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Reflections From a ‘Caribou’ Art Director 

Do you remember the picture of Elton and Bernie Taupin on the back cover of the Caribou album? The backdrop, art director David Larkham told ej.w, was actually photographer Ed Caraeff’s bedspread, made up of various colours and shapes and sewn together. ”Crushed velvet–very seventies.”
As for the front photo, Elton actually tried on a variety of outfits before settling for the tiger-striped jacket and black pants. And since David was inspired by the ‘magnificent mountains” in Caribou, Colorado, he knew they had to be included.

David was also influenced by Maxfield Parrish’s style, particularly when creating Elton’s backdrop–but also when he added squares of canvas to band members’ photos. These resembled the ranch’s cabin windows, and were pinned to ‘log cabin’ bits of wood.

Incidentally, the background for Elton, which includes his name in white lettering, still exists. Until David can retrieve the painting one day, it’s been stored by a friend in the U.S.

And if you are interested in owning an original image (from Caribou‘s inner sleeve) from Ed Caraeff, it is part of RR Auction‘s Marvels of Modern Music sale, running through the 23rd of May.

It’s being auctioned off by Mike Ross, who worked with Larkham on Caribou and other EJ projects.

Caribou turns 50 on 24 June in the U.S. and on the 28th in the United Kingdom.

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