Tag Archives: Lee Conklin

ACHOF Exhibition Tour – Bill Graham and the Rock And Roll Revolution

Album Cover Hall of Fame Exhibition Tour – Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution (July 16 thru November 12, 2017 at the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center in Skokie, IL)

By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

Now that I live in a city that has a long history of design innovation, it’s a challenge not to be pulled in a million different directions when I hear about exhibitions being staged at the various venues found here. To manage that, I have several alerts set that inform me of anything album art-related that might be on display, but I have to admit that I came to learn about the local staging of a travelling show that’s been drawing crowds for the past two years a bit late (i.e., just a few days before its launch) and it was only due to the attentiveness of the venue’s media person that I was able to learn more and then tour the show right after its launch late last month. People before computers, I always say…

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Album Cover News Recap – September, 2015

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

It’s October 2015 and we’ve been rewarded for our having withstood a wild Summer with an amazing “SuperMoon” display recently. Some of the larger local fires are now under control, but the album art world continues to burn up the news wires, with September stories featuring a steady stream of interviews, features, book releases and gallery/museum show items finding their way into our news feeds. In the following paragraphs, I’ll try and provide you with some highlights and updates, but it’ll be up to you at that point to complete your review of this impressive list sure to please album art fans everywhere.

There were interviews galore  – in print and on video – with the talented men and women who’ve enriched our lives by creating memorable  album cover art, including principals from the FUEL Design Group, photographers Mick Rock, Henry Diltz, Pattie Boyd and Bob Gruen, Sir Peter Blake discussing his new Dazzle art mash-up app and a group of designers who share their favorite Rolling Stones covers and how they’ve influenced their own works.

In the fine art book category, artists and their publishers enticed us with new releases, with monographs featuring the works of Mick Rock (photos of early-stage David Bowie & Friends), Ringo Starr (with a new book of Beatles photos), Jazz Record greats, Brian Griffin (taking on a very thought-provoking subject) and punk/grunge-era designer Art Chantry, who warns prospective design students about the dangers of working in the music business.

There were a large number of exhibitions and shows built around rock-related imagery that premiered during September, with museum curators and gallery owners around the world displaying collections that show a broad range of album art and related imagery. You’ll find the details about current and just-completed exhibits such as Mick Rock’s photos of David Bowie at the Taschen Gallery in LA, Baron Wolman’s photos on display in a Louisville, KY distillery, David McClister’s photos at the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, an upcoming display in Hoboken, NJ to commemorate the 100th birthday of Frank Sinatra, Michael Miller’s display of West Coast Hip-Hop/Rap icons in Orange County, CA, Robert Knight & Maryanne Bilham’s photos in Las Vegas, Henry Diltz & Pattie Boyd’s multi-city photo show, Michael McCartney’s photos in Liverpool (where else?), a collection of photos of Bruce Springsteen up at Monmouth College and a show of Albert Watson’s fascinating collection of shots taken with a Polaroid camera.

Other stories included Rachael Stevens’ monthly record sleeve overview in the Creative Review, several “making of” articles by James Stafford and others (Pantera, The Offspring and Machine Gun Kelley), the release of a turntable/vinyl/book package for young record collectors, a look at an audiophile turntable featuring Queen graphics, Eric Arthurs video presentations of the “Worst Album Covers Ever”, a display of NFL football logos re-imagined as album covers, auctions with art by Andy Warhol, Lee Conklin, Klaus Voorman and the London Features photo syndicate and a teacher who styles his classroom and course materials around the art and music of Kanye West. Of course, I don’t have room 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!

As always, I’m hoping that you were able to take a look at the several new biographies posted on the ACHOF site during the month. I’m prepping to provide as much new info as I can to the expert panel that make up the voters of the ACHOF, with our next class set to be inducted in late November, 2015. And while I know that with all of the distractions caused by global politics, celebrity clothing mishaps and clients that never seem to pay their invoices on time might keep you from checking in with us every day, I’m going to do what I can to help 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 continue to say (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) 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).

September 30th – End-of-the-month mish-mash of items for you:

1) In a new “And Justice For Art” posting by Ramon Martos Garcia on the MetalUnderground.com site, you’ll learn more about what must be the ultimate commitment to album cover art – having full-color covers tattooed across your back! In the nicely-illustrated article, you’ll find fans of Metallica, Iron Maiden, Slayer, KISS and others proudly displaying their cover art recreations. Whether they insisted on pixel-perfect duplications or allowed themselves some creative freedom and added/modified the originals to be more to their own tastes, you must admit that these fans have paid tribute to their favorite groups in a way that few other fans would dare – http://www.metalunderground.com/news/details.cfm?newsid=116741

Have any of you gone down this same path?

2) The promo team at the Girls Rock Camp organization has come up with a unique way to raise funds for their efforts – selling prints of re-creations of classic album covers starring some of their own campers. The “Record Remake Project” page shows nicely-rendered images of their takes on record covers originally produced for musical acts including David Bowie, U2, Katy Perry, Kendrick Lamar and several others. My hands-down favorite is their take on Blondie’s Parallel Lines record – little “Debbie Harry” is just so cute! Photo credits are given to Carli Davidson, Melanie Aron, Holly Andres, and Shelby Duncan and print prices begin at $50, with the proceeds go towards the group’s ongoing mentoring efforts –

http://www.girlsrockcampfoundation.org/store/

3) Copper & Kings American Brandy Distillery in Louisville, KY has put together a wonderful rock photo show now running as part of the Louisville Photo Biennial. Launched last Friday (and running through November 27th),  “The Art of Rock: Transcending Sound” features a nice selection of photos by the talented Baron Wolman, along with prints produced by several local photographers. The exhibit was curated by Mary Yates, who collaborated with local photo gallery owner Paul Paletti and several others to procure all of the images now on display in the distillery’s 2nd floor gallery. More info on this show is available in this article by Sara Havens on the Insider Louisville site – http://insiderlouisville.com/lifestyle_culture/copper-kings-joins-louisville-photo-biennial-art-rock-transcending-sound/

BONUS CONTENT – Fans of graphic imagery from the 1990s will get a kick out of this new music video produced by top branding agency Pentagram’s London office for Jesse Hackett’s first single titled “The Dump Run”. Hackett had found a discarded electronic keyboard near a dumpster which inspired him with both its retro sound stylings and the graphics used on its case and keyboard. The Pentagram team took a decidedly early Flash-animation approach to the video, fitting the overall attitude of the cut quite nicely. It caught the attention of the folks over at Fast Company, who introduce it to us via this recent article – http://www.fastcodesign.com/3051400/pentagrams-new-music-video-is-an-ode-to-90s-graphic-design

