By: Gary Graff
The music world lost a legend on Thursday (April 18) with the death of Storm Thorgerson, who designed iconic album packages for Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and many others during his long career both with the company Hipgnosis and on his own. He was 69.
The British-born Thorgerson's family posted a note stating: "Yes, Storm has died...His ending was peaceful and he was surrounded by family and friends. He had been ill for some time with cancer though he made a remarkable recovery from his stroke in 2003."
Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour, who had Thorgerson as his best man for his 1994 wedding to Polly Samson, issued a statement saying that he and Thorgerson "first met in our early teens. We would gather at Sheep's Green, a spot by the river in Cambridge and Storm would always be there holding fort, making the most noise, bursting with ideas and enthusiasm. Nothing has ever really changed. He has been a constant force in my life, both at work and in private, a shoulder to cry on and a great friend. I will miss him."
Thorgerson attended school in Cambridge, England, not only with Gilmour but with Pink Floyd founders Syd Barrett and Roger Waters, with whom he also played rugby.
Thorgerson received a Masters of Arts degree in Film and Television at the Royal College of Art in England but went into the graphic arts, joining Hipgnosis during the late 80s. He did 15 packages for Pink Floyd, starting with "A Saucerful of Secrets" in 1968 and including "The Dark Side of the Moon," "Wish You Were Here" and "Animals."
For Led Zeppelin Thorgerson handled "Houses of the Holy," "Presence" and "In Through the Out Door," and he also did designs for Gilmour's solo albums, Genesis, Peter Gabriel, Styx, Muse, the Offspring, Alan Parsons, Megadeth and more.
Most recently he designed the covers for the Steve Miller Band's "Bingo!" in 2010 and "Let Your Hair Down" in 2011.
Thorgerson directed music videos as well, including Pink Floyd's "Learning to Fly," "The Dogs of War" and "High Hopes," Gilmour's "Blue Light" and "All Lovers are Deranged," Yes' "Owner of a Lonely Heart" and Robert Plant's "Big Log."