Remembering Storm

On the fourth anniversary of his death, just thought you might like to lose yourself in some of the brilliant artwork created by the genius that was Storm Thorgerson during an illustrious career – with Hipgnosis and Aubrey ‘Po’ Powell, and later with StormStudios.

You might not get much work done today…

Do let us know which you like best.

Author: FEd

Features Editor of David Gilmour’s official blog, The Blog (‘Features’ previously being its rather naff title), affectionately – or lazily – shortened to ‘FEd’.

77 thoughts on “Remembering Storm”

  1. I’m at work already, so just a short response: I loved the idea with hundreds of beds for an album cover. What a contrast to the simple but iconic The Dark Side Of The Moon cover!

    I finally decided to visit the PF exhibition on 9th of July and hopefully will see some of his creations first hand.

    Cheers from the snowy Bavaria (!),

    Taki

    1. A Momentary Lapse of Reason has to be one of my favourites, too. 700 beds, I believe.

  2. It’s hard to choose one. Maybe I’ll go for Ummagumma.

    I have a story to tell about him, about his kindness. I wrote in 2010 to his website’s generic mail, asking for an info, and he soon answered with his personal one, and we exchanged some mail and thoughts… He never worked for an Italian artist (shame), and it would have been the first time. Unfortunately my company at the time didn’t understand how much important it was. But…OK, it’s fine. I feel honoured to have exchanged some words with one of the all time greatest artist and to know, once again, that the more you’re really great, the more you are simple and gentle.

    Thank you again Storm.

    Ciao
    Emilio

    1. Thanks for sharing that, Emilio. It’s a lovely story, confirming that Storm was indeed the type of man that I believe he was: simple and gentle, as you say.

  3. Easy, the one I have on my office wall: an original signed Storm print of Ummagumma. My favourite. I also really like Muse’s ‘Absolution’ and The Cranberries’ ‘Wake Up and Smell The Coffee’. Basically they’re all great though; they never get boring and you want to look at them again and again.

    In 2008 I was in Cambridge for The City Wakes and went to his talk about his work in one of the local bookshops. When one of the guys in the audience (Dutch, German, Danish – something foreign like me anyway) wanted to answer one of his questions, Storm did a sort of Marjory from Little Britain’s Fatfighters: What did you say? What did you say? What did you say? What is he saying? Very funny – because I couldn’t help thinking he did it on purpose – but it did made me keep my mouth firmly shut. 🙂

    1. He had a great sense of humour, apparently. It shows in his work, of course.

      Thanks for sharing, Lizzy. A lovely memory.

      1. I agree! During the interval of one of David’s 2006 RAH gigs, I wandered around and heard the (not so delicate) sound of laughter in one of the bar areas. It was Storm and an eclectic bunch of fans joking about something…

        I bumped into Jimmy Page about 5 mins afterwards and wondered ‘who’s next?’!!

  4. I still have a Pink Floyd themed poster that was designed and signed by Storm for a charity event here in NY.

    I always loved his eye for design and how he would create pieces that would always make you pause. He certainly had a way to visualize PF music in a way that just made sense.

    Thanks,
    Andrew

  5. Hello FEd, it’s Storm’s 4th Anniversary already, where does time go huh?

    I love the “Tree Of Half Life”, this is amazing.

    About Tree of Half Life:

    Tree of Half Life is a limited edition silkscreen that was one of the very first selection of Pink Floyd images to be revisited and re-envisaged as an art print by Storm Thorgerson at the very beginning of this century. The Tree of Half Life was a cover waiting wistfully for an album to go with it but one that has been adopted by the Pink Floyd catalogue nonetheless. Though originally intended for a band called Catherine Wheel, Tree of Half Life always seemed very Pink Floyd – it is certainly classic Storm. It was submitted as an image for a Floyd 30th anniversary campaign that never got fully realized but it was so well liked by the band that it appeared as a t-shirt and as the frontispiece of the Mind Over Matter book of Floyd imagery.

