John Scarpati

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John Scarpati
John Scarpati.jpg
John Scarpatji
Born June 29, 1960
Great Bend, Kansas
Nationality American
Known for Photographer
Notable work Fishbone
Look What the Cat Dragged In
Cherry Pie
One Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This
Tight Rope
Folklore and Superstition

John Scarpati (born June 29, 1960) is a professional photographer whose photography has appeared on hundreds of album and CD covers for bands and individual musicians.[1][2] He is also the owner of Scarpati Studio, a photography studio that does photography and layouts for advertising campaigns, some of which have won national and regional awards. Scarpati has produced two books based on his photography: Cramp, Slash, & Burn: When Punk and Glam Were Twins [3] and Eyes Wide Open.[4] The first major solo art exhibit of Scarpat’s work was in1991 at Midem - Palais des Festivals in Cannes, France.[5] The exhibit was a dye transfer print series. Scarpati’s work has also appeared in publications such as the New York Times and Rolling Stone Magazine.[6]

Because of his extensive photography work with so many bands in Hollywood the 1980s, as well as the production of his book Cramp, Slash, & Burn: When Punk and Glam Were Twins, Alarm Magazine has referred to Scarpati as The Anthropologist of the Sunset Strip.[7]


Music Industry[edit]

The majority of Scarpati’s photography work has been done in the music industry, having worked on hundreds of album covers and photo shoots across different genres. He has worked with many famous musical artists, such as Rush, Def Leppard, Warrant and Kenny Rogers.

He has also done work for the following employers: Michael Jackson // Sherman Halsey // Planet Pictures // Delicious Vinyl // Dwight Yoakam // Hugh Syme // Fresh Design

Because of his extensive work with the band Fishbone, Scarpati’s photos were featured in the documentary Everyday Sunshine. In addition, one of Scarpati’s photos of the band was sent to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, which also has a collection of artifacts from the band.[8]


In his work through his company Scarpati Studio and other advertising firms, Scarpati has worked as a photographer or art director on a number of advertising campaigns for corporate clients. His artistic approach has won a number of awards, including one national ADDY award [9] and two regional ADDY awards.[10]

A partial list of Scarpati’s Corporate clients include Bridgestone, Firestone, One Systems, Honda, AKG Microphones, Hunter Fans, Tequila Rose, Vantage Bowling, Fuzion, Paramount Studios, and English Eccentrics. In addition, his cover for the New York Dolls album One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This was used in an iPod Nano advertising campaign.[11]


Scarpati has produced two books based on his photography work. This first, called Eyes Wide Open, is a collection of unusual and artistic images from his work. The Second is called Cramp, Slash, & Burn: When Punk and Glam Were Twins, and focuses on Scarpati's work in the Hollywood music scene in the 1980s.

Eyes Wide Open[edit]

The photography artwork in Eyes Wide Open began as an art show exhibit in alternative venues, such as clubs, bars, and hotels.[12] While there may appear to be no obvious cohesive theme to the book, the concept is a collection of fine art prints on a wide array of Substrates. The collection contains a number of artistic examples of the photographer’s work and showcases his creativity.[13]

Cramp, Slash, & Burn: When Punk and Glam Were Twins[edit]

Cramp, Slash, & Burn: When Punk and Glam Were Twins is a collection of Scarpati’s photos from the Punk and Glam music industry in Hollywood during the 1980s. The photographs have been cleaned and digitized and the original film was wet drum scanned and digitally remastered to produce high quality images. The book is produced in a 12x12 format to mimic the size of traditional album covers. In addition, life size images of memorabilia from the period, including tick stubs, trinkets, and an authentic can of Aquanet from the time period. The text inside the book is written by band members and others who were a part of the scene at the time. The artwork from the book premiered at La Luz de Jesus Galley in Los Angeles[14] and continues to be on display at various venues around the country.

The book won a Mohawk award [15] and earned Scarpati the title “Anthropologist of the Sunset strip from Alarm Magazine, which said, “As a photographer, John Scarpati is well known for his work on album covers, each a dynamic and living piece of art. During the 1980s in Los Angeles, he was the music photographer, an anthropologist of the Sunset Strip, his lens documenting the fashion, sounds, and faces in the era of outrageous musical fashion.” [7] The Indie Reader, Culture Catch, and Felt and Wire also praised the accuracy of the book in documenting the era and scene.[15][16]

Album cover art[edit]

Chronological list of John Scarpati's album cover art.

