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Album Cover Artist And Art News Summary And Preview For August/September, 2018

ALBUM COVER HALL OF FAME’S ALBUM COVER NEWS RECAP FOR THE MONTH OF AUGUST, 2018, WITH PREVIEWS FOR SEPTEMBER.

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BY MIKE GOLDSTEIN, ALBUMCOVERHALLOFFAME.COM

Greetings once more to you all – hope that you’ve all had a good time this Summer, however you chose to occupy your time. Even though my work on updating the bio section of the ACHOF site continues slowly but surely, I’m still happy to announce that there’s been a fair amount of album art/artist-related news to review – more interviews, profiles, news about new books and prints, etc. – and as you’ve seen in my previous news summaries, if you simply read the summaries I’ve written and click the links provided, you’ll be able to find out more about the details from sources from around the world on items featuring many of the world’s most-talented album art creators.

I am also pleased to announce that the second part of the two-part article I wrote about album cover art, artists and album art production has been added to the Illustration History web site – https://www.illustrationhistory.org/essays/design-and-illustration-in-the-record-business

Titled Design and Illustration by the “Early Influencers” working in the Record Business, this new article was designed to allow you to meet some of the most-notable purveyors of note-worthy and memorable album packaging and read what they have shared about what they do, why they do it, and what the future holds for this unique craft. To remind you, the Illustration History site is a project of the esteemed Norman Rockwell Museum (Stockbridge, MA) and serves as an educational resource for fans, students and teachers of the fine arts of illustration and design. It’s been an honor to be able to share some of my research and writing on a subject – album cover art – that features so many great examples of work by the talented people who’ve contributed to the visual side of the modern music business, so once again I’d like to thank curator Jesse Kowalski for this opportunity and hope that you’ll spend some time reading both articles and then digging through the site’s impressive archives as well..

In addition, I’ll soon be adding another article to the ACHOF site titled “Album Art and Packaging Trends Timeline and Overview” that seeks to answer, decade-by-decade, beginning in the 1940s up to the present, this important question for those of us interested in the history of album cover art “what was it exactly that the products produced during each decade or era have shown us about Pop Culture and the status of record music promotion at that time?” The article will first be posted on the ACHOF site, with announcements made via social media, and I do hope that you’ll take the time to read, absorb and comment.

Several of you may recall from last month’s summary that I was asked (one of a number of music packaging gurus) to serve as a judge for the upcoming (early October) Making Vinyl Packaging Awards extravaganza that will be a keystone event at this year’s Making Vinyl conference in Detroit. The first round of judging has been completed and, from an impressive number (nearly 250!) of entries in all of the categories, the finalists have just been announced, with the list available for your viewing pleasure at – https://makingvinyl.com/making-vinyl-packaging-awards-announces-finalists-in-12-categories/

I gotta tell you, folks…I really had no idea that there was so much creativity and ingenuity (and, by the looks of some of the packages, resources) being put to task to create new retail packaging for recorded music products until I spent some time – nearly 3 full days! – looking at each of the entries before posting my opinions. What was more interesting to me was to learn more about the people working on these projects, with a nice balance seen between entries submitted by major labels working with “household name” designers/art directors/photographers and the impressive output from people/teams I’ve never had the pleasure to meet before. While I can’t release any of the details now, you can rest assured that I will be introducing myself to some of these new (at least to me) names ASAP and will be sharing the fruits of those efforts with you when I can.

The winning entries – that is, those picked from the aforementioned list of finalists – will be selected by a panel of esteemed judges at the NYC offices of the AIGA design organization and awards will be announced and presented at a ceremony that will be held at the Westin Book Cadillac Detroit on the evening of October 1st. You will, of course, find more information on the winners immediately thereafter here on the ACHOF site and, with any luck, will be able to read an interview or two with some of the winners ASAP after.

As always, I ask that you 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) I’m happy to announce that my friends at the U.K.-based art publisher/art gallery Hypergallery are taking a road trip to Berlin, Germany to stage, along with album cover design great Aubrey Powell, a survey exhibition that will “explore and unpack the significant influence of the Hipgnosis design studio through an unprecedented display of images from the Hipgnosis catalogue.” The show – titled Daring To Dream – is scheduled as part of the European Month of Photography (EMOP) 2018 event and is being co-curated by Emily Smeaton and John Colton, under the watchful eye of Mr. Powell.

The show will run from September 30th thru the 28th of October, staged in a courtyard located on the 1st floor of Bergmannstr. 5, 10961 in Berlin, with an opening party scheduled at that location on the evening of September 29th, beginning at 7PM local time. Mr. Powell will be on hand that evening – along with members of a local opera company – and will be signing copies of his own retrospective book of Hipgnosis-generated album art called Vinyl.Album.Cover.Art which was recently published in Germany by Edel Books. More info can be found on the Hypergallery web site at https://www.hypergallery.com/event-hipgnosis-in-berlin/

I’m eagerly awaiting to see photos from the show/opening night event and will point you to those when they’re available.

b) For those of you who weren’t able to attend the Bill Graham-centered art/memorabilia show (BILL GRAHAM AND THE ROCK & ROLL REVOLUTION) that toured last year, you’re being given a reprive of sorts with the staging of the Summer of Love poster show at the Andaz Gallery/Hotel in Hollywood, CA, put on in cooperation with the Grammy Museum and featuring 17 original posters from the 1960s by noted visual psychedelic artists including Wes Wilson, Bonnie MacLean (AKA Mrs. Bill Graham), Jim Blashfield, Greg Irons and Stanley Mouse.

http://westhollywoodmag.net/press-release-andaz-west-hollywood-and-the-grammy-museum-unveil-original-summer-of-love-posters-in-new-salon-art-exhibit/

If you’d like to read my exhibition recap from the Bill Graham show as it was staged here in the Chicago area last year, click on over to https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/2017/08/04/achof-exhibition-tour-bill-graham-and-the-rock-roll-revolution/

c) There’s a show taking place in London in mid-September that, if I understand what it is that I’m reading, looks to introduce show-goers to several new formats of visuals that might be accompanying and augmenting recorded (and live) music as time goes on. Based on work done by musician/artist Beatie Wolfe and cohorts at Nokia Bell Labs, you’ll be given the chance to see/listen/experience works including (as they’re described in this article by Oisin Lunny on the Forbes.com site) “the world’s first live 360˚ Augmented Reality (AR) stream combining live, 360˚ stereoscopic video and real-time AR visuals” that will “create a modern ‘Fantasia-like’ live streamed album experience.” A short video documentary is also there to better-explain what it is that Ms. Wolfe and her chums have created.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/oisinlunny/2018/08/26/beatie-wolfe-explores-the-art-of-music-in-the-digital-age-at-the-va/#6d1f677f1217

The show at the Victoria & Albert Museum – titled “The Art of Music in the Digital Age: a series of world-first designs” – runs from September 15th through September 23rd in the Prince Consort Gallery on Level 3 and will, in addition to the Raw Space Chamber described above, put on display such must-be-seen-to-be-understood items as “a theatre in the palm of your hand, an album as a deck of cards and wearable record ‘jacket’” designed by former D. Bowie tailor Mr. Fish, among other equally-innovative items.

