in advance of an exhibition of all of the nominated and winning designs that was on display at the museum through February 16th.

In its ninth year, the Design of the Year awards celebrate design that promotes change, enables access or captures the spirit of the year. Previous winners have included the London 2012 Olympic Torch and the Barack Obama “Hope” poster. Barnbrook’s design was the top vote-getter in the Graphics category, while the overall winner was a project that produced the “Better Shelter”, an easily-transported, flat-packed housing module whose design team included the IKEA Foundation and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (who currently has over 30,000 of these tiny homes in use) and which, according to the item’s info page, “works to create more robust and appealing shelters for refugees” and which, while not solving the crises, “goes a long way to accelerate innovation, challenge unacceptable norms and communicate respect.”

So while an album cover design isn’t solving a humanitarian crisis, it is a fitting tribute to an artist who used his considerable public visibility and personal resources to support a number of charities, including Save The Children, Witness, War Child and many other groups that do.

https://beazleydesignsoftheyear.com/#/project/blackstar

e) Last year, when U.K. utility company Smart Energy GB set out on a country-wide effort to install “smart meters” in every home (with each meter including a small, in-home display that shows users their consumption stats), they turned to noted designer Sir Peter Blake (of Pepper’s fame) to help design and illustrate promotional materials for that effort. Now, in an example of generosity to one of the country’s charitable organizations, Sir Peter has donated one of only 30 signed prints of his The Arrival of the Smart Meters to People United in Canterbury, U.K.

A recent article by Tom Pyman on the Kentnews.co.uk web site gives us the details and the very happy and grateful reactions of all parties involved – http://www.kentnews.co.uk/news/dartford_pop_artist_sir_peter_blake_who_designed_cover_of_beatles_album_sgt_pepper_donates_unusual_homage_to_smart_meters_to_kent_charity_1_4869813

f) While we were all saddened recently by the passing of actress/feminist icon Mary Tyler Moore, it was something of a comfort to see this article posted by reporter James Reed on the Los Angeles Times web site in which we’re introduced to some of the work MTM did as a model for late 1950’s album covers, including several for a label called Tops, who included a young Ms. Moore’s youthful visage (and dancer’s physique) on records with titles such as Latin Favorites (by Miguel Lopez), Organ Favorites (by Steve Philips) and not one but two Gigi records – one for Gordon Fleming and the other for the Norman Leslie Orchestra. Included in the story is a link to a RateYourMusic.com page where you can find these covers and choose your favorites. While these early works don’t give us much of a clue as to how Ms. Moore would grow into the portrait of the intelligent, independent woman – one that didn’t rely on her looks to make it in “a man’s world” – they certainly help illustrate how the products released by record labels of the era most-certainly reflected the societal norms of the period.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/music/la-et-st-moore-album-covers-20170126-story.html

g) Those of you who’ve been following my writing over the years know just how impressed I’ve been about the long-lasting nature of some of the imagery that’s been created to help both promote a band’s music and to create symbols that fans immediately are drawn to (think the Lips & Tongue logo for the Rolling Stones, the Skull Fiend image for the Misfits, etc.). And whether you’re a fan of their music or not, you cannot deny that, since its first appearance in 1980, there have been very few icons that have so consistently identified a musical act as Iron Maiden’s “Eddie” (AKA “Eddie The Head”).

What’s interesting about this particular character is that, unlike many bands who’ve had only one or two artists responsible for the basic “look and feel” of a character, in Eddie’s case, there have been at least 8 artists who’ve all produced their own take on this key player, from Derek Riggs’ original adaptation of what was originally a mask used as a stage prop through the newest iterations created by Melvyn Grant and Mark Wilkinson. In this recent article by Joe DiVita for the Loudwire.com site, the author takes you through a timeline and overview of the 25 covers that have been produced for the various albums the band has released and, to add insult to injury, actually has the nerve to rank them (leaving, of course, a lot of room for discussion and online ranting and raving about the other guy’s stupid list).

http://loudwire.com/iron-maiden-studio-live-album-cover-artwork-ranked/

While I won’t be so bold as to rank them myself, I will go on record saying that, personally, I’m a bit partial to Mr. Riggs’ originals, along with Hugh Syme’s disturbing take found on The X Factor

h) While the idea behind the long-running “Sleeveface” site – where folks from all over the world worked to create interesting photographs by (according to the site’s definition) “…obscuring or augmenting any part of their body or bodies with record sleeve(s) causing an illusion” – has continued to inspire creative types to one-up each other via some really-entertaining displays of visual artistry, I was really impressed with a new music video just released by electronic music artist Corey Regensberg (working under the name Moon Bounce) in which he walks into a record store to find all of his favorite records now picturing his own image on the cover.

Realized by the talented music video director Peter English (working alongside animator/art director Raymo Ventura), Regensberg’s video for his song “Drugs” shows him appearing on the jackets for records such as …and, in some cases, bringing those images to life with himself as the main character. You’ll also get a kick out of how the production credits for this video are presented – nice job, people!

Nathaniel Ainley shares an intro to the project in this recent posting on the Creator’s Project blog –

http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/blog/corey-regensburg-iconic-album-covers

That’s all for now – look for updates every week (typically, on a Friday) on our news feed –https://www.facebook.com/AlbumCoverHallOfFame – we’ll be back early next month with another summary for you.

All text Copyright 2017 Mike Goldstein and AlbumCoverHallofFame.com – All Rights Reserved. All of trade names mentioned in these summaries are the properties of their respective owners and are used for reference only.

Album Cover Art And Artist News Summary For The Month Of September, 2016

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ALBUM COVER HALL OF FAME’S ALBUM COVER ART AND ARTIST NEWS RECAP FOR THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER, 2016

It’s the beginning of October, 2016, with the Fall season in full force here in Chicago – leaves changing colors, the humidity taking a back seat to crisp evening temps and, for those of us new (again) to the area, the famously-frigid Winter weather looming in front of us, with only the thoughts of a hot deep-dish pizza making the prospects tolerable. If you’re either a hearty soul or someone living in warmer climes, I hope that all you’re thinking about right now is a) “how will I survive this Election season?” (don’t forget to VOTE!) and b) “what the heck is going on in the album art/artist world these day, to which I’d like to propose that you now spend a few minutes catching up on your album cover art/artist-related news which, as you all know by now, you’ll find summarized in both my weekly and monthly recaps.

In this month’s summary, you’ll see that the people that make our favorite album imagery continue to make news with their ongoing contributions to the field of album art/packaging, contributing to the ongoing stream of articles, interviews, info on museum and gallery shows and the like on a wide range of related topics. Enjoy the read and let me know if you have any questions or comments:

1) Upcoming, recently-launched and just-closed show/exhibitions –

a) London’s Museum of Brands, Packaging & Advertising will soon (on October 4th) be launching a new exhibition that’ll be a must-see for fans of punk/do-it-yourself-because-you-can’t-f**king-trust-anyone-else product marketing, promotion and advertising. Located “just around the corner from the world-famous Portobello Road Market”, the museum will host a display which they’re calling the “Graphics Of Punk” which, using a large collection of prints, posters, underground magazines, advertisements, consumer products and, most-importantly (at least to us), album cover/record sleeve images, works to illustrate how these “radical campaigns draw a visual parallel between the political climate of the time and its punk graphics aesthetics.”

In addition to the items on display, the museum will be hosting a series of talks throughout the show’s run, including one on punk-era typography by designer/author Sarah Hyndman (titled “Never Mind The Typography”, taking place Tuesday, November 15th). Writer Sarah Dawood gives us a preview of the show in this article on the Design Week web site – https://www.designweek.co.uk/issues/26-september-2-october-2016/new-graphics-punk-exhibition-will-showcase-outrage-era/  with more info on visiting the museum during the show’s run (through January 29th, 2017) available on the venue’s site at

http://www.museumofbrands.com/whats-on/exhibitions/the-graphics-of-punk-4-october-to-29-january.html

The museum is the love child of consumer products/promotion guru Robert Opie, so it will be interesting to see how he and his people inter-relate this display’s unique grouping and messaging with the thousands of other items that make up their collection.

b) I’ve reported previously on the recently-launched (September 26th) graphic design/illustration exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London called “You Say You Want A Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-1970,” but, with the show’s kick-off now past us, I wanted to share a recent article by The Guardian’s Graphic Arts writer Liz Hoggard that provides us with some additional insights and details about a number of the designers – including many well-known album cover & gig poster artists including Martin Sharp (Disraeli Gears for Cream), Mike McInnerney (Tommy for The Who) and the team of Nigel Waymouth and Michael English of Hapshash & the Coloured Coat, among many others – whose works provided the colorful, mind-blowing and sometimes head-scratching backdrop to the art, fashion and music of the era, as well as the inspiration for the punk, new wave and other scenes that’d soon follow.

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2016/sep/04/revolutionary-artists-60s-counterculture-v-and-a-you-say-you-want-a-revolution

The show will run through Sunday, February26, 2017, with more information nicely presented on the Museum’s web site – http://www.vam.ac.uk/exhibitions/you-say-you-want-a-revolution-records-and-rebels-1966-70

There will be several related activities kids young and old can participate in during the show’s run, including two “Create! Graphic Design” events in October, free talks/gallery tours and a Conference & Symposium on Friday, the 4th of November which is described as an event during which participants will “explore how the social, cultural and political dynamic changes enacted in the late 1960s continue to impact on our world today and help us think about the world tomorrow. Topics will include:  counter culture to cyber culture, ideology in politics, the uses of hallucinogenic drugs and environmentalism.”

Quite a way to spend a day.

c) Prog Rock imagery fans now have something to plan for – Roger Dean, creator of many of the most-memorable album covers over the past 40+ years (including those for YES, Uriah Heep, ASIA and others) is the subject of a new exhibition that opened on October 1st at the Trading Boundaries gallery space on Sheffield Green in East Sussex, U.K. that’s titled “Pathways”. According to the gallery’s press release, ” Trading Boundaries will be exhibiting original paintings, watercolours, drawings, sketches and prints, many for the first time and many of which will be for sale, including the original painting for Rick Wakeman’s ‘The Myths & Legends of King Arthur 2016’…Paintings and artwork will be on display throughout our showrooms as well as in our permanent gallery of Roger’s work here.

The show’s opening day featured sets by the the very-popular YES tribute band SEYES and, to add some further enticement, at 7PM on Saturday, October 22nd, those with an artistic bent can attend a painting workshop lead by the talented Mr. Dean himself. Tickets for that event can be purchased in advance via this link – http://www.tradingboundaries.com/collections/tickets/products/roger-dean-painting-workshop-br-saturday-22nd-october-br   with more information on this show, which runs through October 30th, available on the gallery’s web site –  http://www.tradingboundaries.com/pages/roger-dean-gallery

d) Director Ron Howard’s new film about the formative touring years of The Beatles, titled The Beatles: Eight Days A Week, has been earning much praise from fans and film critics, with one San Francisco-based art gallery – the San Francisco Art Exchange, well-known for their deep and impressive album art catalog – having served as a photographic consultant to the film-makers. To showcase the Beatles imagery both in the film and in their collection, the SFAE has put up an online Beatles-related photo exhibition, with most items (as well as others you won’t find online) available for purchase as fine art prints for your home. The film focuses on the four straight years of touring the band did between August, 1962 and August, 1966 during which they both perfected their song-writing/performance skills (releasing 11 studio albums in the U.S., from Please Please Me to Revolver) and their public personas via their films (Hard Day’s Night and Help!), TV appearances and constant interaction with the press, so you can be sure to find images from photographers including Robert Whitaker, Ken Regan, Jim Marshall, Terry O’Neill and others that you’ll both know well and those that will bring back fond memories.

http://www.sfae.com/index.php?pg=400137

e) I have to admit that, for the longest time, I thought that artist Ralph Steadman had contributed the artwork for Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” when, in fact, it was produced by another talented pen-and-ink-focused artist, Gerald Scarfe (please tell me that I’m not the only one who thought this). In any case, Mr. Steadman does have a nice album cover resume, having done record packaging for musical acts including Ambrosia, Nils Lofgren and Frank Zappa, as well as spoken word albums built around the witticisms of the man who is perhaps most-associated with Steadman – “gonzo” writer Hunter S. Thompson – so it’s my pleasure to announce that there’s a new career-retrospective exhibition being staged at the gallery of the Society of Illustrators in NYC.

Titled “A Retrospective: Ralph Steadman”, the show celebrates “the work and career of iconic artist Ralph Steadman. This special exhibition will cover three floors of galleries and is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for the public to view a collection of his groundbreaking pieces spanning his 50 year career.” You’ll find examples of his work that’s been used to illustrate books, magazines, films and other forms of media, including items that have appeared in Rolling Stone Magazine, The Times of London, the New York Times and many others. The Society’s site also lists a number of related events, with details available via the link –http://www.societyillustrators.org/exhibits/retrospective

f) Fans of the late David Bowie are in for a treat now that Guido Harari has launched the latest photo show at his Wall of Sound Gallery in Alba, Italy that is built around a collection of nearly 40 photos taken of Bowie by the famed Japanese photographer Maysayoshi Sukita, best known for the photos used on the covers of Bowie’s Heroes and The Next Day records. Assembled in cooperation with ONO Arte Contemporanea – who are holding their own related exhibition this month at their gallery in Bologna featuring Sukita portraits of Bowie along with Iggy Pop and Marc Bolan (http://www.onoarte.com/current-exhibition.php) – the show, according to Mr. Harari, includes “a series of portraits taken in London in 1972, in New York in 1973 and some live photographs taken in Japan in the same year. There are also iconic images and several outtakes from the 1977 Heroes shoot, some from a trip to Kyoto, Japan, in 1980 and some more recent portraits taken between 1989 and 2002 for the promotion of the Heathen album.”

Visitors to the gallery’s promo page for this show – http://www.wallofsoundgallery.com/en/heroes–C-bowie–C-sukita-e18 – can also download a PDF brochure with more info and imagery. A master photographer teaming up with a master musician/actor/trend-setter – sounds like a great reason to visit.

g) In last month’s news summary, I had shared the details about the launch of a new exhibition (running now thru October 16th at the Manhattan Beach Art Center in Manhattan Beach, CA) titled Contemporary Post Future! The Dichotomy of Design and Art – John Van Hamersveld which features a large display of the talented designers commercial and fine art works, including a 47-panel modular black and creme-colored collage/mural JVH created. In early September, I added an update that story that included some exciting new info – on Sunday 9/11, John and Alida staged a poster sale/signing where 50% of poster sales, along with a portion of sales from the exhibit, will be donated to support the MBAC. Owners of previously-unsigned JVH prints were also able to bring their works in to be signed, with pricing for this service beginning at $40 per item and going up, depending on the item.

More information on the show can be found via this link – http://www.citymb.info/city-officials/parks-and-recreation/cultural-arts/exhibition/creative-arts-center-exhibitions#ad-image-1 and, to see more of John’s work – posters, prints, photos, murals and much more, click on over to his site at http://www.post-future.com/

h) Exhibition curator Doug Sjoquist recently put together a show featuring 50+ examples of great album art in a display that was called “The Golden Age Of Album Art” which ran through September 30th at the Keys To Creativity event gallery located in the Lansing Mall in Lansing, MI. The show was built, according to the gallery’s site, as an “exploration of the many multicultural art forms that appeared on album covers from 1967 to 1983 and greatly influenced American art and culture.” The show’s organizers enhanced the display with a lecture and music, including (on September 25th) a lecture (given by the curator and co-hosted by the Capital Area Blues Society) and concert by local blues legend Thornetta Davis that served as a fund-raiser for the Society’s Artist In Residence Program. An article in the local Citypulse Magazine served to introduce the exhibition and related events – http://lansingcitypulse.com/events/view/74121/the_golden_age_of_album_art_with_doug_sjoquist.html , with more information available on the gallery’s site at http://www.keystocreativity.net/event-gallery.html

2) Artist interviews/profile articles –

a) The Guardian’s Dave Simpson recently published an article based on a pretty simple premise – ask a grouping of album cover artists, consisting of well-known names from the field both young and old(er), “what’s the best-designed album sleeve?” – and the results, as you might figure, are both quite insightful and surprising. You’ll hear from creatives who have 30+ years of well-regarded work, including Roger Dean, Vaughan Oliver, Peter Saville and others, as well as younger artists who’ve quickly built up strong reputations in the area such as Jonathan Barnbrook, Carson Ellis, Mr. Scot Sandler and several more. As is always the case with articles published in Europe, the article also introduces us to several artists who you (and I) were probably unfamiliar with, so it’s also rewarding to learn more about “fresh talent” who are making waves in the field.

I still find it fascinating that many of the covers held in the highest regard were created in the mid-late 1970s, a period that many consider one of album cover design’s “golden ages”…

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2016/sep/22/the-greatest-record-sleeves-as-chosen-by-the-designers

b) While I like to think that our site is well-respected for the quality of the reporting and access to info and interviews with the broadest range of talent working in the album art world, I have to admit that there are several other sites who display the same passion for the subject material as I do and who are also producing fine work for fans of album art and artists. One such person is Atlanta, GA-based writer Loring Kemp, whose blog Cover Our Tracks has posted several fine interviews with music industry-focused artists since it appeared on my radar several months ago.

Just posted this past week by another contributor to that site – Lara Kristin Herndon – is an interview with veteran illustrator Bob Pepper, a man who has made quite the name for himself in all areas of illustration, producing memorable artwork for clients in the music, book, game and advertising worlds. Beginning his career in the music industry in the early 1960s creating covers for Bill Harvey at Nonesuch and Elektra Records, Pepper went on to create one of the most-memorable covers of the psychedelic era – Love’s Forever Changes, released in 1967. While that one cover might be his best-known, he went on to create several dozen others for musical acts in the classical, electronic and world music genres, so it is a real treat to hear more from the artist regarding the arc of his career, his inspirations, what sort of music he prefers (one hint – it’s complicated) and his take on how digital formats have somewhat lessened the full-on album listening experience.

http://www.coverourtracks.com/single-post/2016/09/26/Bob-Pepper—The-Cover-Our-Tracks-Interview

Eager to see more from Loring & Co. as it is released…

c) Now, why exactly didn’t the record label want Metallica’s debut album to feature a bloody, hatchet-wielding hand coming out of a toilet and the title Metal Up Your Ass? Instead, fans got a slightly-toned-down record called Kill ‘Em All that featured an image that, to those with little imagination, could simply have been the result of a mistake by an apprentice carpenter (yeah, right). With a new Metallica record – one that will be titled Hardwired – due out in a couple of months, the editors at the TeamRock site revisited the story behind the band’s first album image with the band’s drummer Lars Ulrich, who waxes nostalgic for the time they almost got to really upset the PMRC (still can’t forgive Tipper for this) – http://teamrock.com/feature/2016-09-02/the-story-behind-metallica-s-kill-em-all-album-artwork-lars-ulrich-interview

d) Yes, friends, we’re all getting old(er) – this month celebrates the 25th anniversary of the release of Nirvana’s break-through 1991 recording Nevermind which featured many hit songs and one of the most-memorable album cover images of the rock era. The band had enlisted Austin, TX-based photographer Kirk Weddle, who specialized in underwater photography, to come up with the iconic “baby in a pool” shot and, in this recent audio interview/article by the CBC’s Candy Palmater, shares his recollections of the session, along with some out-takes featuring the band cavorting in the same pool – http://www.cbc.ca/radio/q/schedule-for-tuesday-september-20-2016-1.3770140/nevermind-at-25-kirk-weddle-on-shooting-nirvana-s-iconic-album-cover-1.3770143

I had the pleasure of working with Kirk a couple of years ago on a “Featured Artist Portfolio” article for the ACHOF web site that you might want to re-visit as well – https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/featured-album-cover-artist-portfolio-kirk-weddle/   to see a broader selection of this talented photographer’s archives.

e) Fans of Pop Culture should enjoy this recently-posted article on The Undefeated site by Martenzie Johnson about sculptor/special-effects artist Diana Walczak and her work with art director David Coleman and the late Michael Jackson on the making of the album cover sculpture/image used on his 1995 follow-up to the huge-selling Dangerous record, an album titled Michael Jackson: HISTORY – Past, Present and Future, Book 1. Jackson, quite unhappy with the way that he was treated in the press and by his business partners, was determined to work from a position of strength going forward and felt that the best way to represent his power would be via his representation in a statue that would make Roman emperors jealous. And who better to create such an imposing representation than the artist who created the fantastic costumes and props for movies and theme park attractions including Judge Dredd, the Amazing Spider Man, X-Men and even the I-thought-for-sure-it-was-Annette-Benning robed torch-bearer who introduces productions from Columbia Pictures?

