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Pink Floyd album cover designer dies at 69

Storm Thorgerson, the Engish album-cover designer most famous for his iconic work with Pink Floyd, died Thursday after battling cancer, his family announced. He was 69.

Yui Mok / AP file

Storm Thorgerson stands next to his album cover artwork for Pink Floyd's "The Dark Side of the Moon" at a 2008 art exhibit.

"His ending was peaceful and he was surrounded by family and friends," Thorgerson's family said in a statement. "He had been ill for some time with cancer though he had made a remarkable recovery from his stroke in 2003."

Pink Floyd members remembered him on the band's official website. Drummer Nick Mason described Thorgerson as a "scourge of management, record companies and album sleeve printers; champion of bands, music, great ideas and high, sometimes infuriatingly high, standards."

Mason also described Thorgerson as a "tireless worker right up to the end," saying, "Two days before he passed away, and by then completely exhausted, he was still demanding approval for art work and haranguing his loyal assistants."

He went on to praise the designer as a "dear friend to all of us, our children, our wives (and the exes). Endlessly intellectual and questioning. Breathtakingly late for appointments and meetings, but once there invaluable for his ideas, humour, and friendship."


Pink Floyd lead singer David Gilmour wrote on the band's site that he first met Thorgerson when the two were young teenagers.

"We would gather at Sheep's Green, a spot by the river in Cambridge, and Storm would always be there holding forth, making the most noise, bursting with ideas and enthusiasm," Gilmour wrote. "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. The artworks that he created for Pink Floyd from 1968 to the present day have been an inseparable part of our work. I will miss him."

His work with Pink Floyd, especially the prism reflecting a rainbow that graces the "Dark Side of the Moon" album cover, was Thorgerson's most famous. But he also created album covers for bands such as Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, AC/DC and Muse.

In 2011, Thorgerson told Rolling Stone that the idea of the prism related to Pink Floyd's traveling light show.

"They hadn’t really celebrated their light show," he told the magazine. "That was one thing. The other thing was the triangle. I think the triangle, which is a symbol of thought and ambition, was very much a subject of Roger (Waters)'s lyrics. 

Thorgerson is survived by his mother, Vanji, his son Bill, his wife Barbie Antonis and her two children Adam and Georgia.

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