Oh how I miss those days of Macromedia Director/Shockwave on an Amiga…

September 29th –  1) This past weekend, at the DiMattio Gallery in Rechnitz Hall at New Jersey’s Monmouth University, a new photo show debuted featuring an intriguing collection of photographs of NJ music legend Bruce Springsteen shot by photographers Danny Clinch, Ed Gallucci, Eric Meola, Barry Schneier, Pamela Springsteen and Frank Stefanko. Curated by the Grammy Museum, the 45 photos on display work to show The Boss at all stages of his 40+ year career in music-making, from shots of his famed May, 1974 show in Harvard Square thru photos taken for his most-recent release titled High Hopes. To provide a more-intimate experiece for visitors, there are video interviews (produced by the Grammy Museum) of each of the photographers talking about their experiences working with Springsteen. The show, titled Bruce Springsteen: A Photographic Journey, runs through December 22nd, with more info available on the gallery’s site at http://www.monmouth.edu/templates/EventDetail.aspx?id=40802203509

2) Multiple award-winning photographer Albert Watson, the man responsible for a long list of great album cover images over the past 40+ years (you’ll recall his covers for Carly Simon, Sade, P.M. Dawn, L.L. Cool J and many others), is the subject of a new show that focuses on a select grouping derived from over 100,000 Polaroid photos he’s taken of a huge range of subjects. On display now through October 24th at the Christophe Guye Gallery in Zurich, Switzerland, ‘Roids! shows Watson’s process as he first used the inexpensive instant camera to help him set up shots he’d envisioned to later using scanning technology to take the medium’s unique image qualities to an even-higher level via a series of large-format prints he’s created. You can read more about the man and this show via this recent article in L’Oeil de la Photographie magazine – http://www.loeildelaphotographie.com/2015/09/21/exhibition/29726/zurich-roids-by-albert-watson-at-christophe-guye-gallery
Of course, I’m hoping that the show’s title is a clever play on words and not one of those situations where the English gets lost in translation…

3) “Why did the Dalek cross the road”, you ask? You’ll have to talk to the Doctor who, in this case, is Doctor Who. It seems that the good Doctor and his BBC compadres have stimulated a lot of conversation with their re-creation of the often-imitated Abbey Road album cover, with this one featuring the Doctor, Clara Oswald and two of the show’s mechanical stars. With Clara in Paul M’s position in the image (barefoot, of course), does this mean bad things for her character? Conspiracy theorists have piped in with scores of explanations, so feel free to add one of your own after you’ve seen the image on Jonathan Holmes‘ article on the Radio Times site – http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2015-09-19/doctor-who-does-the-beatles–but-does-this-picture-prove-clara-oswald-will-die
Actress Jenna Coleman (Clara) announced that she’ll be leaving the show, so things are looking grim, wouldn’t you agree?

September 28th – Two interesting auctions and a thought-provoking interview:

1) Fans of psychedelic album art have always cherished illustrator Lee Conklin’s pen and ink “lion” cover for Santana’s debut record, so it’s fun to see a large collection of his poster work up for bidding on the Psychedelic Art Exchange as part of their larger anniversary auction, running now through 9PM EST on October 8th. You’ll see examples of Conklin’s work for Filmore Auditorium gigs by bands including Cream, Buffalo Springfield, Jefferson Airplane, Iron Butterfly and many others – each one a mind-blowing psychedelic masterpiece. Happy bidding!

http://auctions.concertpostergallery.com/catalog.aspx?auctionid=52&searchvalue=conklin&searchby=3

2) As part of their September 29th Rock & Pop auction, the folks at Sotheby’s in London offered a Lot (#105) that included the 58 albums designed by Pop artist Andy Warhol between 1949 – 1987. Two of the examples included in this rare collection – 1967’s Velvet Underground & Nico and The Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers from 1971 – are signed by the artist. The lot also included a hand-pulled silkscreen print, nine books, some 7″ single covers and an example of the last cover Warhol was working on (one for MTV’s High Priority album) when he died in 1987 (the design was completed by his studio staff). The pre-auction estimate ranged from $46,700 to $78,000, and fans of Warhol art can still get a closer look via the electronic catalog (“turn” to page 82) – http://www.sothebys.com/pdf/2015/L15414/index.html

Update – the lot detailed above did not sell at this auction, but another lot that featured the contract that The Beatles signed with their manager Brian Epstein did sell for approx. $554,000, a bit above its pre-auction estimate.

3) Designers Damon Murray and Stephen Sorrell teamed to launch the FUEL design group in 1991 and, since then, have established a sterling reputation for their work for clients in the book publishing, TV/print advertising, music and film worlds but, as you’ll read in Andy Butler’s recent illustrated interview with the pair on the Designboom site, you can trace the earliest inspirations back to – guess where – album cover design. They met at design school (Central St. Martin’s college in the U.K.) in the late 1980s and first worked together to produce a magazine titled FUEL as “a vehicle to express ourselves in content and form, a means of reaching a broad audience, not just within graphic design”. I think that you’ll agree that they’ve done a good job of maintaining that approach to doing great work, with their motto being “bad taste is designing with good taste in mind”. Perfect.

http://www.designboom.com/design/fuel-design-group-interview-09-20-2015/ 

September 25th – 1) Major branding alert! The very British rock band Queen has teamed up with very British turntable (what’s that? they ask) manufacturer Rega to create a very unique hardware/content package that is available to collectors and audiophiles as of today (in the U.K.; early October for U.S. customers). The “Queen By Rega” turntable ($650 list), according to the manufacturer, is “a brand new limited edition official turntable to coincide with the release of the re-mastered coloured vinyl multi disc box set.” The design of this unique custom deck includes reproductions of classic Queen logos, including the Freddie Mercury-designed “Queen’s Crest” logos on the platter and the lid bridge. It’s available only thru authorized Rega dealers (not online – more details at http://www.queenonlinestore.com/Queen/Queen-Studio-Collection/Queen-by-Rega-Turntable/4REF056O071), while the “Studio Collection Vinyl Box Set”, which contains remastered versions of all 15 studio albums on 180 gram vinyl and a beautifully-illustrated 108-page book, is selling for $445. http://www.queenonlinestore.com/Queen/Music/Queen-The-Studio-Collection-Coloured-Vinyl-Box-Set/4O1C032M071    Oh, won’t you take me home tonight?

