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Monday, January 09, 2006

My Record Covers

Have you ever done a Google search for yourself? Of course you have! The last time I did, I found out that the All Music Guide has a listing for me! Yes, so if you want to see a tiny fraction of my record sleeve credits you can check my listing in the All Music Guide. Of course, I've shown you photos of my picture sleeves of great punk interest - such as the one at the right for the Ventures and their cover of the Go-Go's "Surfin & Spyin" with the lovely Pleasant Gehman on the double picture sleeve. Keeping on the beach theme, you've also seen the cover of the Pandoras "Hot Generation, a favorite photo feature on this website.

Here they are to compare - one is the familiar Germs picture sleeve for their "Forming" single that you recognize and below it is an out-take from the photo session that yielded it. Very few copies of the picture sleeve were printed, and as things were back in 1977, I didn't get photo credit - but I did get a copy of the record, which I cherish, and a whole lot of memories that are ignited every time I see these gritty images.

While the total DIY What? Records didn't offer a photo credit, there was one label, the grand-daddy of all the indie LA labels that never missed a credit, and one that actually always paid me for my work. Greg Shaw and his Bomp label really accelerated the momentum I was able to build with my Germs and Billy Idol photo experiences - which by the way, were a year the acceleration was much appreciated.

Although the Pandoras recorded for a Bomp imprint, Voxx, they didn't release that record until the mid 80's, when I had already become a regular Bomp contributor. I'd like to think it was my dutiful documenting of the Stiv Bators experience that helped to seal the deal with Bomp. Stiv was the best, most cooperative and willing photo subject anyone could hope to meet. Those two Stiv albums are chock full of my photos - except the front cover of "Disconnected" is a David Arnoff shot.

All the rest of the photos on the album and CD booklet are mine. You may recognize this one from the band portraits insert (LP) or the CD booklet:

Stiv Icon

The Germs, Stiv, Bomp, Greg Shaw, Billy Idol, Joan Jett, Rodney and the Kessel Brothers (responsible for the Ventures record plus a nifty Christmas single by Frankie Avalon & Annette Funicello that I shot) kept me in print, whether on sleeves or in magazines throughout the punk years.

And I know, I just dropped a lot of old school Hollywood names, plus names of people who do have cred and popularity. But remember, I was born in Los Angeles, and grew up in the Southern California of the 50s, 60s and 70s where you could see Bob Dylan stuck in traffic in his station wagon, or have gone to school with a grandchild of Laurence Olivier or an actor from The Brady Bunch or an Olympic Gold Medalist... all of which I did. That's just life here in Sunny Southern California. And that's all just to preface this next photo, with a name and face from the golden age of old school and a name and face from the second coming of punk rock.

Mick & Kim

Mick Collins, Dirtbomb and Kim Fowley svengali record producer, movie maker and mover & shaker at large. This photo was (also uncredited) included in the 2005 In the Red Records double-disc release by the Dirtbombs, a favorite band of mine from Detroit. That disc is "If You Don't Already Have a Look," a collection of rarities, covers and B-sides. You need the record.

Also this summer, a few color photos I shot of Mumps appeared in the Sympathy for the Record Industry release, a divine Mumps comp called "How I Saved the World." I don't have any of the color images in digital form to share with you now (I guess you have to buy that record! It comes with a DVD, so you really do need it. NO collection is complete without it. Really.) But I will share with you a popular photo of Lance Loud, front Mump.

Lance Loud - Halloween

There are other photos of mine tucked away in CD booklets and LP inserts all over the place. I don't have copies of half of them. That's the way it was back then...people were just getting the records OUT...things get lost in the shuffle. You kind of have to plant your flag and wave it if you want the credit, or the legacy. And here is but a slice of mine.

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