Year Artist Album Role
1984 Steve Perry Street Talk Photography
1985 Fishbone Fishbone Photography
1985 Tex & The Horseheads Life’s So Cool Photography
1985 Various The Enigma Variations Photography
1985 Stryper Soldiers Under Command Photography
1985 Stryper Reason For The Season Photography
1986 T.S.O.L Revenge Photography
1986 Fishbone In Your Face Photography
1986 Poison Look What the Cat Dragged In Photography
1986 Eyes Eyes Photography
1986 The Unforgiven The Unforgiven Photography
1987 Redd Kross Neurotica Photography
1987 Dramarama Box Office Bomb Photography
1988 L.A. Guns L.A. Guns Photography
1988 Kix Blow My Fuse Photography
1988 Social Distortion Prison Bound Album Design
1988 Oingo Boingo Boingo Alive Photography
1988 Various Artists A Town South of Bakersfield Vol 1 Photography
1989 Warrant Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich Photography
1989 Kingdom Come (band) In Your Face Photography
1989 Michael Monroe Not Fakin' It Photography
1989 Dramarama Stuck in Wonderamaland Photography
1989 Rush Presto Photography
1989 Babylon A. D. Babylon A. D. Photography
1989 Bonfire (band) Point Blank Photography
1989 Fates Warning Perfect Symmetry Photography
1990 Magnum Goodnight L.A. Photography
1990 Rush Chronicles Photography
1990 Warrant Cherry Pie Photography
1990 Hurricane Slave to the Thrill Photography
1990 The Northern Pikes Snow in June Photography
1990 Alias Alias Photography
1990 Blowfly Twisted World of Blowfly Photography
1990 Electric Angels Electric Angels Photography
1990 Social Distortion Social Distortion Photography
1991 Rush Roll the Bones Photography
1991 Great White Hooked Photography
1991 Fates Warning Parallels Photography
1991 Kix Hot Wire Photography
1991 Bad English Backlash Photography
1991 The Storm The Storm Photography
1991 Armored Saint Symbol of Salvation Photography
1991 Aldo Nova Blood on the Bricks Photography
1991 Me Phi Me One Photography
1991 Dramarama Vinyl Photography
1991 The Scream Let It Scream Photography
1992 Warrant Dog Eat Dog Photography
1992 Steve Perry Greatest Hits + Five Unreleased Photography
1992 21 Guns Salute Photography
1993 Dramarama Hi-Fi Sci-Fi Photography
1995 Bill Miller Raven in the Snow Photography
1995 Marshall Chapman It's About Time Photography
1995 Philip Claypool A Circus Leaving Town Photography
1996 Diamond Rio IV Photography
1996 Dramarama The Best of Dramarama: 18 Big Ones Photography
1996 Warrant The Best of Warrant Photography
1996 Al Anderson Pay Before You Pump Photography
1996 Jason and the Scorchers Clear Impetuous Morning Photography
1997 Eddie Rabbitt Beatin’ the Odds Photography
1997 Scorpions Deadly Sting: The Mercury Years Photography
1997 Rick Altizer Blue Plate Special Photography
1998 The Thompson Brothers Band Blame It on the Dog Photography
1998 Pam Tillis Every Time Photography
1998 Eddie Rabbitt Songs from Rabbittland Photography
1998 The Insyderz Fight of My Life Photography
1999 Brooks & Dunn Tight Rope Photography
1999 Jetboy Lost and Found Photography
2000 The Kentucky Headhunters Songs From the Grass String Ranch Photography
2000 Ray Price Prisoner of Love Photography
2000 The Sky Kings From Out of the Blue Photography
2001 Rush Chronicles/ Moving Pictures Photography
2001 Danni Leigh Divide and Conquer Photography
2002 Oingo Boingo 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection Photography
2003 Social Distortion Greatest Hits Photography
2003 Buddy Jewell Buddy Jewell Photography
2003 Jamie Lee Thurston I Just Wanna Do My Thing Photography
2003 Janis Ian Working Without a Net Photography
2004 Brad Cotter Patient Man Photography
2004 Restless Heart Still Restless Photography
2004 Lane Turner Wanting More Photography
2005 Jo Dee Messina Delicious Surprise Photography
2005 Hank Williams, Jr. That's How They Do It in Dixie Photography
2006 New York Dolls One Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This Photography
2006 Mechanical Birds The Possibility of Flight Photography
2007 Social Distortion Greatest Hits Photography
2007 Hydrogyn Deadly Passions Photography
2007 Randy Kohrs Old Photograph Photography
2007 Clay Walker Fall Photography
2008 De Novo Dahl Move Every Muscle, Make Every Sound Photography
2008 Black Stone Cherry Folklore and Superstition Photography
2009 Steadlür Steadlür Photography
2009 Doyle and Debbie Performing all their top hits to the very best of their ability Photography
2009 Korby Lenker Lovers and Fools Photography
2010 Randy Kohrs Quicksand Photography
2012 Craig Morrison Craig Morrison Photography
2012 Deborah Allen Hear Me Now Photography
2012 Fishbone Every Day Sunshine Photography
2012 Redd Kross Researching The Blues Photo editing
2012 Korby Lenker Korby Lenker Photography

