from San Francisco, United States
January 23, 2010
Dennis is an accomplished graphic designer specializing in music related marketing materials & publication design. He has created album covers, posters, and print ads for Roky Erickson, Frank Zappa, Johnny “Guitar” Watson, Marty Balin, Denise Williams, The Blues Project, Barry White, Jesse Winchester, Willie Nile, The Bobby Fuller Four, Rick James, Muddy Waters, Jimi Hendrix, Big Brother & The Holding Company, Moby Grape, Paul McCartney, Jefferson Starship, Joan Baez, The Velvet Underground and many others. Dennis was born in Detroit in 1946. After graduating from Edsel Ford High School in 1964 – he worked full time – while attending evening art classes at the Center For Creative Studies. He was drafted in September 1965 and was later stationed overseas in Sinop, Turkey. In the spring of 1967, he was sent to the Presidio in San Francisco. After his discharge, he decided to stay in SF Bay area, because of the vibrant art and muisc scene. Dennis formed a band called “Mercury Vapor,” with guitarists Joe Toschi & David Green. His musical high point was jamming with BB King at The Fillmore West in February of 1970. He returned to Detroit in July 1970 where he continued doing graphic art and music. In 1975, Dennis recorded his song “Let Go” for the “Stone Soup” album. On this recording, he was accompanied by Ted Lucas (of The Spike-Drivers), Bill Long (of The Tidal Waves) and Mike Waddell. “Stone Soup” was a compilation of 11 Detroit area singer-songwriters. Dennis worked with Stanley Mouse on the Ted Lucas solo album cover design. In 1976, he worked at the Detroit Sun with Gary Grimshaw and John Sinclair. In 1978 Dennis became the Art Director for Goldmine magazine. During this time he also began to work with Detroit indie labels (Spider, IDBI, Tremor, FTM, Maverick, Westbound, Sound Of Gospel and others) as a freelance designer. Throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s he did hundreds of flyers, posters, record sleeves in Detroit for groups, such as, The Rockets, Sonic’s Rendezvous Band, Patti Smith, The Romantics, The Mutants, Cinecyde, The Ivories, Destroy All Monsters, Natasha, The Reruns, Flirt, The Torpedos, Natasha and The Hysteric Narcotics. In 1986, started working again with Gary Grimshaw at Creem magazine. Cambray Publishing (who owned Creem and its sister magazines Metal and Rock Shots) relocated to Los Angeles 1987 and Dennis became the Art Director. After Creem was sold in 1991, Dennis started freelancing fulltime with labels, such as, Rhino, Bomp, Del-Fi, Vanguard, Priority, Curb, Bellmark, Solid/Navarre, Ichiban and others. While living in Hollywood, he also designed posters for The House Of Blues, The Roxy, The Hollywood Bowl, The Whisky A Go-Go, The El Rey Theater and The Palladium. Dennis now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and continues to produce illustrations, CD & LP packages, posters and other music related merchandise. In 2004, he worked with Mark London on the packaging for Brian Wilson’s SMiLE CD & LP. Dennis maintains a very strong connection to his Detroit roots, which can be seen in his concert poster designs for contemporary bands, such as, The White Stripes, The Dirtbombs, The Detroit Cobras and may others. Some of his concert poster work appears in “The Art Of Modern Rock” by Paul Grushkin and Dennis King (Chronicle Books). He and his art also appear in “American Artifact – The Rise Of American Rock Posters,” a documentary film about rock posters and artists. The film was written and directed by Merle Becker of Freak Films, Inc.
Flash Player 9 required to view this site. Download it for free here.