The entire effort is delivered as part of the London Design Festival, with more information available at  https://www.londondesignfestival.com/event/beatie-wolfe-art-music-digital-age-series-world-first-designs and additional details on the V&A site at https://www.vam.ac.uk/event/bJR1B3Ng/ldf-2018-the-art-of-music-in-the-digital-age-a-series-of-world-first-designs  If any of you do attend and can share what you’ve seen with the rest of us, it’d be greatly appreciated as we are all curious as to where the future of music-related visuals is headed.

2) Artist interviews/profile articles –

a) NYC Radio show host Zach Martin just posted links to Parts 1 & 2 of his Big Fat American Rock Show! interview with NYC-based album design gurus Spencer Drate and Judith Salavetz, well known to album art fans for their award-winning work for Talking Heads, Lou Reed, Bon Jovi, Ramones and many others. The stories they share in Part 1 of how the two worked both alone and together to produce a huge portfolio of commercial work for their clients in the music business over the past 40+ years will make your head spin, so make yourself a dirty olive martini, place yourself in your favorite comfy chair and enjoy the ride – https://youtu.be/4LAwoiNtjy4

In Part 2, Spencer shares the details of who his favorite band is (and why) and how he and Judith seem to do their best work “when everything flows” – https://youtu.be/g144AXr4S_g

On a related note – for both this article and the one you’ll read on the upcoming Making Vinyl trade show – Mr. Drate and Holly Stephey will be hosting an online interview with Mr. Larry Jaffee, the producer of the event and the Packaging Awards show that will be taking place during that event. The live event takes place Friday, August 31st at 5PM EST and you can catch it online at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/redvelvetmedia/2018/08/31/larry-jaffee-making-vinyl

You won’t meet anyone with more passion about the resurgence of the vinyl record and the importance of album cover art, so I hope you’ll take the time to listen to this interview.

b) While Madonna may have been making headlines recently for both celebrating her 60th birthday and enduring some music industry flack after delivering a not-so-well-received tribute to the recently-departed Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin at the MTV Video Music Award ceremonies, one thorough read of this recent amply-illustrated FOTO Story interview article with photographer Kevin Mazur reminds you of just how much she’s influenced Pop Culture since launching her career as a singer/dancer in the early 1980s in the clubs surrounding New York City. Having met Ms. Ciccone while he was himself a young lad from Long Island (he’s 57 now), Kevin has been on hand to document the Material Girl’s meteoric rise, being on-hand to shoot scores of her concerts (beginning with 1985’s Virgin tour) and producing a huge portfolio of work we’ve all seen in magazines, books and web sites over the years. He’s also produced album cover shots for top musical acts including Bob Dylan, Elton John and U2, but in this article, the focus is on just how much fun he’s had being on hand and moving from gaga-eyed fanboy to long-time friend of someone who has impressed us all with her talent, dedication and fearless approach to success in a really tough business – https://foto.gettyimages.com/celebrity/musicians/madonna-in-motion/

c) NYC-area music art fans might want to quickly click on over to the Eventbrite site (via the link at the end of this notice) to register for what’s sure to be a sold-out event at the Great Hall at Cooper Union (7 East 7th Street, New York, NY 10003) this coming October 19th (from 7-8PM EDT) featuring Metallica’s drummer (and famed fine art collector) Lars Ulrich talking photography with the Brooklyn-based photo duo Herring & Herring (the team behind the album cover imagery for the band’s hit 2016 release Hardwired…To Self Destruct) about how artists like themselves collaborate to create great art.

Herring & Herring consists of Dimitri Scheblanov (who is himself a 2005 graduate of The Cooper Union’s School Of Art) and Jesper Carlsen (who was schooled at the Art Academy on the Danish island of Funen, graduating in 2006) and has worked with Metallica – serving as creative directors, photographers and music video directors – since 2014. In addition to their corporate work – with celebrity clients including musicians Ozzy Osbourne, Beyonce and Questlove, film stars Uma Thurman, Willem Dafoe and Billy Bob Thorton, TV personalities Fred Armisen, Oprah Winfrey and Andy Cohen and sports celebs Derek Jeter and Abby Wambach (among many others) – the partners also produce and publish the highly-praised image-only photo magazine also titled Herring & Herring (available on newsstands everywhere).

Ulrich will be taking a short break from the band’s tour in support of this album, which kicks off September 2nd with a show in Madison, WI.

Event info/registration  at  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/photography-duo-herring-herring-talk-with-metallicas-lars-ulrich-tickets-49040489424?aff=MetallicaFanClub  The event is free and open to the public, although the promoters warn that pre-registration doesn’t guarantee a seat, so get there early!

Article on the Blabbermouth site – http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/metallicas-lars-ulrich-to-talk-with-photography-duo-herring-herring-at-new-york-city-event/

d) We’ve all had to consider, at some point in our lives, just what the proper “work/life balance” would be in order for us to continue to enjoy both aspects of our day-to-day existences. For some of us, the choices were quite simple, being dictated by the status of our health or of our continued relationships with friends and loved ones. For others, it’s when they’ve noticed “something missing” from the enjoyment of their day-to-day activities, whether at work or at home. For Grammy-winning designer Stephan Sagmeister, as you’ll read in this recent article (and audio interview) by Ayse Burcell on the Salon.com web site, he noticed that “once I started to allow for repetition in the work, there was just less excitement.” What did he do to get his life back in balance? Well, he did something we all wish we could do – he took a year-long sabbatical. To do this, he had to overcome fears of “being forgotten” and/or being seen as “unprofessional” but, once he did, you’ll see that it was time well-spent. I’d suggest taking a break from your own hectic schedules to read and listen to this compelling interview via the link at https://www.salon.com/2018/08/27/the-case-for-taking-a-sabbatical-why-grammy-winning-designer-stefan-sagmeister-took-a-break/

3) Sales/Auctions –

a) Being touted as the “most-metal” of all memorabilia auctions, the estate of the late singer Ronnie James Dio is soon to offer a nice selection of Dio-owned property at Julien’s auction house that includes original album cover paintings, artwork, costumes and much more – http://www.juliensauctions.com/auctions/2018/ronnie-dio/index.html

Slated for two days in mid-September at the Hard Rock Cafe in NYC (September 15th and 16th), the event (titled PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF RONNIE JAMES DIO) includes well over 600 items and will showcase both “normal” personal effects (his little league baseball jersey, autographed baseballs and jerseys signed by his favorite pro sports players, etc.) and those things he aggregated during his multi-decade career as the lead singer for Rainbow, Black Sabbath and his own band, Dio. Album art collectors will have the opportunity to bid on:

The Last In Line original cover painting (est $20-30K) opening bid $10K – The original acrylic and collage painting executed by Barry Jackson and used as the cover art for the Dio album The Last in Line (Warner Bros., 1984). Framed, 26 1/2 by 45 1/2 inches; Sight, 18 by 37 inches

Sacred Heart original cover painting (est $20-30K) opening bid $10K – The original acrylic and collage painting executed by artist Robert Florczak and used as the cover art for the Dio’s 1985 Warner Bros. Records album Sacred Heart, signed by Florczak in the lower left. Framed, it’s sized at 25 1/4 by 25 1/4 inches;

Dream Evil original artwork (est $2-4K) opening bid $1K – The original acrylic on canvas board painting done by Steve Huston and used as the cover art for the  1987 Dio album Dream Evil (on Vertigo), signed in pencil in the lower right by Huston. This was the last album to feature “Murray” on the cover. Unframed, it measures 27 by 40 inches;

– A trio of Alan Aldridge items from Dio’s personal collection – opening bid $150 – A signed print of the cover art for The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics, a copy of the book The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper’s Feast and an LP copy of the album of the same name. That 1975 album was produced by Roger Glover of the band Deep Purple and featured Dio in the role of “Froggy”. Framed, it measures 24 by 32 1/4 inches

4) New Print/Book/Product RELEASES –

a) Fans of the late Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia know that he considered himself as (as he’s been quoted) “an artist who played music” and that he expressed himself via a paintbrush with just as much passion as he did via his playing and song-writing. In the early 1980s, he began to study the visual arts much more seriously and, from that point until the end of his life, he dedicated himself to drawing, painting and creating images on his computers.

Recently, Jerry’s ex-wife Manasha Garcia and his daughter Keelin Garcia teamed up to create “a mission-based company inspired by musician and artist, Jerry Garcia” that’s called “Jerry Garcia Music Arts” and, as part of this music/fine art company’s launch – and to honor what would have been Jerry’s 76th birthday in August – they’ve released what they’re calling a “thematic pairing of art and music”, meaning that they’ve created both a new fine art print of a JG watercolor titled “Ripple” and have released a newly-remastered live version of the Garcia/Hunter-penned song of the same name on streaming music services including  iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Deezer, iHeartRadio, Napster, MediaNet, VerveLife, Tidal, Gracenote, Shazam  and 7Digital..

The print – an unframed, museum-quality giclee piece printed on Hanhnemuhle Bamboo 290 gsm paper and offered in an unsigned edition of 500 – is sized 11”w x 15”h, priced at a very-affordable $130.00 and comes with a certificate of authenticity and is available from Terrapin Stationers in their Terrapin Gallery

https://www.terrapinstationers.com/collections/terrapin-gallery/products/terrapin-gallery-and-jerry-garcia-music-arts-present-ripple-unsigned

A portion of proceeds from these sales support ocean conservation (Mr. Garcia was a strong proponent of saving the coral reefs and even shared these beliefs as he testified before a conservation committee for the State of Hawaii in 1990), with more details about the company and its mission available on their web site at – https://www.jerrygarciamusicarts.com/fine-art.html

b) New clothing and wall art designs featuring album cover-inspired imagery by “speed painting “ master Stephen Fishwick was introduced by art/marketing agency Get Down Art at the MAGIC Las Vegas event at the Mandalay Bay Hotel this past August 13 – 15, with these images and products looking to extend the popularity of several well-known album cover designs to a younger demographic via the fashion brands and trends they’ve shown they appreciate. For example, Pink Floyd’s memorable Dark Side of the Moon cover image, as reworked by Mr. Fishwick, shows the iconic diamond on a paint-splattered background, while the new version of AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” image shows Mr. Young bravely facing a very colorful electrical storm. The company is offering these designs and many others printed on t-shirts and long-sleeved shirts for both men and women, along with poster prints on canvas and other household items. Now your kids can wear their own unique iterations of their parents’ favorite album art and, in doing so, inter-generational love and understanding will finally be achieved – https://getdownart.com/collections/icons-collection

5) Other articles of interest –

a) This month’s collection of Sound and Vision articles – which provide in-depth details of the stories behind some of your favorite album art – offered to us by Eben Bensen and the nice people at Juxtapoz Magazine includes quite the range of music/art of both recent and historical vintages. Managing Editor Eben Bensen has stayed true to his promise to give us a new story every week, with the most-recent articles summarized below:

– Michael Trevithick’s Magritte-inspired (well, at least to me) artwork on the cover of the late Nick Drake’s third and final studio release – 1972’s Pink Moon – replaced the photograph originally taken for the project, which showed the musician in declining health – https://www.juxtapoz.com/news/music/sound-and-vision-nick-drake-s-pink-moon-cover-by-michael-trevithick/

– Neutral Milk Hotel’s 1998 indie release In The Aeroplane Over The Sea was viewed by music critics as a “game-changer” – an album based on the life of Dutch Holocaust victim Anne Frank – with its artwork the result of a collaboration between songwriter Jeff Magnum and album cover designer Chris Bilheimer and based on the artwork found on a turn-of-the-century travel postcard –   https://www.juxtapoz.com/news/music/sound-and-vision-neutral-milk-hotel-s-in-the-aeroplane-over-the-sea/

– In 2009, the Portland, OR (yeah, baby)-based experimental rock band called Portugal The Man released its fourth studio album The Satanic Satanist, which featured a very trippy cover crafted by the band’s own lead singer, John Gourley, who combined photos with watercolors to create the image – https://www.juxtapoz.com/news/music/sound-and-vision-portugal-the-man-s-the-satanic-satanist-cover-by-john-gourley/

– What is that thing jumping over the hurdle in Joan Ludwig’s photo featured on the cover of Beck’s 1996 hit record Odelay? A floor mop? A batch of ramen noodles? The answer is available via the link at https://www.juxtapoz.com/news/music/sound-and-vision-beck-s-odelay-cover-photography-by-joan-ludwig/

b) Now you can help two young-but-experienced artists in Portland, OR (yeah, baby!) launch a new “multi-disciplinary creative studio” via your support of their Indiegogo campaign and, as a reward, receive a limited-edition print and music compilation created just for this fund-raising effort. Over the past 13 years, composer/musician/sound designer Courtland Urbano and award-winning illustrator Anthony M. Benedetto worked on and off together on projects, but after Urbano moved to Portland to join the Humble Beast label roster, Anthony followed in 2014 to join the team as Creative Director. They both realized that, as a team, they could offer external clients a whole slew of services, so they decided to strike out on their own and launch a new agency they’re calling Nova Nimbus, with Anthony currently working out of Court’s garage.

Help Anthony get out of the garage into a proper office with your pledge of support and, with a commitment as little as $75, you’ll get a print of a work Benedetto created to show off both the natural beauty of their Pacific NW location and his respect for great mid-Century graphic design called Modern Romanticism.  Urbano adds music to the package with a download of a 19-cut collection of tracks he’s produced over the years, with both testifying to the fact that they love to listen to his soundscapes while they work, so you ought to, too.