Learn all about the concepts, process and whatever happened to the several-hundred-pound sculpture that served as the basis for the imposing photo found on the record, with details available via the link at  http://theundefeated.com/features/cover-stories-the-album-and-cd-cover-for-michael-jacksons-1995-history-past-present-and-future-book-i/

f) Tommy Bishop book release/profile article – see item in Section 4

3) Sales/Auctions –

a) Related to the article in Section 2 about Kirk Weddle’s photos from the Nevermind session, the Austin, TX gallery that displays Weddle’s work – the Modern Rocks Gallery – is offering reduced shipping charges (as low as $1!) for both domestic and international collectors who purchase one or more of the images from this special collection. To see what’s available, click on over to the gallery’s site via this link – http://www.modernrocksgallery.com/shop-nirvana-nevermind/

b) Many of you will instantly-recognize the photos – album covers, portraits and behind-the-scenes shots – of photographer James Fortune (his 1974 shot of a semi-mutilated Iggy Pop in a performance at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go that was used on the cover of Mr. Pop’s California Bleeding LP remains one of my favorites), so I was pleased to see that Modern Rocks Gallery now also counts him as one of their artists and has added his works to their permanent collection, with signed, limited-edition prints from his archive now available for sale there.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Fortune a number of years ago about “the making of” the Iggy Pop cover – http://rockpopgallery.typepad.com/rockpop_gallery_news/2007/07/cover-story—i.html  As I noted back then, “beginning as a photographer for his college paper in the late ’60s, Fortune spent more than a decade photographing rock music icons like The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Doors, Paul McCartney, Led Zeppelin, Elton John, and countless others. His catalog of over 15,000 images from the tumultuous ’60s and ’70s contains shots of everything from hippie riots in Hollywood to Gene Simmons and Cher sharing an eclair.” The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum has over 150 of Fortune’s shots in their permanent collection, so I’d invite collectors looking to add something both historic and visually exciting to their collection to check out this new offering on the Modern Rocks Gallery site at http://www.modernrocksgallery.com/james-fortune-photographer

c) The spirit of Max’s Kansas City, the NYC nightclub opened in 1965 by the late Mickey Ruskin which served as an unofficial meeting place for a veritable “who’s who” of the city’s Pop Culture icons of the time, continues to live and breathe via the efforts of Mickey’s wife Yvonne and her Max’s Kansas City Foundation. The non-profit has continued on in its efforts to support those in the arts who might need help with housing, medical services and/or legal aid via one-time grants, with friends of the organization continuing their support of the organization via a series of fund-raising auction such as the one that took place (ending September 21st) with the help of Foundation partner Paddle8. Still viewable online at https://paddle8.com/auction/maxs-kansas-city/ , the recent auction included a whole host of items donated by music and art-industry stalwarts including photographer George DuBose (who donated a wonderful shot used on the cover of TooTought To Die by the Ramones; an awesome portrait byMick Rock of singer Freddie Mercury; a print of Elliott Landy’s infrared photo of Bob Dylan taken outside his home in Woodstock; a portrait by Dezo Hoffman of the late Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones; Bob Gruen’s photo tribute to Max’s KC; Roberta Bayley stunning portrait of punk icon Richard Hell and Richard Aaron’s shot of music-makers Patti Smith and Lou Reed.

Also on offer was an Alice Cooper-signed Welcome To My Nightmare litho (with art by Drew Struzan); Ramones logo designer Arturo Vega’s art print titled “Porn Is The New Rock” and a print titled 30 Years of Punk Rock by Laurence Gartel, the digital artist who taught Andy Warhol how to use a personal computer (an Amiga, in case you were wondering). Collectors were also able to bid on (as detailed on the auction site) “Kate Pierson’s outfit from the B52’s Orgasmic Tour, the Max’s banner from the tv series “Life On Mars” signed by the cast, a dress prototype designed by Tiger Morse, the high priestess of fashion, Joe Jackson’s electric piano and sax used on several of his tours and so much more.” While you might be a bit too late to participate in the auction, you can certainly lend your support to the organization’s ongoing efforts via a secure donation on their web site – http://maxskansascity.org/

4) New Print/Book Publishing –

a) Baltimore, MD-based designer/writer Darius Wilmore is going to be releasing a new book meant to illustrate just how important “the visuals” have been to the success of artists in the rap/hip-hop world, helping those making the music better-establish their unique personas and better bond with their fans. The book, titled StereoTyped: Hip-Hop’s Unsung Graphic Design Heroes, Heroines, and the Oral and Visual Histories of the Rap Record (1979-1988), will be published next year by Full Circle Press and is the print version of Wilmore’s popular blog by the same name.

Writing for The Shadow League sports site, reporter Erica Blount Danois celebrates the recent anniversary of the first Sugar Hill Gang (“Rapper’s Delight”) record with this interview in which she talks to Wilmore about that record’s famous “candy cane” logo, his time working as part of Def Jam’s marvelous in-house design studio (Drawing Board Graphic Design), the effort it has taken him to complete his book (which I can personally attest to!) and how, without mainstream TV/radio distribution, rap and hip-hop album covers served to introduce the genre to audiences world-wide.

https://www.theshadowleague.com/story/stereo-typed-a-journey-of-hip-hop-cover-art

b) I recently had the pleasure of adding a new book to the ACHOF’s Resources section that’s due out next month and which focuses on the huge array of photographic talent who have contributed to the promotion and sales of music by our favorite acts. The soon-to-be-released new album art book -titled Total Records: Photography and the Art of the Album Cover, published by photo collective Aperture – will feature over 400 covers that were built around the photo and art directing talents of esteemed artists including David Bailey, Anton Corbijn, Robert Frank, Nan Goldin, Jean-Paul Goude, Brian Griffin, Danny Lyon, Robert Mapplethorpe, Martin Parr, Irving Penn, Cindy Sherman, Pennie Smith, Andy Warhol, Albert Watson and many, many more.

The book’s editors are certainly well-credentialed to have put together such a comprehensive tome on the subject – Antoine de Beaupré is the founder of Paris bookstore/publishing house Librarie 213/Edition 213; Sam Stourdzé, the director of the well-regarded French photography festival Les Rencontres d’Arles and art/entertainment writer Serge Vincendet. It also includes text by music journalist Jacques Denis as well as an interview with photographer and music video director Jean-Baptiste Mondino (who shot the controversial cover of a naked Prince for his Lovesexy release in 1988).

There’s a travelling art show built around the book that was recently (thru October 2nd) on display at Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Center’s exhibition titled “Total Records – The Great Adventure of Album Cover Photography” – more info at http://capacenter.hu/en/kiallitasok/total-records-2/  . The show opened this past June at the Center in Budapest, Hungary and will soon be moving on to two more venues, the first being a display at the C/O Berlin Foundation (from December 3, 2016–February 5, 2017) and then on to the Kunsthal Rotterdam (February 24–June 4, 2017).

c) A popular book on album cover art has just been updated – The Greatest Album Covers Of All Time, first released in 2008 produced by music writers Barry Miles and Johnny Morgan and art director Grant Scott and published by Collins & Brown – will be re-released in early October. Same name, new and updated. According to the publishers, “with the resurgence of vinyl, album cover art is as important as ever. This visually sumptuous book brings together 275 of the greatest album covers of all time. arranged chronologically, beginning in 1956. A 50-strong panel of judges—including designers, musicians, producers, and record company executives—made the final selection, and their reasons accompany the photographs. From rock ‘n’ roll to pop, R&B to jazz, punk, blues, and even folk, the covers include both classics and less well-known works, and every one made an impact, either artistically, stylistically, or culturally. Music fans will enjoy looking back at their favorites and debating the selection.” The book’s been updated to include new album covers that have tantalized our eyes during the past eight years. Look for it at your favorite book-seller on the Pavillion/Collins & Brown imprint. 272 pages, hardcover. ISBN-13: 978-1910231982

d) Having built up a strong reputation for his slightly-strange designs for indie bands including The Unawares, Boo Hag, the Transylvania Rats and Los Perdidos, artist/illustrator Tommy Bishop, after relocating from Spartanburg, SC to my most-recent stomping grounds (Portland, OR – we must have passed each other on I-80, unless of course he took I-90), returned to South Carolina the weekend of September 17th-18th to celebrate the launch party for his new kid’s book titled The Incredibly Strange ABCs. Wanting to create something for his young daughter, Bishop has designed and illustrated a book where each letter of the alphabet is represented by a character that is, if I might say, a lot less like Dr. Seuss and a lot more like Ed Roth’s “Rat Fink” (e.g., “A” features Albert Appleworm, a creature who “absolutely adores accounting”).

Writing for The State (Columbia, SC) web site, Erin Shaw’s article serves to introduce you to the artist and this event (party and reading/book-signing on Sunday, September 18th at Tapp’s Art Center) – http://www.thestate.com/entertainment/local-events/article101736597.html with up-to-the-minute details via the event’s Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/events/176405956098437/

e) While I’ve already shared information on the new Bowie-focused show now on display at photographer Guido Harari’s Wall of Sound Gallery in Italy, I also wanted to point out that Guido himself is soon to release a new, limited-edition book of photos of one of his favorite subjects, the very talented (and photogenic) singer Kate Bush (that will be titled The Kate Inside), which got its own gallery show this past month in London at the Art Bermondsey Project Space. According to the press release I received, “the show will open on Sept. 13 until Sept. 30 and will be bigger and very different from Guido’s 2014 exhibition at Snap Galleries. It will feature over 50 images, classic and unseen, available for purchase in different sizes.” The Kate Inside limited edition book will also be available and, as part of the festivities surrounding the book’s release, on September 16th there was a special Q&A event at the gallery featuring famed actor/mime (and teacher of the craft to both Mr. Bowie and Ms. Bush) Lindsay Kemp on a panel with Guido, choreographer Stewart Avon Arnold, musician Del Palmer and others.

With over 300 photos included, the hard-bound, 240-page book will be published in two signed/numbered editions – a “Regular Edition” of 1150 copies  along with 350 copies of a “Deluxe Edition”, with this special version also signed by Mr. Kemp, adding more value to any collector/fan of Ms. Bush-related imagery. You can read more and order your copy of this fascinating photo collection on Harari’s site via the link at http://www.wallofsoundgallery.com/en/the-kate-inside-by-guido_harari/the-kate-inside.php

5) Other articles of interest –

a) Space – the final frontier…who’d have thought that album art would be one of the ways that Man would choose to introduce us to civilizations “out there”? Some of you will recall the “Voyager Golden Record” package that astronomer Carl Sagan, along with a team that included writers Timothy Ferris and Ann Druyan, artists Jon Lomberg and Linda Salzman Sagan and astronomer/SETI pioneer Frank Drake (who served as the technical director), assembled in order to present “strange new civilizations” with evidence of our intelligence (this was, luckily for us, before we had recordings from this year’s elections). Now, 40 years later, a trio of enterprising (sorry) entrepreneurs, including noted album cover designer Lawrence Azerrad, have teamed with Ozma Records to embark on a Kickstarter-based project that will produce, for us mortals, a package we can own and treasure that is being called the record’s 40th Anniversary Edition.

Supporting the project at the $98 level entitles you to what’s called the “Voyager Golden Record Box Set” which includes, according to the project’s Kickstarter page, a cloth-covered box with gold foil inlay, three translucent gold, heavyweight vinyl LPs in poly-lined paper sleeves, three old-style tip-on jackets (black ink and gold foil), a hardback full-color book, a 12″ x 12″ lithograph of the Voyager Golden Record cover diagram (printed in gold metallic ink on archival paper), a full-color plastic digital download card that includes all audio from the Voyager Golden Record (MP3 or FLAC formats) and, recently added, a high-quality enamel pin of the Golden Record diagram and a custom turntable slipmat featuring NASA/JPL-Caltech’s heliocentric view of the Voyager spacecrafts’ trajectories across the solar system. Supporting the project at lower levels also entitles you to items including the pin, the download card and/or the litho, so if you’d like to learn more about the project and reserve one for yourself (I did!), click on over to https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ozmarecords/voyager-golden-record-40th-anniversary-edition

The folks from the record label have also posted a recent BBC interview (on Soundcloud) with the original designer of the Golden Record – Jon Lomberg – which you can listen to via this link – https://soundcloud.com/user-482195982/interview-with-jon-lomberg?

b) It’s been weeks since we’ve seen a tribute to David Bowie’s impact on the entertainment world, but after reading this recent posting by Jacob Brookman for the British Journal of Photography’s site titled “Deconstructing The Iconography Of David Bowie”, one built around his research and discussions with people there to document the musician/actor/artist’s various transformations over the years, I thought that it’d be a good way to fire up your end-of-the-week brain cells before your weekend activities thoroughly left you in mindless states. You’ll learn more from Bowie insider Mick Rock, whose book The Rise of David Bowie, 1972-1973 serves to give us a unique view of an artist just starting up the ultimately huge curve of his influence on music, fashion, sexual identity and Pop Culture in general. They were young, influential and, quite evidently, taking large quantities of banned substances but, oh the artwork they produced…

http://www.bjp-online.com/2016/09/deconstructing-the-iconography-of-david-bowie/

c) As a lead in to a promo for the newly-released edition of one of the more-comprehensive album art books available to fans of the category (i.e., The Greatest Album Covers Of All Time, produced by music writers Barry Miles and Johnny Morgan and art director Grant Scott and discussed in detail in the previous section), The Telegraph (U.K.)’s music critic, Neil McCormick, asks and attempts to answer the question “Did Digital Kill The Album Sleeve” – reminisces about stand out work over the past 60+ years in various categories, citing examples of works he liked in each (Sgt. Peppers, The Basement Tapes by Dylan & The Band, London Calling by The Clash, etc.) but then, without providing us with a “why”, he goes on to lament that ” the golden era of album art is long gone and, despite the many benefits of digital music, something important has been lost”, completing his thought by stating that “… the finest (musicians and album art producers) feed off each other to create something that could belong in a museum as much as on a turntable. And a museum, sadly, is where album cover art is heading…”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/music/what-to-listen-to/from-david-bowie-to-pink-floyd-the-lost-art-of-the-album-cover/

d) During the recent New York Art Book Fair in NYC, the famed Gagosian Gallery hosted a rather unique activity (for a book fair, that is) in their display space at the Museum of Modern Art’s PS1 space – a completely-operational tattoo parlor, offering specially-commissioned designs from a slate of established artists, including one each from two figures well-known in the music world – Genesis Bayer P-Orridge, whose album cover credits include Psychic TV’s Tekno Acid Beat; City Ov Paris and Cold Blue Torch for The Origin Of The Species; Prurient’s Wrapped In The Flame Of Illusion, Masked In The Clay Of Behavior and the artist’s own recording (Spatial Memory); and Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon. Music fans may not be aware of Gordon’s background in the visual arts – a graduate of LA’s Otis College of Art & Design, Gordon worked as a art writer, gallery curator and a popular fine artist, creating multi-media works that often combined visuals and live music. Books built around her work as an artist include 2005’s a personal photo collection titled Kim Gordon Chronicles Vol. 1 and 2006’s Kim Gordon Chronicles Vol. 2which featured her drawings, collages, and paintings. Gagosian hosted a show at their gallery in London of her work in 2013 called “The Show Is Over” – a fitting title considering that her band broke up in 2011 after 30 years together… Artsy’s Casey Lesser shares the details around the tattoo event in her recent article – https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-limited-edition-art-meets-skin-at-gagosian-s-tattoo-parlor

e) Previously posted as a “quickie” news update on 9/22/16 – The designer for the record packaging for one of the recent past’s most-memorably-titled albums – Evan Christ’s 2011 release Everything Is Boring & Everyone Is A F__king Liar – spoke to attendees at the Cover Club’s September 23rd get-together at the Ace Hotel in London. Graphic artist David Rudnick (not to be confused with hardcore American punk rocker David Rudnik of Kungfu Rick and Get Rad fame) lead a discussion during which, according to the event’s promo, he discussed “his experiences creating covers for labels such as Man Make Music Phantasy and Boysnoize Records, his creative process and approach to working in the industry.”

https://www.acehotel.com/calendar/london/cover-club-presents-conversation-david-rudnick?ct=t(dr_cover_club9_5_2016)

Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/events/317714025230817/?active_tab=highlights

You can learn more about Mr. Rudnick and his work on his web site at http://davidrudnick.org/

f) When the brand name for an item (e.g., Xerox or Kleenex) or activity (Googling) becomes mainstream, marketers can pat themselves on the back for having reached the pinnacle of their professions. Such is also the case with “Sleeveface”, an activity formally introduced back in 2007 by John Rostron and Carl Morris in the U.K. where participants submit photos where one key element within the shot is built around an LP cover image. The duo went on to host a popular site and publish a book of their favorite examples of creative “sleevefacing” and, nearly 10 years later, the activity continues to attract more creative types to show us their most-imaginative work.

In a recent article by Daniel Peters for the Bandwagon site, you’ll meet a DJ from Singapore named Robin Chua (AKA “KiDG”) who has created a nice portfolio of these images and, in order to inspire others to join in, released a video guide showing how you can create your own masterpieces. Unfortunately, rights restrictions make it hard/impossible for those of us in the U.S. to see the video, but the article includes a number of photos of KiDG’s work and, of course, if my readers outside the U.S. would care to share what they see in the video with us, we can all be better-informed – https://www.bandwagon.asia/articles/sleeveface-or-bringing-your-vinyl-record-sleeves-to-life

g) After attending both the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design and the Maryland Institute College of Art in the early 1970s before dropping out to pursue his musical ambitions, David Byrne’s love of art and music remained strong (after all, he teamed up with fellow RISD student Chris Frantz and others to form the Talking Heads soon after) and he played a very hands-on role in the band’s album packaging/imagery going forward, with the band winning two Grammy Awards for “Best Album Art” (although they never won a Grammy for their music!) and collections of his own artwork later being featured in books and museum/gallery exhibitions.

Byrne has also forged relationships with other notables in the art world throughout his career, so it was with great interest that I read this recent posting by editor Abigail Cain on the Artsy.com site about Byrne’s discovery of the trend-setting works by Robert Rauschenberg and then collaborating with the artist on a very special, limited-edition pressing of the band’s 1983 record Speaking In Tongues. While the retail version of the record featured a simple-yet-pleasing design by Bryne himself, one of the limited-edition (1000 copies) versions – hand-signed by both Byrne and Rauschenberg and which sold for $100 – quickly became a must-have collectible. You can read all of the details via the link –https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-the-story-behind-robert-rauschenberg-s-iconic-talking-heads-album-cover?

