Cream Collaborator Martin Sharp Dies at 71
The Australian artist was also a filmmaker, designer, cartoonist and songwriter. In addition to illustrating the cover art for Cream’s ‘Disraeli Gears’ and ‘Wheels of Fire’ albums, he also co-wrote the lyrics to the band’s 1967 song ‘Tales of Brave Ulysses’ with Eric Clapton, whom he shared a house with.
Sharp first made waves in 1964, when one of his drawings for his college newspaper led to an obscenity charge. He was also sentenced to jail for four months for his work on Oz, an underground magazine that he also wrote and designed for. He was later acquitted.
Oz later had a huge effect on the London music scene in 1967. Sharp’s psychedelic works were an influential and defining part of the era, and he was a major figure in the region’s bohemian scene.
Throughout the ’70s he continued working on his art, opened a gallery and became obsessed with singer Tiny Tim, who became the subject of a 1988 movie made by Sharp. Over the past couple decades he worked on his paintings and did some commercial work.
According to The Guardian, Sharp was “given to free association ramblings … [and was] a former enthusiast of LSD and nicotine.” His heavy smoking eventually led to the emphysema responsible for his death.