Friday, 21 December 2007

The Happy Birthday Cover

Bob Tibbitts "I had just been smitten by the bugs and (like Mark Roland later) wanted to be involved and help them with what skills I had. So I offered to create some artwork for the next album. I sent stuff to Jim Ryan at Proverus and he liked what he saw and urged Mark Mikel to contact me and arrange to start work.I do remember having a few drinks one evening and chatted to MM via Instant Messages and between us the creative ideas started to flow and we bounced these off each other for a few weeks thereafter. One of the first ideas was to have the band faces appear within the flames of five candles on a birthday cake (this led to MM having at least two birthday cakes made professionally) I intended to use this photo in a design for a 'demos' cd if it were ever sanctioned by MM.

A photo of the cake that was eaten at the release party
that was taken by Victoria Countryman

Mark and V

Ideas slowly evolved including one idea I had of showing the Pillbugs laying all over the floor and furniture in a log cabin with various party treats and hats and the like strewn around, the lads would be flaked out (possible dead, but that was a bit too far out) with cake as the main feature, through the open cabin door there would have been a snow scene, and an decontamination tent with the various operatives also laying on the snow even with their decontamination suits on! The idea being that something sinister had happened and everyone had fallen to it (a virus?)...the pun being "Happy Birthday" (Happy Fucking Birthday). Well this was a bit too dark but some of the ideas prevailed and Mark got his brother to take photos of two people (legs) passed out after a good party and also various party gimmicks.

Mark wanted all the text to be hand-written so I developed the Happy Birthday logo and the rest of the texts...spending literally hours re-writing it until it looked 'right' and then scanning them all and converting them for use in the design. I wanted Mark to get all the bugs to write out their own lyrics to be in keeping with the overall concept. It worked really nicely I feel."

An example of the lyric art

Photo by Matthew Mickel above-below Photo of Matthew Mickel

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