A recent check on Ebay finds one of these available for only $4999.00…

h) My old friend and hip-hop founding father Rocky Bucano sent out an email on September 8th that I wanted to share with you all as I am a believer in his cause (setting up an institution – the Universal Hip Hop Museum – that will provide a proper home/platform for the preservation and sharing of the history, including an impressive and impactful one in graphic design and photography, of this truly American music genre. As Rocky puts it, “this has been an amazing year for development of the Universal Hip Hop Museum because of the support of our partners, advisors, board members, staff and supporters around the world. The Universal Hip Hop Museum has moved from a grand idea, to a viable concept, and now to a real business with an important mission that has been embraced by Hip Hop pioneers, collectors, business leaders, politicians, developers etc. ”

Rocky continues – “Yesterday, Forbes Magazine published the annual “Cash Kings” list of Hip Hop’s richest artists. A special documentary Bronx To Billions – Forbes Guide To Hip Hop History was produced by Zack Greenburg and Timothy Pierson to spotlight the role of the Bronx and its Hip Hop pioneers who were instrumental in giving birth to the world’s most popular music and culture.  The documentary emphasizes the importance and reasons for the establishment of a cultural institution and repository that is dedicated to documenting, preserving and celebrating the history of Hip Hop…  I invite you to watch the Forbes documentary Bronx to Billions and offer your support of the Universal Hip Hop Museum with a monetary contribution and by sharing this film with other people to make them aware of the UHHM mission.”

You can watch the film online via the link – http://youtu.be/sTzy3cjj0l4 – and be sure to subscribe to the UHHM video channel.  As I’ve shared with you in previous coverage of Rocky’s efforts to establish a Hip Hop museum in the Bronx, NY within the next few years (and, in the effort, help transform the area’s economy)  Also according to Rocky, “several major announcements will be made next month about new partnerships and exciting development plans for the museum,” so I’ll be sure to share them as they become available. In the meantime, you can visit his site at www.uhhm.org or follow them in the Twitterverse at  @uhhmuseum

i) It’s just smart marketing, if you ask me…Home lifestyle/furnishings retailer Crate & Barrel has just announced a new collection – furniture, shelving and related items – that seem perfectly-targeted a we old-timers who once had a special “listening room” where we’d shelve, protect and enjoy our vinyl LP collections. While video-focused “home theaters” have replaced the music rooms of the past, the resurgence of the popularity among some of a more-passive listening/enjoying experience can now be accommodated via this offering called, appropriately, “The Listening Room”. Not only can you buy some comfy chairs and sturdy shelving, but you can also add to your collections by selecting one of the 75 remastered vinyl records from Capital Records (from Sinatra and Garland to Sam Smith and Katy Perry) priced from $19.95 to $24.95 and play them on/through the $379.00 Orbit Turntable/pre-amp coupled to your choice of a $249.00 pair of Audioengine speakers or a $299.00 set of Bowers & Wilkins (B&W) wireless headphones. Of course, no setting would be complete without a small grouping of nicely-framed album covers and, as you might figure, C&B offers two nice frames for your 12 x 12 works of art.

I particularly like the grouping shown on http://www.crateandbarrel.com/decorating-and-accessories/turntable-accessories/1 (Beatles, Beach Boys, Nora Jones, etc.) and the nice-looking cordial set nearby (a requirement for serious listening). See more of the collection at http://www.crateandbarrel.com/special-features/music-listening-room/1

j) Nominees were just announced for the talent to be considered in one of the six categories (architecture, digital, fashion, graphics, product and transport) featured in the 9th annual Beazley Designs of the Year awards sponsored by The Design Museum in London, UK, with one of the nominees in the graphics category being designer Jonathan Barnbrook’s iridescent cover for what turned out to be the final album released by the late David Bowie, titled Blackstar.

According to the museum’s press on the nominations, the “Beazley Designs of the Year celebrates design that promotes or delivers change, enables access, extends design practice or captures the spirit of the year.”

In a year where we’re seeing corporate sponsorship re-labeling stadiums/events in ways that some would consider  “not quite right” (e.g., the new name for Sox Park in Chicago becoming “Guaranteed Rate Field”, just one degree less silly than Save-On Foods Stadium in Vancouver or KFC Yum! Center in Kentucky), of course I was curious as to who “Beazley” was. It turns out to be a large, multi-faceted insurance company who, according to their CEO Andrew Horton, chose to claim naming rights to this competition “to celebrate the role that great design plays in all our lives. At Beazley, we are committed to offering beautifully designed insurance to our clients around the world.” Whoo boy.

Read more about this year’s awards in Elizabeth Roberts’ recent posting on the MailOnline.com site – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3767120/David-Bowie-s-final-album-cover-joins-flat-pack-refugee-shelters-drinkable-book-shortlist-year-s-Design-Awards.html   and, to see and learn more about all of the nominees, click on over to the museum’s site at https://designmuseum.org/exhibitions/future-exhibitions/beazley-designs-of-the-year

That’s all for now – look for updates every week (typically, on a Friday) on our news feed –https://www.facebook.com/AlbumCoverHallOfFame – we’ll be back early next month with another summary for you.

All text Copyright 2016 Mike Goldstein and AlbumCoverHallofFame.com – All Rights Reserved. All of trade names mentioned in these summaries are the properties of their respective owners and are used for reference only.

Album Cover News Summary For August, 2016

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ALBUM COVER HALL OF FAME’S ALBUM COVER NEWS RECAP FOR THE MONTH OF August, 2016

It’s the beginning of September, 2016, with Labor Day upon us, marking the “official” end of this year’s Summer season. If you’re done packing your kids off to school and find yourself with a little extra “me-time” during the day, I’d like to propose that you spend a little time catching up on your album cover art/artist-related news which, as you all know by now, you’ll find nicely-summarized in my weekly and monthly recaps.

In this month’s summary – continuing on in the much-appreciated “less talk, more info” format I launched several months back – the people that make our favorite album imagery continue to make news with their ongoing contributions to the field of album art/packaging, contributing to the ongoing stream of articles, interviews, info on museum and gallery shows and the like on a wide range of related topics. Enjoy the read and let me know if you have any questions or comments:

1) Upcoming, recently-launched and just-closed show/exhibitions –

a) Launching September 1st at the San Pedro (CA) First Thursday Art Walk is an exhibition at the huZ Gallery featuring a selection of the photo portraits taken over the past 40+ years by photographer Peter Figen, a man who has produced stunning promo images of top talent including George Harrison, Bonnie Raitt, Doc Watson, Townes Van Zandt along with album package photos for David Grisman, Robert Earl Keen, Chris Hillman, Carl Verheyen and many others. With a career that was jump-started while shooting at an early 1970s Hot Rise show in California and being spotted by the art director for Frets Magazine, who asked him to submit his shots after the show, Figen has used his passion for folk/roots music to create confidence in his abilities as a photographer in his well-known subjects, with the results now on display during this gallery show. Writer Kathy Leonardo posted this profile on the artist recently on the Huffington Post site – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kathy-leonardo-/music-and-photography-sha_b_11298832.html – while those interested in seeing and learning more about this new print collection can click on over to the gallery’s site at http://www.huzgalleries.com/ . The gallery has also teased visitors with the fact that they’ll also be unveiling several new photo prints of a ready-to-be-discovered young musician named Elvis Presley taken by an Air Force photographer during a performance in Lubbock, TX in 1955…

b) Running now through September 10th at the Gabba Gallery on Beverly Boulevard in West Hollywood is a show featuring over 80 real and not-so-real album cover works created by a whole host of well-known and soon-to-be-well-known artists that’s called Cratedigger: The Lost Art of Album Cover Art. According to the gallery’s press, the exhibition “celebrates one of the twentieth century’s most influential art forms – the record sleeve cover. Curated by (gallery owner and accomplished artist in his own right) Jason Ostro, the exhibition showcases the work of 85 local and international artists. Each artist has imagined a cover design for a real or fictional album. Just like classic record covers, every piece in the show is 12” x 12”…

The gallery also shows music-related works by artists including Joey Feldman, Jules Muck and photographer Jeff Kravitz, so there will surely be a lot to take in during your visit. More info on the album art show is available on the gallery’s site – http://www.gabbagallery.com/cratedigger

c) Photographer Gerald Fearnley cemented his place in rock and roll album art history with the shot he provided for the cover of David Bowie’s debut record, but the folks at the Snap Gallery in London didn’t stop with just that image when they organized a show built around a recently-unearth cache of ’66 – ’67-era photos of the soon-to-be-recognized creative force that was Mr. Bowie. Fearnley was introduced early on to Bowie through his brother, bassist Derek Fearnley, who played in Bowie’s early backing band The Buzz, and used that access to arrange for a series of photo shoots that produced what looks to be a fascinating collection for fans of the era’s music and fashion. You can read an intro on the show – which runs through September 24th – via Tom Pinnock’s quicky posting on the Uncut site – http://www.uncut.co.uk/news/david-bowie-exhibition-feature-unpublished-photographs-86903 and get further details directly from the Gallery via this link – https://www.snapgalleries.com/exhibitions/bowie-photographs-by-gerald-fearnley/

d) The Buddy Holly Center in Lubbock, TX is where you’ll find a major collection of photos of rock’s best-known female stars taken by shooter (that takes on a new meaning in TX, no?) Anastasia Pantsios, an artist who’s been busy taking great photos for rock music clients including AC/DC, Journey, Eric Clapton, Michael Stanley and many others over the past 40+ years. Titled ” “Girls on Film, 40 Years of Women in Rock”, the show was originally organized several years ago and has been updated to include both some of Pantsios’s earliest works (e.g., Grace Slick with Jefferson Airplane in 1969, Deborah Harry in Blondie and mid-70s Patti Smith) and later examples including Gwen Stefani, Nelly Furtado and Shirley Manson of Garbage. While no longer working with clients in the music business (what, you want to get PAID to do your work?), Anastasia can look back proudly on her contributions to several Cleveland, OH-area publications including The Plain Dealer (where she also contributed as a writer) and alt weeklies including The Free Times and Cleveland Scene. More info on this show, running now through September 11th, via this article on the LubbockOnline.com site – http://lubbockonline.com/filed-online/2016-07-30/kerns-buddy-holly-center-displays-photo-exhibit-influential-women-rock#

e) What a combination – a prime collection of wonderful paintings and prints of worlds beyond our own put on display in a museum located on a mystical island! From now until the 19th of November, visitors to the Manx Museum – a National Heritage organization on the U.K.’s Isle of Man – can tour a collection of works by the impressively-talented Roger Dean, best-known to album cover art fans for his contributions to the visuals for bands including YES, Uriah Heep, Asia, Osibisa and many others.

With a portfolio that includes not only album cover imagery but (both alone and working with his talented brother Martyn) stage designs, architecture, calendars and a wide variety of merchandise, Dean’s work continues to impress and astound fans with its ability to take you to the farthest reaches of your imagination. You’ll find works in many media, including several models of designs he’s done for living spaces you can only dream you’d be able to live in. An article on the Isle of Man web site provides an intro – http://www.isleofman.com/News/details/80357/islands-and-bridges-the-art-of-roger-dean  while additional details are available on the museum’s site – http://www.manxnationalheritage.im/whats-on/detail/islands-and-bridges-the-art-of-roger-dean/

f) Since the time of the Woodstock Festival at the end of the 1960s, the exhibition of fine art with music has gone hand in hand, with everyone from poster/merch designers, painters, fabric artists and many other disciplines plying their wares and providing the visual backdrop for attendees at these festivals. One of the latest examples of this was on display recently during the Panorama festival held on Randall’s Island in New York City (as seen via the AFP-penned article that appeared on the ArtDaily.com site – http://artdaily.com/news/88984/For-New-York-s-new-festival–an-immersion-in-art).

Organized by the same team that puts on the popular Coachella festival (i.e., Goldenvoice), the festival features an area called The Lab which, according to the promoters, is an “interactive experience which features installations that combine technology, artistry, and design, created exclusively by New York-based artists for display only at PANORAMA.” Inside The Lab is “The Dome”, which is a huge dome that accommodates up to 400 people at a time and provides a 3D Virtual Reality display using music, animation and other forms of “immersive media”. The works of 11 studios combined to make this experience a fun and fascinating one, providing festival-goers with a place to take a break from the performances by acts including the Alabama Shakes, Arcade Fire, Kendrick Lamar, LCD Soundsystem and the act which has produced a number of very interesting album covers the past couple of years, FKA Twigs.

g) Friend of ACHOF Emily Smeaton of the UK’s Hypergallery was kind enough to share the details of an upcoming event that should be of great interest to anyone interested in both seeing a superb collection of album art prints and hearing from two of the most-respected designers in the field. Beginning on September 26th in lovely Henly-On-Thames outside of London, our chums at Hypergallery will host a pop-up exhibition called “The Art of the Album Cover” that will feature ” prints by Literary Festival speakers, from the days when all music was vinyl, and album covers became an art form of their own.” On the last day of the event – Sunday, October 2nd, at 5pm local time, in the Town Hall venue – two of rock music’s design greats – Aubrey (Po) Powell, the co-founder of the celebrated design studio Hipgnosis (best known for their covers for Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Peter Gabriel/Genesis and many others, and author of a book on his studio’s work titled Hipgnosis Portraits) will be joined by Richard Evans (who, in addition to his many well-known album art credits both with the team at Hipgnosis and on his own, was author of The Art of the Album Cover book) where, according to Emily’s note, “the two artists will be sharing anecdotes from the time they spent at the epicenter of the rock and roll tornado of the late 1960s and 1970s.” After the event, Hypergallery will host a book signing and exhibition of the authors’ design work in their print room, just across from the Town Hall. You’ll be able to meet the authors, have a drink or two and view the great collection of works that will be on hand.

Advanced tickets for the event are now on sale via the link – http://tiny.cc/hlf_artofthealbum  and you can visit the gallery’s site at https://www.hypergallery.com/event_hlf/  for more details. Of course, I will work to get hold of any photos, transcripts or videos that emerge from this event, so stay tuned. I am, of course, immediately jealous of anyone who’ll be able to attend this event…

h) Having just celebrated his 75th birthday (Happy Birthday, John!), graphic design superstar John Van Hamersveld marked the occasion with the launch of a new exhibition (running now thru October 16th, at the Manhattan Beach Art Center in Manhattan Beach, CA) titled Contemporary Post Future! The Dichotomy of Design and Art – John Van Hamersveld which, according to the gallery’s PR, ” presents past and present artworks where John Van Hamersveld explores the connection between art, design and commerce.” The centerpiece of the display is a 47-panel modular black and creme-colored collage/mural JVH created that surrounds the building with his talents. Inside, two galleries showcase a number of examples of both his commercial design work and his striking and imaginative fine art designs, so if you’re in the area or need a destination for an art-filled excursion, I’d suggest a trip on over to see this show, with details available via the link at http://www.citymb.info/city-officials/parks-and-recreation/cultural-arts/exhibition/creative-arts-center-exhibitions#ad-image-1

i) Just as a tease, the folks at the V&A Museum in the U.K. just announced that they’re going to stage a new exhibition beginning in May 13th, 2017 built around the imagery of one of Britain’s most-valuable exports – that being the rock band Pink Floyd. According to the press (as exemplified in this BBC Entertainment & Arts section article recently published – http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-372284960 ) the show – to be titled “The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains” – promises to offer “an immersive, multi-sensory and theatrical journey through Pink Floyd’s extraordinary world which will chronicle the music, iconic visuals and staging of the band, from the underground psychedelic scene in 1960s London to the present day”. With over 350 examples of Floyd-related visual imagery, including a whole host of album cover artwork created over the years by Storm, Po and the team at Hipgnosis, there will certainly be a lot to take in. Advance tickets are now on sale on the Museum’s website at https://www.vam.ac.uk/exhibitions/pink-floyd

2) Artist interviews/profile articles –

a) When a long-time fan of a musical act – in this case, South Carolina-based artist Dave Beard – has the opportunity to provide design services for that act – in this case, the Beach Boys – great joy ensues, as is evidenced by this recent article by Andrew Stark for the Fort Mill Times (as shared with the HeraldOnline.com site). The article tracks Beard’s path from fan to fanzine editor/designer to Dean Torrence (of Jan & Dean fame) design cohort to a 2014 commission by the Beach Boys to create what Beach Boy Mike Love called “In the 54 years of touring and (a) multitude of concerts and concert programs, the new Beach Boys’ 2015 Official Tour Program is far and away the best I’ve ever seen.”

Wouldn’t it be nice to learn more about this story? Don’t worry, baby – here’s the link – http://www.heraldonline.com/news/local/community/fort-mill-times/article91728932.html

b) Fine artist Filipe Molina has been showing his works in top-notch galleries throughout his career, but when he was contacted by the folks at Capitol Records in 2014 to come up with artwork for the Counting Crow’s then-upcoming record titled Going Under Wonderland, he saw it as an opportunity to be able to share his work with potentially millions of the band’s fans and proposed that he create a unique work for each song on the album, greatly multiplying the “collection” each record’s owner would acquire. He then went on to create a really nicely-done multi-media light show that the band used during their 2015 World Tour. As I’m working on adding Molina’s bio to the ACHOF site, Felipe shared a link to a 25 minute video on YouTube that gives you an overview to the artist and the wonderful images he created for this record package – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xz-Gj33Kg0g

To see more of the artist’s works, you can also visit his website at http://www.molinaart.com. Once there, you’ll find more about some of his other projects, including a “Wine Art Music” project (inc. custom labels for proprietary blends released by Standing Sun Winery) and The Outlaw Roadshows (indie rock music festival staged in Nashville and NYC) where Felipe both exhibits his artwork and is one of the event’s five producers.

c) Fascinating article by writer Anna Buksowicz for the British Journal of Photography on art director Samuel Burgess-Johnson that focuses on his most-recent work for the latest record by The 1975, with neon signs placed in unusual locations that are used to illustrate each of the album’s 10 song titles. It’s certainly a testament to the value of a proper budget for stunning album cover work, but I wonder if they paid whoever was hired to come up with the record’s title by the word – I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It.

Burgess-Johnson also spends a fair amount of time sharing his feelings about what makes for a good album cover and why it’s still an important part of any new record release, so if you’d like to read more of the insights of one of the busier art directors working in the music business these days, click on over to http://www.bjp-online.com/2016/08/how-samuel-burgess-johnson-snapshots-music-through-art-direction/

d) I’ve written previously about the mega-exhibition (“Exhibitionism“) currently in London featuring a heaping helping of Rolling Stones art, photography, music and memorabilia, but fans of notable album cover imagery are in for a treat if you bop on over to this interview article posted on the Clash Music site featuring the wonderfully-talented photographer Gered Mankowitz, someone with several shots included in the show, including his cover photo for Between The Buttons and a portrait of the band’s metronome, drummer Charlie Watts.

While the interview provides an in-depth look at Gered’s relationship with the band, their management/record label and then touches on his other well-known subjects, including Jimi Hendrix (the iconic “Smoking” shot) and newer acts such as Oasis, Mankowitz does go on record with the lament that the first album package image he took of the band – the artsy alleyway shot used on their Out of Our Heads record back in 1965 – was NOT included in the show. “This will be the last time” (or, based on the total control the band has over its image, maybe not)….  http://www.clashmusic.com/features/gered-mankowitz-shooting-the-stones

e) While most album artist profile articles are cobbled together by writers (such as yours truly) asking the subject questions about themselves and their work, today I’d like to point you to one that presents an artist profile that’s been provided by one of the (late) artist’s better-known clients, by whom I mean guitarist Steve Miller, sharing his recollections of working with the famed art director/photographer Storm Thorgerson. One of Storm’s last record cover commissions was for Miller’s 2010 release titled Bingo, with the photo impressing Austin Chronicle writer Raoul Hernandez so greatly that he tracked down Mr. Miller to get his take on the collaboration with Thorgerson that produced such a memorable image.

