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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Gary Burden Receives Grammy Nomination for NYA Design

Gary Burden

Gary Burden's design of the Neil Young Archives, Volume 1 has been nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package category.

Lead art director and designer Gary Burden, R. Twerk & Co., says he had "no idea 'the archives' were entered into the awards, so it was a huge surprise when we received a phone call and learned we were nominated. This is just so cool and I am really happy for Neil, too."

Burden designed Crosby, Stills and Nash's first album cover (Porch), Joni Mitchell's "Blue", The Doors' "Morrison Hotel", four album covers for the Eagles including "Desperado," several for Jackson Browne, and many other renowned artists.

From Gary Burden's website -- which has a wealth of details on the making of NYA -- here are a few snippets:
"It may have been 20 years in the making but it was one of the most enjoyable and collaborative projects I've ever worked on.

I have been working with Neil on album covers since his release of After the Gold Rush in 1970. I would listen in on Neil's recording sessions, I mean really listen to the music, and most of the time the music will tell me what the design wants to be. I'd present my ideas to Neil, and he'd give me his own ideas and feedback, and we would incorporate both into the album design.

Neil is a prolific writer and a has great vision. It's nice to collaborate with someone that doesn't do design, they see beyond the boundaries we put on ourselves and push us further. Neil doesn't understand the concept of "we can't do that," and his ideas almost always end up being right.

Neil had the idea for the Archives 20 years ago, back in 1989. At first, the Archive was going to be all of his work up until 1989, but as we worked with our archivist and gathered more and more material, we realized we would have to break it down into periods. We just had too rich a volume of visual material and music. When we started to think about how to present it, we quickly realized there just wasn't the kind of technology back then to fully implement Neil's vision.

We waited for CD's to come out, and then we realized that they wouldn't be what we needed. When DVD's were first introduced, we thought for sure we hit the jackpot, but even that wasn't enough. When Blu-Ray was launched we knew we had what we needed technologically to tell this story."


There are many other fascinating insights into the designing of NYA on Gary Burden's website including details on the box graphic art, the poster, the stash box, and book. Also, see YouTube video of Gary & photographer Henry Diltz discussing their work together.

In addition to recognizing Burden, his wife Jenice Heo created the box top art.

Neil Face With Hand
by Jenice Heo

Congratulations Gary & Jenice! Hope 4th time is the charm!

(Thanks Purple Words on a Gray Background!)

More on the Making of The Neil Young Archives and
Art Influenced by Neil Young: Jenice Heo.

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At 12/10/2009 12:13:00 AM, Blogger doc said...

Well deserved Gary..I've always enjoyed Neil's album cover concepts.

Incidentally, did you design any of your brother's albums when he was with the Animals?

Inquisitive Doc (just doin' his job)

At 12/10/2009 01:36:00 AM, Blogger Homesick in Paradise said...

Thanks for the credentials, TW. You've found great pictures of Gary.

If you guys like his work, check his virtual artwork book with insididers notes at


At 12/10/2009 09:29:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gary's site mentions "We are making a second edition of Vol. I with the new material and updates we've added so far."

Say what? This sounds great and all but........

Anybody know about this? If you already have Vol1 does this mean you have to buy again???

Archives Guy?

ps congrats Gary! Well deserved.

At 12/10/2009 09:52:00 AM, Blogger ShittyHorse said...

Congrats Gary!!! Good luck! Love your work- as a matter of fact, last night I was looking at my new copy of dreamin' man and again saw Gary's name and I wondered how long he has been working for Neil so I looked though many of Neil's albums and found I was admiring Gary's work for a long time. Very well deserved Gary!

I'd also like clarification on the the second version of Vol.1?

What does this mean?

At 12/10/2009 12:06:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the quote is pretty clear. A second pressing of Vol. 1 that includes the existing updates. Geez..chill.

At 12/10/2009 12:37:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, this is pretty good news i'd think.

The fact that there's enough demand for a 2nd print run would bode well for NYA#2 production.


At 12/10/2009 07:25:00 PM, Anonymous Marc C said...

You know,I've been thinking long and hard about all of Neil's activities this past year. He's been up to so much and he's been doing what he's always done: balanced a bunch of projects and still manage to tour and record music. Plus all of the releases we've seen this year....a great year for Young fans.

