Tom Wilkes (2)
Raised in southern California, Wilkes attended Long Beach City College, UCLA and the Art Center School*, LA in the 1950’s and 1960’s. From late 1967 to 1969 he was art director for A&M Records.
*Now the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena.
Early in 1967 Wilkes was hired by Mamas & Papas manager Lou Adler to art direct and create graphics for what was the first widely promoted rock festival in the world. The First Annual Monterey International Pop Festival, a 3-day concert, that took place two years before Woodstock, on 16th June 1967. Wilkes designed the various promotional materials for the Festival, such as the now collectible 80-page Festival programme, The Festival was a key event in raising the profile of a number of artists, both American and British, such as the Byrds, Otis Redding, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, The Who and Jimi Hendrix. Some 200,000 fans attended the event over the three days, heralding “The Summer Of Love” and the counterculture movement that followed in the wake of “The Beat Generation”.
His Festival work had gained him an intro to design for the Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss label A&M, where he did sleeves for Herb Alpert and the likes of Sergio Mendes, Phil Ochs, and Claudine Longet, often partnering up his ideas with the photographic skills of Barry Feinstein. From 1970 Wilkes formed a creative partnership with Feinstein called Camouflage Productions through to 1973 and became a partner in Wilkes & Braun Incorporated from 1973 to 1974. He then became art director of ABC Records from 1975 through 1977. By 1978 he had formed Tom Wilkes Productions and went on to become President of the non-profit corporation Project Interspeak.