Armed with a list of what he needed (logo, cover and a new take on a “Space Cowboy” image) and a rather nice budget for these elements, Miller got all he wanted and more and was left with what I’m sure you’ll agree was a long-lasting impression of what it was like to work with a talent such as Storm, even late in his career and having faced a stroke and cancer as obstacles. Really quite the talent…

http://www.austinchronicle.com/daily/music/2016-07-29/adult-play-storm-thorgerson-by-steve-miller/

3) Sales/Auctions –

a) The folks at the WA-based Visual Gallery have announced a sale on a select grouping of limited-edition album art prints that I thought you might want to check out. You’ll find promo pricing on prints including Cream’s Disraeli Gears (a Martin Sharp masterpiece), Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles, a Charlie Watts-signed Bridges To Babylon print and others. They’re also offering some nice deals on posters by Ioannis, Bob Masse and others, so click on over to see what’s on sale before it’s too late – http://www.visualgallery.com/

b) Works by the late artist Frank Frazetta have fed the fantasies of many a young science fiction/adventure fan as well as musical acts including Molly Hatchett, Nazareth, Yngwie Malmsteen and Wolfmother (who chose to use Frazetta paintings on the covers of several of their record albums), so it was interesting and exciting to see that one of the artist’s best-known paintings – titled At The Earth’s Core and used on the cover of the 1978 paperback release for famed writer Edgar Rice Burrough’s first Pellucidar novel – sell for over a million dollars during a recent Heritage Auction event in Dallas, TX (the actual selling price was $1.075 million, the most ever paid for a Frazetta work). You can click on over to this recent article on the Fine Books & Collections Magazine site in which the details are shared about both this impressive purchase, along with other big-ticket illustration art items that found new homes post-auction – https://www.finebooksmagazine.com/press/2016/08/world-record-for-frank-frazettas-painting-used-as-paperback-cover-art.phtml

c) Kanye West‘s design company – DONDA Design – pulled out all of the stops when they created an animatronic sculpture featuring 12 of the era’s most-recognized celebrities lying naked in a large bed, a prop then used in one of the musician’s latest music videos. Now, Mr. West has entrusted the Los Angeles-based gallery Blum & Poe to find a collector who’d be willing to spend $4 million to take the sculpture – complete with platform bed, bed linens and batteries – home for their very own. Made from silicon (a substance most-widely used for other purposes in today’s entertainment business), the work shows life-like models of Pop Culture icons such as Taylor Swift, Anna Wintour, Donald Trump, George W. Bush, Bill Cosby and others all asleep, lying alongside West and two of his family members – wife Kim and Caitlyn Jenner. The gallery held a brief showing recently and is actively seeking a buyer among its contact list of well-heeled collectors and museums, so we’ll keep an eye out to see if/when/where it lands. For more details on the work, you can read NY Times writer Adam Popescu’s late-breaking story via the link – http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/01/arts/design/gallery-hopes-to-sell-kanye-wests-famous-sculpture-for-4-million.html? or see more on the gallery’s site at http://www.blumandpoe.com/exhibitions/kanye-west

4) New Print/Book Publishing –

a) If you were impressed with the 50+ “variant covers” that Marvel produced last year which were creatively-reworked versions of well-known examples of hip-hop album cover art, you’ll be happy to read the details of a new series scheduled for this year, with the details provided to us in an article by Fuse‘s Zach Dione. Characters who’ll be featured in the first of this new series include Black Panther, Doctor Strange and Mosaic, built around designs originally found on records by King Mez, Infinite Mind War and Earl Sweatshirt. Keep ’em coming, folks!

http://www.fuse.tv/2016/07/marvel-hip-hop-variant-comic-book-covers-second-wave

b) While I’ve been working hard gathering and organizing the materials for my own book, I look on with great envy as author Ramon Martos Garcia shares the details of his latest release – a thoroughly-revised edition of his critically-acclaimed book on Heavy Metal album art/artists that’s titled And Justice For Art: Stories About Heavy Metal Album Covers (Vol.2). The book, in a signed, limited-edition release (only 270 copies will be produced), is now available for pre-order ($39.99 plus shipping), with shipping set to commence next week.

According to the author, ” This new revised edition has many, many changes—some of them more significant than others, but equally important. Although the new book has the same number of pages (264) and a similar layout, I added a few new images that weren’t available at the time I published the first edition and exchanged some artworks for similar ones with much better quality.

Some parts of the text have also changed, in some cases dramatically. It’s not something you will notice at first sight, but once you go deeper, there are things that are unequivocally different. There are also new comments or interviews with bands and artists I interviewed after the first edition came out. Also, the color reproduction is richer and closer to how the original artworks look like. It took a lot of time and effort.”

If you, like me, are a fan of the many styles of art found on your favorite metal music recordings and you haven’t seen this book before, I’d suggest visiting the publisher’s site now to see more and order your own copy. Here is the pre-order link – http://andjusticeforart.bigcartel.com/product/and-justice-for-art-stories-about-heavy-metal-album-covers

c) The folks at UK print publisher The Flood Gallery recently emailed with some info and imagery about the latest in their series of releases featuring album cover fine art prints of designer/photographer Carl Glover‘s cover images for Marillion’s 2006 LP titled Marbles. In addition to the provocative cover shot, prints of the equally mind-bending graphics that were featured on the record label, CD and inner sleeve are also being offered, with collectors able to preview and purchase any/all of these memorable works via the link – http://www.thefloodgallery.com/search?q=marillion Fans can also check out the prints available for two more Glover-produced Marillion covers – Somewhere Else and Radiation – the latter image being a crafty combination of two photos taken 14 years apart!

5) Other articles of interest –

a) Writing for the DJ Booth site, writer Yoh has put together an interesting look at album cover designs that don’t show the musical acts on the cover. Its an interesting thing to see young writers looking at this as if it were something unusual, considering the number of covers that have been produced over the years that didn’t show the acts or, as evidenced very early on, were hesitant to show the acts for a variety of reasons (e.g., not showing black artists for fear of losing sales to predominantly white audiences or, in the case of some early American acts looking to hop on the British Rock invasion, adopting English names and clothing styles).

In the hip-hop world, where it tends to be important to look tough/rich/street-smart/etc., fans will typically find their favorite musical acts pictured prominently on the cover, so it seems that usually only the well-establish artists (Kanye, Jay-Z, etc.) are the ones willing to take a chance and show off their graphic design inspirations. Here’s hoping for more…  http://djbooth.net/news/entry/2016-07-22-album-covers-no-face

b) For an article posted recently on the Austin Chronicle‘s web site titled “Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler”, several of the publication’s writers were asked to pick their favorite illustrated album covers and album cover artists and let readers know why they feel these examples were stand-outs in their field. The people and images selected represent a very broad range of talent, including artists such as Roger Dean (YES, Uriah Heep, Asia, etc.), H.R. Giger (best-known for ELP’s Brain Salad Surgery, Debbie Harry’s cheek-pierced Koo Koo and the monsters in the Alien films) and Daniel Johnston, among others with works created for musical acts including Pink Floyd, Ramones, Miles Davis, The Beatles and Chance The Rapper. Whether you’re a fan of the hyper-realistic artwork of Mati Klarwein or the trippy, comic-inspired R. Crumb cover created for Big Brother & The Holding Company’s Cheap Thrills, you’ll find a hand-drawn example you’re sure to appreciate.

http://www.austinchronicle.com/music/2016-07-29/adult-audio-coloring-book-sampler/

c) Washington Post columnist John Kelly recently posted a profile of Ken Orth, a retired urban planner/Beatles fan extraordinaire who travels the Beatles-related gatherings circuit putting on display selections from his 2000+ item collection of spoofs of Beatles record covers. Orth has been collecting these works of art since the early 1980s, and included in his collection are examples of well-known parody covers such as Frank Zappa & The Mothers’ We’re Only In It For The Money (a satirical take on the collage found on the Sgt Pepper’s LP) alongside lesser-known items such as Floyd Domino’s take on the Abbey Road street crossing scene, re-staged using four toddlers in diapers.

The entire parody sub-set of album art collecting is an interesting one, with a number of collectors doing a great amount of researching and Ebay purchasing in order to find prime examples of imagery inspired by classic album art. Ken’s working on gathering the nitty-gritty information on every original Beatles album cover so, with any luck, I hope to be able to share some of that with you when its made available. In the meantime, click on over to https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/beatles-album-parody-art-he-loves-it-yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah-/2016/08/09/b90e66fc-5dcb-11e6-8e45-477372e89d78_story.html  to read more about Ken and his most-interesting of album art collections.

Related content – if you’re really wanting to see a broad selection of parody covers – including hundreds of examples of “re-imagined” covers inspired by designs for the packages of records from the soundtrack for The Sound of Music to The Who’s Live At Leeds, you must pick up a copy of the 2011 book compiled and written by Jan Bellekens and ACHOF chum Simon Robinson titled Covered. The gall of some musical acts is truly mind-blowing (and, most-often, quite hilarious) – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/095614392X/ref=as_li_ss_tl?

d) Leave it to the writing team on the Ultimate Classic Rock site to treat us to album art-related stories with a twist (or, in this case, with a piss). Author Nick Deriso recounts the story told by photographer Ethan Russell about “the making of” the cover image for one of The Who’s best-remembered records – 1971’s Who’s Next – which, you’ll recall, features a shot of the band having seemingly just relieving themselves on a concrete tower found along the motorway in Sheffield. In fact, only one of the stains resulted from a much-needed pit stop, with the others craftily created by the photographer, so if you’d like to get to the bottom of this story, click on over and the truth will be revealed – http://ultimateclassicrock.com/whos-next-album-cover/

That’s all for now – look for updates every week (usually, on Friday) on our news feed –https://www.facebook.com/AlbumCoverHallOfFame – we’ll be back early next month with another summary for you.

All text Copyright 2016 Mike Goldstein and AlbumCoverHallofFame.com – All Rights Reserved.

Album Cover News Recap for November, 2015

Album Cover News Recap for November, 2015

It’s early December 2015 and, here in the Pacific NW, we’ve already been treated to the first blasts of Winter air – great skiing on Mt. Hood and sleeping-with-the-windows-open weather – with the last bits of Fall’s colors reminding us why we moved here. The craziness we all seem to suffer from at the end of the year has done nothing to stunt the flow of album art-related news, though, with the ACHOF news feed including many exhibitions, books and the like we reported on during the last 30 days. With stories featuring new interviews, features, book releases, gallery/museum shows and the first “best and worst” lists adding to the endless source of joy and inspiration found in our news feeds, I’ll spend a few paragraphs giving you a summary of these highlights and updates but, after that,  it’ll be up to you  to visit our site to complete your re-reading of these items of interest on this list by reading/viewing these items at your leisure…

Lots of interesting interviews this past month – both in print and on video – with album artists, rock photographers and others involved in the record packaging world, including art directors Gary Burden, John Van Hamersveld, Kosh, Dean Torrence (of Jan & Dean fame) and Tupac’s designer Riskie; photographers Dan Corrigan, Dave Drebin and Brian Cooke, as well as artist/illustrator Tommie Phillips (AKA “Tommie Molecule”).

In the fine art book category, there was news of new and upcoming book releases from photographer Jay Blakesberg (about the Grateful Dead’s farewell shows), designer/illustrator James Marsh (on his work for Talk Talk), author David Hamsley (with a comprehensive book on Disco-era covers), a GWAR photo retrospective and Taschen’s extensive homage to “the father of album covers”, Alex Steinweiss.

World-wide, there were a large number of exhibitions and shows in museums and galleries built around rock-related imagery that premiered during November, with collections on display that show a broad range of album art and related imagery. You’ll read more about current and just-completed exhibits such as Beatle-daughter Mary McCartney’s show of both her/her mother’s family portraits, painter/professor Don Munson’s latest works, a show centered on the art made during So. California’s punk era, cartoonist Jamie Hewlett’s (of Gorillaz fame) latest works, musician/artist Andy Votel’s cassette mix-tape cover designs, White Zombie’s Sean Yseult’s highly-personal artwork and photo shows featuring the works of Dan Fong, Tony Mott, Ken Davidoff and Masayoshi Sukita.

Other interesting articles appeared on subjects including the many new examples of album art-inspired merchandise (something to keep in mind at Holiday time!), a profile of rock star clothier Manuel Cuevas, new record packages where music is delivered via chip-embedded picture cards, a look at the art of design house/record label Mondo, several items listing the “best” and “worst” covers in genres including heavy metal and hip-hop and a look at how photographer Jon Smith creates cover images based on high-speed shots of bullets penetrating various solid objects.

As it typically the case, I don’t have the time/space to include everything in this summary, so please take a moment to dig through the rest of what’s below – I’m sure you’ll find something that stimulates your interest!

One final noteWe’ve just completed this year’s annual nominating/final voting polls for the ACHOF and, as part of that effort, I’ve added  several new biographies to the Artist Bios section on the ACHOF site during the month. You’ll now find the list of this year’s inductees on the ACHOF via this link – https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/achof-class-of-2015-inductee-intro-page/ – where I’m sure you’ll find some of your favorite album art producers added to our growing list of honorees.

With all of the year-end distractions now upon us , I’m doing my part to help you in your efforts to catch up on recent news you may have missed but,  as I repeat (incessantly, I know) every month, regardless of how hectic your lives may be, there’s no reason that you should go without getting yourselves up-to-date info on one of your favorite topics – it’s my Holiday gift to you!  You can be sure that I’ll continue to work every day (except weekends) to prove to you that there’s always something new to see and learn in the world of album cover art, and you know that you’ll find it all here on the ACHOF site (keep your eye on our News Feed for the latest updates). Enjoy your Holidays!

November 30th –  1) So, you’ve collected years of rock and roll memorabilia, photos and memories of rock music events and are looking for a way to share it all with the world at large? Of course, you could always do something silly – like launch a blog or web site – but, beginning on December 1st, the curators at The Smithsonian want you to share with other fans via a new site they’ve launched because, according to their press release, “we want rock’n’roll as seen through your eyes: at clubs, concerts, festivals, and beyond.” With one of the ultimate goals of this project being the publication of a book of crowd-sourced images (in the Fall of 2017), the new site (rockandroll.si.edu) will work to be ground central for amateur archivists from around the world. I hope to find out more about the details of this project and will share them with you soon but, in the meantime, you can learn more about how you can help our National Museum become one of the world’s most-complete storehouses of rock music imagery via the link – http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-smithsonian-wants-you-to-hit-them-with-your-best-shot-300182334.html

2) Holiday time is the time where rock imagery fans scour the world trying to find never-before-sent gifts to their fellow collectors and, each year, I’m always impressed with some of the unique items I find and am able to share with you. While I’m working on a more-comprehensive article for later in the month, I did want to show you one example I found recently – a collection of cozy blankets and tapestries adorned with well-know album cover and rock portrait designs. Writing for Fast Company‘s design site, Joe Berkowitz introduces us to products sold by a company called society6 that include several well-known album covers nicely-rendered in fabric – you’ll find art for musical acts including Talking Heads, Frank Zappa, Primal Scream, Seal and many others. Lots to choose from, so if you’re stymied for an idea for something new and exciting, take a look – http://www.fastcocreate.com/3053856/wrap-yourself-up-in-music-with-blankets-patterned-after-your-favorite-album-covers#2

November 27th –  1) The talents of the accomplished graphic artist/album cover designer James Marsh are now available in gift-giving form via the new, just-released paperback version of the sold-out 2012 book called “The Spirit of Talk Talk. He kicked the book’s promo off a couple of days ago at a star-studded, musically-intriguing party (featuring The Spirit of Talk Talk Band) at the Clapham Grand in London and, based on the coverage of the event, a great time was had by all who attended. James’ newly-revised book adds pages of new content (artwork, interviews and more) and is a must-have for fans of the artist’s amazingly life-like (and yet surrealistic) illustrations. You can find out more about the book via the Spirit of Talk Talk site – http://spiritoftalktalk.com/ and see pics and video of the recent promo party at https://www.facebook.com/SpiritOfTalkTalk/?fref=photo

Congratulations, James – nice work!

2) In a newly-launched exhibition at NYC’s Gagosian Gallery (available for viewing from now until December 19th), you’ll find an impressive display of photographs that highlight the fact that talent can certainly be inherited. Viewers of “Linda McCartney|Mary McCartney – Mother Daughter” will find a selection of intimate family portraits – some never shown in public – as well as photos well-known to fans of Sir Paul and his family, such as Linda’s shot of her husband and then-baby Mary featured on the cover of the 1970 solo record McCartney. In Sue Williamson‘s interview article on the W Magazine website, you’ll learn more about how this exhibition came together and a bit about how young Ms. McCartney thought it would show how influential her mother’s talents as a photographer turned out to be – http://www.wmagazine.com/culture/art-and-design/2015/11/mary-mccartney-gagosian/photos/

3) While some music fans might be intimidated by the prospect of exploring the cultural themes of rap and hip-hop music, album art fans will be greatly-rewarded by a thorough exploration of the development of the genre’s visuals over the years, with many records serving as stunning examples of both visual artistry and social commentary. In an article written and compiled by Dominique Zonyee for The Boombox site titled “25 Striking Hip-Hop Album Covers That Will Make You Appreciate a Rapper’s Creative Side“, you’ll find a photo gallery showing off examples of memorable cover art for 20+ years of musical acts including Wu-Tang Clan, Geto Boys, Tupac, Kendrick Lamar, DMX, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Drake and many others. Some are cliche’, some are disturbing and some show an impressive degree of knowledge of the technical and historical influences that simply make for great art – enjoy – http://theboombox.com/25-hip-hop-album-covers-rappers-creative-side/

November 26th –  1) As I’m a fan of artists who’ve excelled in the two disciplines of cartoon animation and album cover art, on the rare occasion that one person achieves fame in BOTH arenas, I’m even more impressed. Such is the case with Jamie Hewlett, the guy responsible for Gorillaz – the “make believe” band that featured music videos (and album covers) built around band members that sprung from the crafty fingers of Mr. Hewlett and who achieved a great deal of success several years ago and whose last record (2010’s Plastic Beach) included the talents of Lou Reed, Snoop Dogg and singer Bobby Womack. While Gorillaz will be staging a comeback soon, Hewlett’s talent as a fine artist was the subject of an exhibition (titled “The Suggestionists”) that was on display through December 2nd at the Saatchi Gallery in London. Read more about the artist’s latest efforts in Holly Williams‘ recent interview article on The Independent (UK) site – http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/jamie-hewlett-on-the-return-of-the-gorillaz-and-fine-art-saatchi-gallery-exhibition-a6733491.html

2) Fans of famed photographer Masayoshi Sukita – perhaps best-known for the photo he snapped of glam-rocker David Bowie in 1977 that was used on the cover of his Heroes LP (and re-purposed in 2013 on the cover of the singer’s popular record titled The Next Day) – can hoof it on over to the Morrison Hotel Gallery in NYC (until Nov. 30th, moving to the gallery’s booth at Art Basel in Miami the following week) to view a retrospective they’ve assembled titled “Sukita: David Bowie”. In this article on Time Magazine‘s site by Kenneth Bachor, you’ll read more about the artist and his 40+year relationship with the rocker who’s called Sukita “a brilliant artist” – see if you don’t agree… http://time.com/4117090/sukita-david-bowie-photos/

