‘THE FINE ART OF ROCK’
working, we never stepped back and thought this stuff is going to be huge or iconic 40 or 50 years down the line. You’re just doing it and don’t consider those things. And now looking back on it, the original artwork itself is really impressive and does hold up.”
“Something like the Black Sabbath ‘Sunday Bloody Sabbath’ cover, which is in the Rock ‘ n’ Soul, it’s a (30-inch-by-40inch) piece, which is huge — most people don’t realize the scale of the original art that ends up on an album. But some of the pieces are really breathtaking.”
Much of the material done by Pacific Eye & Ear was album design work, though the company also did a lot of inventive corporate work. Some of those pieces are being displayed around Memphis at Radian Partners, Disciple Gallery and the Art & Speed Classic Car Gallery.
Says Cefalu: “Commercial work was helpful because it helped me understand marketing and packaging and branding. In a way, when you look at these band logos or album covers, that’s what we were doing: We were branding, before we knew what ‘branding’ was.” In addition to the 350-plus finished pieces of album art, Cefalu’s search produced another 200 sketches and more than 3,000 music-related photographs. He says has talked to the Rock ‘N’ Soul about possibly partnering with the Memphis museum in hopes that it might serve as a long-term home for his archive.
“We’re taking this exhibit and going to Canada later this year, and back to the Morrison Gallery in Los Angeles in early 2017,” says Cefalu. “What started out as a collection has turned into a traveling show — but I’d love for it to find a home. I think album artwork is so overlooked. When you go to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or other places like that, album art doesn’t have a real presence. It would be great for this stuff to have a real place at the Rock ‘n’ Soul.” Through Nov. 20 at the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, 191 Beale. Open 7 days a week from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. Regular admission is $12 for adults; $9 for youths 5-17. For more information, call (901) 205-2533, or go to memphisrocknsoul.org.
Grand Funk Railroad Phoenix