Deep Cuts

From the Stacks: Both Sides of Herman’s Hermits

hermans hermits both sides frontOkay, here’s the thing:  I don’t really care one way or another about Herman’s Hermits.  When I was a kid I thought that they were a corny band and my opinion hasn’t changed over the years.  If you have some affection for or connection to Peter Noone and the boys I mean you no harm.  They just aren’t my thing.

So what the heck is this album doing in my stacks?  Well, I’ll tell you.

One day I was visiting one of those places that nerds go to find vinyl but won’t tell you about because then, like, you’d get all the good vinyl and fuck you this is my place, and I stumbled across this album cover.  “Whoa,” I said to myself, because when I’m talking to myself I think I’m Keanu Reeves.  “That looks like a Jack Davis illustration.”

Now, for the sake of clarity I’m going to assume that through some bizarre circumstance you’ve never seen Mad Magazine and you have no idea who the great Jack Davis is.  I’m also going to assume that you are in a coma.  When you picture Mad you more than likely are picturing Davis’s work.  Here’s an example:

jd-laverneshirleySo come on, there was no way that I wasn’t picking up Both Sides of Herman’s Hermits just to have that Jack Davis cover in my stacks.  But wait, Both Sides isn’t a Jack Davis cover.  It’s even better – it’s a Frank Frazetta.

Okay, I let you off the hook on not knowing who Jack Davis is, but if you don’t know Frazetta then I think we’re going to have to go our separate ways.  Frank Frazetta is an absolute legend in comic and fantasy art.  They just don’t come any bigger than Frazetta.

His album covers are some of the most recognizable ever, even more so than the albums themselves.  Take Molly Hatchet’s Flirtin’ With Disaster, for example:

Flirtin With Disaster

But before he was a painter of muscle-y fantasy art, Frank was a comic book artist with chops.  I just never expected to see a comic-oriented cover from the greatest.

hermans hermits both sides backMaybe the best thing about this cover is that they misspell Frazetta’s name in the credits:

hermans hermits both sides detail

You can pick up your own copy of Both Sides of Herman’s Hermits for easily under ten bucks, and while you’re at it pick up some old Mad paperback collections and appreciate the brilliance of Jack Davis.  Happy hunting.

11 replies »

  1. Hmm. Well, I may be a bit biased, but I would think more people would know who Jack Davis is over Frank Frazetta. C’mon, even Noone’s album people misspelled his name! Growing up, I really only knew of Frazetta through his science fiction and Molly Hatchet LP covers. But Jack Davis, the master, he was everywhere. TV Guide covers, print ads and, of course, MAD Magazine. His numerous sports illustrations of the Georgia Bulldog’s mascot are legendary. His 2011 book, ‘Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture: A Career Retrospective’ covers his vast career with a large (literally) collection of his best stuff.
    Biased? Oh, yes. Did I mention Mr. Davis lives nearby? That I’ve been to his home studio? That he gave an original pencil ad? Yep. You can touch me next time you see me… 😉


  2. Frank Fazetta. Sorry, I thought he was one of Fredo Corleone’s goombas. I was thinking, “Hey, this low rent Vegas hit-man could really draw some cool pictures when he wasn’t breaking someone’s legs.”

    Oh well, *sigh* it’s been great knowing you Jimmer.


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