I was living in a garage in England in 1993 (long story) and desperate for money, though I was just months away from raising $2 million for a startup business there. Derek Sutton, Robin's manager in Hollywood, called me from there and said Robin wanted to see me about a cover. Robin lived just 45 minutes away from where I was living, but he loves doing stuff like that. I thought I would bring him transparencies of my latest batch of paintings which I had done in LA.
I got to their house in Forest Row, bang up next to the 100 Acre Wood of Pooh fame, and showed Robin my latest paintings. "Oh, I want THAT one for the cover!" he exclaimed, pointing to one of the trannies. I hadn't meant for him to pick one of the paintings, only to use the photos as a starting point...after all, we hadn't worked together for years.
I got the two mill, bought a Mac Quadra computer and used this digital recreation of the painting as a tutorial in Photoshop and Painter. This is the first image I ever created digitally....so you see, I've had lots of firsts with Robin, one way and another (including my driving a hundred miles an hour in Death Valley in his Corvette in the dead of night with no moon when he reached over and flipped off the light swtich for a giggle). It's a wonder we are both alive.
I came up with this basic design in 1974 as a Caran D'ache comp for a cover for Ron Charles (or so I thought), a singer friend of mine, and had always wanted to do a painting of it. I had the chance to paint a series of paintings in LA in 1990 when I had a great studio, and did this painting, along with many others (see "paintings"). After Robin had selected it, I came back to the garage and looked through my plan drawers to find the comp. I found it...but it wasn't for my friend Ron, it was an alternative comp I had done for Robin for the Long Misty Days cover, but never showed him, because I preferred the autumn leaf design. I couldn't believe it! Robin had zeroed in immediately on a design that was meant for him 14 years earlier!
I called him to tell him, and he remarked, "I guess that cover was really meant to be mine, huh?"