Storm Thorgerson is dead; he knocked my socks off when I was a teenager, and I spent years and years in my room, listening to records, studying the beautiful album covers. Records are still my all-time favorite musical things… the thick cardboard covers, the soft strong vinyl, the sound of the needle setting down on the record. Bliss. Still on my list for my life is to digitally record all of my favorite records; listening to CDs or MP3s is bullshit in comparison but it’s had to do. Like the radio. It often has to do. But records… ah.
An excerpt from the Telegraph:
When you think of Thorgerson’s covers, the remarkable thing is how many of them have entered the common lexicon of 20th Century design. You don’t even have to be a fan of Pink Floyd to recognise the prism from Dark Side Of The Moon, or the pink pig floating over Battersea power station from the cover of Animals.
Pig over a power station: Storm Thorgerson’s cover for Pink Floyd’s Animals (1977) (Alamy/Jeff Morgan)
He operated in a medium that invited artists to be inventive: 12 inch sleeves printed on cardboard, objects that fans could hold in their hands while listening to the music, pouring over what was printed inside for clues to the inner mysteries of the music. In a giddy atmosphere of ego and affluence, where money was no object, Thorgerson was given budgets that would make today’s designers weak at the knees. He worked with a whole team to create dynamically integrated packages, with gatefold sleeves, inner booklets, posters, logos and labels that reflected and refracted on each other, creating a mentally dazzling kaleidoscope of possibility.
I was as sorry to see the Telegraph writer say “pouring over what was printed inside” as I was to hear Storm was dead. After all, we all must die, but for a professional writer to say pouring instead of poring, especially in a tribute to genius, this is truly the shit.
The records always make me feel like a kid again. I used to stay out every second I could, unsupervised (it was the 60’s) and no doubt facing death daily as a child. I used to take off in the morning with a sack lunch, and spend my life out in the desert, sitting in washes, reading, perched in trees, building forts… dreaming. Most days, I pretended I was never coming home, and many times I would pack a small suitcase, just like in Moonrise Kingdom. I’d mostly pack books.
Then when I got my first stereo (age 10) my life was mostly staying in my room, listening to music. I can call up Houses of the Holy, Presence, Wish You Were Here and Animals album covers instantly, studying them in my mind, I’ve stared at them so long.
I didn’t like living with my parents in our classic 1960s existence, watching the stupid NEWS (how I hate the news) every night at stupid 5:00 (I still hate 5:00 p.m. because of this, and Sundays because of stupid church and stupid 60 Minutes). I’m also still cheesed about having to go to bed just when Star Trek comes on, missing Laugh-In. But I always had books and music, and album covers, they were windows to my future and I knew it.