Gary Burden, Album Cover Artist, Dies at 84: Neil Young Pays Tribute
Gary Burden attends the photography of Henry Diltz in celebration of the Doors' 2012 Sunset Strip Music Festival
Gary Burden, the Grammy Award-winning artist who designed the covers of classic albums like Neil Young’s After the Gold Rush, the Doors’ Morrison Hotel, Joni Mitchell’s Blue, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s Déjà Vu and more, has died. He was 84.
Young, with whom Burden collaborated for decades, shared a lengthy tribute on the Neil Young Archives website. “My friend for life, Gary was my art director, creating album covers with me for almost 50 years, beginning with After the Gold Rush and ending with Paradox and Roxy, my next two albums,” he wrote.
“I still have some covers for unreleased albums that we made together,” Young continued. “They are coming. We probably made 40 covers. I lost count. In the last twenty, thirty or so years, Gary has worked alongside his talented and beautiful wife, Jenice, at R. Twerk & Co, as we have continued on a life-time of making album covers, laughing, loving acoustic music and so many other things. My heart is heavy.”
Young also included a passage from his 2012 autobiography Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippie Dream about Burden’s cover for his 1974 LP On the Beach before concluding, “I have so many memories of Gary and I doing these album covers. He was a great man and a true artist. Rest in peace my old friend.”
In more recent years, Burden helped design the covers for Monsters of Folk’s self-titled album, My Morning Jacket’s Evil Urges and Circuital, Kurt Vile’s B’lieve I’m Goin Down… and several Conor Oberst albums. In 2010, Burden won a Grammy Award for best boxed or special limited edition packaging for his work on Young’s The Archives Vol. 1 1963–1972.