Bill Stout Bootleg Record Cover Art
March 19, 2013 9:17 AM   Subscribe

If anyone has heard of artist Bill Stout, it is probably because of his paintings of prehistoric life, or perhaps you recognize some of his movie poster art. Early in his career, Stout produced cover art for bootleg records issued by the Trademark of Quality label. The artist recently published a three-part interview about his work for that label. It has lots of wonderful anecdotes, but most importantly, lots of great art. Part 1. Part 2. Part 3.
posted by marxchivist (8 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

The Who's Zoo cover is probably my favorite bootleg artwork ever. My copy spent about 10 years on my wall and is now very faded. I was glad to see it in the background of the interview with Ramport Studios secretary Georgiana Waller in the Quadrophenia... Can You See The Real Me? documentary.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 9:35 AM on March 19, 2013

Bloody hell that's seriously good stuff.
posted by MartinWisse at 9:36 AM on March 19, 2013

I love the fact that The Who felt they should obtain Bill's permission before using his (bootleg) art on their own (official) release. How gentlemanly can you get?
posted by Paul Slade at 10:10 AM on March 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

Great piece - nice to get these glimpses into the early days of the industry. Clinton Heylin's book Bootleg comes highly recommended to anyone interested in learning more.
Either the interview is a few years old or he's mistaken in the second paragraph though - as with vinyl in general, bootleg LPs have made something of a resurgence over the past few years - indeed the last record fair I went to had little else on offer. They're all pitched at the obsessive completist, since their contents can invariably be found online.
There's tons of straight-up pirates of collectable & out of print albums being pressed these days too, some of which I've seen sneaking into otherwise respectable shops here in the UK.
posted by anagrama at 11:14 AM on March 19, 2013

I met him last year at the Comic Expo. He's a really nice man, with an intelligent demeanor that makes him seem more like a scientist than an artist. But then he started talking about all these incredible dinosaur paintings he'd done, and what it was like to paint in Antarctica, and we were all just enthralled. He could talk about the future of Earth with global warming and then shift into what it was like to be a film designer on Masters of The Universe. Totally awesome dude.
posted by Kevin Street at 11:55 AM on March 19, 2013

His book Dinosaurs was one of my favorites as a kid. Really gorgeous art.

Here's an interesting (if ambivalent) writeup. Stout shows up in the comments!
posted by brundlefly at 12:33 PM on March 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

William Stout! I'm a long time fan. Primarily because of this.
posted by Liquidwolf at 5:11 PM on March 19, 2013

Stout is a great guy, I met him a couple times at conventions and once got to spend a good amount of time talking to him at a party. We talked about classic old illustrators and library's chucking out old periodicals. I bought a copy of Mickey at 60 from him and he drew a great sketch of Mickey on the back cover for me.

One of my favorite things to read in the linked interviews was this:

At a Shrine Exposition Hall concert in 1968 the opening act was the original Steve Miller Band with Boz Scaggs. They were followed by Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac. After that group came The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. I haven’t even mentioned the headliner: The Who. Each band played two sets. The Who (who were promoting their brand new — and best, IMHO — LP, The Who Sell Out) smashed their instruments at the end of their second set.

The place was only a third full; you could get as close as you wanted to the stage. I got backstage at this show and met Keith Moon (well, I ran into Keith in the men’s room), Roger Daltrey and Arthur Brown.

The price of admission? $2.50 in advance; $3.00 at the door.

Hell, I'd just like to hear stories like that all night. A stellar artist and a fine human being. And, what the hell, here's his Ed Gein cover for Weird Trips #2.
posted by marxchivist at 6:59 PM on March 19, 2013

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