2) One of the highlights of the 4th annual Beatles Festival – held for the first time this year on September 26th in the Strawberry Fields near the junction of the 605 and 60 Freeways near Southern California’s San Gabriel River – was a 3pm (PST) interview featuring the designer of the band’s Magical Mystery Tour album, artist John Van Hamersveld. JVH was there to talk about his designs and also had autographed MMT covers for sale (along with his books on design). The fest also had other art and memorabilia installations, including several 10-foot tall recreations of classic Beatles album art. More on this at the event’s web site – http://www.beatlestributefest.com/schedule.html

3) The works of celebrated photographer David McClister are the subject of a display launched recently in conjunction with the Americana Music Festival in Nashville, TN and hosted by one of the music industry’s best-known intimate music venues, The Bluebird Cafe, a place quite familiar to fans of the hit ABC TV series Nashville. The 32 photo prints on display will include shots of many of the best-known artists who’ve recorded and played in this music capitol such as Willie Nelson, Patty Griffin, Robert Plant, Ryan Adams (whose debut solo LP featured a cover shot by McClister) and many others. The show will be up for several months, and in Dylan Aycock‘s article on The Tennessean web site, you’ll get to meet the man whose 15+ years of photo imagery has made him a respected local asset – http://www.tennessean.com/story/entertainment/music/2015/09/19/americana-photography-exhibit-opening-bluebird-cafe/72471354/ More details also available at the venue’s site –
http://bluebirdcafe.com/viewArticle.cfm?id=158

BONUS  CONTENT – You all know photographer Bob Gruen‘s work – his photos of John Lennon, KISS, The Raspberries and many others are icons in the album cover world – but were you aware that he traveled with The Sex Pistols while they were on their “farewell” tour here in the U.S.? There to witness the break-up of the influential band, Bob’s photos (and the stories behind them) are the subject of a short video titled “Bob Gruen: On The Road With The Sex Pistols” just posted on the Artdaily.org site – http://artdaily.com/?date=09/24/2015#video Hear how Bob lucked in to getting the last seat on the tour bus and what he witnessed while the band worked hard to antagonize audiences all through the South – classic!

September 24th – 1) The folks at Backstage Auctions staged a new auction the weekend of September 24th that enticed collectors of rock/album art imagery. London-based photo agency London Features amassed a huge collection of rock ‘n’ roll photos starting in the 1960s and over 20,000 of these images will be put up for sale – many with full rights of ownership – in an auction of 425 assorted lots. I found 2 lots that album art fans might want to pay special attention to: Lot 1044 contains a selection of photos, slides and negatives of the members of the band Blind Faith taken by Bob Seidemann in 1969 and includes one photo that was used both as the back cover photo on the package with the controversial cover (i.e., the one with the naked young girl holding the shiny airship) and as the “alternative” front cover for markets too upset by the official cover – http://www.backstageauctions.com/catalog/1044-blind-faith-1969-lot-of-29-bw-candid-posed-negatives-/ai/0/22656/

while Lot 1135 is a collection of 108 photo negatives of Beggar’s Banquet-era Rolling Stones taken by 10 different shooters and included is an alt version of the cover image taken during that record’s photo shoot – http://www.backstageauctions.com/catalog/1135-the-rolling-stones-1964—1968-lot-of-108-bw-candid-outtake-negatives-with-full-rights/ai/0/22747/

The auction ends on October 4th – All it takes is money (and a winning bid) – best of luck!

2) A recent article by Kim Goggins on the Muskoka Region (Canada) site highlights the career of long-time rock photographer John Rowlands, who staged a fund-raising show/lecture about his work and career on the evening of September 25th at the Gravenhurst Opera House. The two-part fundraiser (another similar event was held on the 26th as well) is for a four-year-old local boy named Mason Anderson who has cerebral palsy. Anderson needs to travel to the U.S. for an operation called a “Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy” that the Ontario government won’t fund. Fundraising efforts since February 2015 have raised about $90,000 towards the $100,000-plus surgery. Event attendees will get to see many examples of Rowlands’ images of popular musicians, from mid-1960s Rolling Stones to Lady Gaga and Iggy Azalea. The show and silent auction began at 6:30pm local time, with more details via the link at http://m.muskokaregion.com/news-story/5914534-rock-n-roll-photographer-will-share-his-stories

3) Classic design is ALWAYS classic design, as is evidenced by Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon’s realization that the recent issue of Billboard Magazine he was featured on “looks like a Clash album cover”, referring to the cover created by the late designer Ray Lowry (featuring Pennie Smith’s iconic photograph) in 1979 for the band’s 1980 release London Calling. Music geek Fallon should also know that Lowry’s 35-year-old design actually paid homage to the original design featured on Elvis Presley’s debut record, and again in 1995 for Mick Jones’/Big Audio Dynamite’s release P-Funk. Joe Lynch gives us the details on the Billboard.com site – http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/6700453/jimmy-fallon-billboard-cover-clash-album-tonight-show

Sept. 23rd – Three “making ofs” and an opportunity for YOU to become a rich and famous album cover designer…

1) While I spend most of my time researching and writing about “classic” album cover artists and their art, I do, on occasion, run across a new work of art that inspires me to learn more about the folks behind it and share that with you. This is the case today as I ask you to click on over to Troy Smith’s article on the Cleveland.com site about Tyler Nikkel’s fascinating cover image for Machine Gun Kelley’s upcoming new album titled General Admission (due out October 16th). Nikkel, who is a graphic designer based in Kansas, had been sending the rapper samples of his “fan art” via social media that ultimately convinced MGK to commission him for this new work. The two collaborated on a design that has a bit of a classic Roger Dean-style feel to it and including a lot of specific and hidden references to the architecture and culture of the city of Cleveland as well as to each of the songs on the new record. Nice job, I think – http://www.cleveland.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2015/09/the_story_behind_machine_gun_k.html

2) Writer James Stafford provides us with two new “Cover Stories” – over on the Loudwire.com site, you’ll learn more about Dean Kerr’s work (and re-work) on the cover shot for Pantera’s 1994 record Far Beyond Driven featuring an image that would prove popular both to the band’s fans and those who might spend a lot of time in the Hand Tools aisle at the local Home Depot. Interestingly enough, the original art Kerr produced made him a pain in the ass at the record label, while his fix simply gave them a headache – http://loudwire.com/cover-stories-pantera-far-beyond-driven/ Over on the Diffuser.fm site, Stafford gives us the details behind album cover and poster designer Frank Kozik’s illustration for the mega-selling 1998 record Americana by The Offspring. You want to know why there’s a little kid with a leg brace swinging while holding a huge bug? Click on over for a most-enlightening answer – http://diffuser.fm/cover-stories-the-offspring-americana/ Just don’t hate me when you’re done.