Awards and Notable Achievements[edit]

Gold & Platinum Records[edit]

Steve Perry - Street Talk[1][2]
Poison - Look What the Cat Dragged In[1][2]
L.A. GunsL.A. Guns[1][2]
Great White - Hooked[1]
WarrantDirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich[1][2]
Warrant - Cherry Pie[1]
RushRoll The Bones[1]
Kix – Blow My Fuse[1]
Brooks & DunnTight Rope[1]
Buddy JewellBuddy Jewell[1]

Notable Achievements and Recognition[edit]

1984 - Scarpati’s 1st album cover to go Platinum – Steve Perry / Street Talk: Columbia[1][2]
1989 - Shot 1st music video – Tone Lōc / Wild Thing for Delicious Vinyl /camera operator DP
1990 - Juno Award – Best album cover – Rush / Presto - Atlantic[17]
1991 - Worst album cover – Rolling Stone Magazine – Warrant Cherry Pie – Columbia
1992 - Juno Award – Best album cover – Rush / Roll the Bones – Atlantic[17]
2005 - Honda Ad Campaign featured in Luerzer's Archive
2006 - iTunes podcast – interview with Scarpati by light source
2007 - Silver Addy “national” Design CD/DVD packaging – Mechanical Birds
2008 - Silver Addy – photography print Campaign “local” – De Novo Dahl - CD packaging
2008 - Apple iPod Nano “TV & Print” New York Dolls cover featured in advertising campaign[11]
2009 - Shutterbug Magazine – feature article (March) Pro’s Choice
2010 – Featured article PDN magazine – Scarpati Rocks the House – Legends of Photography Issue
2011 - 2 full page spread - Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition – Bridgestone Tires Campaign


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Allmusic Guide Listing for John Scarpati". Allmuisc (Rovi). Retrieved 15 January 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Discog Listing for John Scarpati". Discog. Retrieved 15 January 2013. 
  3. ^ "Goodreads Catalog Reference for Cramp Slash & Burn". Goodeads Librarians. Retrieved 15 January 2013. 
  4. ^ "Goodreads Catalog Reference for Eyes Wide Open". Goodeads Librarians. Retrieved 15 January 2013. 
  5. ^ "Metal Hammer Article on Scarpati's Midem exhibit". John Scarpati Hooked on Covers. Metal magazine. 1 April 1991. Retrieved 15 January 2013.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  6. ^ HARMANCI, REYHAN (17 October 2010). "Showcases for Locally Made Documentaries". New York Times Article on Fishbone. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 15 January 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Eddy, Lincoln (19 Oct 2012). "Cramp, Slash & Burn: Punk and glam through the lens of rock photographer John Scarpati". Alarm Magazine article on Cramp Slash & Burn. Alarm Magazine. Retrieved 15 January 2013. 
  8. ^ "Smithsonian Presents Screening of Documentary Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone". Newsdesk Newsroom of the Smithsonian. Smithsonian Institution. 10 Nov 2011. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  9. ^ "List of ADDY Award Winners". 2007 ADDY Awards. American Advertising Federation. Archived from the original on 6 January 2013. Retrieved 16 January 2013. 
  10. ^ "List of Regional 2011 ADDY Award Winners". 2011 ADDY Awards. American Advertising Federation Nashville. Retrieved 16 January 2013. 
  11. ^ a b Subramony, Ambika (16 May 2011). "Gallery: A Visual History of the iPod". MacLife Article on the History of iPod Advertising. MacLife. Retrieved 16 January 2013. 
  12. ^ "Altpick Article". Altpick Article on Eyes Wide Open. Altpick. 14 Jul 2010. Retrieved 15 January 2013. 
  13. ^ Zennand, Tina (12 Sep 2010). "Webdesigner Article". Webdesigner Article on Eyes Wide Open. Webdesigner. Retrieved 15 January 2013. 
  14. ^ "La Luz de Jesus Press release". Press Release for Cramp Slash & Bur Show. La Luz de Jesus Gallery. 22 June 2012. Retrieved 15 January 2013. 
  15. ^ a b Biederbeck, Tom (14 Sep 2012). "Mohawk Show Winner Cramp, Slash & Burn". Felt & Wire Magazine article on Cramp Slash & Burn. Felt & Wire Magazine. Retrieved 16 January 2013. 
  16. ^ Wright, Dusty (24 Jul 2012). "Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution". Culture Catch article on Cramp Slash & Burn. Culture Catch. Retrieved 16 January 2013. 
  17. ^ a b "Rush Juno Awards". Juno Awards Database Listings. The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. 2012. Retrieved 18 January 2013. 

External links[edit]