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Edward Curtiss Colver
June 17, 1949
|Other names||Ed Colver|
Colver not only created a visual document of the birth of the hardcore punk in suburban Southern California from late 1978 to mid-1984, but also he greatly helped in defining the photography style and graphic identity of the American hardcore punk movement.
He was actually in the right place at the right time, and with the right attitude, but he was not merely a witness in the eye of the storm, he was indeed a living part of that big picture, and in this regard, his early work is an authentic self-portrait of the Southern California hardcore punk scene in its golden years.
His work was featured extensively in the book American Hardcore: A Tribal History (2001), written by Steven Blush, and in its documentary film version, American Hardcore (2006), directed by Paul Rachman.
Early life and family
Colver, a third-generation Southern Californian was born on June 17, 1949, in Pomona, California, was named after his great-grandfather, who arrived in the United States from Cornwall, England, in 1635. Edward's father, Charles Colver, was a forest ranger for 43 years. Upon his retirement, Charles was presented with the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Award by President George H. W. Bush at the White House. The tallest peak southwest of Mount San Antonio aka Mount Baldy, was named Colver Peak after Charles.
Essentially a self-taught photographer, Colver had a brief formal training during night classes at University of California, Los Angeles, where he studied beginning photography with Eileen Cowin. Largely influenced by Dada and Surrealism, Colver was most impressed in his early years by the art of Southern Californian native Edward Kienholz. In the late 1960s, Edward's perspective on life and art was changed by his exposure to composers such as Edgard Varèse, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Krzysztof Penderecki and John Cage.
Three months after he began taking photographs, Colver had his first photograph published: an image of performance artist Johanna Went, featured in BAM magazine. Since then he has shot photographs for dozens of record labels including EMI, Capitol and Geffen. His pictures have been featured on more than 500 album covers and include some of the most recognizable and iconic covers of the punk era.
Selected cover art contributions
|1980||Group Sex||Circle Jerks||front, back cover and inner sleeve photos|
|1981||"Louie Louie" (single)||Black Flag||front and back cover photos|
|1981||Damaged||Black Flag||front cover photo|
|1981||Danger Zone (EP)||China White||front cover photo|
|1981||Let Them Eat Jellybeans!||various artists||back cover photo|
|1981||Reagan's In||Wasted Youth||back cover and insert sheet photos|
|1981||T.S.O.L. (EP)||T.S.O.L.||front cover photo|
|1981||Dance with Me||T.S.O.L.||some inner sleeve photos|
|1981||Welcome to Reality (EP)||Adolescents||front cover photo|
|1982||How Could Hell Be Any Worse?||Bad Religion||front cover and some insert sheet photos|
|1983||Mommy's Little Monster||Social Distortion||back cover photo|
|1983||L'amour||Lewis||front cover photo|
|2019||Submit to the Blade||The Balboas||back cover photo|
- "Photographer Biography". Edward Colver (official website). Retrieved June 8, 2015.
- "Ed Colver Discography at Discogs:". discogs. Retrieved June 8, 2015.
- Frankel, Ricky; Wisniewski, Kira (November 26, 2014). "Interviews: Edward Colver". Punknews. Retrieved June 8, 2015.
- "Photographer Edward Colver "The Eye of LA Punk"". Edward Colver (official website). Retrieved June 8, 2015.
- Circle Jerks, Group Sex, cover art. discogs. Retrieved June 7, 2015.
- Black Flag, "Louie Louie", cover art. discogs. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- Various artists, Let Them Eat Jellybeans!, cover art. discogs. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- Wasted Youth, Reagan's In, cover art. discogs. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
- T.S.O.L., Dance with Me, cover art. discogs. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- Adolescents, Welcome to Reality, cover art. discogs. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- Bad Religion, How Could Hell Be Any Worse?, cover art. discogs. Retrieved June 3, 2016.
- Social Distortion, Mommy's Little Monster, cover art. discogs. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
- Lewis, L'Amour, cover art. discogs. Retrieved June 15, 2015.
- Colver, Edward (2006). Blight at the End of The Funnel. Last Gasp. ISBN 9780867196702.
- Blush, Steven (2001). American Hardcore: A Tribal History. Second ed., 2010. Feral House. ISBN 9781932595895.
- Sample, Jack (2012). Contact Print: Edward Colver (documentary). The Film & Television Conservatory of the Orange County School of the Arts. Online at YouTube.
- Official website
- "Pivotal Punk Rock Photographer Edward Colver Visits FIDM’s Graphic Design Portfolio Presentation". Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising.
- Frankel, Ricky; Wisniewski, Kira (November 26, 2014). "Interviews: Edward Colver". Punknews.
- Dr. Martens (April 2, 2015). "Punks in the Pit: An Interview with Edward Colver". Dr. Martens Blog.
- Caracola Gallery (October 22, 2006). In the Pit: The photos of Edward Colver (documentary). YouTube.
- "Photogallery". Edward Colver (official website).
- "Photography for Album Covers". Edward Colver (official website).
- Edward Colver, discography. Discogs.