3) The headline reads “Young Thug Wants YOU To Design His Slime Season Mixtape Cover“, and while there’s no official release date announced yet, nor is there much incentive provided in the accompanying article’s details (posted by Trevor Smith on the Hot New Hip Hop site), once can only assume that all of your hard work will be rewarded with a lifetime work contract and a huge percentage of the profits made via your design (isn’t that always the case, designers?) – http://www.hotnewhiphop.com/young-thug-wants-you-to-design-his-slime-season-mixtape-cover-news.17619.html

Sept. 21st –  1) Here’s a nice profile article on a Denver-based design agency called The Made Shop that grew from a way for a husband and wife creative team to share their love for design and music (and make some extra money on the side) to a full-time gig that lets them explore many different production and delivery methods while making memorable imagery for their clients. Now in business for over 12 years, Marke & Kimberly Johnson have created some wonderful album art for musical acts including The Fray and Son Lux (their cover for the band’s We Are Rising record features 28 exploding colored smoke bombs) while taking on projects for clients in the film, TV and print publishing worlds, with more behind the scenes details revealed in Rachael Steven‘s recent article on the Creative Review site – http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2015/september/handcrafted-designs-from-denver-studio-the-made-shop-2/

2) More album art inspiration is on display in this rather-cool new exhibition at the Wolveschildren Art Space in Ballarat, VIC, Australia titled “Cover Versions” that features re-interpretations of a number of well-known album covers by more than a dozen local illustrators. While most designers and artists rely on digital tools to create album cover imagery these days, the works on display in this show have been created via “a range of mediums from pen, brush, ink, paint, sculpture and digital”. The exhibit is up until October 10th, with more details available in Dellaram Vreeland’s article on The Courier site – http://www.thecourier.com.au/story/3353553/interpreting-record-covers/

You can see more pix of the show on the Art Space’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/wolveschildren

3) Some of you may have seen these videos in the past, but I just recently discovered 3 short videos made by Eric Arthur that bring viewers dozens and dozens of horrible album covers, synchronized to classical music scores. Eric is a musician who plays piano in New Orleans-style blues band Bucucrasu & The Slimline Shufflers and has also established himself as an expert in Bad Album Art (you know it when you see it), so if you’re looking to test your tolerance (you can always close your eyes and just enjoy the score), start with Part One of his Worst Album Covers Ever video series and build calluses on your brain from there – http://ericarthur.co.uk/bad-lp-covers/

Sept. 18th –  1) Would like to see you all visit Bruce Jenkins‘ Vinyl Connection site to read a couple of his recent postings having to do with album covers featuring hands. It seems that a number of art-obsessed genres – Prog, Metal, New Age, Jazz, etc. – use images of hands as a central design theme. Many seem to show hands palms up in an effort to invite you in to the recording (or, in some cases, as a way to show us what’s growing in their palms), and most are done close-up, perhaps to allow the palm readers in the audience to determine the length of the models’ Life and Love lines… In any case, Bruce found enough examples (22) to bring us two detailed articles – http://vinylconnection.com.au/2015/09/01/10-handy-album-covers/ and http://vinylconnection.com.au/2015/09/15/12-more-handy-album-covers/ with the second collection containing what is my favorite example, that being the cover of Jerry Garcia’s Studio Sessions record (classic Garcia humor)…

2) The Entertainment & Musical Memorabilia Signature Auction hosted by Heritage Auction house recently showcased examples of classic graphic design – including a set of Richard Avedon psychedelic Beatles posters done for Stern magazine in 1968 (you’ll know them when you see them) – and something really unique done by artist/musician/part-time Beatle Klaus Voorman, that being a 1990’s reworking of his iconic cover art for the band’s Revolver LP. Voorman takes an original Revolver LP cover, lays a 12″ x 12″ piece of acetate on top of it, and then paints on new graphics that depict the band in their colorful Sgt. Pepper regalia. It’s an impressive work, and one that, in my estimation, will sell well-above the $2500 opening bid (no reserve, though!).
http://entertainment.ha.com/itm/entertainment-and-music/klaus-voormann-original-beatles-artwork-sgt-revolver-germany-1990s-/a/7149-89117.s?ic4=GalleryView-Thumbnail-071515

Update – the Voorman artwork sold for $3250, while the Avedon prints sold for $4000 for the set…

3) Rock photography fans in the NYC area  were given the chance to hoof it on over to the “Photoville” pop-up photo show through Sunday the 20th to see some amazing shots on display from a number of the music industry’s best-known photographers, on display in a gallery made up of dozens of re-purposed shipping containers! The show – set up in Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 5 Uplands area – was not limited solely to rock photography, but those with a keen eye will find works on display by Danny Clinch, Roberta Bayley, Janette Beckman (who also curated this part of the exhibit), Jill Furmanovsky, Barrie Wentzel and others. Writing for the Noisey Music By Vice site, Kim Taylor Bennett shares some examples of items you’ll see at the show and offers up some nice quotes from Ms. Beckman about several of her personal favorites. http://noisey.vice.com/blog/photoville-2015
Sept. 17th – 1) Well, Ringo’s not the only one with a new book and photo exhibition (see Sept. 16th entry)! Photographer Mick Rock spent a lot of time in the early 1970s with David Bowie who, at that time so early in his career, was enjoying an impressive creative and productive run, releasing several albums, going out on successful tours and even producing a record for Lou Reed (Transformer, which featured a great cover photo also by Mr. Rock). Mick amassed an amazing portfolio of Bowie photos during that period which now serve as the basis for a new book titled The Rise of David Bowie: 1972-1973, just published by Taschen Books. While Rock went on to produce memorable photos and video of many of the rising stars of the era – Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Queen and others – it was his work featuring Bowie that established his bona fides in the music industry. In this article by Drew Millard for the Vice.com site, you’ll learn more about the book and the stories that make it all the more impressive as a chronicle of a very exciting time in pop music – http://www.vice.com/read/mick-rock-documented-ziggy-stardusts-takeover-of-the-universe-taschen-909

In support of this new book, Taschen has put together a very impressive exhibit of photos from the book which is now on display at their gallery on Beverly Blvd. in Los Angeles (until October 11th). TItled “Mick Rock: Shooting for Stardust -The Rise of David Bowie & Co.”, the display will most-certainly tease collectors into thumbing through the 310-page, $700 limited-edition book (signed by both Rock and Bowie) of which only 1972 copies will be printed. Of those 1972 copies, 200 will be offered as “Art Editions” that will include one of two signed pigment prints. More details on the book are available at
http://www.taschen.com/pages/en/catalogue/film_music/all/03136/facts.mick_rock_the_rise_of_david_bowie_19721973.htm
While more info on the show – including a very nice photo gallery – can be found via the following link –
http://www.taschen.com/pages/en/company/blog/661.mick_rock_shooting_for_stardust.htm

Bonus content – 5 years ago – Rock collaborated with director Barney Clay to create a short film based on footage (and other tidbits) Rock had in his archives from the video shoot of Bowie’s wonderful music video for the song “Life On Mars”. Done on behalf of the Creator’s Project creative collective, the resulting film is only shown in galleries and museums (per Bowie’s request), but you’ll enjoy learning more about “the making of” this film and seeing the joy on Mr. Rock’s face when he sees a sample of the work in progress (you’ll also like seeing an interview shot in the now-defunct Mars Bar…
http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/blog/barney-clay-gives-mick-rocks-david-bowie-footage-a-new-life

