Eagles – One Of These Nights
This was the fourth and last cover I made for Eagles. I am grateful for the amazing times we shared, from before they were signed to a record label to the crazy, psychedelic, American Indian Shaman magic, mind bending adventures on our trip to the desert for the first album cover. Historically hilarious. They are without a doubt some of the funniest human beings I have ever met.
This album came at a time when the band and the music was poised to make a seismic shift from folk/country/rock headed towards a more polished and sophisticated music and “look” that culminated with Hotel California. I decided to focus on the front cover and create a magical talisman to represent and express the powerful dark magic of the band and the music. I went to a friend, artist Boyd Elder. I wanted to use one of his pieces for the cover and have him do the lettering for me. Boyd is a guy I first met before I got involved in rock and roll when as a designer at an LA architectural firm it was one of my responsibilities to buy art for installation as a part of our interior spaces for a series of bank buildings we were designing. I use to go to the local art colleges to scout for good promising young artists. Boyd was one of those people and later on our wives and children were all a part of our extended “family” along with dear friend Rick Griffin (RIP) and his wife and daughters. Boyd and I worked together often over the years.
I chose this particular piece of art because it represents, to me, where the band was coming from and where they were going. The cow skull is pure cowboy, folk, the decorations are American Indian inspired and the future is represented by the more polished reflective glass beaded surfaces covering the skull. All set against the dark eagle feather wings that speak of mysterious powers. Technically the challenge was to make this totemic image command a presence in the room. So, I made it stand up off the page by debossing large areas and doing incredibly detailed and elaborate embossing in the wings and feathers. The photographer’s drop cloth background is this cosmic blue to black of deep space. This always has and still does feel like some powerful object when you hold it in your hand. Something independent and “of a piece”. Not the usual “album cover” with a friendly, inviting portrait of a group of guys, a band. I was nominated for a Grammy for this album cover. I didn’t win but as they say, “It’s being nominated that counts. You’re already a winner”