The program runs for about another month, with details available at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/nova-nimbus-a-multi-disciplinary-creative-studio/x/18934317?#/

c) Using album cover art to find out the identity of one of the art world’s most-mysterious creators – is Robin Gunningham the real “Banksy”? Those bidding on a work of art printed on the sleeve insert for an early 1990s Bristol-based ska band sure hope he is! Artnet.com’s Henri Nuendorf provides us with the details, and happy value-hunting – https://news.artnet.com/art-world/early-banksy-auction-1329194

d) Orlando Sentinel reporter David Whitley provides “a public service” for us in his article “All Great Album Covers lead back to Abbey Road” by providing us with a “10 Greatest Album Covers of All Time list” (what, again?) based on his contention that “everybody can be an expert” (this is why I stay away from these lists) – http://www.orlandosentinel.com/opinion/audience/david-whitley/os-ae-album-covers-david-whitley-0808-story.html His email is provided at the end of the article, so feel free to respond.

e) Don’t they know that it’s just not safe out there? Several times each year, someone takes it upon his/herself to present a list of the “worst” record covers of all time and, each time, I share a link to this list with the hope that enough of you are outraged to the point of expressing yourself somehow on the author’s site. And while I will be the last one to promote any form of censorship, I would ask that folks look deep inside themselves before releasing “best/worst of all time” lists like this one. Yes, there’s been some horrible/disturbing/nonsensical album art used to package recorded music over the past 70+ years (just as there’s been a lot of “bad” music packaged and offered for sale), but the subject has really been beaten to death and is usually built around the same content, which just makes it boring. Please don’t click on this link. I’m asking you nicely…

http://ajournalofmusicalthings.com/because-everyone-loves-awful-album-cover-art-heres-another-gallery-of-some-of-the-worst/

f) Now, after the last entry, here’s one for the “Looking Forward” folder – Is this the “future” of album covers? Rapper/style icon (and very funny talk show guest – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8s9joL_AGfo ) Nicki Minaj uses artificial intelligence/virtual reality to bring fans up close-and-personal with her and her album art for her new record Queenhttps://mobile-ar.reality.news/news/snapchat-strikes-familiar-chord-with-shoppable-ar-lens-for-nicki-minajs-new-album-0186464/

That’s all for now – stay tuned and be on the lookout for timely news alerts on our news feed –https://www.facebook.com/AlbumCoverHallOfFame – we’ll be back early next month with another monthly summary for you.

Unless otherwise noted, all text and images included in this article are Copyright 2018 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 Recap for May, 2016

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

It’s the first day of June, 2016 and perhaps you’re just noticing and saying to yourself  “you know, it’s been a while since I’ve seen a monthly summary on the Album Cover Hall of Fame site”. Well, in truth, it has been a while – yours truly was away from the office for a period of a couple of weeks in late April/early May and, unbelievably for an American, I chose NOT to work through my trip and, instead, chose to relax (“how dare you!”). At the same time, I decided to modify both the form and frequency of my album cover news summaries, the result of which you’ve seen the past few weeks and hope that you’ve enjoyed. Rather than daily missives, you’re getting a summary once a week (on Fridays, with the occasional timely updates inserted as needed), with each week’s news broken into several categories (the human mind loves to categorize, so I’m just giving you a head start in that effort). With this month’s summary, I am going to introduce a format chance that more closely follows the weekly updates, with news stories divided up into those same categories, making it easier for you to focus on the topics that might be more interesting to you than others. I am hoping that these changes increase your enjoyment of the monthly summaries – of course, if you have any concerns or suggestions, I do hope that you’ll contact me (curator@albumcoverhalloffame.com) and let me know how I might better deliver the ongoing supply of album art/artist-related content I’m dedicated to providing you on an ongoing basis.

So much has happened since we last chatted – even with the media circus that dominates our daily news feeds (#1 – “It hurts when I watch this.” #2 – “So don’t watch this!”), the people that make our favorite album imagery continue to draw interest from fans and the press, so there’s been an ongoing stream of articles, interviews and the like on a wide range of related topics:

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Album Cover News Recap – November, 2014

Album Cover News Recap – November, 2014

by Mike Goldstein, Curator/Editor – AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

November was another busy album cover news-related month, with our focus of course on the announcement in late November of the newest inductees into the Album Cover Hall of Fame. The Class of 2014 included talent that began their album cover-related careers after 1990, with the winners in each category providing wonderful imagery for clients in every genre of popular music. You can find the list of this year’s inductees on the ACHOF web site, so we hope you’ll take the time to review each individual inductee’s portfolio – you’ll most-certainly be impressed and on the lookout for new works by all of them.

The news featured information on  a number of new exhibitions and gallery shows, including a grand-opening presentation at John Van Hamersveld’s new gallery in San Pedro, CA, a new show featuring works by Mark Mothersbaugh (of DEVO fame) at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, CO and a huge music/design show at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC. There were several significant auctions both here in the U.S. and in Europe, with several album cover-related items selling for multiple times their pre-auction estimates and serving to illustrate the importance and desirability (to fans and collectors) of record cover art. Continuing the momentum from the previous month, there were many new books released featuring design/photographic works (perfect for Holiday gift-giving), including tomes for fans of heavy metal album art, punk rock imagery and album cover illustration. Several interviews were featured, including one with a talented young South American artist who has drawn a lot of attention to his blog featuring animated versions of popular album covers, and the news showed its often-bizarre side with articles on album cover artists whose works have served as evidence in a murder trial, motivated others to risk their lives and, in the case of photographer Jean-Paul Goude, nearly “broken the internet” with his hugely-viral shot of someone named “Kim”, who bared her impressive butt on the cover of Paper Magazine.

In the meantime, here’s your chance to catch up on stories you might have missed due to the distractions of the beginning of the Holiday season and/or everyday life (after all, even though you’re all busy, this doesn’t mean you have to go without those things most-important to you, right?). We’ll continue to work (nearly) every day to continue our efforts 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.

November 28th – 1) Famed album artist John Van Hamersveld and his team have just opened a new So. CA. studio/gallery located in downtown San Pedro and are ready for visitors! Taking over and renovating the 80-year-old Williams Book Store space, JVH will be offering customers prints, posters and an artist-curated selection of books – “and every one of them deserves to be read. Artist monographs, art history, biographies, photography, typography, poetry, music and the stories of our culture with an emphasis on the 1940’s though the 1970’s”, according to the man responsible for classic covers for The Beatles, Blondie, Grateful Dead, KISS and many others. 443 W. 6th Street, San Pedro, with more info available on the artist’s site at http://post-future.com/ Good luck, John & Alida – very cool!