2) Even rabid sports fans can’t help but enjoy this one – a designer in Holland named Maans D. has used his graphic design talents to offer us his take on logos from professional football teams here in the U.S., recreated as album cover art. To makr the start of the season (Go Bears?), five of them are highlighted by writer Jason Alsher in this article on The Cheat Sheet site – http://www.cheatsheet.com/sports/nfl-5-team-logos-redesigned-as-vinyl-album-covers.html/?a=viewall
and, if you’re so intrigued, you can see the balance of the designer’s efforts on his Behance site – https://www.behance.net/gallery/22799719/NFL-Vinyl-Collection
I think that you’ll agree that the logo for the Washington Redskins is a bit more palatable than the team’s current offering (I would love to resurrect the Senators name, but they might never agree to play another game).

Sept. 16th – New book, exhibition and auction items from one of the best-known rockers of all time – Ringo Starr

By now, many of you will have heard about the once-in-a-lifetime auction that will be taking place at Julien’s Auctions at the end of November featuring items from the personal collection of drummer Ringo Starr and his wife Barbara. When most of us “down-size”, it means selling off our old sofas, framed art we don’t like any longer, etc., but when Ringo & Co. work to reduce their possessions, you can only imagine what’s going to be on offer! You can start to fantasize by reading the press release about the auction – which will include some amazing items for album art fans, including Ringo’s personal copy of “the butcher cover”, White Album serial number 1, a Peter Blake “Love Me Do” painting and several of Ringo’s own works – http://www.juliensauctions.com/press/2015/ringo-starr-barbara-bach.html

At the same time, there is an extraordinary photo collection on display at the National Portrait Gallery in London that features photos Ringo had collected over the years and which had been stored away until he found them while digging through his storage not too long ago. A selection of his favorite shots has been assembled into a new book titled Photograph By Ringo Starr, with the first limited-edition copies (produced by Genesis Publishing) selling off in record time (see a gallery of images from the book via this link – http://www.genesis-publications.com/photograph-by-ringo-starr-the-signed-limited-edition/default.htm). On September 21st, a new open-edition of the book – which includes Ringo’s original 15,000+ word manuscript – was released at a price of £35.00, with orders being taken now on the NPG web site – http://www.npg.org.uk/shop/shop-list.php?showProductDetails=8665

Writing for The Guardian, art correspondent Mark Brown gives us a look at “the making of” this new book, which features a cover photo Starr took of himself in a mirror (an early “selfie”, it seems) – http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/sep/09/ringo-photos-beatles-national-portrait-gallery-launch-book-exhibition
One tantalizing thought – Ringo is asking the surviving Beatle family members to dig through their own homes for photo books as he’s pretty certain that his other 3 band-mates would have similar troves of photos waiting to see the light of day….

Sept. 15th – 1) Joaquim Paolo and Julius Wiedemann have just published a new, multi-lingual edition of their well-regarded Jazz Covers book, originally released (in super-deluxe editions) in 2012 but now made more-accessible and affordable! As you all know, many great designers, photographers and illustrators have displayed their talents for lovers of music in many genres, but I think that the closest ties are between innovations and trends shared between designs for jazz and rock/pop music, which is why you’ll find so many practitioners of album cover design doing great work for clients in both genres. The new hardcover – all 672 pages of it – is available now for less than $20 from booksellers everywhere, or direct from the publisher at http://www.taschen.com/pages/en/catalogue/film_music/all/45452/facts.jazz_covers.htm where you will find a nicely-illustrated intro to the book as well.

2) You can never get them started too young….Seattle-based record retailer/publisher Light In The Attic has teamed up with Jack White’s Third Man Records to release a “starter package” for young vinyl collectors – titled This Record Belongs To______ – that includes both a ready-to-run record player package and a specially-produced LP featuring music for kids by a host of top musicians – Carole King, Shel Silverstein, Harry Nilsson, Nina Simone and Kermit The Frog, to name several – as well as a custom cover and a story book by acclaimed artist Jess Rotter. The package retails for $95 complete, so with the Holidays not too far off in the future, click on over to http://lightintheattic.net/releases/1822-this-record-belongs-to__________ to take a look and pre-order this item (shipping in early November).

3) In another enviable example of an artist following his heart to settle in a place that gives him the best of everything he’s looking for, here’s an article about top rock photographer Steve Emberton‘s gradual (30+ year) transition from a U.S.-based shooter busy with hundreds of music industry assignments – having photographed many of the top 70s-80s acts both in the States and the U.K. – to a new life photographing his surroundings in the tranquil coastal town of Amble in England. You’ve seen his work – memorable photos of Bob Marley, the Sex Pistols, The Clash and album cover shots for acts including The Tubes, Lurkers and Gilbert O’Sullivan, among others – so it is intriguing to learn more about what motivated a guy used to the swingin’ scene in London to venture out to find a new life in Northumberland. Read the details in Barbara Hodgson‘s recent article on the Chronicle Live site – http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/america-amble-how-rock-roll-10014482

Sept. 15th #2 –  1) I wrote recently about Henry Diltz and Pattie Boyd‘s photo show (curated by Mr. Diltz’s gallery, Morrison Hotel) and was intrigued to see a new show, which launched September 18th at the Hilton|Asmus Foto Gallery in Chicago that combines their work with that of another high-quality shooter – Carintha West – with the results called “Visions of a Magic Time”. Rock photo fans in Chicago had the opportunity to meet all three players at a reception that Friday from 5:30pm – 9pm local time and chat with them as they took visitors through their respective collections. The show will be up until the end of October, with more details provided by writer Thomas Connors in Michigan Avenue magazine – http://www.hiltonasmusfoto.com/visions-of-a-magic-time—michigan-avenue-magazine.html

2) Always the trend-setter, famed Pop artist (and Sgt. Pepper’s cover art creator) Sir Peter Blake has fully-embraced the tools of the digital age in creating and promoting his latest works, as is evidenced by the art “mash-up” app featuring his imagery that’s detailed in this BBC News article by entertainment/arts writer Kev Geoghegan. Using what’s called the Dazzle It application, users can remix and re-imagine some of Sir Peter’s works to create something unique and personal. The article includes an interview with the always-creative designer about how technology has been both an influence and a tool throughout his career – read and learn from a true master of the media – http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-34151804

3) We work hard to promote as many of the music industry award shows that honor album cover design, so here’s a new posting about the winner – musical act Enter-Tribal for their Hitting The Trail record – in the “Best Album Cover Design” of this year’s Indigenous Music Awards held last week in Winnipeg, Canada. Other nominees included:
BEATRICE DEER – Fox
BLACKSTONE – Kaskite Asiniy
FLORENT VOLLANT – Puamuna
HELLNBACK – #FOE=Family Over Everything

To read about all of the winners in the rest of the categories, click on the link to this article on the CBC News site – http://www.cbc.ca/news/aboriginal/indigenous-music-awards-1.3224505

Congratulations to the winners!

