Friday, May 13, 2011

THE ROCK PILE/ EYE MAGAZINE

The Rock Pile was an amazingly detailed, 34 inch high pull-out poster insert created in watercolor by the great illustrator/caricaturist Robert Grossman for EYE magazine in 1968. The poster proudly hung in my boyhood bedroom for years. 

The Rock Pile by Robert Grossman (self portrait, lower right) Click to enlarge
All the obvious 1968 R&R/R&B contenders are included, From the Beatles to the The Mother's of Invention, along with some interesting choices, among them, Tim Buckley, Janis Ian, Bobbie Gentry, Ravi Shankar, Leonard Cohen & The Fugs. EYE was the Hearst corporation's short-lived attempt (15 issues) in 1968-69, to cash in on the "youth market" and/or "counter culture" as the media had dubbed it, marketing it mainly to college students, but mostly young women, based on the abundance of ads and articles geared towards them (Helen Gurley Brown was a senior editor). It was oversized, formatted like LIFE magazine, with a Peter Max inspired logo, and included "hip" fold out posters, flexi records and comic book inserts (including Spiderman) in almost every issue to (hopefully) lure the kids.  It didn't work, but this poster is fabulous.

Here's a few of EYE's eye-poppin', hip, happ-nin' covers:

Cover subject John Lennon photographed by Linda Eastman


Brian Wilson-less Beach Boys

Literally, the stones

8 comments:

  1. I think EYE published (in '69?) a pivotal article on the then-popular free-form radio format, that included a favorable nod to WFMU. Not 100% positive about which mag, but I recall it being an early example of "corporate hippiedom" with a short name.

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  2. I used to love Eye, but I never had this issue. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. I was a kid so this mag escaped my notice. Kind of unfortunate it was so short-lived. The Robert Grossman poster is fascinating!

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  4. I admit it, Drew. You're an addiction. There! Happy? I have all 15 loving issues of EYE in a box in my garage. Living in the hinterlands, these types of mags were instruction books on being cool and hip, something I needed so much to do back then! There were others, all pretty short-lived, such as Cheetah, Earth, Paper Bag, and Us (which was in paperback form and edited by Richard Goldstein. And besides these, there was always Playboy, if the guy at Bob's Book Store would sell me one. Thanks for great stuff, Drew!

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  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  6. As I was saying, because of a Google Glitch, all the previous comments on Robert Grossman's Rock Pile poster have disappeared.

    Oy Vey...

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  7. I've left a couple of comments that never made it through to you. Got caught in some kind've loop. Happens so often on my blogspot that people send their comments to me as emails.

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  8. A Drew blog? Okay, I admit it, I'm an addict! Happy? Good! I have all 15 issues of EYE in a box in my garage. Mags like Eye, Cheetah, Paper Bag, Earth, The Realist, Us! (actually a recurring paperback edited by Richard Goldstein from Crawdaddy), they were all instruction books for us poor slobs in the provinces on how to be cool. And, of course, there was Playboy. Eye and Playboy in particular got me paying attention bigtime to illustrators. I just had to somehow get to NY and meet them, which I did! Keep going, Drew... I'll follow you anywhere!

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