3) Colorado Public Radio’s reporting team of Michael D. Yoanna and Nathan Heffel has posted an audio interview with photographer Dan Fong, a shooter with a resume and portfolio that includes portraits of nearly every major musical act that toured through the Denver area in the 1960s-70s (The Who, Van Morrison, Tommy Bolin and others), a series of album cover images for The Doobie Brothers and, based on his further talents as a chef, cooking for a dinner party for The Rolling Stones. A new exhibition of Fong’s photos from the era are also now on display (titled Legends of Rock) from now through January 2nd at the Robert Anderson Gallery in Denver. Sharing the interview with Fong is security guru to the stars, Jerry McKim, who shares tales of his duty keeping fans from killing themselves and the bands that played the local venues – good times, for sure.

https://www.cpr.org/news/story/denvers-rock-heyday-through-eyes-photographer-and-security-man

November 24th –  1) One of the most-creative labels behind the resurgence in the sales of vinyl records is Austin, TX-based Mondo, founded by a saloon owner named Tim League who grew his business to include concerts, merchandise (both their own and from major licensors) and, ultimately, a record label that produces and distributes smartly-packaged music. Their specialty is custom-produced movie soundtrack albums, and the 50+ records they’ve released includes compilations from films such as Star Wars, Shaun of the Dead, Guardians of the Galaxy and many others. Their products have featured art work done by several highly-collected fine artists (including Olly Moss and Tyler Stout, among othes) and, in this recent article by Zack Ruskin on the Consequence of Sound site, you’ll learn more about the company’s past and plans for the future, straight from the principals – http://consequenceofsound.net/2015/11/merch-madness-inside-the-world-of-mondo/

2) While 1969’s International Palm Beach Music & Arts Festival held at the area Speedway didn’t move the Pop Culture needle the same way that Woodstock did that year, the fact that key period bands such as The Byrds, Grand Funk Railroad, Janis Joplin and the Rolling Stones (as well as many others) played before the 50,000 or so ticket-holders over the three days of the festival gave local photographers such as Ken Davidoff a chance to capture memorable images of these bands for posterity. All these years later, Davidoff is now earning a living licensing shots from his portfolio – including images from the previously-mentioned shows – via his OldRockPhoto.com site and displayed a selection of them in a show that ran thru Nov. 30th at the Palm Beach County History Museum, 300 N. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, FL. You can learn more about the photographer and his career (including time spent with John Lennon) in Leslie Gray Streeter‘s recent article for the Palm Beach Post – http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com/news/entertainment/arock-n-roll-backstage-pass-classic-rock-photos-by/npN3B/

3) One of the best-known Elvis records – titled 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong – featured Elvis in a custom-designed gold lame suit created by famed clothing designer Manuel Cuevas, who also supplied iconic clothing for Johnny Cash, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and the stars featured in over 100 films and TV shows. Still tailoring-away in his eighties, in this interview article by Freunde von Freunden for The Creators Project, you’ll learn all about the designer’s time spent as a youngster studying from the great Nudie and then stepping out on his own to help design important aspects of many a star’s public and on-screen personnas – http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/blog/meet-the-man-who-made-elvis-signature-gold-suit

Any guy who has helped cement our fondest remembrances of Raquel Welch and Marilyn Monroe is a friend of mine…

November 23rd –  1) Very nice article on one of the world’s best-known and prolific album cover artists – Kosh, the man responsible for cover images you love including Hotel California for the Eagles, Abbey Road for The Beatles, Who’s Next for The Who and many, many others. I wrote a while back about the fact that Kosh is now selling a line of prints that include some very well-done “mash-ups” of some of his famous works – how about “Abbey Hotel”, where the Fab Four are now crossing the street in front of the iconic So. CA. hotel (!!). In writer Laura Huntt Foti’s feature on the Best Classic Bands site, the designer gives us some delightful tidbits on the stories behind several of his images, available via the link at http://bestclassicbands.com/kosh-creates-unforgettable-lp-covers-11-17-15/

2) Designer/photographer Brian Cooke has contributed a number of memorable images for fans of rock and roll since starting in the business in the 1960s. Since then, working as both an in-house producer for Island Records and as a freelancer doing work for other labels including Chrysalis and Virgin Records (where he produced over 150 sleeve images), Cooke has worked to introduce us to many now-classic acts in the worlds of rock, punk, New Wave and beyond, including Bryan Ferry/Roxy Music, Steve Winwood/Traffic, Robert Palmer, the Sex Pistols, Mott The Hoople and many more. Writer Sharon Dale, reporting for The Yorkshire Post, talks to Cooke about his career and his two recent efforts – a blog and a retail web store – to share highlights of his experiences (his “adventures”) with fans world-wide – http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/yorkshire-living/arts/art/sleeve-notes-my-adventures-in-rock-n-roll-1-7561323

3) The packaging and distribution of retail music products continues to evolve with the times and technology, as you’ll see in this recent article by Brooke Roberts-Islam in the Huffington Post about musician Beatie Wolfe and how she’s chosen to sell her music product to fans – via a specially-produced deck of cards that include NFC technology that allows properly-app’d smart-phones to instantly play her songs, accompanied with lyrics, artwork and other proprietary content. It’s a pretty cool combination of digital and physical, I think you’ll agree – http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/brooke-robertsislam/beatie-wolfe_b_8503290.html

Has anyone actually seen or played with anything like this? Please share, if you have…

November 20th –  1) If you find yourself anywhere near Napa, CA, you owe it to yourself to drive on over to the gallery at sparkling wine maker Mumm Napa to see a showing of photos, taken by Jim Marshall and curated by both Carlos Santana and the folks at the San Francisco Art Exchange gallery. According to the press release for “Jim Marshall Seen Through The Eyes Of Carlos Santana”, the show serves to both allow the winery to introduce their new, limited-release sparkler called “Santana Savor” and for the award-winning guitarist “to show Jim Marshall’s genius as a photographer, a chronicler of history and portraitist of no equal.” The two first met in 1965 when a mutual friend of theirs introduced them and asked Jim to shoot some publicity photos of what was then known as the Santana Blues Band, and their friendship endures to this day (even after Jim’s death in 2010). The show runs through May of next year, and details can be found via the link – https://www.mummnapa.com/visitmummnapa/events/jim-marshall-seen-through-the-eyes-of-carlos-santana

2) Designer Gary Burden‘s work in the album art field is legendary, so it’s nice to be able to learn a bit more about “the making of” his “10 Most-Memorable Album Covers” in this recent article/photo gallery put together by Melody Lau on the CBC Music blog – http://music.cbc.ca/#!/blogs/2015/11/From-Neil-Young-to-Joni-Mitchell-artist-Gary-Burden-on-10-of-his-most-famous-album-covers   If you’re in Toronto anytime between now and next February, you can also tour a new gallery show of Burden’s (and his wife, Jenice Heo’s) creative output called The Neil Young Series on display at the STRUCK Contemporary gallery on Adelaide Street East. The display includes a number of new mixed-media works the duo recently produced that attempt to express their feelings about the musician and his music. You’ll recall that Burden created the album cover for Young’s 1970 album titled After The Gold Rush, as well as those for On The Beach and several CSN&Y albums, including Deja Vu and 4-Way Street. 

3) Andy Votel is truly a multi-talented guy – artist, musician, producer, record label owner – and so it seems natural that he’d apply his gifts to music-and-art-related projects for himself and his stablemates. A true indie at heart, he’s also decided to “buck the system” and, rather than create new music/art for more-traditional retail distribution, Andy has decided to offer fans a series of cassette mixtapes that sport the artist’s colorful cover imagery. Working with the Manchester (U.K.)-based gallery Electrik, you’ll be able (through December 3rd) to see an exhibition of his latest works that include “tape covers – ranging from Bollywood horror themes to Tokyo pop via music made entirely on home made instruments.” Writing for TheQuietus site, John Doran has posted an interview with Votel during which he discusses his anti-establishment approach to delivering music and art via a medium most consider being from a bygone era – http://thequietus.com/articles/19215-andy-votel-turn-on-tape-in-tab-out-exhibition-preview

November 19th –  1) Here’s a great interview article with a great interview article subject – graphic artist John Van Hamersveld, a guy that has so many impressive credits that it’s difficult to begin to summarize them. The Endless Summer poster? That’s him. The Fatburger logo? John again. The covers for Magical Mystery Tour, Exile On Main Street and Hotter Than Hell for KISS, along with posters, prints and, most-recently, a huge, classic Japanese art-inspired mural in Hermosa Beach, CA – all show this artist’s impact on Pop Culture over the past 50 years – so it’s with great pleasure that I point you towards writer Thomas Harlander‘s article as it appeared recently on the Los Angeles Magazine site – http://www.lamag.com/citythinkblog/the-artist-behind-the-endless-summer-poster-on-his-work-then-and-now/   Surfers world-wide owe JVH an eternal debt of gratitude!

2) While the cover collage for The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s and the photo of the same band’s members crossing the street featured on the cover of Abbey Road must surely be the most-copied frameworks for spoof covers, the folks behind seminal British rock band Queen – in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the release of Queen II and “Bohemian Rhapsody” – have worked to raise money for the BBC’s “Children In Need” charity by sponsoring a contest where fans were able to stop by a spot in London where a recreation of Wayne’s World‘s 1978 AMC Pacer was set up so that participants could record a re-make of the band’s classic tune. In addition, a number of U.K. rock stars participated in another fund-raiser, posing to re-create Mick Rock’s famous “floating head” photo that ultimately served as both the cover for the record and the basis for the memorable music video for the song. Writer Duncan Lindsay, on the Metro U.K. web site – has just posted a quiz that asks you to identify the substitutes in a series of these photo re-creations – I hope that you did better than I did on this (I really need to bone up on my UK pop stars!) – http://metro.co.uk/2015/11/11/quiz-can-you-name-these-stars-who-have-recreated-the-queen-bohemian-rhapsody-pose-5495218/

3) The Boston Globe‘s Mark Feeney recently posted his review on the newly-launched show at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford (running now through January 24) featuring over 100 works by both Andy Warhol and Robert Mapplethorpe that explore their takes on sexual identity and gender. Titled “Warhol & Mapplethorpe: Guise & Dolls,” the show consists of “mostly photographs, but also silkscreens, books, album covers, and several videos..(that) range in date from 1973 to 1988, a year after Warhol’s death — and a year before Mapplethorpe’s.” You’ll recall one such example in Mapplethorpe’s 1975 photo of Patti Smith, used on the cover of her record titled Horses, showing Ms. Smith posed in a man’s suit, but many other lesser-known but equally-impactful images are on hand to exemplify the many ways these two artists sought to address the topic. More info via the link – https://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/theater-art/2015/11/12/warhol-and-mapplethorpe-hartford/cPeQAHuF65XLucOIv35R6M/story.html

November 18th –  1) Some of you may recall the “Featured Fan Portfolio” feature that I did late last year with photographer/writer David Hamsley regarding gatefold record covers. At the time, David was getting materials together for a book about disco records (with a special focus on the visuals that helped create the era’s unforgettable look and feel), and I’m happy to announce that he’s published his book – titled To Disco, With Love: The Records That Defined An Era (it began shipping on Nov. 24th) – and that it was selected by Amazon.com to be included in their “Editor’s Picks for Unique and Unusual Gift Books” section this Holiday Season. http://www.amazon.com/To-Disco-Love-Records-Defined/dp/1250068452

Congratulations, David! Here’s to a successful, Quiana and thumping bass-filled Holiday sales season! If you’d like to revisit my interview with the author, just follow the link –  https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/2014/12/18/featured-fan-portfolio-david-hamsleys-favorite-gatefold-covers/

2) One of the best-known music industry shooters from “Down Under” is Tony Mott who, for over 30 years, has provided us fans with many memorable images of bands for both record packages (Concrete Blonde, Icehouse, Sarah McLachlan and others) and news features in major entertainment pubs. With over 30,000 photos published over the years, I can only imagine the difficulty curators faced when trying to pick just a few to feature in a new exhibition titled What A Life! (running now through next February 6th) in the Mitchell & Dixson Galleries at the State Library/New South Wales in Sydney. Writing for the ABC Arts site, Edwina Storie interviews Mr. Mott, who tracks his career from his first big break (a photo of The Divinyls’ lead singer Chrissy Amphlett) through to sessions with Johnny Rotten, the Rolling Stones and Midnight Oil. Read the interview at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-11/tony-mott-reflects-on-the-golden-age-of-music-photography/6931716 and learn more about the exhibition at  http://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/events/exhibitions/2015/what_a_life/

3) Album Artist on The Late Show! How cool is that? Shepard Fairey, the graphic artist best-known for his Andre The Giant “OBEY” graffiti and his Obama “HOPE” poster, also sports a long list of album art credits, including covers for Led Zeppelin, Stone Temple Pilots, Bad Brains and many others. Earlier this week, Fairey appeared with host Stephen Colbert to promote his new book and talk about his past and future plans and his willingness to die (or, at least, go to jail) for his art. Here’s a link to the clip of his appearance on the CBS/Late Show web site – http://www.cbs.com/shows/the-late-show-with-stephen-colbert/video/330F4113-B7DD-ADFC-BDAD-13BA13743D68/shepard-fairey-talks-hope-obey-art/

November 17th –  1) After his singing partner Jan Berry was badly injured in a car crash back in 1966, Dean Torrence continued to work on a new record and, at the same time, reached back to his earlier training as a graphic artist to start his own design studio – Kittyhawk Graphics – to make sure that the album art featured on his own records was to his satisfaction. He soon offered his services to other music industry friends and clients (including the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Chicago) and, in 1973, he won a Grammy Award for Best Album Cover for his work on Pollution (the record/band, not the environment). While he’s not doing album covers any more, Torrence still performs on occasion and, as you’ll read in this recent interview with Frank Mastropolo on the Rock Cellar Magazine site, you’ll learn more about his career, the trail that lead from do-wop music to “the California Sound” and his relationship with friend/competitor Brian Wilson – http://www.rockcellarmagazine.com/2015/11/06/dean-torrence-interview-jan-and-dean-beach-boys-brian-wilson-jan-berry/

2) Happy to share Bruce Jenkins’ recent article on the Vinyl Connection site about the re-release of one of rock music’s most-intriguing (and perfectly round) album packages – that of the Small Faces’ 1968 release Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake. So much art in a fascinating package, with artwork by keyboardist Ian Mclagan’s art school chums Pete Brown and Nick Tweddell. Now, if they could only figure out how to stop the package from rolling off the shelf.. http://vinylconnection.com.au/2015/11/17/multi-colour-of-the-rainbold/

3) Now on display (thru 12/31) at the Sacred Gallery in New York City is an exhibition by another musician-turned-fine-artist Sean Yseult, best-known for her time spent as the bassist for the popular metal band White Zombie. Trained as a graphic artist at the Parsons School of Design in NYC (where she met and then befriended Rob Zombie), since the band’s first break-up in 1998 Sean has worked hard to develop her career as a fine artist, crafting critically-acclaimed mixed media works which have been on display in galleries in the U.S. and Europe. This new show – titled Sean Yseult: Retrospective – includes a variety of works from various times during her career as an artist, including items from a 2004 show centered on her love of her adopted home of New Orleans and three newer collections – SEX & DEATH & ROCKNROLL (2012), MISSISSIPPI MERMAIDS (2013) and her most-recent show SOIRÉE D’EVOLUTION: TABLEAUX VIVANTS ET NATURE MORTES. You can learn more about the artist and her new show on the gallery’s site, via the link – http://www.sacredgallerynyc.com/now-exhibit-sean-yseult-retrospective

November 16th –  1) While not exactly album cover art-related, I did feel as though I could share this brief intro to the graphic artist who created an image that, like so many great examples of well-considered graphics, will certainly stand the test of time. A 32-year-old French artist living in London named Jean Jullien is responsible for the peace-symbol-turned-Eiffel Tower image that has circulated world-wide since it appeared shortly after Friday’s mind-numbing terror attack in Paris, and you can learn a little more about him and the graphic he created – based on an anti-nuclear war emblem that originated in the 1950s – in this AFP article found on the ArtDaily site – http://artdaily.com/news/82919/-Peace-for-Paris–symbol-by-32-year-old-French-graphic-artist-Jean-Jullien-goes-viral

2) Photographer Dan Corrigan‘s 30+-year portfolio of music clients in the Minneapolis, MN area includes a number of well-known album covers, including the shot featured on the package for The Replacements’ 1984 release Let It Be (along with others for a wide range of acts including The Jayhawks, Uncle Tupelo, The Proclaimers…even comedian Lewis Black!). In the latest installment of the Pitchfork TV series titled Pitchfork Unsung which, as you might figure, focuses on folks working in the music business who don’t receive all of the recognition they might deserve (what a concept!), you’ll meet Dan and watch as he takes you through the highlights of his career, including his efforts to keep alive one venerable local nightclub – First Avenue – so that future generations can enjoy the vibe there as much as he has over the years…http://pitchfork.com/news/61941-photographer-dan-corrigan-the-replacements-let-it-be-featured-in-pitchforktvs-pitchfork-unsung/

3) Part of the team that produced the Grammy-nominated cover for jazz-rock hit-makers Chicago (for Chicago VI), Donald E. Munson was the subject of an exhibit that ran through November 28th at the Storr’s Library in Longmeadow, MA as part of their 2nd annual Local Artist Spotlight. “Evolution: Don Munson – Fifty Years of Painting” is sponsored by the town’s Cultural Council, with the exhibit including 50 examples of Munson’s work from 1965 to the present. Munson has worked in a number of roles in the arts during his illustrious career, including time as an award-winning Art Director at Random House and a professor at Westfield State University and continues to paint while operating his Red Stair Studio from his home in Longmeadow. You can see more of Munson’s colorful work and learn more about him in this illustrated interview by Christine White on the MassLive.com site –  http://www.masslive.com/living/index.ssf/2015/11/longmeadow_artist_donald_munson_marks_five_decades_of_life_on_canvas.html

November 13th – 1) High-speed photography has produced some fascinating images over the years, so it only makes sense that it would find its way into album cover imagery and, in this recent article/interview with former chemist-turned-photographer Jon Smith (written by Mark Ambrogi for the Current In Fishers site), you’ll learn more about his transition from corporate scientist to producer of pictures of frozen destruction for media clients, including popular party band Umphrey’s McGee, who featured one of Jon’s photos on the cover of their recent record titled The London Session: A Day At Abbey Road Studios – http://currentinfishers.com/aiming-for-art-fishers-photographer-jon-smith-turns-exploding-light-bulbs-into-creative-displays/

You can find more examples of Smith’s work – including the UM record cover, on his site – http://wideeyedilluminations.com/portfolio/umphreys-mcgee-album/

2) Early prog rock fans will remember the mid-60s ensemble The Syn, which featured a pre-YES Chris Squire and Peter Banks and drummer-turned-rock-photographer Martyn Adelman (among others). Although the band broke up in the late 60s, some of the key players reunited in 2004 and have continued to record and perform. A fan of their early music – Denver, CO-area graphic artist Tommie Phillips (AKA Tommie Molecule), was looking to interview the band for a fan-zine he produced at the time called The Lost Chord and, during their correspondence, band-members were so impressed with the drawings Tommie shared with them that they asked him to design and illustrate the cover for their upcoming release titled The Syn: Live Rosfest, which he happily and ably did. In this article by writer Oakland L. Childers for Westword magazine, you’ll meet Phillips and learn more about his past (including stints as a photo-retoucher and pre-press artist for a local newspaper), his entry into the album art world and his desire to help keep great album cover imagery alive (here, here!) – http://www.westword.com/music/tommie-phillips-creates-album-art-from-the-heart-for-the-syn-7308758

3) Oh, and it makes me wonder…why do so many musical acts accept less-than-good artwork for the covers of their albums? You wouldn’t think that this would be the case – particularly in the graphics-heavy world of Metal Music – but as you’ll see in Joe DeVita‘s recent article on the Loudwire site titled “50 Awful Metal Album Covers”, it seems to have been a pretty-regular occurrence throughout modern metal music history. It’s a painful-but-fascinating read/viewing (where “the hits keep on coming”). Enjoy (?) – http://loudwire.com/awful-metal-album-covers/Metalucifer’s Heavy Metal Chainsaw and Heavy Metal Drill made me snort my soda through my nose (not a very metal thing to do – I know)…

