I had been in LA for 7 months after my second stint in England (to be near my young son and to help raise him). Andrea, Robin's wife, called and said I should give Derek, Robin's manager in Hollywood, a call because Robin was working on a new album. I called Derek, we got together after too many years, and it was settled that I would do this cover. Manager's get a lot well-deserved flak, but Derek ain't like the rest...he is an honorable and endlessly trustworthy man, who is always a pleasure to deal with, which is why Robin has been with him all these years.
Robin sent Derek a fax of a sketch he did of a lightning bolt arcing between two guitar pegs. He wanted that for his cover. What color did I choose and why did I choose it? You guessed it....Robin's favorite.
This was fun to do as well, because by now I was getting pretty comfortable with Illustrator and Photoshop, and my G4 Mac just blistered through anything. It could respond as fast as I could think (OK....faster than I could think) I came up with all sorts of variants I preferred, but Robin stuck to his guns, and this is the final.
Well, Robin got what he wanted, but since this is my website, I'm displaying below what I wanted Robin to choose! (when the name of the album was different).
The plasma stream is actually a manipulated image of the "Cygnus Loop" photographed by the Hubble telescope. I did a lot of work on it, using filters on filters and lots of cloning and distorting, so this is nothing like the original, but you might want to check out the NASA website and look at the Hubble (HST) pictures...they'll blow you away.
The lettering is airbrushed bevels (strokes) and the surface of the Trower type is a Kai's Power Tools background selection. The guitar pegs were heavily filtered and retouched as well.