Cover artist unknown.
“Here, for the connoisseur, for the devotee of the SF genre, and for those who like their reading to combine excitement with good writing, is the Corgi SF Collector’s Library – a series that brings, in a uniform edition, many of the Greats of SF – standard classics, contemporary prizewinners, and controversial fiction, fantasy, and fact…”
Only in the 1970s would you find a line of SF paperbacks with all the titles set in Thalia, a Victorian typeface revived by the post-psychedelia predilection for any design that was florid and ornate. Corgi’s SF Collector’s Library was published from 1973 to 1976, arriving just as my reading was moving from child-friendly SF to adult fiction. Consequently, I bought quite a few of these books, and still own a couple of them. The design was uniform but with a surprising amount of variation for such a short-lived series. The background colours ranged from deep blue to purple, while the card used for the covers was regular paperback stock for some of the titles with the majority using textured card, a treatment that further distinguished the series from its rivals on the bookshelves.
Art by Joe Petagno.
Looking at these covers again I’ve been wondering if the idea of framing the artwork in a circle was borrowed from Penguin’s run of HG Wells reprints from 1967. Corgi had done something similar the same year with their Ray Bradbury series (all with art by Bruce Pennington) but the Wells editions went through several reprints, and the SF Collector’s Library follows their form even down to allowing the artwork to break the frame.
Art by Bruce Pennington.
The samples here are a small selection of the series which featured a fair representation of British SF illustrators of the time. None of the artists were credited on the covers, however—a poor showing on the part of Corgi—so a few of them remain unidentified.
Art by Tony Roberts.
Cover artist unknown.
Continue reading “Corgi SF Collector’s Library”
Photo by Motorcycle Irene.
It was very loud. The crowd roared and some yelled “It’s not loud enough!” Lemmy said “Oh” and turned his amp up more, before they went into Keep Us On The Road which was very loud until Lemmy’s amp gave up its internal struggle and was replaced on the run while Eddie (Clarke, the guitarist) played the riff over and over. At the end of the number earlier complaints bellowed “Turn it up, it’s not loud enough!” to which Lemmy rejoined—”I can’t get it no damn louder, shut your trap”. Never the less, the new amp was miked up thru the P.A., so Lost Johnny was very, very loud and The Watcher was louder still. At the end of it Lemmy apologized for being so quiet and said the band were as disappointed as everyone else about not being louder. Then they played Iron Horse, which was as loud as a Tube train running through your inner ear or as loud as the First World War if they crammed the whole thing together and held it in a phone booth.
Paul Sutcliffe, gig review, Sounds
Paul Sutcliffe’s quote is on the back page of a Motörhead tour programme from 1978, a publication that’s also the source of the moody signed portrait above. Despite hanging around with metal-heads and bikers in my idle youth I never got to see Motörhead live, the tour programme—signed by all three band members, and aptly titled All About Being Loud—was a gift from a friend. Years ago I scanned the whole thing and turned it into a PDF to send to another friend so I’ve uploaded it here. Most tour programmes are rather pedestrian affairs but the Motörhead one shows the band’s sense of humour, being a collection of quotes testifying to the loudness of their shows with the page backgrounds filled out by ads for hearing aids. The Q&A notes for each band member are also revealing for mentioning three songs from the psychedelic 60s. Lemmy always spoke of his fondness for classic rock’n’roll (Motörhead covered Louie Louie in their early days) but it’s a surprise seeing him list Sour Milk Sea by Jackie Lomax as his favourite single. His album choice—Back In The USA by The MC5—is more the kind of thing you’d expect. Eddie Clarke’s favourite single is Purple Haze, while the late Phil Taylor has Itchycoo Park by The Small Faces listed with Anarchy In The UK.
Art by Joe Petagno.
So I never got to see Motörhead play but in 1984 I did provide the cover art for Hawkwind’s Night Of The Hawks EP, a 12-inch single that featured Lemmy as guest bassist and vocalist on his first recording with the group after being sacked following a drug bust in 1975. I may no longer like the artwork but the EP was also dedicated to Barney Bubbles so it was a good thing to be involved with. As for Lemmy, everyone will be (and is) linking to Ace Of Spades but I’d offer Capricorn from the Overkill album as a memorial number. I always liked Jimmy Miller’s reverberant production, and the lyrics make it a musical self-portrait.