Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Jimi Hendrix drummer Mitch Mitchell dies at 62

By Theresa Carson

PORTLAND, Oregon (Reuters) – Mitch Mitchell, a pioneering drummer best known for his work with 1960s rock icon Jimi Hendrix, died on Wednesday, at age 62.

Mitchell was found dead in his Portland, Oregon, hotel room. A Multnomah County coroner's spokesman said it appeared he died of natural causes, although a formal finding had not yet been issued.

The drummer had been in Portland for the last stop on an 18-city U.S. tour with Experience Hendrix, a concert series celebrating the legacy of the late rock star.

"We're all devastated to hear of Mitch's passing. He was a wonderful man, a brilliant musician and a true friend," Hendrix's sister, Janie Hendrix, said in a statement on behalf of the estate.

"His role in shaping the sound of the Jimi Hendrix Experience cannot be underestimated," she said. "Over the course of the recent tour, he seemed delighted with the interchange with the other musicians and the audiences. There is no question that he was doing what he loved."

The British-born Mitchell started in show business as a child actor but abandoned that for his true love, jazz and rock music.

He was a top session drummer who joined the Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1966 and backed the rocker for his legendary performance at Woodstock three years later. He drummed on Hendrix classics such as "Fire," "Manic Depression" and "Third Stone from the Sun."

Mitchell also is credited with helping to develop a "fusion" drumming style that combined rock with jazz and was influenced by such jazz giants as Elvin Jones and Max Roach.

The style made the drums essentially a lead instrument, an innovative concept in rock and roll.

Hendrix - a songwriter, guitarist and showman - was a pioneer of the 1960's psychedelic rock scene who died in September, 1970, at the age of 27.

(Additional reporting by Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles, editing by Vicki Allen)

Vinyl Releases

Vinyl Release:

Kudos to my vinyl friend Virgil over at for this great news!

Vinyl Collective has announced its second release, The Jealous Sound's much loved full length Kill Them With Kindness. The record will be issued as a double LP gatefold, colored vinyl. The pressing will contain the entire album, "Kill Them With Kindness" as well as the Self-Titled EP. The album and EP which were originally released on CD by Better Looking Records has been licensed by the cooperative for release on vinyl.

The Jealous Sound's "Kill Them With Kindness" double LP will be pressed on 2 colors (333 on baby blue vinyl, 667 on White). The record will be housed in a Gatefold jacket. Since the 210 unit holders and 10 board members will all receive copies of the most limited color in addition to band and label copies, only 40 will be available for sale in our pre-order. There will be 500 copies of the White vinyl available but there is a very high likelihood that these will sell out before entering the retail marketplace.


In other vinyl news:

Fat has issued a double-vinyl LP of the Good Riddance posthumous live album, Remain in Memory: The Final Show. According to the label, only 1100 copies were pressed and each record is colored vinyl with hand-numbered gatefold jackets, including an full color, 56 page Good Riddance photo history book.

The album is a live recording of Good Riddance's final show in their hometown of Santa Cruz, California on May 27th, 2007.

Album Cover Art Stories

As usual. I want to thank Michael Goldstein over at for the exclusive rights to reprint this material:

Cover Story - "AC/DC's Classic Logo" by Gerard Huerta

Subject - "AC/DC Classic Logo", a logo/typographic design by Gerard Huerta used as a principal design element on a number of LP/CD/DVD covers for AC/DC, including "Let There Be Rock”, a recording released in 1977 on Atlantic Records.

Released as a follow-up to their album Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, the 4th AC/DC album - Let There Be Rock - was the first to be released simultaneously world-wide (Dirty Deeds was not, in fact, released in the U.S. until 1981, and went on to sell over 6 million copies in the U.S.). As with the band's previous recordings, fans in different parts of the world received slightly different products, with U.S. fans getting a record sans the naughty "Crabsody In Blue" (which was replaced by "Problem Child"). However, while the fans in Australia received a record packaged in a pretty mundane cover, U.S. fans enjoyed a cover that featured the debut of Mr. Huerta's classic logo (Australian fans did finally see this product a bit later when the packaging was replaced to be the same world-wide).