Sept. 11th – 1) Yes, we all agree that the album cover images for the rock band Iron Maiden are typically quite spooky, but can we agree on which version is the most terrifying display of Eddie we’ve seen? In this recent article on the topic by John Hugar on the Uproxx.com site – done to commemorate the recent release of the group’s 16th studio album, this one titled The Book of Souls, with artwork by British illustrator Mark Wilkinson, who has also created covers for Judas Priest, Marillion and Fish (along with two earlier IM records) – you’ll find the author’s take on each record’s cover, from least-scary (1998’s Virtual XI) to number-one-most scary (not gonna tell you).
http://uproxx.com/music/2015/09/iron-maiden-book-of-souls-album-covers-ranked/
While I strongly disagree with the #1 choice (shoulda been swapped with #3, IMHO), I am (as always) duly impressed with the 35-year run that this character has enjoyed – now THAT’s “iconic”.

2) Famed rock photographer Brian Griffin’s new book of photos he’s taken of the pathways (i.e., train tracks) that lead to the various Nazi death camps in WW2-era Poland has been released and, rightly so, for the haunting quality of each image, been met with much critical acclaim. Titled Himmelstrasse (“Heaven Street” – a term the Nazis used with sick irony), Griffin’s book was released last week with a gallery show at The Photographer’s Gallery in London, which was followed with an appearance and signing during NYC’s Art Book Fair the next week. The book was inspired by Brian’s train trips in Poland, journeys that lead him to learn more about the rail system’s disturbing history…More on this in Jonathan Bell‘s recent article on the Wallpaper.com site – http://www.wallpaper.com/lifestyle/road-to-hell-a-new-book-by-brian-griffin-reveals-polands-dark-rail-networks

3) Folks in the Hoboken, NJ area now have the opportunity to immerse themselves into all things Frank Sinatra by visiting the Hoboken Historical Museum’s special exhibition – curated by the Grammy Museum and Sinatra’s family – that marks the 100th anniversary of late crooner’s birthday (this coming December 12th). “Frank Sinatra: The Man, the Voice, and the Fans,” is a must-visit for serious fans of Old Blue Eyes, as it features (according to the museum’s site) ” interactive displays and videos, period-appropriate listening stations, and cherished fan photographs and artifacts to illustrate the singer/actor’s formative years in Hoboken, highlights from his remarkable 60-year career, and memories from legions of fans. The exhibit will be accompanied by packed schedule of singers, films and authors, and a big birthday bash on Dec. 12, 2015.” Be sure to use the last vestiges of the “Summer Wind” and rub shoulders with other “Strangers In The Night” – “I’m Going Out of My Head” that it’s 3000 miles away.. https://www.hobokenmuseum.org/exhibitions/main-gallery/current-exhibition 

Sept. 10th – 1) Now this I like – Phil Collins is re-releasing re-mastered versions of his solo catalog and, in the process, replacing the original Trevor Key close-up photos with those taken more-recently (i.e., 30+ years later). The new records are part of his “Take A Look At Me Now” campaign, with the first two releases (Face Value and Both Sides) due out in November. Michael Roffman gives us the details on the Consequence of Sound site – http://consequenceofsound.net/2015/09/phil-collins-is-reissuing-his-solo-catalogue-and-remaking-each-album-cover/

The extreme close-up approach to album cover imagery is one that has been used many times throughout rock record history. In fact, there’s even an entire AMIRIGHT site page titled “Face Close-Up Themed Album Covers“, where you’ll find examples from pop (Adele, Alanis Morissette, Britney Spears, etc.), hard rock (Alice Cooper, David Lee Roth, KISS, etc.) and most other genres. Bob Marley, Frank Zappa, Joe Cocker and several others showed their faces in great detail in multiple albums while, in some cases (you’ll see what I mean), it might have been wise to use a little make-up – http://www.amiright.com/album-cover-themes/face-close-ups/

My favorite – Iggy Pop’s Lust For Life

Yours?

2) Rock photographer Michael Miller has given us memorable cover photos for a wide range of musical acts, from Stan Getz to Lynyrd Skynyrd to Soul Asylum and over 50 rap/hip-hop acts, so it is not surprising to find his work featured in a new gallery show that focuses on the portfolio he produced of scenes and people related to the West Coast hip-hop scene of the 1990s. Writing for the OC Weekly, reporter Aimee Murillo gives us a look at this exhibition – titled “Love West Coast” – now on display (thru October 10th) at the DAX Gallery in Costa Mesa, CA that includes candid portraits of major music players including Tupac, Easy-E, N.W.A., Coolio and many others. Miller shares the stories behind several of his photo shoots, with pictures taken in areas and under circumstances that had the photographer more than a bit worried about his health, never knowing whether the residents of the neighborhoods they decided to stop in would appreciate the attention or exposure… for more info on the show, please visit – http://blogs.ocweekly.com/heardmentality/2015/09/mike_millers_and_west_coast_hip_hop_at_dax_gallery.php

3) It’s always nice when your alma mater’s college paper runs a story about one of your achievements, so photographer Eric Poppleton should be extra-proud of the coverage he received in Daniel Grady and Dara Metcalfe‘s recent article in The Ball State Daily about the now-famous photo he took that was featured on the cover of the now-even-more-famous N.W.A. record Straight Outta Compton. In the story, you’ll learn more about Eric, his mentor at Ball State (Muncie, Indiana) who encouraged him to consider a career in photography and how a kid from a very white part of the country ended up on his back in LA, looking up at a group of armed and fairly-menacing black men…read the details via the link at http://www.ballstatedaily.com/article/2015/09/straight-outta-muncie

Sept. 9th – 1) Rock art comes in all shapes, sizes and via many different forms of inspiration…Recently, artist Scott McPherson – who works using the moniker “Sink Shower” – was asked to apply his talents to help decorate a record store in Los Angeles called Vacation Vinyl. While on the surface that might not sound very interesting, Sink Shower’s best-known for a logo he designed for his own death-metal band, which he paints over and over again (with slight variations) to create a final image. What started as an art project back in Kansas has now taken on much larger proportions, with reporter J. Bennett working to help us understand the artist’s motivation and plans for the future in this article on the Noisy/Vice site – http://noisey.vice.com/blog/sink-shower

