Golden Earring’s 25th and final full length studio album was 2012’s Tits ‘N Ass. The album contained 14 tracks, and is one of their more underrated albums with rocking cuts like “Identical”, “Little Time Bomb”, “Dope Runner”, and “Avenue Of Broken Dreams”, as well as a few ballads, notably “What Do I Now About Love”. With many of the band’s releases Tits ‘N Ass was not released in North America.
Tits ‘N Ass stands out visually, with the artwork of artist Claudia Hek. From The Netherlands, Claudia Hek is best known for her pin-up art and tattoo designs, described ‘as a mix of comic, old school and realism in a retro jacket.’ Her cover-art for Golden Earring is her best known – but not the only album cover to feature her work.
In this short interview, Claudia tells the story behind her creating the cover for Tits ‘N Ass, as well as more about her artwork, influences, other album covers and more. The album Tits ‘N Ass is being reissued in October on limited 180-gram translucent red colored vinyl (Music On Vinyl).
Your art was used for the cover of Golden Earring’s Tits n Ass album. Was the art already done and selected by the band or was it created specifically for the album? How did that come about?
It was created specifically for the album. I got a call from the record company if I wanted to create the album art for the band. Apparently Barry Hay who loves pin-ups and tattoo art got in touch with my work and really liked it.
Can you tell me a bit about that drawing – does it have it’s title or character name?
The title for the album was Tits and Ass and they told me they wanted a pin-up that showed tits and ass and that was what I created.
How was this created and what inspired that particular piece, with the airplane, etc… ? And were you happy with ended up appearing (on record)
The photo of the background was created by somebody else. I only made the illustration and I think another graphic designer put it all together. I was curious to see if my work would look good on a photograph but it came out great.
Being from the Netherlands, how familiar were you with Golden Earring? (much of a fan of their music?)
I like them. I’m not a huge fan but most of their hit songs I really like. And through the illustration I got to meet Barry and see them live two times which was great! I also read the book Hay and loved that too. Barry is a really nice guy!
What sort of music do you listen to (or purchase) – -any favorite bands or musical artists?
I listen to all kinds of music but mainly rock n’ roll. I am a big fan of the Rolling Stones, I love country, southern rock, 60’s beat, rockabilly, soul and old blues but also listen to classical music and reggae. Basically everything besides techno or electronic music.
Has your art been used on many other album covers? Can you give me a few names or details[?]
Yes, I made a few record covers, for ‘the Boogie Chillers’, a great Dutch garage band from Groningen, ‘the Anaconda’s’, a surf band from Amsterdam, ‘Tio Gringo’, a hillbilly band also from Holland, and a few 45 covers, for ‘E.T Explore Me’, a Dutch garage punk band, ‘the Doodle-Li-Bop’s’, a garage band from Switzerland, and the ‘Transatlantic Bunnies’. a pop band from the Netherlands with members from the US and Canada.
I also did a lot of poster art and logo’s and t-shirt designs for bands when I was still active in the music scene as a drummer, but not so much anymore.
What sort of influenced your own art – the style that and characters in your work?
I’ve always been hugely influenced by pin-up art from the 40’s and 50’s and comic art. Bettie Page has always been a great inspiration and artists like Bill Ward and Eric Stanton are two of my favorites.
Can you tell me a few details of your (new) book? And is there prints of your art pieces (Such as Tits n Ass) available at your website?
My book gives an overview of my work from the last 10 years and also contains a short personal story. It’s very versatile, it contains not only my pin-ups work but also my graphic work, my poems, tattoo designs, animals, kinky stuff, spiritual stuff, realistic pencil- and pen drawings and some comic drawings.
And besides all that it also contains about ten short stories / testimonials that other people wrote. It’s more personal than my first book which came out ten years ago and only contained images.
Both my new book and prints of my art (including the illustration I made for the Golden Earring) are all available through the webshop on my website: www.claudiahek.com