The last recording with original bassist Mark Evans, Let There Be Rock was eight tracks of down-and-dirty AC/DC badness. The focus then was on doing what they did to separate their sound from other hard rock bands at the time - these boys were nasty and proud of it. With singer Bon Scott telling us (from experience?) that "Hell Aint A Bad Place To Be" and that sex was best with big girls in "Whole Lotta Rosie", these proud practicioners of the "Bad Boy Boogie" established themselves at the forefront of the emerging heavy metal scene, playing with endless energy and joining Iron Maiden and Judas Priest and others in this formidable assault on the eardrums of rock fans world wide.

In 1980, AC/DC released a live concert motion picture entitled AC/DC: Let There Be Rock (with an audio recording of this same event released on CD in 1997). In total, the band has sold more than 150 million albums worldwide (almost half in the U.S.). Their 1980 release "Back in Black" has sold 42 million units worldwide, making it the second best-selling album ever and the biggest-selling album by any rock band. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March 2003, and Aerosmith's Steven Tyler joined them on stage during the induction (there's another electrical term!) ceremony to perform their hits "Highway to Hell" and "You Shook Me All Night Long".

The Young brothers claimed that the idea for the band's name came to them after seeing the letters "AC/DC" on the back of a sewing machine owned by their sister. Since the boys felt that the band's recordings and performances drew equally from their raw energy, they thought that the name AC/DC was appropriate and adopted it. Mr. Huerta was touched by that same energy as the inspiration for his designs - let's let him explain...

In the words of the artist, Gerard Huerta -

"Album cover design in the '70s was the place to be if you were an artist, illustrator, photographer or letterer. The twelve and a half by twelve and a half inch surface was one of the largest areas to fill for anyone involved in graphics. What seems somewhat rare now in the digital age was commonplace
then - i.e., artists actually drawing things. My role first as a staff member at CBS Records and later as a freelancer was designing albums with an emphasis on the typography. As a young and eager artist, I took any chance I could get to invent letterforms for album covers - not only for rock, but for classical and country albums as well. It was a wonderful opportunity and always a challenge to see what you could get printed. I worked on the first Boston album with Roger Huyssen, designed a number of titles for Ted Nugent¹s albums as well as for Blue Oyster Cult, Willie Nelson, Alvin Lee, Rick Derringer, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Earl Scruggs, The Oak Ridge Boys, The Isley Brothers, Stan Getz, Archie Bell and the Drells and many classical albums. After CBS, I worked on albums by Foreigner, Stephen Stills, Chicago, Firefall, The Outlaws and AC/DC.

AC/DC was on the Atlantic label and I had first drawn some lightning bolt-style lettering for an album titled High Voltage (which featured a photo by Michael Putland and, incidentally, was their 2nd album with that title - the first being an album released in Australia only). It was basically my typographical interpretation of the title. Bob Defrin was the art director there and I designed many pieces of art for him and his staff.

Usually an album had a theme or title and it was my job to interpret that in letterforms. I was hired to design lettering for the next AC/DC album (after their hit 'Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap'), entitled Let There Be Rock, the title providing me wit an obvious reference. I recalled a live album I worked on at CBS for Blue Oyster Cult called On Your Feet or On Your Knees. The BOC cover featured a moody composite photo shot by Creative Director John Berg of a church with a limosine parked in front of it. The sky was dark and the limo had a flag retouched in with the BOC emblem on it. After researching religious typography and, in particular, the Gutenberg¹s bible type, I came up with some lettering based on that, with the twist being that it was metallic, as if it were a car nameplate. The lettering took on a slightly sinister look, particularly when placed over this wonderful photo.

This record featured a cover photo of the band on stage with a dark sky overhead and bright light shining down through the clouds. One of my sketches used the BOC Gutenberg-inspired lettering, but this time it was orange in color and dimensional. This lettering is probably the only typography I have designed that was made entirely of straight lines. The final artwork was produced on illustration board out of cut color adhesive backed overlay film with some starbursts airbrushed on."

The rest, they say, is history...