    In Storm’s words, “Is the tree head a real physical thing? A fluke of nature, or a sculpture of some mad topiary artist? Is it the spirit of the forest? Is the spirit taking the shape only briefly in order to communicate with us, to let us know there is intelligence there? Will it revert back to normal tree shape just as quickly? Look again and it will not be there. Was it in the mind all along? Are the branches like the neurons of the brain? The tree of knowledge, the tree of half life. The official story is that this tree profile head was achieved by helicopter topiary – a man hung from a helicopter and cut the shape much as he might a hedge. Anybody who says different, who says the Tree Head was made on computer is a telltale and a stinking rotten liar. Photographed on Hasselblad 500C with daylight transparency in a London Park in February with available light. The tree is still there, but you might not see it like this unless in the right frame of mind.” The soft quality of this print, on a lovely Somerset paper, chimes with the whimsical or even mystical nature of the imagery.

    Not only a truly amazing piece of Art but a great story from Storm himself to go with it, very deep stuff.

    Thanks again FEd.

  6. The artistic concept of Storm Thorgerson is genius beyond thought but more in a Dream state that we call life.

  7. This gave me the opportunity (and joy) to explore again my copy of his ‘Mind Over Matter, The Images of Pink Floyd’ (third edition, 2003) and ‘Tree of Half Life’ is one of my favourites.

    Storm said: “This image was adopted by the Floyd both as a T-shirt and as a frontpiece in a book because they liked it and it felt Floyd-like.” – Oh I want this T-shirt! 😉

    I think that this one is great too (metaphorically speaking).

    I also love David’s foreword:

    “Storm has always had a big mouth. When I first met him he was fifteen and I was in short trousers. I still have a picture in my mind of this schoolboy holding forth to a group of similar-minded teenagers his views on things like Art, Drugs, the Meaning of Life and Immortality. Nothing much has changed (apart from my trousers). I am enormously fond of Storm. He has been my friend, my conscience, my therapist and of course my artistic advisor for over thirty years.

    There was a time – during the making of the Momentary Lapse Of Reason album – that we were persuaded to consider other artists for the cover. The ideas presented by these ‘proper’ designers seemed to be based on purely commercial terms which didn’t fit what we were about. It was with relief that we went back to the devil we knew. Storm’s ideas are not linked to anyone’s ideas of marketing: that they are atmospherically linked to the music is a bonus. I consider what he does to be art.”

  8. I’m pretty sure Storm created my favorite poster of all time. It’s the man swimming in sand, titled, “The Meaning of Life”.

    I also love the “diver” from WYWH and the story about the yogi master who posed for the picture, balancing on a bucket (or something) until the ripples left the water completely so they could get the perfect shot.

    And somewhere I saw an interview of Polly promoting The Kindness, talking about one of her first dates with Gilmour. Storm came running out to say goodbye to them as they were leaving and he said, “Bye sweetie,” to David – which made Polly think she was a beard for the night. It was a very sweet story when she told it, I’m ruining it a bit. But there are few things more appealing to me than a little bit of naughty and sass. My secret soul smiled that Storm would carbuncle their first date. That’s what friends are for…

    RIP Storm. And thank you for art that absorbed me, inspired me, made me ponder life and death and things bigger than me for many many wonderful hours over the course of my life. You remain an incomparable genius.

    Here is a link to The Meaning of Life.

    1. Speaking of the ‘Wish You Were Here’ artwork (about absence), am I the only one who thinks that it’s a true ‘homage’ to surrealist painter Magritte (especially this image)?

      1. I agree Michèle, I think a lot of Storm’s work is very surreal, some is Dali-like too.

        This image makes me think Storm was also a fan of the work of Gustav Klimt.

      2. Absolutely! Magritte’s influence can be felt in many of Storm’s works. Good call!

  9. Storm always created thought-provoking pieces of art. Simply put, he was a one-off genius.

    Personally, the ‘tree of life’ is my favourite.

  10. Another person I wished I could have met. He certainly had a different perspective on the connection between dream and reality.

  11. Even the man’s name is Art. I do like the one of the men coming out of the tunnel with orbs, anything to do with lights. Every time I visit my mum I bring her new solar lights, her garden looks like Blackpool illuminations.

    Damian.

  12. I am still kicking myself for not buying the large “Broken China” image when I went to see Storm’s exhibition in Oostende (Belgium) back in 2012. I love that image.