2) Way over on the other side of the country (Palm Beach, FL), the curators at the Holden Luntz Gallery have put together a show called “Let The Good Times Roll” that features 40 photos – dating from 1905 to 2010 – chosen to give show viewers an extended summer vacation, illustrating “the good life” in its many forms. Included in the show is a grouping of photos taken by famed rock photographer Norman Seeff (who has done well-known covers for Ray Charles, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Rickie Lee Jones and many others) and featuring an image of young lovers Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe taken in NYC in 1969. Jan Sjostrum shares the details (and a photo gallery) with us in her coverage for The Palm Beach Daily News – http://www.palmbeachdailynews.com/news/news/local/lifes-joyous-moments-on-view-at-holden-luntz-galle/nnSnX/

3) J.D. Cronise, front man for Austin, TX-based hard rockers The Sword, was so impressed with a gallery show by artist Jetter Green that he decided right then that he’d want to commission Green to do the art for the band’s next album. Knowing that “a good album cover always compliments a good record”, the pair worked together to produce the image that is now featured on High Country, just released on Razor & Tie Records. Read more about this successful collaboration in Scott Munro‘s article for Classic Rock (you’ll also find a podcast there with an interview with Cronise about “the making of” this new album) – http://classicrock.teamrock.com/news/2015-08-25/the-sword-praise-high-country-artwork

Sept. 8th – 1) Showing how art can both reflect and help better a lifestyle, this recent story by Andrew Edwards in the Long Beach Press-Telegram brings us news about artist Joe Cool (AKA Darryl Daniel, cousin of rapper Snoop Dogg and the guy that created the cover art for Dogg’s huge-selling Doggystyle album) and the unveiling of a new work of his (titled “Safe Refuge”) that he hopes will move those with substance abuse issues to consider – as he has – avoiding a life that’s been harmed by addiction. Today, after 12 years of sobriety, Joe Cool has teamed with local drug rehab organizations to bring both his art and his story to audiences that will hopefully appreciate both – http://www.presstelegram.com/arts-and-entertainment/20150827/doggystyle-artist-joe-cool-of-long-beach-has-new-art-and-new-lifestyle

2) Detroit, MI-based musician and album cover artist Niagara – having enjoyed some recent success for her stylish cover for Kid Rock’s latest record – has just released the artwork that will be used on a poster to promote the upcoming “Dally in the Alley” music/art event taking place this weekend in the city’s “Cass Corridor” neighborhood (former home of Creem Magazine and where The White Stripes played their first gig). Done in the instantly-recognizable “Niagara Style”, the poster’s subject asks you whether you’d like “to Dally in the Alley” and, as is usually the case when you see Niagara’s artwork, you find yourself wondering whether this would be safe to do (not because it is in Detroit – rather, because her femme fatales always look as though they might want to kill you rather than bother with you much longer!)…Read more in Lee DeVito’s feature on the Detroit Metro Times site – http://www.metrotimes.com/Blogs/archives/2015/08/28/niagara-designed-this-years-dally-in-the-alley-poster

3) Lastly, a slightly-belated R.I.P. message to fans of Sympathy For The Record illustrator “The Pizz”, who died recently at the young age of 57. Stephen Pizzuro has long been a well-loved and respected “lowbrow” artist, producing posters, fine art prints, Rat Fink comics and album covers for recording acts including Bad Religion, The Creamers, Ron Asheton’s Empty Set and others and his work has been featured in many rock poster books. I once had the pleasure of paging through his own book Atavistic Avatar and seeing his work on display at the La Luz De Jesus gallery in LA a number of years ago, so I will most certainly miss seeing any new output from someone who always brought a bit of outlandishness – and a ton of talent – to his work. Read David Peskovitz’s tribute on the Boing Boing site – https://boingboing.net/2015/09/01/lowbrow-artist-the-pizz-rip.html

Sept. 7th – 1) You might recall a recent posting about next year’s Rolling Stones-themed extravaganza at the Saatchi Gallery in London – 50 years of memorable iconography, including lips, tongues, steel wheels, goats heads, etc.. In anticipation of that show, which will be touring the world after its premiere in the U.K., The Drum‘s Thomas O’Neill recently posted his interviews with several leaders in the design world – including record cover designers Stefan Sagmeister, Carin Goldberg, Caroline Robert and Tom Genower – and asked them to note which examples of the Stones’ album art have had the most influence on their own careers. You’ll read stories about Exile, Sticky Fingers, Beggar’s Banquet and even a life-size poster of Brian Jones – http://www.thedrum.com/news/2015/08/28/stone-cold-classics-unconventional-iconography-rolling-stones

2) Here’s an interesting example of album art inspiring an even more creative approach to teaching today’s media-obsessed youth – 4th grade teacher Adrian Perez has decorated his Mendota, CA classroom with artwork from Kanye West album covers (including the amazingly-popular Murakami teddy bear found on the rapper’s hit 2007 record Graduation) and used these images and the titles of West tracks as the bases for a number of his classes – “Math Monsters”, “Touch The Sky With ELA”, etc. – and to highlight the progress of his kids throughout the year (“I’m Amazing”, “Power Readers” and others). On the whole, parents seemed to be encouraged, but I’d like to see whether his students’ overall performance (in areas besides rhyming) improves via this unique teaching method…More on this in Eliza Murphy’s article on the ABC News web site – http://abcnews.go.com/beta/Entertainment/teachers-kanye-west-themed-classroom-welcomes-students-good/story?id=33391494

3) It’s been 10 years since the release of Wolfmother’s self-titled debut album, which initially caused a bit of a stir in the loins of certain record retailers who objected to the record’s use of a beautiful-but-bare-bosomed Frank Frazetta painting (titled “The Sea Witch”) on the cover (in addition to several other examples of the fantasy artist’s work for covers of some of the popular record’s singles). Well, the band is re-releasing the record later this month (Sept. 25th) in a special collector’s edition that will include more music (demos, live performances. etc.) and will be available – original artwork in tact – on 180-gram vinyl. If you’re a fan of this band and/or style of artwork, I’d strongly suggest clicking on over to this recent article by Mike “DJ” Pizzo on the Medium/Cuepoint site – quite the eyeful, I must say! https://medium.com/cuepoint/wolfmother-10-years-deep-5f7235d9b1c6

Sept. 4th – Three new shows for you to visit…
1) If you’re headed to Las Vegas any time soon, be sure to stop by the Delano Hotel to see Robert Knight and Maryanne Bilham‘s excellent new photo show there. In the new show, titled “Defiantly Inspired”, you’ll find portraits of many of your favorite rock artists – both classic and “up-and-coming” – including Santana, Led Zeppelin, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, Slash, LORDE and many others. They’ve also recorded “making of” descriptions for the images on display that you can listen to live via a downloadable app (how totally modern!). The show runs through the end of the month, and you can read more about it in this feature on the Vegas News site – http://www.vegasnews.com/140574/delano-las-vegas-unveils-rock-n-roll-photography-exhibit-defiantly-inspired-featuring-local-artists.html