November 12th – 1) Elliott Landy‘s photos have graced the covers of records by The Band, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison and others, but the scope of his career has also included (among other things) stints as a photo-journalist covering the anti-war movement in the 1960s and an event photographer at the Woodstock Arts & Music Festival. On Wednesday, November 18th at the Martin E. Segal Theatre at the CUNY Graduate Center in mid-town Manhattan (NYC), Mr. Landy was on hand to present a career retrospective titled “An Evening with 60’s Rock Legend Photographer, Elliott Landy” that will include a number of images of some of the era’s top music talent at home and in performance. Although the event time has passed, you can still see and learn more when you click on over to the event’s promo page at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/an-evening-with-60s-rock-legend-photographer-elliott-landy-59-tickets-18937067278

In case you were wondering, Elliott was a 1959 CUNY graduate…

2) Moving from New York in the 60s to New York in the 1970s, fans of the work of photographer Allan Tannenbaum can click on over to the Mr. Musichead site to see a special “artist of the month” feature on his work that includes a nice photo album and an interview (by Ellice Ruiz) with the esteemed shooter himself. With a career as a photographer that began in the 1960s and included subjects such as Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon & Yoko Ono, Debbie Harry & Blondie, jazz great Charles Mingus, the Bee Gees and many others, he’s established himself as one of the top portrait photographers in the city, but it was his post 9-11 photo show (which he took to galleries in France and Italy) that cemented his place in the pantheon of NYC-based photojournalists, IMHO… Portfolio at http://mrmusichead.com/portfolio-items/allan-tannenbaum/, with the interview at http://mrmusichead.com/featured-artist-allan-tannenbaum/

November 11th –  1) Ghostly International began 16 years ago as an indie record label, and while the successful expansion of Sam Valenti IV’s brand into other leading-edge lifestyle products might have caused some companies to lose focus on the ideals that brought them to market, Ghostly continues to put creativity front and center in the packaging of their music products. In Ben Sisario’s recent article for the New York Times, you’ll have a chance to learn more about Valenti and his company and see some of the unique ways that they’re offering customers limited-edition music and related products, including art prints of Michael Cina’s album art paintings and a 60-pound marble record box – “a D.J.’s standard-issue record crate re-imagined as an ancient ruin”. Cool. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/30/business/media/ghostly-transcends-its-record-label-roots-to-sell-an-ethos.html

2) It’s “Record Sleeves of the Month” time again – Rachael Steven, writing for the U.K.’s Creative Review, shows us examples of the latest in album cover packaging, with art featured this month for records by Santigold (artist as shrink-wrapped merchandise, with photo by Haruhiku Kawaguchi), Co La (type samples as album art), Joanna Newsom (landscape in a fish tank) and many others. Olga Bell’s latest is particularly-impressive: a limited-run package with a holographic package and marbleized vinyl disc by Alex Trochut – https://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2015/november/record-sleeves-of-the-month/

3) There’s a new writer who has just posted an interesting album cover article on The 405 site titled “Album Cover Dissection” (don’t worry – no album covers were harmed in the making of this article). Sam Quinton gives us a summary of recent record cover images that he (she?) has found intriguing, including those for musical acts such as Battles, Adele, Empress Of and others. Of course, the so-spooky-you’ve-gotta-look cover for a new release by FKA twigs – whose 2014 release titled LP1 was last year’s most-talked-about album cover – looks as though it will be a feature on this year’s list as well… http://www.thefourohfive.com/music/article/monthly-column-about-artwork-144

November 10th –  1) Nineteen years ago, artist Ronald “Riskie” Brent was trying to build a reputation in his Compton, CA neighborhood for the artwork he sold on t-shirts at a local flea market/swap meet, while at the same time selling drugs on his block just to get by. Rap record producer Suge Knight (who lived nearby) had brought Tupac Shakur and a crew to the area to make a music video and, waiting patiently, Riskie stepped forward to show his work to his neighbor, who was so impressed that, ultimately, he was offered a job at Death Row Records and ended up creating the album art for Tupac’s The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, the record that was finished and released 2 months after the rapper was murdered. In this story by Michael Namikas on the HipHopDX siteRiskie shares more of the details of his career as one of rap’s best-known graphic artists –  http://hiphopdx.com/interviews/id.2807/title.makaveli-riskie-a-conversation-with-death-row-graphic-artist-ronald-riskie-brent 

2) I wrote not long ago about a new gallery/photo publisher (House of Roulx) I’d found whose chosen mix of subjects and artists (including images from both photographer George DuBose’s archive and that of the late magician Harry Houdini) certainly qualifies them as an important player in the rock fine art photo-selling world, but in this recent interview with the company’s founders – brothers Trevor and Jared Gendron – done by Shawn Setaro for Forbes Magazine, you’ll learn more about their backgrounds (one is a former record label/distributor art director while the other is a successful memorabilia collector and reseller) and how they came to represent the archive of a late photographer who shot the final live performance of singer Janis Joplin – http://www.forbes.com/sites/shawnsetaro/2015/11/03/house-of-roulx-from-hip-hop-to-houdini/

November 9th –  1) The exploits of – and mythology behind – “the world’s only openly-extraterrestrial” art/thrash-metal music collective known as GWAR – are the subjects of both a new book on the topic and an illustrated feature in the December 2015 issue of Juxtapoz Magazine. The book – titled Let There Be GWAR and put together by the duo of Bob Gorman and Roger Gastman, featuring a forward by Kurt Loder and published by Gingko Press – was reviewed by Pitchfork.com‘s Shawna Kenney in September as “a high-end tribute for a band known for spewing fake bodily fluids from effigies like OJ Simpson, Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II, and Justin Bieber, just to name a few. The text mixes oral history and narrative from the band’s early art collective days through Grammy nominations, tabloid TV appearances, an ACLU-backed lawsuit, the deaths of members Cory Smoot and Dave Brockie, the Gwar-B-Ques and beyond…” Juxtapoz’s in-depth feature will focus on the band’s visual history, so if you’re a fan (or an adoring slave) of all things “bloody and grotesque”, click on over to the preview at http://www.juxtapoz.com/current/issue-preview-december-2015-with-gwar

2) Following up on their earlier efforts in which they used Google Maps/Street View to find and display the actual locations of several well-known rap/hip-hop record covers, the team at Mass Appeal (per this recent article by Tasia Princejust released Part 2 of their series, showing fans of acts both “classic” and new – including Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Eminem, Jay-Z, Kool Moe Dee, Fabolous, T.I. and others – exactly where the cover images were taken. You’ll travel to Oakland, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Detroit and several locations in the NYC area (sounds like the basis of a “bucket list” tour for fans of the subject, no?). http://massappeal.com/iconic-hip-hop-albums-in-google-maps-street-view-part-2/?view-all=1

3) As I’ve been doing research for my new book and collecting the comments of a number of creative/production people working in the music business, I have to admit that I have heard a fair amount of exasperation from folks who don’t feel that consumers of media these days can differentiate between the works produced by trained professionals and those done by amateurs with their phone cameras. A recent example of this frustration can be found in this interview with the very talented (and in-demand) photographer David Drebin posted by Shinan Govani on The Toronto Star site where he admits that, these days, he’s embarrassed to let folks know that he’s a photographer because “everybody is a photographer these days”. A graduate of the Parsons/New School in NYC and with his works selling for sizable sums in major gallery shows, I know that there is an appreciation of his work but, in this selfie-driven society, it’s hard not to agree that its harder to get people to stop and appreciate artistry of any type these days – http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/visualarts/2015/11/01/photographer-david-drebin-clicks-dont-like-on-the-selfie-epidemic.html

November 6th –  1) It’s time to let your opinions be known about who’ll be the cream of the latest crop of album covers…Our chums at Art Vinyl have posted the nominees for this year’s “Best Art Vinyl” voting, and in this nice introductory article by Rachael Steven on the Creative Review site, you’ll learn more about a number of the fascinating works that were created for this past year’s hottest music – https://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2015/november/art-vinyls-record-sleeves-of-the-year/  Once you’ve had a chance to look through the 50 nominated covers, click on over to the Voting Page on the Art Vinyl site to select the three you’d like to support for the title of “Best Art Vinyl 2015” – http://www.artvinyl.com/vote/  Winners will be announced in early January and will be featured in a multi-city art show. Best of luck to all the nominees – nice work!

2) Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting/interviewing several album cover artists whose principal clients are bands from “the Dark Side” of the music business – that is, metal music makers in all sub-categories (heavy, Nordic, death, thrash, speed, etc.). As you may know, some of these bands prefer to include cover art that many of you might consider to be anywhere from “gory” to “disgusting” but, as it has been shown throughout the centuries, many “fine artists” have decided to focus on the topics that have resulted in works that are just as disturbing (to illustrate my contention, I invite you to check out some of the works done by masters such as Goya, William Blake, Francis Bacon and, everyone’s favorite, Hieronymus Bosch).Writing for Diffuser.fmJames Stafford has dug deep into the album art archives to share with us his “31 Most Disturbing (Non-Heavy Metal) Album Covers Ever”, opening up the investigation about the reasons why any musical act chooses to catch your eye with imagery that is meant to disturb – http://diffuser.fm/most-disturbing-album-covers/

3) Lastly – it seems that every year we get to see examples of album art that aren’t wholly original. Some are parodies, some homages and, in the case detailed in David Renshaw’s recent article on the NME.com site, some seem to be the results of either laziness or obliviousness…In the article, you’ll read about the upset that Coldplay has caused the members of a band called Bring Me The Horizon simply because the album artwork they’re going to feature on their newest release looks an awful lot like the artwork that BMTH featured on their 2013 release titled Sempiternal. I’m guessing that there will be some modification to Coldplay’s promo materials before the new record (titled A Head Full of Dreams) is released this month – http://www.nme.com/news/bring-me-the-horizon/89392

November 5th –  1) Many of us have fond memories of the simply-but-colorfully-drawn, trippy 2-D original animation featured in the original 1968 Beatles film Yellow Submarine. With today’s often over-the-top, computer-generated 3-D visuals that dominate film screens, you had to think that, at some point, some fan with the talent and the wherewithal ultimately had to show us what the film might have looked like if the today’s advanced animation tools were available back then. Enter famed comic book illustrator Alex Ross, well-known in that arena for his super-realistic renderings of characters including Batman, Superman, The Avengers and many others. Back in July, with the approval of the Beatles’ organization, he released several illustrations featuring re-done scenes from Yellow Submarine and, just recently (as you’ll see in this interview with Robin Burks on the Tech Times site), he’s expanded his Fab Four-related catalog to include some amazingly-realistic, limited-edition portraits of each of the band’s members. http://www.techtimes.com/articles/100645/20151029/interview-artist-alex-ross-discusses-drawing-the-beatles.htm 

WWABHD? (“what would Al Brodax have done”?)

2) Fans in the Huntington Beach, CA area had until the 22nd of November to visit the Rainwater Gallery on Main Street to walk through an exhibit of punk music-inspired artwork from the likes of Winston Smith, John Bilhooley and several others titled “AnARTchy” (“I am an AnARTchist”). The punk scene was very active in So. California, with bands including T.S.O.L., Black Flag and many others inciting intense moshing in clubs all along the coastline, so the hosting of such a display of art, posters, photos and other memorabilia in a Surf City gallery only makes sense. Read more about the show in Brittany Woolsey’s feature on it in the Los Angeles Times – http://www.latimes.com/socal/hb-independent/entertainment/tn-hbi-et-1029-anartchy-20151029-story.html and check out the gallery’s Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/RainwaterGallery/ for details of the several related events they held during the show’s run.

3) “The Grateful Dead are dead, and they’re grateful” John Belushi once said…but are they REALLY dead? I think not, and even though the title of photographer Jay Blakesberg’s upcoming book on the band’s farewell tour – Fare The Well: Celebrating The 50th Anniversary Of The Grateful Dead (published by Rock Out Books), hitting the bookshelves on December 1st – might indicate the band’s demise, their art and merchandising (and roylaties) will thrive forever or, as Gary Lambert writes in an essay from the book, “… after fifty years, it can’t be denied that the Dead’s art became a tradition unto itself…” Read more about it on the Grateful Web site – http://www.gratefulweb.com/articles/fare-thee-well-celebrating-50th-anniversary-grateful-dead

November 4th –   2X Annie Leibovitz and 1X Alex Steinweiss – not a bad day!

1.1) On November 3rd, the now-being-remodeled San Francisco Museum of Modern Art bestowed its inaugural “Contemporary Vision Award” upon photographer extraordinaire Annie Leibovitz for, as they state, ” the extraordinary achievements of global leaders—creators, innovators and change-makers—whose work foregrounds contemporary art as a vital and meaningful part of public life.” One look at her memorable album cover photos for Bruce Springsteen, Cyndi Lauper, Peter Tosh, Tony Bennett and others brings great truth to that description, no? While originally from Connecticut, Ms. Leibovitz received her schooling at the the San Francisco Art Institute and went to work in 1970 as a photographer for Rolling Stone Magazine. https://www.sfmoma.org/press/release/inaugural-sfmoma-contemporary-vision-award-to-hono/

Here’s a link to a photo from that night’s event, tweeted by a staffer at the Style section of the San Francisco Chronicle –
https://twitter.com/SFC_Style/status/661765970604658688

1.2) Leibovitz also announced that she’ll be bringing a gallery show based on her successful photo project titled Women to 10 countries, beginning in London in January, 2016 and subsequently moving around the world with shows in Tokyo, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Singapore, Mexico City, Istanbul, Frankfurt, New York, and Zurich. This project began years ago with the prompting of her then-partner Susan Sontag, became a popular photo book in 1999 and, since, has expanded to include portraits of many notable women, with recent examples including Amy Schumer, Venus & Serena Williams and Caitlyn Jenner (you’ll recall Annie’s first photos of Ms. Jenner for Vanity Fair magazine earlier this past summer). Writing for the ArtNet Daily site, Amah-Rose Abrams gives us more of the details –
https://news.artnet.com/people/annie-leibovitz-reveals-new-women-subjects-349697

2) Anya Tchoupakov from The Creators Project recently posted an overview of a new book by the Taschen publishing house – collected and edited by art directors Kevin Reagan (formerly with Geffen Records) and Steven Heller (formerly with The New York Times) – that provides album art fans with a comprehensive look at the life and work of the man considered to be “the father of the album cover”, Alex Steinweiss. Appropriately titled Alex Steinweiss: The Inventor of the Modern Album Cover, the 550+ page book includes hundreds of images made by the man that, 75 years ago, convinced a skeptical employer – Columbia Records – to consider the idea that an attractively-packaged record would appeal to consumers and, therefore, increase the likelihood that they’d buy it (what a concept!). Steinweiss would then go on to establish the “standards” regarding imagery, type-styles, etc., that would soon be copied and employed by record labels globally. Anyone interested in the history of this art form should both read this article and then add this book to their collection – http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/blog/the-father-of-album-covers

That’s all for now – look for updates every week day on our news feed –https://www.facebook.com/AlbumCoverHallOfFame – we’ll be back early next month with another summary for you.

Copyright 2015, Mike Goldstein and AlbumCoverHallofFame.com – All Rights Reserved

 

Album Cover News Recap – June, 2015

Album Cover Hall of Fame’s Album Cover News Recap – June, 2015

By Mike Goldstein – Curator/Editor, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

With Summer coming here  to the Pacific Northwest with an unseasonable blast of heat and drought conditions to the East and South of us, many album art fans I know are looking for ways to spend quality time indoors, so what better way to beat the heat than by joining like-minded individuals from all over the U.S., U.K. and elsewhere on the globe in search of the latest news about album art and the artists that create it. To that end, there were a number of interesting headlines we at the ACHOF posted throughout the month of June, with an impressive number of interviews, features and gallery/museum show items finding their way into our news feed. In the following paragraphs, I’ll highlight several of them, with the rest following in greater detail.

Having survived one of the most-annoying of technological dilemmas – that being, the death of an old computer and the subsequent re-launching on a new one (along with the transfer of all files, contacts, emails, etc. from an ancient operating environment to a new one) – I’m glad to report that all’s well with yours truly on that front and, once again, I have say “thanks” to you all for your patience and continued support during that ordeal. And now, on with the report…

In the area of interviews, fans had the chance to get to know a bit more about several of their favorite cover image producers including  the always-controversial Stephen Sagmeister, photographer M. Sukita, designer Don Clark and Portland’s own Carson Ellis, as well as my own interview with one of the punk music scene’s most-influential shooters, Edward Colver. This interview came after years of attempts to organize a “Featured Artist Portfolio” item with the elusive Mr. Colver, so I’m proud to be able to finally share this with you.

In the ever-expanding fine art book category, publishers were busy promoting their new releases, with monographs featuring art and photos from artists including photographer Jay Blakesberg, illustrator James Marsh and, in a follow-up to my report a couple of months back about Ramon “Oscuro” Martos’s newest book titled And Justice for Art: Stories About Heavy Metal Album Cover, there’s a report on a new documentary film short based on the book created for fans of the fantastic art often found gracing the covers of heavy metal music records.

June proved to be a busy month for exhibitions and shows built around rock-related imagery, with curators and gallery owners in several locations around the world displaying collections that included the works of  photographers Anton Corbijn, Richard E. Aaron and the late Ken Regan, Beatles animator Ron Campbell and Sgt. Pepper’s designer Jann Haworth, along with several retailers who are promoting the limited-edition re-releases of a group of LPs by the Rolling Stones and a group show in Ohio featuring several well-known shooters that covered various aspects of the local/national music scenes. Finally, in Chicago and on the West Coast, fans of the Grateful Dead will find several shows celebrating the band’s 50th anniversary (and their “final” tour).

Other stories included profile features on artist/surf music icon Dean Torrance and the enigmatic MC Escher, user-generated content built around their photos of the current state of the places where famous album cover photos were taken and a soon-to-be-released documentary on the career of famed photographer Brian Griffin. News continued with features on a Cleveland-based artisan who crafts working guitars out of wood and album covers and how one Portland, OR tourist magnet – Voodoo Doughnuts – crafted their own Sgt. Pepper‘s-like collage for an ad in a local paper promoting the shop’s 12th anniversary celebration.

As always, I’m hoping that you were able to take a look at the new interviews/Featured Fan Collection articles, along with the many new biographies posted on the ACHOF site during the month. While I was slowed in my quest to update those already there with new information and to add another 50 or so new ones before taking a break to work on my book project (more to come on this later), that should in no means delay you in your efforts to catch up on news you may have missed while you were forced to do what’s needed to live/work/enjoy yourselves. As I’ve said many times (almost every month!), regardless of how hectic your lives may be, there’s no reason that you should go without getting yourselves up-to-date info on one of your favorite topics, so you can be sure that we’ll continue to work every day (except weekends and/or days when it’s beautiful outside) to prove to you that there’s always something new to see and learn in the world of album cover art, and you know that you’ll find it all here on the ACHOF site (keep your eye on our News Feed for the latest updates).