    As for his sense of humour, I remember his “photo of four geezers” comment on the DSOTM documentary.

    RIP Storm

  13. Storm’s artwork is really the pinnacle of originality and grace. It is amazing to think of how these great minds (David, Roger, Syd, Storm) grew up with each other, yet their work remained so individually distinct from one another.

  14. I have always found Dark Side Of The Moon to be striking, especially when the image appears somewhere unexpectedly. Never fails to make one stop and stare, even after all the years.

    A new favorite is Oh, By The Way. Love it. I have never seen that one before. Always learning and seeing new things here on The Blog!

  15. Well, another thing that I love of Storm is that he was, no doubt, recognizable in a moment.
    I clearly remember when in 2003 Muse did ‘Absolution’- I discovered the band with this album – and I was with a friend at his house, and the thing went like this:

    Emilio : ‘Hey it seems a F****** Storm Thorgerson cover!’

    Friend : ‘ It’s great. Can you open the booklet please, who is?’

    Emilio : ‘Storm Thorgerson’.

    Closing curtain.

  16. I saw Storm one row in front of me at “Ron Geesin/David Gilmour – Atom Heart Mother, Cadogan Hall, London – June 15th 2008”. It was amazing to see this great artist in live. RIP!

    And after the show we met David’s brother Mark Gilmour and chat a little bit with him.

    Great memories!

  17. I was quite startled and wondered if there was another Pink Floyd/Gilmour album I didn’t know about when I saw this on a wall. It belongs to my 24 year old niece. 🙂

  18. Apart from the PF and DG cover I really like “Tug of War” by Paul McCartney. McCartney not always had great cover illustrations, but this one is never boring.

    It’s sadly a stressful time, so have a nice chat tomorrow without me. 🙁

  19. Storm was definitely one of a kind. Great sense of humor, very down to earth. Such a huge part of these bands. After all, when you see or even think of a record, the album cover is instantly there in your brain, embedded. Visual and sound go hand and hand, and Storm’s Art on these albums just captures the mind and intrigues the hell out of it.

    A great man, RIP.

  20. One of my fave current bands are The Pineapple Thief.

    Incredibly Storm created one of their album sleeves. The album is titled ‘Someone Here Is Missing’ and it was quite possibly one of the final sleeves that Storm was directly involved with.

    1. Oh yes, one more thing. If you are interested in The Pineapple Thief there is a reasonably priced double CD of their music available called “Introducing”. Sleeve notes within the set were written by yours truly.

  21. Bit off topic but all about the art and the music. I thought I would just watch a bit of Floyd -Earls Court 94. Take It Back, beautiful song. Coming Back To Life is sending me out of the door to work with more than a tear in my eye.

    Not normally an emotional bloke, stop it now.

    Damian

  22. Led Zep’s “In Through the Out Door” – with the six different covers – each from a perspective of someone in the room.

  23. Still a few minutes state side to slide in a, “Happy Birthday!” to our favorite song writer/author. HBD to Polly!

  24. Wanted to weigh in…Storm had such a way of inspiring the deepest thoughts of PF music with his art on the covers. It’s such a tremendous loss to us the fans, and the industry as a whole.

    In addition…Happy Birthday Polly!!!

  25. I missed the last chat and I will miss the next one … 🙁

    For now all the best to Michele and all the French blogpeople here, please stop Le Pen on Sunday!

    1. I hear she was chased out of Reims Cathedral. I will be in Reims sometime next week. I’ll light a candle for all you folks in France. 70 odd years on and we have learned nothing.

      Damian

    2. Yeah! Very happy that the message of hope and optimism won over the message of hate and fear.

      Now, ‘En Marche’… Good luck, Mr Macron, you’ll need it, you are facing a big challenge, we want (and need) massive change!

  26. …..Polly just posted a picture of Gilmour and Gavin working on the live from Pompeii DVD. Her picture is of the pyro from the second show on Friday (venerdi 8 luglio).

    I’m pre-weeping. Thank you so much FEd, Polly, the band and Random Man himself. The memories of these shows will be a part of my most closely held treasures for all my life – in the company of my daughter’s milestones and my wedding day. To hold a DVD of these memories in my hand is such a gift. I took a pitifully small number of pictures while I was there because I knew they would make me miss the emotions of the moments I wanted to keep. It was less important to impress my Facebook friends than it was to etch the smell of the moment into my soul.