2) Beginning Monday, December 1, Megadeth fans will have the chance to bid on a wide range of memorabilia at Backstage Auction’s upcoming auction, but what caught my attention was a collection of twelve large-scale acoustic display panels – featuring a dozen different album cover designs, beginning with 1985’s Killing Is My Business up thru 2009’s Endgame – that were used in guitarist Dave Mustaine’s personal studio, known to fans as “Vic’s Garage”. About 41″ square (framed), many of them are also signed by Dave M and/or band members, making them even more collectible. Bidding begins at $100 for unsigned items and $150 for signed prints, so these seem to be an affordable way to add something truly unique to your art collection. More on these on the Backstage site at http://www.backstageauctions.com/catalog/miscellaneous/at/0/63/

November 26th – Just had a chance to look at some of the items that will be up for sale in Heritage’s Entertainment & Music auction on December 6th and there are several impressive album cover-related items included in the collection:

1) Fans of rap artist Snoop Dogg will want to take a look at the original painting used for the album cover for his debut record, 1993’s “Doggystyle“, considered one of the most-important early rap recordings (and, certainly one of the most-popular, having sold over 5 million copies!). The “Snoopy-influenced” cartoon artwork is by artist Darryl Daniels – AKA “Joe Cool” – with airbrushing added by artist Christopher Burch. Bidding on this item starts at $10K – quite a bit of bling, but truly a unique and important work of art – http://entertainment.ha.com/itm/entertainment-and-music/snoop-dogg-doggystyle-original-album-cover-art-by-joe-cool-1993/a/7096-89543.s?

2) Artist Lee Conklin’s instantly-recognizable pen and ink work was featured on dozens of posters for concerts in the San Francisco Bay area in the “Psychedelic Sixties”, but he’s probably best-known for his visually-morphing image of a lion that was used on the debut record by Santana. The design for the record was actually the second iteration of the idea, the first being used on a poster to promote a late-August 1968 concert at the Fillmore West featuring Steppenwolf, the Grateful Dead and their opening act, Santana. Carlos S. liked the poster image so much that he asked Conklin to come up with something similar for the cover of his band’s album. Now, fans can bid on a first-printing copy of the Fillmore poster featuring this image (high bid at this moment is $500), with a pre-auction estimate of at least $1,000. More on this item at http://entertainment.ha.com/itm/entertainment-and-music/steppenwolf-santana-grateful-dead-fillmore-west-concert-poster-bg-134-bill-graham-1968-/a/7096-89615.s

3) I also saw a selection of original art by Rick Griffin – http://entertainment.ha.com/itm/entertainment-and-music/rick-griffin-original-album-artwork-1980s-total-5-items-/a/7096-89586.s Not familiar with the musical acts featured but, as always, they’re really nice-looking images.

November 25th – 1) It was with much joy and fanfare that we announced the posting of the names of the Inductees into the Class of 2014 of the Album Cover Hall of Fame. You can view the list of honorees on our site at the following address:

https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/achof-nominee-inductee-menu-page/achof-class-of-2014-inductee-info-page/

This year’s class includes talent that received their first album cover credits anytime after 1990. Next year’s Class will be the first “open” voting, allowing nominees in all seven categories to have credits back to 1960, and we’ll also be opening up several of our categories to a public vote as well.

I’d like to thank our voting panel for their hard work and commitment to this effort – without you (and our loyal fans, “friends” and readers), our efforts to highlight the works of the music industry’s most-talented designers, photographers, illustrators, art directors (and the musicians and labels that support them) would not have the same impact and relevance.

Congratulations to all the winners on jobs well done!

2) On Wednesday, November 26th in London, you had the chance to bid on a large number (99) of photo prints from photographer Brian Griffin’s catalog. Brian’s work has been featured on covers for Elvis Costello, Iggy Pop, Depeche Mode, Echo & The Bunnymen and many others (inc. one of my personal favorites – his cover for Joe Jackson’s “Look Sharp!” album), so it was exciting to be given an opportunity to bid on selections from his impressive portfolio.

You can peruse his online catalog at http://issuu.com/briangriffinphotographer/docs/briangriffin-auction-aw/1

November 24th – British designer Sir Peter Blake – best known to album art fans for his work on the Sgt. Pepper’s album cover for The Beatles and his collage used as the cover for the “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” single back in the 80s – has created something new and exciting on behalf of small businesses across the U.K.. On December 6th, shop-keepers across the country will take part in a promotion (sponsored by American Express) called “Small Business Saturday”, and Sir Peter has created a promotional poster done in a style similar to Sgt. Pepper’s, but featuring images of 40 business owners from all walks of life. Titled “High Street Heroes”, the photo collage is the artist’s way of highlighting the importance of supporting local vendors who are often over-shadowed during the Holiday season by the higher-profile promotional efforts of larger retailers. Blake worked in a butcher shop when he was a youngster and feels that the importance of the ongoing success of local shops serves to maintain the character of the many small towns and villages that have been central to British character. Read more about this effort and see this new art piece in Claire Carter’s recent article on the Daily Mail site – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2842325/Beatles-album-cover-artist-reveals-High-Street-Heroes-collage-style-iconic-Sgt-Pepper-s-design.html

November 21st – 1) There have been several artists who’ve made their names in other areas and then been asked to create album covers (Jeff Koons, many fashion photographers, etc.), but few have been as involved in as many aspects of Pop Culture as artist Stephan Martiniere, the guy responsible for the other-worldly set designs for The Hunger Games and Guardians of the Galaxy movies, as well as classic franchises including Where’s Waldo, Madeline and Myst. His latest creation -and first album cover – is the cover for the Foo Fighters’ Sonic Highways record, featuring a composite of symbolic architecture from all over the U.S.. In this recent interview with Rolling Stone writer Nick Murray, Stephan gives us a look into his creative process and how he was able to bring his hyper-realistic design sensibilities to the table for this compelling music industry project. http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/foo-fighters-sonic-highways-cover-20141119

2) A complete set of photographs taken during the album cover session for The Beatles’ Abbey Road record was auctioned off today for an impressive £180,000 (approx. $282,000) today in the sale of Photographs & Photobooks at Bloomsbury Auctions in London. The set of seven photos – six out-takes and the actual cover shot – was taken by the late photographer Iain Macmillan, with Beatle bassist Paul McCartney making the final selection for which image would ultimately grace the cover. The set was sold to “an overseas buyer” that made the winning bid over the phone. More details via the auction house’s web site at http://www.dreweatts.com/cms/pages/press-2014-11-21-2

November 20th – 1) An album cover image being used as evidence in a murder trial? Wowee. California-based rapper Tiny Doo is on trial for allegedly being part of a gang of people that went on a shooting spree, with the group being accused of nine area shootings in the last 18 months. As evidence in the trial, the prosecutor is pointing to the cover of Mr. Doo’s most-recent CD – titled “No Safety” – saying that the image (of a gun and bullets) supports their contention that he’s part of a gang and has benefited from his affiliation. His attorney thinks that this is a case of guilt-by-association. I believe that there are several rap albums that feature guns on the cover, so it will be interesting to see how the jury responds to this bit of “evidence”. More on this item in Greg Moscovitch’s article on the ToneDeaf web site – https://www.tonedeaf.com.au/426139/rapper-facing-lifetime-prison-sentence-releasing-album.htm

2) Album art fans might want to take a look at the details of the latest auction hosted by the Gotta Have Rock And Roll auction house…included in the mix are a couple of interesting photos – an out-take photo taken by Annie Leibovitz during the cover shoot for Bruce Springsteen’s Born In The U.S.A and another out-take from the cover shoot for Blondie’s 1978 record Plastic Letters. Phillip Dixon was the photographer for that session, so I’m assuming it’s his work.