However..i can't help but feel that for all of Neil's ambitious moves this year...not many of them have been in his favor. I can't say I agree with much of what he's done.

Neil is sitting on so much unreleased material that i simply CANNOT believe that he's content with any of the Archives Performance Series.

"The Riverboat" is basically a carbon copy of "Sugar Mountain". "Live At Fillmore" is missing half the show. And "Dreamin' Man" is basically a stripped down Harvest Moon, except without backup musicians and a different running order. No one can tell me that Neil couldn't have gone an extra step further and included some raps from the Harvest Moon tour. Maybe a few other songs he played during that tour. I don't understand why he insists on releasing live albums of incomplete shows. what happened to the "the good,the bad and the ugly" attitude he had regarding the Archives a few years ago?Even Massey Hall was falsly advertized as containing video documents of the Massy Hall show.A failed blindside at best.

I've bought the Archives on blu-ray,I'm happy about the few downloads we've gotten...i'm not too happy that at least one of those were released as an mp3.

what on earth IS going on here?

i just can't help but feel that neil's judgement and morals have gone out the window and is instead choosing economy over quality, and it is a shame.

i'm greatly apperciative of everything he's done this past year, because not many artists neil's age attack so many projects at once. but i think its time neil takes on one project at a time. i don't think he can steadily balance his different musings all at once, as he once could.

with this said,long may you run,neil! i'll still go see you whenever you play near, and i'll still support your offerings,however ambitious and thoughtless they may come!

-Marc C

At 12/10/2009 08:44:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Gary. I love the artwork that he has done for Neil's albums. An essential part of Neil's team.

Landing on Water

PS On the Steve Hoffman forum a number of punters are complaining about bad quality pressings of the new NY 180 gram vinyl boxset. Perhaps AG could visit them and help them resolve some of their problems

At 12/10/2009 09:40:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read on your blog about some of the outfits you've worn to Grammies in the past. Wild man.

How about this year's duds??

jose c.

At 12/11/2009 11:31:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

quit yer bitching.... and really what do you care? Why is it a big deal that Cinnamon Girl got released as an Mp3? Maybe some people who couldn't afford the blu-ray would like to hear this stuff too. Selfish...and it not yours nor you decision to make. Stop crying.
You also forget that Fillmore was also released as a cd too, long before Vol. 1 came out. Maybe that MP3 was for those CD buyers.
It did cost $1 you forget, if you bought blu-ray you got it for free.
Its neil's project and it's far from complete.....wait till the man is done then start your crying

The things that people choose to complain about~!

At 12/11/2009 12:02:00 PM, Blogger Thrasher said...

OK, this thread has gone way off track.

Why can't folks celebrate Gary's recognition? Instead, we're hearing the same tired complaints.

Just a reminder, unsubstantiated, gratuitous, anonymous attacks will continue to be deleted per Comments Policy.


At 12/11/2009 06:41:00 PM, Anonymous Marc C said... guys are right

i was just playing the archives and the thought crossed my mind and i guess i just kinda got caught up in the moment.

i did feel bad not recognizing Gary's hard work...

in any case,i don't post very often and when i do i try and keep it as pertinent as possible...

strike 1,thrasher!

anyway...i do congratulate Gary on all the fine work he's done over the with,be it the archives,neil's covers or work with any other artist he's done!!

i was reading his liner notes on his websites and i have to agree with him, On The Beach is by far my favorite album cover of all time.

congrats once more for Gary!

i hope both you and neil win what you deserve!

-Marc C

At 12/11/2009 11:38:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marc, No NEED to apologize. What you said was spot-on!

Let the 94-percenters deal with the FACTS!

At 12/11/2009 11:40:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey Thrash - You ARE a suck-up! Gary's site mentions a "second edition on Vol 1...."

What in the hell is this?

it's worth asking the question, don't ya think? We are, in fact, talking about Burden and the Archives!

Why such a censoring suck-up for NEIL?

What do YOU have to hide?

At 12/12/2009 01:06:00 PM, Anonymous Bannana Man said...

Way to go Gary! You rule brotha! Hope you win this well deserved award!
Peace to all my ballaz & playz in Brooklyn!


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