June 30th – As fans are getting ready to enjoy several “farewell” performances in Chicago this weekend, here are some Grateful Dead-related stories for you:

1) If you’re in Chicago (perhaps one of the 200,000 people who purchased tickets for the shows being played at Soldier Field), why not hop across the street to the Field Museum to see the special exhibition they’re running built out of items on loan from the Grateful Dead archive at UC Santa Cruz. The show’s called “All The Years Combine: Deadhead Treasures from the Grateful Dead Archive and GDTS Too” and was co-curated by UCSC archivist Nicholas Meriwether, who’ll also be contributing his writing skills to the group’s 50th anniversary box set that will be shipping later this year (80 discs for $700). For more information on this special showing, along with the shows Mr. Meriwether has planned for his own gallery back in California to commemorate The Dead’s golden anniversary, read Scott Rappaport’s recent article in the University’s newsletter via the link at http://news.ucsc.edu/2015/06/dead-archive-farewell.html

2) Two galleries – one in San Francisco and one in Los Angeles – are also running special Dead-related shows featuring art and photography by many of the artists known for their work for (and featuring) the band. In the Bay area, the San Francisco Art Exchange has posted a collection of 19 images (with more to come ASAP) showing the band and the local scene throughout their career, with shots by photographers including Robert Altman, Jim Marshall, Graham Nash, Ken Regan, Bob Seidemann and Baron Wolman and including portraits, concert photos and others sure to warm the hearts of Dead Heads everywhere.

http://www.sfae.com/index.php?pg=400115&start=0

Down the coast in LA, the Mr. Musichead gallery is hosting a show called Truckin’: Celebrating 50 Years of The Grateful Dead, where you’ll find photos and artwork by, Arnaud Azoulay Jay Blakesberg, Adrian Boot, Jack Morefield, Peter Simon, Leni Sinclair, and Baron Wolman. This display is available for viewing from now until July 9th. http://mrmusichead.com/?p=13701

June 29th – Stories about 2 Southern California-based album cover artists:

1) Famed cover and poster artist John Van Hamersveld has provided the citizens of, and visitors to, the town of Hermosa Beach, CA with something wonderful to look at – a new mural depicting the history of surfing/surfboards, delivered in a style that only the creator of both the Endless Summer and Magical Mystery Tour  promo images could have done. Unveiled to viewers this past weekend, the mural pays homage to JVH’s fascination with both psychedelic art and the early 19th Century paintings by Japanese master Hokusai. More info on the project is provided by Stephen Carr on The Daily Breeze site – http://photos.dailybreeze.com/2015/06/photos-mural-by-artist-john-van-hamersveld-unveiled-in-hermosa-beach/#1

2) While most music fans are aware of Dean Torrance’s musical output as part of pioneering surf music duo Jan & Dean, fewer know about his equally-impressive graphic arts talents, shown over the years in the many album covers he produced. After the musical act was forced to sideline its work after Jan’s terrible auto accident in 1966, Torrance used the visual arts training he received while at USC and started a design company, producing imagery for music industry clients including the Beach Boys, Dennis Wilson, Harry Nilsson and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, earning four Grammy Award nominations for his work along the way and winning one in 1972 for the cover for Pollution’s self-titled LP. Today, at age 75, he’s still working at his design firm located – where else – in Orange County, CA’s “Surf City”, Huntington Beach, and you can read more about what else he’s up to these days in David Ferrell’s recent article on the Orange County Register web site at http://www.ocregister.com/articles/torrence-667695-city-surf.html

P.S. – R.I.P. Chris Squire – one heckofa bassist – you’ll be missed.

June 26th –  1) I’ve been muddling this over for a couple of weeks now and, since I can’t seem to come to any conclusions with regards to who is right and who is wrong, I thought that I’d just post this and see what my readers think. A couple of weeks back, designer Stefan Sagmeister was speaking at a conference and pronounced that – I’ll paraphrase as best I can – album cover designs are inherently better/more meaningful than those for movies, going as far as to pronounce that one rather-well-known theatrical poster (i.e., the one for the original Star Wars film) “is ultimately a piece of shit”.

As you may know, many designers/illustrators/art directors working today apply their talents to projects in both fields, as well as for clients in the book and magazine publishing worlds, theatrical design, etc., so while I think that Sagmeister’s comments might be true in some cases, I don’t see how, for example, Drew Struzan’s posters for the Indiana Jones film series are any less-impressive than his album covers for Alice Cooper and Black Sabbath.

Rather than stoke the flames of a confrontation, I would be more than happy to moderate a discussion between these and other album cover/film poster art professionals and other experts in the field (as well as knowledgeable fans) on the topic or, more simply, just ask “can’t we all just get along?” Read the coverage on this, along with a recent interview with Mr. Sagmeister conducted by Dan Howarth for Dezeen.com – http://www.dezeen.com/2015/06/16/stefan-sagmeister-interview-graphic-design-star-wars-poster-album-record-covers/

2) Just who was responsible for the ideas that led to the creation of the originally-banned-but-now-iconic cover art for Never Mind The Bollocks…Here’s The Sex Pistols? There have been several participants who’ve claimed that the inspiration was all theirs, so it was wonderful to read this recent posting by Diffuser.fm’s James Stafford in which he provides “the facts” presented by the two principal protagonists – designer Jamie Reid and punk impresario, the late Malcolm McLaren. As some of you may recall, both the cover’s design and content led to some quite-contentious responses from critics, industry execs and, in the case of the use of the word “bollocks” – which has several meanings in British English – the local constabulary, who arrested a record store owner for indecency when he displayed the promotional items for the new record in his shop’s windows…While we may never know “the rest of the story”, it does provide us with a lot to ponder and enjoy (particularly, the music, samples of which are linked in to the story) – http://diffuser.fm/cover-stories-never-mind-the-bollocks-heres-the-sex-pistols/

June 25th – 1) Good things come to those that wait – At long last, I’m happy to announce the publication of the latest Album Cover Hall of Fame “Featured Album Cover Artist Portfolio” article, with this one bringing you samples from the impressive portfolio of one of the best-known photographers that covered the punk music scene in the U.S., Edward Colver. Perhaps most-remembered for his photos of bands in the emerging Southern California punk club scene, Colver shares some of the stories behind “the making of” cover shots for musical acts including Black Flag, the Circle Jerks, TSOL and other acts – including one eye-catching image that was used on rapper Ice Cube’s Greatest Hits compilation. This article would never have been completed without the ongoing help of publicist Kate Gammell and ACHOF friend Robert Bostrom, so I’d like to thank them both for their ongoing support and patience during the nearly five years (!!) that it took to complete this.
And now, without any further delay, here’s the link – enjoy, and please share with your friends.
https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/2015/06/25/achof-featured-artist-portfolio-photographer-edward-colver/

2) Special Southern California music scene bonus item – very few bands have had as powerful a logo/band icon as the one called the “Fiend Skull” associated with another early punk band The Misfits, so it was great to read the details of one of their most-recent shows and the band’s ongoing efforts to provide their fans with new and exciting band merchandise. While Jerry Only is the sole “classic line-up” member left (with Glenn Danzig and Only still duking it out over who has the rights to what), the skull logo motif has been updated to better-represent the current players while still giving fans what they love and respect. The current concerts revolve around playing complete albums, so the t-shirts sold at the event include both custom imagery and unique set lists. I only hope that these new shirts were damaged appropriately while worn in the very-active mosh pits found at each show. More on this in Will Theisens recent article in (where else) The Orange County Register – http://www.ocregister.com/articles/misfits-667563-night-album.html

June 24th – Three for the photography lovers in the audience:

1) In preparation for the Photographs, Icons & Style auction Christie’s is holding on June 30th, they’ve published an article on one of the photographers whose works will be offered that day, that being Stéphane Sednaoui, a fellow well-known to album cover fans for his color-infused fantasy shot of Bjork found on the cover of her 1995 album Post, as well as his photo and video work for many other music industry clients, including Madonna, U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Garbage. Some of his video work was on display as part of the recent Bjork exhibition at MoMA in NYC, while his photos are included in the “Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier” show running currently (through August 3rd) at the Grand Palais in Paris. More info on his artist and his works are available via the link – http://www.christies.com/features/Iconic-photographs-of-Bjork-Big-time-sensuality-6248-1.aspx

Follow-up – on June 30th, the two Stephane Sednaoui photos of Bjork sold at prices in the mid-range of their estimates – the color photo from the cover of Post had a pre-auction estimate of €20 – 30,000     and sold for €25,000 ($28,047); while the black & white photo he took while shooting for her Big Time Sensuality record (not the cover)  had a pre-auction estimate of €8 – 12,000 and sold for €10,000 ($11,219). The auction, which featured images from photo greats including Richard Avedon, Nobuyoshi Araki, Irving Penn and Helmut Newton, among many others, enjoyed total sales of 1,720,475 euros for the 62 lots offered. 

2) Give the fans what they want! Dutch artist/photographer/film-maker Anton Corbijn’s much-lauded “1-2-3-4” show at the Hague Museum of Photography has been extended through August 16th, giving more fans world-wide an opportunity to see this prodigious album cover-maker’s work for subjects including U2, Nick Cave, The Slits, Nirvana and many others. Although he finds himself spending most of his time these days shooting and editing critically-acclaimed films (you’ll recall his work for the Ian Curtis bio-pic Control and The American, starring George Clooney), we’re glad that he found the time to select over 350 works from his archives for this impressive show. Rebecca Bengal gives us the good news in her recent posting in the Art and Culture section on the Vogue magazine site –http://www.vogue.com/13275138/anton-corbijn-exhibition-hague-museum-of-photography/

3) Photographer Jay Blakesberg has over 250 album package credits to his name, but his recently-released book titled Guitars That Jam has him delivering portraits of a very-specific type – images of guitars being played by their well-known owners. Inspired by fan feedback he received when he included several guitar/guitarist shots in his last book, Blakesberg felt that a book of these images would resonate with both fans and musicians, as there are many stories to be shared about the relationships between axe-slingers and their instruments (think B.B. King and Lucille, Clapton with his black & white Fender Stratocaster, etc.).Glide Magazine’s Joe Raniere interviews Mr. Blakesberg about his new book (which features an intro by Warren Hayes) in this article –
http://www.glidemagazine.com/137973/photographer-jay-blakesberg-captures-beloved-axes-guitars-jam-interview/

June 23rd – 1) Money and Fame are, most times, powerful incentives for artists to work on projects that they might not have done normally but, in the case of artist and “master of illusion” MC Escher – as the stories are retold in this nice article by Steven Poole on The Guardian web site – it was all about the respect he did or did not receive from fans, clients and the fine art world in general. While he did license his work for use on album covers for Clannad, Michael Brecker and Mott The Hoople, he turned down more requests than he accepted, including opportunities to work with Mick Jagger and film-maker Stanley Kubrick. Of course, as is often the case with great artists, his work was often appropriated without his knowledge, and it was only after his death in 1972 that Escher achieved the degree of success and respect (in the form of exhibitions and books on his work), so if you’d like to read more about the life and times of a true artistic visionary, please click on over to this story –http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/jun/20/the-impossible-world-of-mc-escher

2) Over the weekend, I discovered a new book that fans of music, art and fashion should certainly seek out. Written by author and Goth fan Natasha Scharf (and published late in 2014 by Backbeat Books, part of Hal Leonard Publishing), The Art of Gothic: Music + Fashion + Alt Culture is a very nicely-illustrated 224-page tome that explores the genre since it’s “launch” in the late 1970s and all of the various sub-genres – some quite dark, while others are simply fascinating – that have combined to make modern Gothic imagery one that continues to amaze and impress fans world-wide. You’ll find a lot of info on the many artists that produce album cover art for musical acts in the genre, including Alan Forbes, Andy Vella/Parched Art, HR Giger and multi-talented musician/artists including Marilyn Manson and My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way. I found a video trailer on YouTube featuring the author and her book, so fans of “the dark side” of the music/entertainment business can meet her and understand her motivations behind this new publication –
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTzHkPQD9Jw

3) Lastly – I found a recent article on a site called Hit The Floor, written by Josh Pratt, titled “WE TAKE A LOOK AT THE BEST ALBUM ARTWORK OF 2015 SO FAR!” and clicked on over expecting to learn more about this survey and the artwork featured within. Alas, when I got there, what I found was a slide show featuring 33 recent cover images, but the selections were not accompanied by any explanation of why they were “the best”. No information was included besides the album’s name and the name of the musical act, and so I wondered what qualified the author to be able to make such a claim. Clicking on his bio, I found that he is a career military man living in North Carolina and, apparently, with no background at all in music or art. While I certainly believe that “citizen journalism” can be a benefit to us all – many bloggers and writers have impressive backgrounds in the subject area they write about, or at least a lot of passion for the subject – it is articles like this that make me wonder how/when (if ever) it will be possible to filter content in ways that allow us to keep informed via written articles that contain useful information. Am I being too hard on this guy, or ?? Your opinions would be appreciated.
http://www.hitthefloor.com/features/we-take-a-look-at-the-best-album-artwork-of-2015-so-far/

June 22nd – 1) Fans of all things rock and roll should have a good time tomorrow (june 23rd) at theExperience Music Project’s 15th anniversary bash at the museum’s HQ in Seattle, WA. I’ve been to the museum many times and am always impressed with their exhibitions, their permanent collection and the digital library and archive they’ve created. Of course, there are always many album cover-related items on display, and in their new Hendrix-centered display titled Wild Blue Angel: Hendrix Abroad 1966-1970, you’ll find many examples of original artwork, photography and personal items from the final stages of Jimi’s career. The museum offered free admission (and birthday cupcakes!) to attendees all day June 23rd – click on over to the EMP’s site for the details –
http://www.empmuseum.org/calendar/events/15th-birthday-bash.aspx

2) When both the label’s founder and its art director share a love of the memorable album art created by classic British indie labels 4AD and Factory Records, you can assume that they’ll bring that passion for great art to their own offerings and, as you’ll see in this recent article by Silas Valentino on The Village Voice web site, the head honchos at Brooklyn’s Sacred Bones Records have done just that. 135 records later, shades of Peter Saville and Vaughan Oliver are evident in the label’s artwork for their own acts such as The Hunt, Jenny Hval, Zola Jesus and many others. You’ll learn a lot more about the ongoing influence that art has on the label’s approach to offering fans something unique and interesting in this nice interview article, available via the link – http://www.villagevoice.com/music/adoptions-and-adaptations-the-distinctive-design-of-sacred-bones-records-7255864

3) Storm Thorgerson’s artistic vision, Bob Dowling’s photographic talent and an impressive album cover budget combined to deliver fans one of Pink Floyd’s most-memorable album covers, that being the one found on 1987’s A Momentary Lapse Of Reason. Never before had over 700 hospital beds been arranged so nicely on a beach, so it was with great interest that I enjoyed the recent reading of this informative article on the topic by Matt Dolloff for the WZLX web site. I hope you’ll enjoy this behind-the-scenes look into this project as well –http://wzlx.cbslocal.com/2015/06/15/pink-floyd-momentary-lapse-of-reason-album-cover-photo-shoot/

June 19th –  1) Jann Haworth – the talented pop artist who teamed up with designer Sir Peter Blake and photographer Michael Cooper to bring us the timeless artwork for The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s album – is the subject of a new exhibition opening tonight in her adopted home town of Salt Lake City, UT. Ms. Haworth has lived in the area for over 15 years and even re-imagined the SPLHCB artwork in a mural she painted in downtown SLC, so this new show – titled “Round Trip” – serves to showcase her work and the influences of the places she’s lived throughout her career. The show can be seen at the Modern West Fine Art Gallery through July 16th, with an opening reception tonight (June 19) beginning at 6PM local time. More on this show in Kelsey Schwab’s article on the Deseret News web site –http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865630624/Local-exhibit-to-feature-work-of-pop-artist-behind-Sgt-Pepper7s-album-cover.html?pg=all

2) Also opening the weekend of June 19th was a new gallery show featuring the works of famed rock photographer Richard E. Aaron, a guy who many of you will know for his album covers for Kool & The Gang, Ray Charles, the Bee Gees and Peter Frampton (Aaron’s shot of the heart-throb in concert graces the cover of one of the most-successful double albums of all time – Frampton Comes Alive!). Called “Rock On Paper”, the show includes well over 200 of his best-known images, including many you’ve seen in magazines, books and other media outlets. Running through August 1st at the Fathom Gallery in Downtown Los Angeles (Aaron’s home town), the exhibit offers attendees a very small sampling of Richard’s archive – over 45,000 shots of the millions he’s taken have been published – no wonder why he was voted one of the Top 10 Music Photographers by Modern Photography magazine! Read more, see more (including a list of the shots that will be on display) on the Monsters And Critics web site –
http://www.monstersandcritics.com/rock-superstars-from-a-to-z-dazzle-the-eye-in-richard-e-aaron-exhibit-opening-in-l-a/

3) Adobe – no stranger to visual imagery, as most of the world’s photographers, graphic artists, illustrators, etc., use their products to create and catalog their works – is celebrating their 25th anniversary and, as part of their festivities, recently published a list of the 25 most-influential young artists in the world. A young (18) artist from Egypt named Ahmed Emad Eldin was included on the list, giving him his second big win in the past year – the first being his commission from rock act Pink Floyd to create the album cover for their most-recent release, The Endless River. Fans of Eldin and his work will also soon get to see more of his creations when he “takes over” the Adobe Photoshop Instagram account for a couple of weeks and displays his portfolio on that popular platform. You can learn a bit more about this story via writer Enas El Masry’s recent posting on the Egyptian Streetsweb site – http://egyptianstreets.com/2015/06/17/egyptian-teenager-selected-among-the-best-25-visual-artists-worldwide/

June 18th – 1) Always happy to promote the album cover-related efforts of local (Portland, OR) talent, so today I’d like to point you to a recent interview/article on the talented author/illustrator/graphic designer Carson Ellis and her most-recent artistic endeavors, including a new children’s book and album packaging for her hubby Colin Meloy’s band, The Decemberists. While she’s illustrated books for other children’s book authors (Lemony Snicket and Florence Parry Heide, for example), the recently-published “Home” is her first as both author and illustrator. In Jeff Baker’s recent posting on The Oregonian‘s “Oregon Live” site, you’ll read more about Ellis, her work, her relationship with her musical husband and their recent move from Portland to a farm outside the city –http://www.oregonlive.com/books/index.ssf/2015/06/carson_ellis_finds_home_with_n.html

2) In order to provide a broader range of content than their budgets might allow, many publications have turned to “citizen journalists” for their help in gathering items for inclusion in their stories. In a new example posted recently on The Guardian(UK’s) site, you’ll find a number of photos of places that have served as the backgrounds for a host of well-known album covers such as a railing in NYC’s Greenwich Village used on Neil Young’s After The Gold Rush to a back alley behind the original CBGB’s club used for the Ramones’ Rocket To Russia to a Liverpool pub used on Ringo Starr’s Sentimental Journey and an alley behind the band’s recording studio used on the cover of the debut album by The Clash. Leave it to the fans to find out the truth, I always say… http://www.theguardian.com/music/gallery/2015/jun/09/albums-sleeve-art-locations-readers-pictures?

3) In a quick follow-up to yesterday’s bit (posted June 17th) on the Lackey Rd. Guitars (featuring graphics supplied by some of your favorite classic rock record covers), I found a Flickr page that shows many more examples of these instruments – gotta love theLayla and Woodstock poster-based examples –https://www.flickr.com/photos/dlackey/sets/72157644738690191/

June 17th –  Two new examples of album cover-inspired creativity:

1) Based in Cleveland, OH (home of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Museum and a pretty good basketball team) is a fellow by the name of David Lackey and David, a retired teacher, has started a small business making electric guitars out of cigar boxes and, most-interestingly, classic album cover-topped solid wood bases. Yes, musicians looking for something different to play can now hit the stage playing 12″ square custom guitars based on their favorite albums, or select one from a list of classics including Abbey Road, Cheap Thrills, Led Zeppelin’s Mothership or several Grateful Dead LPs.
https://www.etsy.com/listing/187553366/custom-order-album-cover-electric-guitar?ref=shop_home_active_2 
Hoping to learn a little more about these but, in the meantime, if you’d like to learn more about David and his hand-crafted LP axes, please visit his site.