Motown fans will get a kick out of the opportunity to buy the original artwork for the Phillies Record November, 1963 release “A Christmas Gift For You” which, in 2003, was included on Rolling Stone Magazine’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” list (#142). Musical acts on the record include Darlene Love, The Ronettes and The Crystals (this being Phil Spector’s record label). Finally, well-heeled Motown fans might choose to bid on a custom-made 2pc. pants-suit work by the late Michael Jackson on the cover of the Jackson 5’s 1973 record “G.I.T.:Get It Together“. Opening bid is $50,000, with a pre-auction estimate of $60-80K. Just in time for the Holidays!

The auction began on November 26th and runs through December 5th – details via the link – https://www.gottahaverockandroll.com/catalog.aspx

November 19th – 1) Here’s another great example of “album art as fashion” (beyond your favorite t-shirt) – writing for the MTV web site, Marissa G. Muller talks to Reggie Thomas, founder of Kinship, who has released a line of bomber jackets that feature carefully-curated hip-hop album graphics. Thomas, who has managed hip-hop stars including Missy Elliott and Busta Rhymes, has always felt that music and fashion went hand in hand, leading him to design these jackets – including one “for the ladies” that features 35 well-known album images of top female rap/hip-hop stars. You can appreciate the details when you see photos of these products – some performers sure have, wearing examples of these products in their music videos. More viewable via the link at http://www.mtv.com/news/1996440/kinship-interview/

2) Author Richard Balls has a new book out on the famed Stiff record label titled Be Stiff: The Stiff Records Story and, in this recent interview for The Quietus web site, he gives fans the details on both his “10 Favorite Stiff Records” (inc. albums by Elvis Costello, The Damned, Ian Dury & The Blockheads and many others) and the photo session that produced the hilarious cover for the Damned Damned Damned album (featuring the work of the team of designer Barney Bubbles and photographer Peter Gravelle). Certainly, the antithesis of “Whipped Cream & Other Delights” – http://thequietus.com/articles/16610-be-stiff-the-stiff-records-story-book-extract

November 18th – 1) To note the release of Bryan Ferry’s latest solo release (titled Avonmore), NY Times writer Matt Diehl added a nice article to the Times blog/magazine about the memorable album cover art created for Ferry and Roxy Music. A graduate of the University of Newcastle (UK) and a student of noted designer Richard Hamilton (of Beatles “White Album” fame), Ferry spent the first part of his career as an art teacher, so it only made sense for him to take a hands-on approach to the art direction for many of his record-related projects. There were several other “regulars” involved in Ferry/Roxy Music projects, including Ferry’s former classmate, designer Nick deVille, photographer Karl Stoecker (who shot the covers for the first three Roxy Music albums) and photographer Eric Boman, who took the photo for the cover of what is perhaps the most-recognizable Roxy Music LP, 1974’s Country Life. You can read Diehl’s article at http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/11/05/bryan-ferry-avonmore/?_r=0 . On a related note, if you’d like to read more about the surprising number of accomplished musicians that also got their start as art school students, you can click on over to the ACHOF site to read an article I wrote a while back on the subject – https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/2013/03/15/musicians-that-also-design-album-covers-a-list-for-fans-of-music-and-art/

2) With all of the press Kim Kardashian has received regarding her most-recent attempt to crash the Internet with traffic flooding to see pictures of her quite-sizable butt, I just wanted to remind folks that the photograph in question was an update of a 1976 image shot by photographer Jean Paul Goude, the man responsible for the many wonderful photos of model/musician Grace Jones used on the covers of her albums, including Warm Leatherette, Nightclubbing, Living My Life, Slave To The Rhythm and others. Writer Cedar Pasori provides us with a bit of background – along with some of the original imagery – in this recent article on the Complex.com web site – http://www.complex.com/style/2014/11/jean-paul-goode-paper-magazine-original-images While Kim K might not win any awards for originality, at least she works with the cream of the crop of the world’s photographers…

November 17th – New interview alert! He’s been getting so much press for his work, I just had to find out more about this nice man. Available for viewing now on the ACHOF site, my interview with animated album cover maven Juan Betancourt, live from his studio in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In this article, you’ll learn more about the artist, his techniques and what, for him, makes for an ideal candidate for an animated album cover. We also talk a bit about what he likes/dislikes about album art today and whether he thinks that animated album covers will be something that musical acts actually start to produce for themselves. We’ve included several examples from his archives, as well, so please click on over to this interview at https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/2014/11/17/interview-with-juan-betancourt-animated-album-covers/ when you get a chance. Please share with your friends and loved ones, too. Enjoy – Mike G

November 14th – 1) Opening this weekend at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC – “Making Music Modern: Design For Eye & Ear”, a year-long show digs into the museum’s extensive collections to help illustrate the ever-present connections between music and art (and the artists and musicians that collaborate to present their works to art/music fans). Curated by Juliet Kinchin and Luke Baker from the museum’s Dept. of Architecture and Design, the show includes many different items that demonstrate how great design has been used to promote, package and deliver music – posters, sheet music, theater design, music videos, musical instruments, consumer electronics and, of course, album cover and concert imagery. Included are works by photographer Richard Avedon, designers Saul Bass and Charles Rennie Mackintosh, architect Daniel Libeskind and many others. The show runs thru next November, so if anyone has the chance to walk through it, please send me your comments…more on this on the MOMA web site – http://www.moma.org/visit/calendar/exhibitions/1523

2) Over on the West Coast, the folks at the Mr. Musichead Gallery in Los Angeles hosted a fund-raising auction on Saturday evening, November 15th, on behalf of the Silverlake Conservatory of Music that included rare photographs by Bob Gruen, Dezo Hoffman, Mike McCartney, Allan Tannenbaum, Michael Ward and Robert Whitaker as well as signed prints, posters and vinyl records. In addition, famed illustrator Alan Aldridge – best known for his illustrations for The Beatles – was on hand for a “meet & greet”. You’ll be able to take a look at – and participate in – new auctions by this gallery when they’re posted online at the gallery’s Ebay site – www.ebay.com/usr/mrmusichead7

3) From Los Angeles, drive east on the 10 to Palm Springs and stop at artist Josh Agle’s gallery to be one of the first to see the collection of fine art prints produced by a collaboration between the late designer Richard Duardo, Germizm and the multi-talented musician/artist Boy George. Timed with the start of the latest Culture Club U.S. reunion tour, the “Boy George Pop Art Remix” series includes a number of limited-edition prints and related merchandise. Agle – also known to modern art collectors as “SHAG” – will be hosting this exhibition now through December 14th at his Shag, The Store gallery on Palm Canyon Drive, with more information available on his site at http://www.shagthestore.com/location.html