    May time never rob me of these memories.

    Thank you thank you so much. A million thank yous. I sincerely cannot wait.

  27. Also, can I talk about that other bloke pissing me off yesterday? Proclaiming himself twice the musician, complaining about not getting the attention he deserves – while systematically trying to deprive the other members of their share of attention? Complaining about division in the world when his words divide the base of love for the music into two camps?

    Also, I need absolution that I’m going to see the other bloke play. Blergh. I’m so sorry. I felt bad for him because he’s bothered by the withholding of love I’ve been a party to since 1984. It was funner to ignore him when he was younger and it didn’t make him sad.

    I have finally compiled that other bloke’s solo works these last two months, but I’m still not listening to them. I’ve tried but it just doesn’t capture me.

    Gilmour always punches right through to my heart and takes my soul on a synesthesic multi-dimensional journey. You can’t replace that, you can’t imitate that, and I’m just going to sit there with a look on my face like I’m smelling something awful and I’m going to twitch when his guitarist gets the note correct but the feeling all wrong. Gah!

    Please forgive me for going. But I do owe that other irritating bloke a little nod for being part of some of the music that sustained me in my darkest hours and wrapped itself around me for some of my brightest moments.

    But I’m still mad at him.

    1. This bloke pissing you off, does he by chance own a green parakeet?

      Damian

  28. Take a moment to remember longtime Pink Floyd drum tech Clive Brooks who passed away yesterday…not only a tech but a drummer too with Eggs, he played a Wall show one time, when Wilson was Ill.

    May he rest in peace. If PF were so great, it was even for the incredible team they always had, isn’t it?

    Buon weekend.
    Emilio

  29. Has anyone seen the video on Instagram? David and Polly in the park. David has about five parrots on him and one takes a bite of his ear. It is hilarious.

    Greetings from beautiful la Touquet, France.

    Damian

    1. Yes!!! I can’t decide if the best moment is the parrot in viper-biting stance making you wait for the chomp, or Polly laughing at him after he gets bitten! Thoroughly adorable.

  30. Hi, Fed and all. I just thought I would write a bit on this fabulous site. As you know I’m in France at the moment, watching TV here is pointless as my French is very poor. I just downloaded Google Music to my phone. I am now sat here listening happily to Rattle That Lock. My face is beaming after a walk along the stunning promenade and I’ve had a few too many red wines. I thought it may make someone laugh, on the way down sat-nav took us through London, aarrgh, through Docklands and past Canary Wharf, where did the M25 go! And I just can’t get my head round driving on the wrong side of the road, LOL.

    One last thing, I just wanted to apologise to anyone if I ever came across a bit angry on some of the blogs.

    Thanks to Polly for the photos and videos on Instagram.

    Kindest regards to all.

    Damian

  31. There is a really nice article in Guitar World on how we should learn David’s guitar habits.

    Damian.

  32. Hey FEd and Everyone~

    I have always thought the the “river bed” to be very creative. I love water so the implication of a riverbed is something I could dive into.

    Momentary Lapse of Reason is a beautiful album/CD.

    Speaking of diving, the photo of the diver diving into Mono Lake without a ripple is excellent.
    I have been by the lake a few times and always think of that picture. Also what a strange name for a lake.

    I have the “Shine On” box set so I was able to read how the dive was done.

    Also an excellent album/CD it represents “Wish You Were Here” and how I do wish…

    Mr. Thorgerson was master of creativity and will never be forgotten.

    Take Care, Suzy

  33. Happy Mother’s Day everyone.

    I’m making the daughter watch Live from Gdansk – because she can’t fight me for the Xbox on Mother’s Day. ❤️

  34. Went to the V and A exhibition yesterday: it remembers Storm in probably the most ‘organic’ and appropriate way possible.

