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It makes sense that rock n’ rollers would be lured by the iconography of flight.

Pilots and superstar musicians both enjoy a certain otherworldly freedom most people never know.

A flight crew needs to work closely, like a band of brothers, to successfully complete its mission … just the kind of symbolism that appeals to romantic touring musicians.

And the traditional look of a pilot — leather flight jacket, scarf, goggles and/or reflective shades — connotes a kind of rootsy dash that’s a natural for rockers to want to appropriate.

In honor of Allen Lanier, then, a list of performers who have posed as aviators on their album covers:

Cream, Fresh Cream (the earliest example, perhaps?)

Blue Oyster Cult, Secret Treaties

Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin II

Joe Walsh, So What (adopting the ever-popular shirtless daredevil look)

Jefferson Airplane, Flight Log (I wouldn’t quite count Jefferson Airplane Takes Off, but some people might)

The Royal Guardsmen, Snoopy And His Friends

Pilot, From The Album Of The Same Name (yeah, some of these are gimmes)

The Jackson 5ive, Skywriter

John Cale, Honi Soit (the album’s credits list the band members as members of a flight crew, though I don’t believe they are pictured as such)

Danny Seraphine, Chicago, on the poster inside Chicago III

Richard Manuel of The Band wears what is variously interpreted as a U.S. Air Force or Royal Air Force uniform on the cover of The Basement Tapes

Know of any others? You know where the comments are.


3 responses »

  1. Howard Scott Wallin

    The jacket is not what you think. The tunic is a Queen’s Guard dress jacket of some sort. The navy is extremely rare (only 3 survived a warehouse fire in the Blitz) I bought mine in London in 1966 only to find the Cream got the other. If it survived in storage I still have it.


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