November 13th – There’s a new book out titled 50 Years of Illustration, written by Laurence Zeegen, who is dean of the School of Design at the London College of Communications. Beginning with those that began their careers in the 1960s, the book features the work of over 225 artists from all over the world and touches on their impact on advertising, promotion, marketing and Pop Culture in general. Of course, there are a number of people included in the book that were made famous for their work on well-known album packages, including Milton Glaser (Bob Dylan), Klaus Voorman (The Beatles), Shepard Fairey (Led Zeppelin), Martin Sharp (Cream), Gerald Scarfe (Pink Floyd), Mick Haggerty (Supertramp), Roger Dean (YES) and many others, so it will be interesting to see how the work of these and other talented individuals who’ve contributed greatly to the field of album art are put into perspective in Mr. Zeegen’s new publication. CNN writer Allyssia Alleyne provides some insight on the topic, along with a nice slideshow of examples from the book, in her recent article on the CNN World web site – http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/10/world/gallery/the-power-of-illustration/

November 12th – 1) I can’t say that I’ve ever had to report on an album cover-related story that involved a serious injury but, as they say, “never say never”…there was a report yesterday in the UK’s Daily Mail about the posting of a video of someone getting hit by a car in the pedestrian crossing made famous on the cover of The Beatles’ Abbey Road record. Thousands (millions?) of people have traversed that crossing safely (including yours truly), but on July 3, 2012, a solo visitor decided to make her way across in the middle of what seems to be regularly-moving traffic, leading to a rather-nasty result (both photos and a web cam video are available for viewing). Police pay particular attention to this stretch of road, as it seems that many visitors pay little heed for their own safety while trying to recreate the famous foursome’s trek across the zebra stripes. They also noted that, last year, someone lost control of a motorcycle zooming down the path as well. Not much is known about the injured pedestrian, other than she survived. More on this ultimate fan sacrifice in Corey Charlton’s article on the Daily Mail site – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2829888/Caught-CCTV-Horrifying-moment-woman-hit-car-Abbey-Road-zebra-crossing-famous-Beatles-album-cover.html

2) To follow up on last weekend’s music memorabilia auction by Julien’s, as reported here originally on November 5th…There were some bargains had on some items, while others sold for much more than their pre-auction estimates – here are some examples:

  1. Alton Kelley’s painting for Journey’s Departure LP, which had a pre-auction estimate of $2-4K, sold for $12,500 (plus auction fees);
  2. Kelley’s mixed media work used on the cover of Mickey Hart’s Rolling Thunder LP, with an estimated value of $8-10K, sold for a paltry $3,750 – someone got a bargain, it seems!;
  3. Three early photos of Madonna, taken by Edo Bertoglio and used on the cover of her first record, sold together for approx. $2,200, or about half the pre-auction estimates. On the flip side, a number of Madonna photos by Herb Ritts sold for 2-3X their estimates;
  4. An ensemble worn by Heart’s Ann Wilson on the cover of the band’s Greatest Hits Live record sold for $5,000 about 2.5X the auction estimate.
  5. The Diana Dors wax sculpture used on the cover of The Beatles’ Sgt. Peppers record, expected to sell at a price between $50-70K, did not meet its auction estimate and was withdrawn.

The highest-priced item sold that night was a customized jacket worn by Madonna in the movie “Desperately Seeking Susan“. With a pre-auction estimate of $30-50K, the item was purchased for an astounding $257,000 (plus fees). Someone’s a big Madonna fan, that’s for sure. You can find the auction results on the Julien’s web site at http://www.juliensauctions.com/auctions/2014/icons-and-idols-rock/results.html

November 11th – 1) Mark Mothersbaugh of DEVO fame has always been a trend-setter when it comes to design and Pop Culture, but fewer people are aware of his talents as a fine artist, designer and sculptor. A new exhibition – titled “Mark Mothersbaugh:Myopia” – at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, CO has launched that will provide fans with a great opportunity (between now and April, 2015) to see some great examples of his newest art pieces, along with select items from his portfolio. The works done by the Akron, OH-born musician/man of many talents have shown a number of influences, from 50s pop imagery, travel postcards (he’s created 30,000 designs of his own), 60’s underground comix and fun-house mirrors, while his sculptures are strange contraptions made from a wide range of objects (his “Mutatum” sculpture from 2012 was crafted to look like two rear ends from a Scion automobile, each going in the opposite direction!).

There’s a new book out by the same title that chronicles the artist’s 40+ year career in the arts, with more information on the show available on the MCA-Denver’s site at http://mcadenver.org/markmothersbaugh.php

2) Gallery 98 in New York’s Bowery district has just launched a new show and sale of a fascinating collection of hand-cut photographs that were crafted by artist/animator M. Henry Jones for a pre-music video animated film he produced for NYC-area based garage rockers The Fleshtones. Done for their song “Soul City”, the film was made in the late 1970s, before the advent of music television, computer-aided graphics, etc., so this art film served as an influence to those creative types just entering the world of digital production. There are 1700 item for sale, each a unique work of art. More information on the artist and his work is available on the Gallery 98 web site – http://gallery.98bowery.com/exhibition/soul-city-animation-hand-cut-photos/

November 10th – 1) The folks at Omega Auctions in the U.K. have put together a pretty interesting catalog of items for their upcoming “Music Entertainment Memorabilia and Vinyl Records auctions in the U.K. and Utrecht (part of the Utrecht Record & Memorabilia Fair that takes place this coming weekend). Included in the offerings are several items that might be of interest to album art fans, including:

  1. A selection of original drawings by Gerald Scarfe, done for the album cover/film for Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” (including “Copulating Flowers”, a very memorable sequence from the film);
  2. an original mixed-media work by artist/musician John Squire, done for the cover of his band’s (Stone Roses) 2004 release titled “Ten From Ten“;
  3. an original sketch of the Paul McCartney character from The Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine” film, crafted on the first day of production by illustrator Heinz Edelman, which features a coffee stain caused by the artist spilling some of his morning brew on the paper after a surprise visit by Paul M. and John L., and many more interesting lots (over 350) including posters, photographs, and other items of interest.

