The first book to explore the extraordinary musical life and remarkable paintings of one of America’s greatest ever songwriters.
Best known for having written and produced some of the seminal records of American popular culture–from ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’ for the Four Seasons to ‘Silence is Golden’ for the Tremeloes and ‘Lady Marmalade’ for LaBelle–Bob Crewe was a multifaceted artist for whom a passion for painting and the visual arts provided a lifelong counterbalance to music.
Collected here are more than 80 of Bob Crewe’s artworks, stretching from his first forays into abstract expressionism in the 1950s and 1960s to more complex, tactile compositions made on his full-time return to painting in the 1990s–accompanied by archival images and ephemera that reflect Crewe’s simultaneous contribution to popular music.
Essays by Jessica May and Peter Plagens explore the development of an artist whose influences ranged from Rauschenberg and Johns to Warhol and Bacon; legendary record producer Andrew Loog Oldham captures the period of radical experimentalism in which Crewe wrote many of the most memorable songs in the canon of modern pop; and Donald Albrecht’s introduction ties together the many complementary aspects of Crewe’s personal and creative lives.
Donald Albrecht is a writer, curator, and cultural historian living and working in New York City. Formerly curator at the Museum of the City of New York, he is a fellow of the American Academy in Rome, and has written and contributed to many books on the intersections of art, architecture, design, photography, and sexuality with popular culture. Jessica May is an independent curator and formerly Deputy Director and Robert and Elizabeth Nanovic Chief Curator at Portland Museum of Art, Maine. Andrew Loog Oldham is an English record producer and author. He was for several years manager of the Rolling Stones, and went on to work with many of the biggest acts of the 1960s and 1970s, from Rod Stewart and the Small Faces to Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page. Peter Plagens is an artist, writer, and art critic, the author of several books of art criticism, whose writing has appeared in Artforum and Newsweek.
All proceeds of the book go to the Crewe Foundation