Saturday, July 11, 2009

Tom Wilkes.

Art director, album cover designer. 1939-2009.

(LA Times)

Super fresh self-portrait
(mostly 'cause of the hat),

The covers he designed are for albums that provided the soundtrack to my childhood. I had never heard of Mr. Wilkes but I damn sure have heard the music he provided the visuals for, plus everyone says he was rather difficult to be around and had a personality consisting of qualities (creative, volatile, strong convictions) that I find particularly foxy in a male human. This pretty much guarantees I would have had a crush on him had we known each other. Everyone knows I love a grouchy, talented, difficult-to-be-around dude, duh. (Sorry, Mom)

"Lou Adler, for whom Wilkes designed the 'Tommy' album as well as a number of Cheech and Chong albums for his Ode Records label, described him as 'very creative' and 'very volatile.'

'He was very, very independent and sometimes difficult to deal with because of his strong convictions on what he was doing,' he said. (swoon!)

But the end product, Adler said, 'would be very unique and special, as evident by his artwork when you look at it.'"

Time for yet another "Soundtrack of Baby Logan Playing With Stuffed Animals in the Living Room of the Family Home in the Early '80s" retrospective. A partial retrospective, but still. Mom & Pop had alllll o'these.

Beggars Banquet.

This photo session was the night she overdosed, oh dear.

He also did some Ike & Tina covers, Aretha, The Crusaders....I tried to post 'em, but images of a lot of those albums are too difficult for The Google to find even though the Internet is supposed to make our lives much easier. This one I always liked when I was little 'cause of the colors and the dude on the right giving off so much swag; I didn't know Wilkes designed it until I did some research about 5 minutes ago:

Pic of actual, old, poorly-cared-for album from my pop's collection.

Wilkes became art director for the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, creating all of the graphics and print materials--"including the festival's psychedelic poster that was printed on foil stock.
'In fact, he won an award from Reynolds aluminum for the most creative use of aluminum foil,' (his daughter) said. 'He was always very proud of that.'"

It's like church to me: James Marshall at Monterey Pop, doing "Like a Rolling Stone." Press play, except, WAIT: first, go to Guitar Center and get yourself some $100 headphones, then plug 'em in and press play and thank the engineers at Monterey that fateful night in '67 for recording something so unbelievably high quality. This is why God invented YouTube, people.
You will now watch some music history, courtesy of this space alien with a guitar who impregnates me, coming through the Internets and into my sexytime places, every damn time I watch this. Shouts to Bob Dylan's grandma.

You never turned around to see the frowns on the jugglers and the clowns
When they all come down and did tricks for you
You never understood that it ain't no good
You shouldn't let other people get your kicks for you.

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