About the artist, Gerard Huerta -

Based in Connecticut, Gerard Huerta is a designer of letter forms. From trademarks and logotypes to mastheads, from illustrative lettering to Swiss Army watch face designs, he has worked in a variety of typographic styles. Born and raised in southern California, he graduated from Art Center College of Design and began his career at CBS Records in New York designing album covers and creating letterforms for Boston, AC/DC, Ted Nugent, Blue Oyster Cult, Stephen Stills and Foreigner. He started Gerard Huerta Design in 1976 and has been drawing custom letters and logos ever since.

In addition to his well-known designs for the music industry, some of his logos and logotypes have included Swiss Army Brands, MSG Network, CBS Records Masterworks, Waldenbooks, Spelling Entertainment, Nabisco, Calvin Klein¹s Eternity, Arista Records, Type Directors Club, the mastheads of Time, Money, People, The Atlantic Monthly, PC Magazine, Adweek, Us, Conde Nast¹s Traveler, Working Mother, WordPerfect, The American Lawyer, The National Law Journal, The National Catholic Register, Illustration and Architectural Digest as well as corporate alphabets for Waldenbooks, Time-Life and Conde Nast. He has been featured in Money Magazine, The Penrose Annual, Typographic i, Scripsit, The Graphis Business Issue, How Magazine, Step-By-Step Magazine, Westport Magazine and the books Graphis Typography 1: Masters of Typography and Friedrich Friedl¹s reference book Typography: When Who How.

He is also a guitarist and singer in the group The Merwin Mountain Band ( and his studio is in the historic Southport Freight Station.

To see more of his current work, please visit Mr. Huerta's site at

To see examples of Gerard's work for AC/DC in the RockPoP Gallery collection, please click on the following link:

Except as noted, all other text Copyright 2008 - Mike Goldstein & RockPoP Gallery ( - All rights reserved.

Classic Rock Videos

The Beach Boys - Barbara Ann Open Up the Vinyl Vault of a Legendary Journalist to Reveal Hidden Treasure

For over two decades have been buying and selling quality vinyl, so you would think that they would have seen pretty much everything there is to see, right?


They have recently purchased what is, without a shadow of doubt, the finest collection of pristine vinyl records their buyers have ever seen.

Quite a statement when you consider some of the collections the company have had the pleasure to pass on to collectors over the years.

This one belonged to prominent journalist Weston Taylor, who wrote the society & music review pages for the News of the World, active from the early sixties until his death in 1975. The collection has remained untouched for the past 30 years, stored with incredible love by his daughter.

There are more than 3000 LPs and 4000 singles, all 60s & 70s originals, covering genres as diverse as beat, pop, psych, mod, freakbeat, northern soul, prog, rock and jazz - 90% of the 45s are demos, the LPs are factory sample or review copies, some played just once then carefully filed away, others unplayed to this day.

This incredible collection will take their team of adders many months to sort through.

Julian Thomas Co-founder of said. "The snipers out there are picking off targets as soon as they come into sight such is the rarity and sheer quality of this vinyl - you could wait a lifetime before another chance like this comes along." is the world leader in rare and deleted records, cds and music memorabilia. It is also home to the ‘one you haven’t got’, the missing piece of your collection. has a dedicated team of experts with over two decades of experience in sourcing, authenticating and selling memorabilia.

Stop by for a visit!

Album Cover Art

Let's look at #41 (out of 50) of the sexiest and dirtiest album covers as compiled by

41. Grace Jones: ‘Island Life’ -Island Life was Grace Jones' 1985 compilation album, featuring songs from her Island Records albums Portfolio, Fame, Warm Leatherette, Nightclubbing, Living My Life, and Slave to the Rhythm. No tracks from Muse were included. The album was a huge success in the UK (reaching number #4 on the UK Album Chart in December, 1985), with "Pull Up to the Bumper" (#12 in the UK Singles Chart) and "Love Is the Drug" (#35) re-entering the charts a second time.

The cover is by Jean-Paul Goude. The body position is anatomically impossible. It's an example of Goude's cut and paint technique, and it's from 1978. Good thing, I can't see anybody posing like that, it hurts to look at it!