Culturally I'm a child of the sixties, and therefore have always been an ardent admirer of the illustration and design work of the great Alan Aldridge. His collaboration with David Bailey - "Goodbye Baby and Amen" - is frequently pulled from the bookshelves and perused; and the entry to my home office displays my prized signed copy of his at-the-time banned poster for the original London screening of Andy Warhol's "Chelsea Girls". Alan may be best known for his innovative work as a book designer for Penguin UK, and for compiling the classic two-volume set of "The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics", but he also created graphics and identities for John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Apple Records, The Who, Cream, Led Zeppelin, Elton John, The House of Blues, and many, many more. And while John Pasche is officially credited as the originator of The Rolling Stones' iconic "tongue" logo in 1970, it is hard to look at Mr. Aldridge's "Day Tripper" illustration from 1969 and not feel a strong sense of … synchronicity... In 2008, London's Design Museum presented a tour-de-force retrospective of his work that was accompanied by a magnificent hardbound catalogue. Here's an engaging article that appeared in The Guardian at the time of that show in which Alan describes "How I Designed the 1960s".
Alan lived in Los Angeles for thirty years, and we were introduced by our mutual friend, hair stylist extraordinaire Gill Hodgson. On the occasions when our paths crossed at Taboo salon or Arcana, he could not have been more gentlemanly or charming. Blessed with a flock of talented children, he moved back to London a few years ago to be closer to them as his health began to decline. I read the news today that Alan has passed, and want to wish his family, many friends and admirers all the best. If you are unfamiliar with his work, definitely check out "The Man with Kaleidoscope Eyes: The Art of Alan Aldridge". It can't not bring a smile to your face!