    Will say more if there is a ‘Their Mortal Remains’ post: no spoilers here…

    1. I’m intrigued that the Pink Floyd exhibition at the V & A doesn’t appear to have been mentioned on David’s Blog. I keep reading that David is also behind this exhibition, but I haven’t seen much that actually supports that claim. Still, regardless of who is or isn’t behind it, I will be visiting the exhibition at some point because it looks fantastic and it showcases a band that have been a big part of my life for over 40 years.

  35. Forgive me [FEd], it’s been a [while] since my last [visit] 🙂 …

    Am liking the new design of The Blog thus far … change is as good as a holiday I’m told. Assume the thingamajig that points us to the David Gilmour website and the Twitter feed will be back?

  36. Just noted brave notice telling folk to get out and vote. Also I just wanted to say without sounding too political:

    I did not vote about Brexit, I never honestly thought too much about it. But having seen the thousands of graves across France and crossing 3 countries without being stopped. Then the lovely young girl who was translating for her auntie at the place we had rented. She had learned English from watching TV and was so wanting to study English in the UK. I felt shame and such love for that kid who may get denied entry because of Brexit. And the Italian priest from the church next door who sheltered, hid and helped dozens of Allied escaped prisoners of war.

    Brexit I know is wrong.

    Little rant over.

    Damian

  37. My thoughts are with all trying to make sense of that there is no sense of.

    I wish we lived in a World of peace where we all cared for each other. John Lennon’s beautiful song “Imagine” comes to mind.

    Take care, Suzy

  38. I love the “Wish You Were Here” Cover and all the other Artwork that came along for that Album! And …. the Heads and the Beds for Momentary Lapse and Division Bell! To be honest all the covers are great! They should have taken one of your designs for The Endless River Album cover as well!

    Thank you Storm Thorgerson wherever you are! You are not forgotten!

  39. As well as remembering Storm, let’s share a thought too for the despicable and horrific events of news breaking overnight in Manchester!

    I’m born and bred in Manchester and I love my city! I grieve for the great people of the city and my heart goes out to these citizens stricken with grief, for their family fatalities and no doubt life threatening injuries; especially for those of their MURDERED CHILDREN! It’s such an appalling atrocity and I have shed many tears already! I’m heartbroken and lost for words!

    Shine on…..
    John

  40. I’d like to remember Storm and his great works but today I just want to remember the people in Manchester that lost their life.

    So sad and soooooo angry.

    Rino

  41. I’m really pleased to see that on the main page David has reminded people to register to vote. Then he also says that he will vote Labour because he believes in social equality. 🙂

    I’ve been missing from the blog recently because I’ve been out helping with the campaigning to get the Labour Party elected to government. If anyone reading this wants to get involved, google search for your local Labour party and take it from there. Volunteers are always welcomed.

    If David and Fed don’t mind my saying; if you are registered to vote and you think you won’t be at home to vote on the 8th June, you still have time to register to vote by proxy or by post (at the same site David has posted a link to on the main page). Be quick though, your application must be received by your local office by 27th May.

    Thank you David and Fed.

    ash

  42. I send love and best wishes to the People of Manchester and great praise to the emergency services for their courage and cool heads in the face of the scenes that greeted them after a concert.

    Who on earth would target young concert goers? Someone pure evil.

  43. Apologies if it’s a bit late but I can see you’ve been busy giving the Blog a face-lift, Fed.

    Nice and crisp – or at least it is on my browser!

  44. Wanted to say how saddened I was to hear of the horrific tragedy at Manchester Arena. I just don’t know what is happening to this world. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  45. Love The Blog’s new look, especially the ‘next chat (UK time)’ feature, so much better than the old countdown.

    And what? You have written 990 posts so far? I’m impressed!

    I do love reading old blog posts and comments, so, a little request (I know, I know… ):

    Please, couldn’t you bring back the old blog post archive where we could scroll through the archives on a month-by-month/year basis? It was very handy… Unless it’s too much of a time-consuming hassle for you? 🙁

    Bon week-end.

    1. Oh Just noticed that the ‘Archives – Select month’ feature is back!!!

      (I hear you now: “Patience is a virtue”, eh? Sorry for having none… 🙁 )

      Perfect new Blog design now, bravo et merci. 🙂

  46. Love The Blog’s new look, especially the ‘next chat (UK time)’ feature, so much better than the old (sometimes capricious) countdown.

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