Grammy-Winning Album Designer Gary Burden Dies At 84

Gary Burden, who designed album covers for Canadian acts like Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and Steppenwolf, died last week at 84.

In a tribute posted online, Young described Burden as “my friend for life” and said he was “a great man and a true artist.”

The singer-songwriter wrote: “Gary was my art director, creating album covers with me for almost 50 years, beginning with After The Gold Rush and ending with Paradox and Roxy, my next two albums. I still have some covers for unreleased albums that we made together. They are coming.

“We probably made 40 covers. I lost count. In the last twenty, thirty or so years, Gary has worked alongside his talented and beautiful wife, Jenice, at R. Twerk & Co, as we have continued on a life-time of making album covers, laughing, loving acoustic music and so many other things. My heart is heavy.”

Burden and wife Jenice Heo won a Grammy Award in 2010 for Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Packaging for this work on Young’s The Archives Vol. 1.

He was art director of five Steppenwolf covers and Mitchell’s 1971 release, Blue. Burden’s long list of credits includes works for the Eagles, the Doors, Jackson Browne, The Monkees, David Cassidy, and Jerry Lee Lewis.

He also designed My Morning Jacket’s Evil Urges and Circuital.

“I live and breathe the music,” Burden said on his website, “and I am an old dog continuously searching for new tricks to do.”