2) When you’re done with your trip to Vegas, head a few hours West to see the premiere of a travelling exhibit curated by the Morrison Hotel Gallery featuring selections from the extensive portfolios of rock photographers Henry Diltz and Pattie Boyd. The show’s called “Behind The Lens”, and both photographers were on hand to kick off the tour September 10th at Largo on La Cienega in Los Angeles. Both of these photographers were integral parts of the scenes they shot – Diltz as a member of the Modern Folk Quartet (and a Laurel Canyon resident) and Boyd as a top fashion model and muse/wife to both Georege Harrison and Eric Clapton – so their portraits have always benefited from this intimacy with their subjects. Writing for Goldmine MagazineChris M. Junior had the chance to interview both of them just before they left for their tour (which also had stops in Nashville, Chicago, NYC and the final one in Falls River, MA on Sept. 23rd), so click on over to learn more – http://www.goldminemag.com/article/diltz-boyd-behind-lens-tour?

3) The works of Paul McCartney’s younger brother Michael – a talented song-writer, musician and photographer himself – are at the center of a new photography exhibition that opened in early September in (where else?) Liverpool, England in a new gallery in the never-before-opened catacombs under St, George’s Hall. Titled “McCartney Luvs St. George’s Hall”, the show is built around a collection of 60 photos McCartney has taken of this beloved local landmark. McCartney’s photos of rock and entertainment royalty have been shown in exhibitions all over the world (including several in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery) and published in magazines, newspapers, etc. – even meeting the Queen herself during her Majesty’s historic visit to the Liverpool Museum when the city celebrated being a Cultural Capital a few years back. The show runs through October 18th, with details and more available via this article on the Broadway World site – http://www.broadwayworld.com/bwwart/article/New-Photography-Exhibition-by-Mike-McCartney-to-Open-at-St-Georges-Hall-20150619

Sept. 3rdArt Chantry at Powell’s Books, Portland, OR – Tuesday, September 1, 2015 at 7:30pm 

By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

Don’t call Art Chantry an “artist” – he’s a “graphic designer” and, although he’s quite adamant about the fact that most of the practitioners working in graphic design today are uninspired and simply willing to do anything for their corporate clients just so that they can put the billable hours on their timesheets, the thing that seems to bother him the most is that they are his unworthy competition. And you know, after watching the presentation he made before a good-sized crowd at Powell’s Books here in downtown Portland, OR last Monday night, I find myself agreeing with him, on the most part.

Art was in town to promote the release of his latest book on the field of graphic design titled Art Chantry Speaks: A Heretic’s History Of 20th Century Graphic Design (published by Feral House books, with a cover design by Crap Hound’s Sean Tejaratchi and John Hubbard) and, as someone with an album cover credit list that includes images for Soundgarden, The Rev. Horton Heat, Presidents of the U.S.A, Pigeonhed, Pussy Galore, Love Battery, The Beatles (yup, look it up) and many, many others, I knew that I had to be there to meet the man who, as 4X Art Director for the influential Seattle/Portland-area newspaper The Rocket (now deceased) and the foremost proponent of the “when you have no budget, you can do about anything, by hand and with salvaged materials” approach to memorable design, is most-credited for the U.S. punk and grunge-era aesthetic of the past 40 years.

Using his trusty Kodak Carousel 750H slide projector (via a 12-foot wired “clicker”), Chantry took the audience through a career retrospective that began with his first punk rock poster for a Bellingham, WA appearance of Penelope Houston’s The Avengers, which also turned out to be the first poster Art did that was torn off of most of the telephone poles in the area by folks who were less-than-happy with the print’s appearance. It was then that, according to the artist, “I learned that ugly can be a tool in controlling the viewer’s responses and emotions”. He used his early seat-of-the-pants experience to its next logical application as the art director for start-up Seattle-area entertainment rag called The Rocket, with that publication earning national attention for bringing a great sense of design and market-perfect editorial to readers looking for the news delivered to them in a language (visual and verbal) that was theirs alone.

A music review column called “Sub Pop” (written by Bruce Pavitt) was added to The Rocket in 1983 and, a few years later when Pavitt launched a new record label by the same name, he asked Chantry to provide the necessary graphics to package their new music products. Chantry recalled that one of the things that annoyed him the most about providing sleeve designs for his music industry clients was that the inside of the CD – the booklet, the insert graphics and the images printed on the CD itself – were usually very boring (and often obscured by the damage suffered by cracks and smudges in the jewel case), so he spent as much time as he could making sure that the insides would be as compelling as the cover images. Examples of this for clients including the Mono Men, Love Battery, Pigeonhed, The Thrown Ups and others helped those of us in attendance get a good idea of how important this effort really was.

Chantry did spend a lot of time presenting his case as to why working for music industry and other corporate clients has gone from a reliable source of pride and income to something that he’s telling up-and-coming graphic designers to strongly consider before choosing to work in this field. As he put it, “These days, everyone in America speaks and understands graphic design. We agree to the basic rules – the color green means “go”, red means “stop”, etc. – so the only way I can change someone’s mind about what those standard symbols mean is to f*ck with their mind. I work this way so that I can compete with and beat out a kid who just bought a computer and some software 2 weeks ago – they can’t do what I do on their computer”, meaning that great ideas don’t happen simply when someone takes a photograph and hits the “optimize” button.

Acknowledging that he realizes that he’s started something that, to the uneducated, can (on the surface, without the humor or the insight) be replicated by almost anyone with the tools, he admitted that “what I was doing worked too damn well and just about put me out of business”. These days, he realizes that he’s often being hired to “create an Art Chantry” – i.e., one that looks like what he’s done before, with his name on it – and while he might need to resort to accepting commissions like those to pay the bills, this is not where a famous designer should be at this point in his career. He also wants people to know that 20th Century design has been influenced by many talented and experimental designers, many who have gone uncredited and unacknowledged for years, so it is with this sense of purpose (and a desire to sell some books) that he’s published this new book.

I hope that you’ll find a copy (I’m going through mine right now) and take the time to learn what Chantry’s wanting us to know. As someone who is also working now on a new book that, when published, looks to bring music/art fans closer to the sources of their favorite album cover images, it was really quite the treat to be able to meet and learn from one of the greats.

You’ll find his book via the link – http://feralhouse.com/art-chantry-speaks/

Thanks again to Powell’s Books for hosting this (and so many other) author appearances! http://www.powells.com/calendar/

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.

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.