2) Often times, when fine artists are looking for easily-identifiable examples of Pop Culture on which to base their newer works, they turn to well-known album covers to serve as those bases. In a new example of such a project, Jeremy Hallock of the Dallas Observer introduces us to an art exhibition featuring the work of Amarillo, TX-based artist Jon Revett, whose new show titled The Glacier Project (which ran thru June 18th) was on display at The Safe Room gallery at the Texas Theater and offered viewers his attempt to combine Pop visuals with the spiritual graphical elements often found in Islamic art. Interestingly, each 12″ square “tile” in the finished work is available for sale at $20 each, so the “glacier” will “melt” a bit each time a tile is sold! Read more about the artist and this fascinating display via the link – http://www.dallasobserver.com/arts/the-glacier-project-is-melting-at-the-texas-theatre-7297442

June 16th –  3 items for fans of album cover photography:

1) With the much-lauded “David Bowie Is” exhibition moving soon to the Australian Centre For The Moving Image, writer Annemarie Kiely just posted an interview in her column for Vogue Living with long-time Bowie photographer Masayoshi Sukita about his new Bowie photo show at the Mossgreen Gallery in Melbourne. Best-known for his cover photo for Bowie’s Heroes LP, Sukita shares more details about that photo session, his relationships with Bowie and buddy Iggy Pop and touring Kyoto with Bowie doing the driving.
The show is on display at the gallery through July 30th, with the “David Bowie Is” exhibition launching July 1 and running thru the end of November. Click the link to learn more –http://www.vogue.com.au/vogue+living/arts/david+bowies+photographer+on+forty+years+of+collaboration,36960

2) After photographer Ken Regan passed away in late 2012, his daughter Suzanne uncovered a trove of unpublished photos in his archives that served to document “the turbulent 1960s”. Working with the folks at the Morrison Hotel Gallery on Prince Street in NYC, a new show based on a selection from these shots – titled “Ken Regan – A Decade Of Uncovered Images” is now on display (thru July 3rd). While album cover fans will best remember Regan’s work via his images for Bob Dylan (Desire, Greatest Hits Vol. 3). The Alpha Band and others, Ken worked as a photo-journalist covering major news and cultural events, so in addition to his photos of celebrities from TV, film and publishing arenas, you’ll find shots of the Apollo 11 astronauts on parade, Robert Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King. You can find out more about this show in Leslie Feffer’s recent posting on theExaminer.com site – http://www.examiner.com/article/exhibit-of-ken-regan-photos-debuts-today-at-morrison-hotel-gallery

3) Last week, photographer Bud Lee died at the age of 74, 12 years after suffering a paralyzing stroke. During his career, the photo-journalist made a regular habit of catching celebrities from all walks of life in their natural settings, with his candid photos of subjects including Al Green, Clint Eastwood and Mick Jagger finding their way into articles in major publications and books world-wide. His photos of ZZ Top were used in two recent covers for the band – 2012’s Original Album Series and 2013’s The Complete Studio Albums 1970 – 1990. A service in Lee’s memory will be held July 11 at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts in Tampa, FL, the place he called home after moving there in the 1970s. More on Lee and his career can be found in Dave Nicholson’s article on the Tampa Tribune site – http://tbo.com/plant-city/photographer-whose-shots-included-both-famous-and-ordinary-folk-dies-at-74-20150611/

June 15th – 1) In this month’s edition of Rachael Steven’s “Record Sleeves of the Monthfeature on the Creative Review site, you’ll find the stories behind a number of nice new cover images, including those for musical acts such as Everything Everything (illustrated by Andrew Archer), Of Monsters And Men (abstract logo design by Leif Podhajsky) and Tame Impala, with a somewhat-psychedelic cover image by Kentucky artist Robert Beatty. As always, Rachael includes some covers for international (meaning “not easily found in the U.S.”!) artists as well, so there are always some unusual and intriguing things to see and learn about. To read the entire, nicely-illustrated article, just follow the link –http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2015/june/record-sleeves-june

2) Writing for DIY Magazine, Sammy Maine recently posted an interview article with Seattle-based graphic powerhouse Don Clark in which he recounts his work for the cover of Brand New’s second major release, 2003’s Deja Entendu. Clark’s astronaut has become the basis of many a fan’s tattoo collection and was a fine example of a musical act’s trust in the talents and imaginations of the Invisible Creature team. Click on over to http://diymag.com/2015/06/01/inside-the-artwork-the-story-behind-brand-news-deja-entendu for “the rest of the story”.

3) Lastly but not leastly, fans of Talk Talk cover artist James Marsh can now pre-order a copy of a new edition of his previously-sold-out art book Spirit of Talk Talk. Due out this October, the paperback version will be updated to include 24 pages of additional content, including interviews with several of the band’s best-known cohorts. Founding band member Simon Brenner will be autographing a small number of copies for early orderers, so click on over to the Spirit of Talk Talk site and reserve yours today – http://www.spiritoftalktalk.com/ You may recall that I interviewed James a couple years back about the body of his work, so if you’d like to re-introduce yourself to his work, here’s the link to that interview –https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/2012/11/07/james-marsh-talk-talk-interview/

June 12th –  1) What Time does to Anarchy….Virgin Money, a financial services company in the U.K., is now offering its customers a chance to get credit cards featuring memorable images from record covers for the Sex Pistols! Jamie Reid’s timeless design for Never Mind The Bollocks…(wait, isn’t “Bollocks” a bit of profanity?) can be had on your new Master Card, with the alternative being the artwork used on the single for the very un-capitalist tune “Anarchy in the U.K.”, complete with a safety-pinned Union Jack. I guess that those of us in the U.S. will have to wait until someone releases a Billion Dollar Babies credit card – no fair! Read and see more on this item in this article by the Daily Mail‘s Sam Dunn –http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3116191/Artwork-Sex-Pistols-album-feature-new-plastic-offer-Virgin-Money.html

2) While I’m always curious as to how a writer determines exactly what criteria must be met to be included in a “Most Controversial Album Cover” article (typically, nudity, followed by religious symbolism and “kids doing the darndest things”), it certainly must be said that album covers over the years have stimulated a lot of conversation about how best to create a memorable image, so while you might find some of the covers included in Lex Campbells list found on the Triple M radio web site (Australia) more quaint than disturbing (these days), each example certainly did get folks talking when they hit the retail shelves in their day – http://www.triplem.com.au/sydney/music/news/2015/6/list-10-most-controversial-album-covers-of-all-time/

3) One final Rolling Stones re-release-related item – timed to coincide with both the re-release of the Sticky Fingers record and the band’s upcoming concert at Heinz Field, curators at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, PA have put together a special exhibition featuring production materials and correspondence related to the making of the famous album cover image – cover photos (front and back), inside sleeve shots (“the underwear”) and letters announcing the record’s Grammy nomination in 1972 for “Best Record Cover”. Writing for the Trib Live site, Bob Karlovitz gives us the details of this ongoing display –http://triblive.com/aande/music/8540066-74/warhol-album-cover#axzz3csNEzIi8

June 11th –  1) Very pleased to announce that film-maker Michael Prince has completed his documentary on the life and talents of photographer Brian Griffin, well-known to fans of album cover art for his memorable covers for acts including Depeche Mode, Echo & The Bunnymen, Joe Jackson, Elvis Costello and many others. The Surreal Lives of Brian Griffin will be hitting the festival circuit in the UK soon, with Mr. Prince working hard to find distribution both in and outside the U.K. soon.
In the meantime, he’s put up a nice promo trailer on the Vimeo site, which I invite you all to watch via the link at https://vimeo.com/124393480
Please share this with anyone you know who is interested in learning more about this talented individual (as well as any fan of fine art photography).

2) With soccer/football/futball dominating the headlines these days, here’s a link to a story about how one Argentinian sports blog is working to highlight what appears to be fan-made apparel that appeals to two passions at once – love of soccer and love of music – by featuring graphics derived from great album art and band logos. As noted in this article on the MLS Soccer site, a blog called LaCasaca has gathered examples of jerseys featuring imagery from Queen, The Beatles, AC/DC, KISS, Metallica and several others. While I’m assuming that these examples are mostly wishful thinking, I’m also hoping that some deep-pocketed clothing manufacturer is paying attention and will work to bring us something similar soon. In the meantime, enjoy –http://www.mlssoccer.com/sideline/news/article/2015/06/10/rock-and-roll-soccer-jerseys-are-here-stay-check-out-latest-crossover-kits-s

3) To follow-up a recent posting about the new line of special-edition vinyl LPs and limited-edition art prints based on several re-releases by the Rolling Stones, there was a special event taking place on Thursday, June 18th at the Mr. Musichead Gallery in Los Angeles that was built around these new items. On hand to introduce the line was Sirius/XM Radio host Chris Carter (Chris Carter’s British Invasion), so if you’re anywhere near the Sunset Blvd gallery, be sure to stop on in to take a look at these new items, published by Time Life’s Spotlight Gallery division. Preview these items on the gallery’s site at http://mrmusichead.com/?p=13708

June 10th – 1) While I know that many well-known album cover artists have applied their talents to clients in both the record and film industries (for example, Drew Struzan did film posters for Star Wars and Indiana Jones after creating covers for Alice Cooper and Black Sabbath), I was impressed to see this recent article by Ria Misra on the IO9 site featuring the talents of one her column’s contributors – who goes by the name of “poorfishy” – who posted his/her mash-ups of classic record and film imagery. You’ll find examples of Duran Duran, The Beatles and the soundtrack for the movie Grease re-interpreted using characters from Star Wars, Dr. Who and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, among others.
Creative inspiration comes from many sources, but only a few dare to turn it into something worth sharing – well done, poorfishy!
http://io9.com/classic-movie-posters-redrawn-as-vintage-album-covers-1709277184

2) In another example of “you never know what might be worth saving (until you auction it off 50 years later)”, art collectors will enjoy reading the details of the recent luck of a Ms. Jinty Stephenson, a classmate of now-famed designer/artist Sir Peter Blake (of Sgt. Pepper’s fame) who so loved a painting done by her fellow student that she purchased it – paying a total of £30 in ten weekly installments – and is now auctioning it off, with the item expecting to sell for about ten thousand times more than what she paid for it (i.e., approx. £350,000, or a half-million dollars).
It was one of 40 lots up for auction by Christie’s in their June 25th Modern British & Irish Art sale, so I’ll be sure to report back on just how much Ms. Stephenson’s cash account has grown post-sale. In the meantime, you can read more about this in writer Hannah Furness’ article on the Telegraph UK site – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/art-news/11655389/Best-investment-I-ever-made-Painting-bought-for-30-to-sell-for-350000.html

Follow-up – Well, our congratulations go out to Ms. Stephenson who, as the beneficiary of some spirited bidding, found her painting sold for NEARLY TWICE the pre-auction estimate – £662,500, or $1,038,800! The entire auction consisted of 32 lots and, with bidders from 18 countries participating, the total take on the evening’s sales was nearly $30 million.

June 9th – 1) To follow-up yesterday’s Rolling Stones-related article that touched on the upcoming re-releases of some quintessential Stones LPs, fans looking for something rare and collectible will have their wishes answered with the announcement of the availability of some special-edition versions of these recordings, made even more enticing by the inclusion of limited-edition album cover art prints. In the article by Nick DeRiso on the Ultimate Classic Rock site, you’ll learn more about the details of what’s available (12×5, Let It Bleed and Get Yer YaYa’s Out!), all done in clear vinyl and packaged with framed litho art prints that feature in addition to the expertly-done artwork found on the records, reproductions of the signatures of the band members.
The art prints were published by long-time album art producer Denny Somach and were done in a partnership between Somach, ABKCO Records and Time Life. The 2500 copies are priced (quite reasonably, I think) at $199.99, so if you’d like one, run don’t walk (or, quite simply, click on over) to the article to find all links as well as a nice video of DJ Chris Carter (host of the long-running “Breakfast With The Beatles” show) unveiling his own copy of the package –http://ultimateclassicrock.com/rolling-stones-clear-vinyl-litho/

2) Speaking of The Beatles – appearing at last weekend’s stop in Orlando, FL of the traveling Art Rock Show was famed designer and animator Ron Campbell, one of the people most-responsible for the memorable psychedelic imagery of both the Yellow Submarine full-length feature and the Saturday Beatles Morning Cartoon series that kept kids and their parents glued to their TV screens in the late 1960s. The 75-year-old artist’s appearance was a rare treat for fans, with the well-attended meet-and-greet a great chance to both hear from the accomplished animator (who worked on many other shows, including Rugrats and Ghostbusters), get an autograph and even take home a limited-edition print or two from the series produced by the artist.
Read the nicely-illustrated coverage of this event by Caitlin Dineen of the Orlando Sentinel on the paper’s site at http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/orange/os-ron-campbell-beatles-cartoon-animator-20150606-story.html

Voodoo Doughnuts ad

Voodoo Doughnuts ad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3) Wasn’t I surprised when paging thru last week’s edition of the local Portland alternative paper (The Portland Mercury) when I came upon an ad from huge tourist magnet/donut shop Voodoo Doughnuts that thanked locals for their ongoing support and marked their 12th anniversary with their own re-interpretation of Sir Peter Blake’s often-replicated cover design for the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band LP (see picture at top of this posting). The shop is famous for putting just about anything on a donut (bacon maple is a big seller, as is one in the shape of a voodoo doll), so the collage certainly is representative of the artistic approach to high-calorie snack foods that keeps people filling pink boxes with them every hour of every day… See attached picture and, if tempted, visit their site to learn more –http://voodoodoughnut.com/doughnuts.php

June 6th –  1) Much has been said and written about Sir Peter Blake’s Grammy Award-winning design for the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s by The Beatles, but have you ever wondered just who were all of the people featured in that grouping? Some are quite obvious – two sets of Beatles, Edgar Allen Poe, W.C. Fields and Bob Dylan, to mention a few – but, for example, who are the two 19th Century-looking dudes on the left-hand side of the next-to-last row of figures? Let’s thanks the folks at Ultimate Classic Rock and Diffuser.FM for a detailed slide show containing all of the missing information regarding the “who’s who” of this memorable assemblage – click here and your questions will finally be answered – http://diffuser.fm/sgt-peppers-lonely-hearts-club-band-cover-art/

2) I’ve written before about photographer Eilon Paz’s book titled Dust and Grooves: Adventures in Record Collecting, a tome that tries to explain that strange-but-wonderful connection some folks have with the physical aspects of collecting music on vinyl or CD. In his book, the author discusses how the apparent “value” of music has been diminished by the almost unlimited amount of it you can listen to digitally (i.e., via streams, downloads, etc.). Compare this with the value that a record collector attaches to his/her vinyl or CD collection – those items being things that the collector has decided to invest in for posterity’s sake and, at the same time, helping support the careers of his/her favorite musical acts. In this recent article by Kate Beaudoin on the Mic.com site, Kate works with Paz to select and highlight seven of the collectors/collections featured in the book, letting each subject explain and demonstrate why it is that they prefer – for a variety of reasons – to build and maintain their collections of their favorite music. Very insightful… http://mic.com/articles/120134/7-stunning-images-prove-just-how-much-we-lose-with-digital-music

June 5th –  1) The works of several Ohio-based rock photographers are now on display (through the end of August) in a new show at the Tyler Mahoning Valley History Center in Youngstown, OH titled “Rock Gods: The Art of Rock ’n’ Roll Photography”. The 100+ photos on display were shot by photographers who’ve covered the local music scene for the past 40+ years and include Cleveland-based Janet Macoska and two Youngstown, OH-based creatives, Tony Nicholas (photographer) and Chris Yambar, a graphic artist who has “re-imagined” some of Macoska’s photos and created new works of art. Visitors to this show will recognize Janet’s work as part of the permanent collection of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Museum, along with being seen in most major music publications. You’ll also be able to take home prints of the images on display (priced from $30 – $2500) – great souvenirs of a wonderful exhibition. Read all the details in Guy D’Astolfo’s article on the subject found on the Vindy.com web site – http://www.vindy.com/news/2015/may/28/rock-gods-show-at-tyler-center/

2) Album covers from all over the world continue to intrigue music and art fans worldwide, so it is nice to be able to show examples of pop music packaging from place that your Curator hasn’t had much exposure to, such as the collection of Welsh language rock album covers that will be on display at the Galeri Caernarfon in Gwynedd, Wales beginning this weekend. The exhibition features 40 specially-selected examples and is part of the 2015 Inc Festival taking place. If you’re heading out to take part in the annual celebration there this weekend, here’s a link to an article recently posted on The Daily Post UK web site –http://www.dailypost.co.uk/whats-on/music-nightlife-news/galeri-caernarfon-hosts-exhibition-iconic-9381265
Perhaps someone can tell me more about the musical acts and artists/photographers whose works are featured in this show – to be honest with you, I’ve been somewhat thwarted in my efforts to determine who’s who from the descriptions provided 🙂

June 3rd – Every once in a while, an item comes up for bid at auction that gives collectors an opportunity to add something unique and beautiful to their album art-related collections, and today I’m reporting on one such opportunity.

You may recall seeing artist Mila Furstova’s wonderful collage that was produced for the cover of Coldplay’s Ghost Stories record, and it proved to be such a popular image that the artist has gone ahead and created a limited-edition series of mixed-media collages that re-create the original wing-shaped image.

Made with two etchings placed on top of a painted background, the nearly 40″ square works are made even more-collectible by the fact that they’re each signed by the artist and the four members of Coldplay. The Bonham’s auction house had one of these prints (there were 25 total in the edition) included in their new Entertainment Memorabilia auction that accepted final bids on June 24th. The pre-auction estimate on this print is approx. $4600, with a percentage of the final price being donated to the Kids Company charity. You can take a look at this nice print via the link –http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/22444/lot/251/

Follow-up – while there was a good turnout for the aforementioned auction, the Furstova Coldplay collage went unsold. A happy Coldplay fan, however, did go home with the guitar that Chris Martin used during the recording of their Parachutes record, with the somewhat-battered acoustic selling for $29,462, or nearly 2X the pre-auction estimate!

June 2nd – 1) Friday, June 5th was BBC Radio’s “BBC Music Day” and, in support of this event, a number of the network’s on-air personalities have worked together to re-create examples of much-loved album cover imagery, including covers originally featured on records for acts including Oasis, The Smiths and Lisa Stansfield. The participants really seemed to have enjoyed themselves in this work, and the results are pretty impressive, I must say. Seriously, who wouldn’t love to “play” Morrissey or Liam Gallagher for a few minutes? Read and see more about these nice promo images in this article by Emma Flanagan on the Manchester Evening News site –http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/whats-on/music-nightlife-news/iconic-manchester-album-covers—9350395

2) You may recall an article posted not long ago about a new book by author Ramon Oscuro Martos about the amazing range of album cover images found in the hard/heavy metal rock genres, so it was great to see this new short-form video – produced by the author and film maker Randy Salo – in which Martos provides the narration and briefly discusses why he thinks that the artwork in these genres is unique and an important part of the overall connection between bands and their fans. I haven’t yet seen the book in the flesh, so it was also nice to see how well-produced and illustrated And Justice For Art: Stories About Heavy Metal Album Covers is. It certainly has given me some additional inspiration for when I begin serious work on my own book….To read more about this new docu and to watch it yourself, head on over to the Metal Underground site –http://www.metalunderground.com/news/details.cfm?newsid=113772

That’s all for now – look for updates every week day on our news feed –https://www.facebook.com/AlbumCoverHallOfFame – we’ll be back next month with another summary for you.