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Storm Thorgerson, album designer for Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, dies at 69

English graphic designer Storm Thorgerson, whose eye-popping album art for Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin encapsulated the spirit of 1970s psychedelia, died Thursday. He was 69. In a statement, Thorgerson's family said that his death "was peaceful and he was surrounded by family and friends." The statement gave few further details but said that the artist, who suffered a stroke in 2003, had been ill for some time.

Even those who not familiar with Thorgerson's name will have seen his work gracing vinyl collections and CD racks. He was best known for his surreal Pink Floyd covers, which guitarist David Gilmour said had long been "an inseparable part of our work."

Some of Thorgerson's covers - the disturbing image of burning man in a business suit featured on Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" or the stark prism on the band's "Dark Side of the Moon" - have become icons in their own right.

Thorgerson also made covers for Led Zeppelin, Peter Gabriel, Phish, Styx and Muse. His art tended toward the unsettling or the bizarre.

One particularly weird CD front for The Cranberries' "Bury the Hatchet" featured a monstrous, disembodied eye staring at a crouching, naked figure in a desert. Another Pink Floyd album cover - which Thorgerson said had left the record company "completely berserk" - featured nothing more than a picture of a cow staring out from a field.

Thorgerson described his work as a kind of fantasy job - in both senses of the word.

"People pay me for my thoughts and my dreams," Thorgerson told the BBC in 2010.

"I think in that sense I'm very fortunate."

Thorgerson is survived by his mother Vanji, his son Bill, his wife Barbie Antonis, and her two children Adam and Georgia.

Read more: NY Daily News

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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History

February 7, 1962 - Deborah Bonham, sister to John, was born in Redditch, Worcestershire, England
February 23, 1966 - Warren Grant, son of Peter, was born.
February xx, 1969 - Led Zeppelin enters the Billboard Top 40
February 16, 1969 - Led Zeppelin wrap up their first American tour in Baltimore, MD.
February 07, 1970 - Edinburgh gig cancelled after Plant receives facial injuries in a car accident
February 28, 1970 - The band performs as "The Nobs" in Copenhagen after threat of legal action from Countess Von Zeppelin
February xx, 1971 - John Paul Jones involved in legal issues regarding a musician who shares the same name
February xx, 1971 - Overdubs for the fourth album are recorded at Island Studios
February 14, 1972 - The band is refused admission into Singapore due to their long hair
February 16, 1972 - The Australian tour begins in Perth
February 21, 1972 - Led Zeppelin: Rock and Roll b/w Four Sticks (Atlantic 45-2865) 45 single is released in the US.
February xx, 1973 - The band makes final preparations for the European tour
February 16, 1973 - The release date for Houses Of The Holy is pushed back due to some sleeve problems
February xx, 1974 - Sessions for Physical Graffiti continue
February 14, 1974 - Page, Plant and Bonham attend a Roy Harper concert
February 04, 1975 - Zeppelin perform a last minute show at Nassau Coliseum to accomodate fans after being banned in Boston
February 24, 1975 - Physical Graffiti finally issued worldwide to phenomenal sales
February xx, 1976 - Media reports that Zeppelin are due to release an album entitled Obelisk
February xx, 1977 - Robert contracts a bout of tonsillitis postponing the American tour
February xx, 1978 - Robert Plant helps produce a record for punk band Dansette Damage
February 16, 1978 - The cases against Bonham, Cole & Grant stemming from the Oakland incident are heard and all receive suspended prison sentences and fines
February xx, 1979 - Although absent from the US stage or market, Led Zeppelin rank best in many music magazine categories
February xx, 1979 - Mixing sessions for In Through The Out Door take place at Polar Studios. Rumors fly of a European tour
February 03, 1980 - Robert joins Dave Edmund’s Rockpile at the Birmingham Top Rank
February 13, 2005 - Led Zeppelin receives a Grammy for Lifetime Achievment.
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