Bidding began Friday, November 14th. To see more on this auction – including links to the online catalogs and auction results data,  please visit the Omega Auction site – http://www.omegaauctions.co.uk/vinylrecords_music_entertainment_memorabilia_auctions.php

November 7th – 1) Writer Ramon Martos Garcia of the nicely-done blog about album covers from the metal music world (“And Justice For Art“) just published an article/interview that focused on the sometimes-satiric nature of metal album covers. He shows us examples of how a band like Stormtroopers of Death borrowed liberally from Iron Maiden’s “The Number of the Beast” to create the cover for their “Bigger Than The Devil” release, and how the band Lich King took the notion of a “homage” to extremes when they came up with the cover for their “Do-Over” record by recreating, with minor modifications, D.R.I.’s cover for “Crossover” (which, I’m told, was not well-received by D.R.I. and it’s fan base). Ramon tracked down Tom Martin to ask him about why he and the band chose to follow this path in this article just published on the Metal Underground site – http://www.metalunderground.com/interviews/details.cfm?newsid=107787

2) Talented cartoonist/illustrator Wayno has just announced that he’ll be launching a new Web comic on the GoComics site and, along with this new online series, he’ll be participating in an art show (along with artist Dave Klug) that will take place in early December at the Panza Gallery in Pittsburgh, PA. I met Wayno after seeing his artwork featured in the great box set by Rhino titled “Weird Tales of the Ramones“, along with his work for The Karl Hendricks Trio, Ralph Carney and the irreverent cover for “Jesus Christ Surferstar” (he’s also done work for Nickelodeon, National Geographic and cartoon portraits of major entertainment icons such as Johnny Cash, Grateful Dead and, my favorite, DEVO. The webcomic will launch in early December at http://gocomics.com/waynovision but, while you’re waiting, I hope you’ll check out Wayno’s site at http://www.wayno.com/index.html

November 6th – 1) Not sure what to make of this, but I’m sure that the results will be well-publicized….Artist Jeff Koons interviewed Led Zep guitarist Jimmy Page at NYC’s 92nd St. Y and, after the panel was over, the two huddled and then shook hands on a deal that would have Koons create the cover art for a new JP record, slated for delivery sometime in 2015. Turns out that Mr. Koons is a huge Zep fan, so this is his chance to do something spectacular for his favorite guitarist. Koons’ most-recent album cover project was for Lady Gaga’s most-recent record, but I’m praying that he doesn’t do a sculpture of Mr. Page in the nude…More on this in Stephanie Green’s article on the HuffPo site – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stephanie-green/jimmy-page-and-jeff-koons_b_6101488.html?

2) While the ACHOF’s focus is on rock & roll album cover imagery, we must honor the talents of the people that pioneered album cover packaging and design, and one of the record labels that produced some of the most-influential covers – Blue Note Records, featuring the talents of Reid Miles, Frank Wolff and Paul Bacon, among others. Universal Music Group’s jazz consultant – Richard Havers – has just written a book on the subject titled Uncompromising Expression, and it is the first fully-illustrated tome published that covers the full-breadth of the label’s cover imagery. Released by UK publishing house Thames and Hudson, you’ll find ample evidence of the label’s holistic approach to its “brand” and its compelling combination of great talent, great music and superb cover design and photography. Universal will also be releasing a box set of records under the same title. Definitely worth a look, I’d think – more on this in writer Tom Banks’ article in DesignWeekhttp://www.designweek.co.uk/we-like/blue-note-records-uncompromising-expression/3039333.article

November 5th – 1) The careers of many well-known album cover designers got their starts at the UK’s Royal College of Arts, so it is exciting to see the school stage an exhibition highlighting the work of so many of their graduates who’ve gone on to greater fame in many aspects of the design/art world. Called GraphicsRCA: 50 Years & Beyond (on display in London from now until December 22nd), the show includes examples of the output of such luminaries as John Pasche (Rolling Stones and The Stranglers), Jonathan Barnbrook (David Bowie), Margaret Calvert (many UK road signs), Daniel Eatock (Big Brother logos) and many others. Along with students from Cal Arts, NYC’s School of Visual Arts and several others, it is fascinating to see the concentration of talent that has emerged from a select few schools that have produced a disproportionate amount of noted designers from amongst their graduates. Keep up the great work! More on this show in Joseph Charlton’s recent article in The Independent – http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/features/david-bowie-album-covers-big-brother-and-rolling-stones-logos-50-years-of-rca-design-9836743.html

2) This weekend, Julien’s auction house in Los Angeles will be conducting a auction sale of a large cache of fascinating rock & roll related items, including several lots that feature original album cover art and photography. Featured in the auction are several photographs by Edo Bertoglio taken for Madonna’s first record cover (originally to be titled Lucky Star, released simply as Madonna in 1983); a selection of original paintings by Alton Kelly, including his covers for Journey’s Departure and Mickey Hart’s Rolling Thunder; an artist’s proof print of the front/back covers for John Lennon’s Imagine LP; a selection of clothing items worn by Ann and Nancy Wilson on the covers for several Heart records; and – most notably – one of the original wax busts used on the cover of the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s LP – one of sex symbol Diana Dors, who you’ll find standing next to George Harrison on the famous cover (auction estimate – $50K – $70K). To go directly to a pre-sorted list of album art-related items featuring in the auction (bidding began at 10AM PST on Friday, November 7th), click on this link – http://www.julienslive.com/view-auctions/catalog/id/134/?page=1&key=%22album+cover%22&cat&xclosed=no&items=50

To see several videos shot by LA’s KTLA news crews that show many of the other items that will be put up for sale, follow the link to the KTLA web site – http://ktla.com/2014/11/03/juliens-auctions-icons-idols-rock-n-roll/

November 3rd – Here’s some info on a new book and photography exhibition that should be of interest to album cover fans:

1) Soul Jazz Books has just released a 400-page, LP-sized book titled DISCO: AN ENCYCLOPEDIC GUIDE TO THE COVER ART OF DISCO (presented by DISCO PATRICK and PATRICK VOGT) that contains thousands of images of disco album designs (covering a period from the mid-70s to the mid-90s) as well as interviews with a number of disco impresarios of the day. According to the publisher, among the many musical acts featured are Bohannon, James Brown, Jocelyn Brown, Cerrone, Dennis Coffey, Donna Summer, Chic, Fatback Band, Gino Soccio, Giorgio Moroder, Gloria Gaynor, Grace Jones, Isaac Hayes, Kool and the Gang, DC LaRue, Loleatta Holloway, MFSB, Ohio Players, Salsoul Orchestra and The Trammps. While I’m told that there’s not much info on the artists that created these memorable images (sigh…), the book should be quite the trip down memory lane for Boomers with fond memories of bell bottoms and Qiana shirts (unbuttoned to the navel, of course). http://www.souljazzrecords.co.uk/releases/?id=39773

2) Punk-era photographer extraordinaire Edward Colver has just launched a new exhibition of his photos titled Idle Worship: The Photography of Edward Colver, on display now at the Lethal Amounts store/gallery in Downtown Los Angeles. In addition to the cover images he shot for Bad Religion, Circle Jerks and Black Flag, Colver’s collection includes many shots used in books, films and other publications that documented the many famous and infamous players who made the scene so compelling (and bothersome to those who didn’t quite “get it”). There’s a selection of prints available for purchase, as well as copies of Colver’s book Blight At The End Of The Funnel, so if you’re in the area, be sure to take in the show. A writer for the Punknews.org site recently paid a visit to the exhibition and met the photographer as well – here’s a link to the author’s review of the experience – http://www.punknews.org/review/12970/edward-colver-idle-worship-the-photography-of-edward-colver-exhibit

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.