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Joe Petagno
Birth name Joe Petagno
Born January 1, 1948 (1948-01-01) (age 62)
Portland, Maine
Nationality American
Works War-Pig

Joe Petagno (born January 1, 1948 - ) is an artist known principally for creating images used on heavy metal album covers, for bands such as Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Nazareth, Motörhead, Roy Harper, Marduk, Nightshade, and Illdisposed.

Petagno was born in Portland, Maine and left the United States in 1972. He worked with Hipgnosis before meeting Motörhead's Lemmy in 1975, he designed "War-Pig" for the band's Motörhead album and has continued to design the majority of the album and single sleeve covers for the band.

He is also known for his science fiction book covers, notably for the Corgi SF Collector's Library edition of Ray Bradbury's The Silver Locusts aka The Martian Chronicles. He also did non-heavy metal album covers. When Graeme Edge left The Moody Blues he teamed up with Adrian Gurvitz to form The Graeme Edge Band. Their two releases Kick Off Your Muddy Boots released on the Decca subsidiary label Threshold released in 1975 as a gatefold depicted a rider on horseback in a desert coming across a dead man in American Western-style garb and even included a rendition of the Threshold swooshing face icon. Paradise Ballroom issued in 1977 was also illustrated by Petagno, this time depicting a dancing woman using mainly blues.

When Adrian Gurvitz joined forces with Ginger Baker to form The Baker Gurvitz Army Petagno illustrated their first two vinyl releases, the self titled The Baker Gurvitz Army in 1975 on the legendary Vertigo label which depicted the three members of the group on horseback; and Elysian Encounter, 1975 on the Mountain label depicted almost certainly as "spacemen" or possibly religious figures in the typical early Petagno style, fabulously exotic outfits and suits or armour.

In 1979, Petagno went with a travelling exhibition, sponsored by the Shah of Iran, visiting France and meeting his partner, Sanne, in Denmark, where he has lived ever since.

He has produced illustrations for a deck of playing cards, commercially available as "The Deck of Death".

Petagno appeared in a rare interview on the bonus DVD when Motörhead re-issued their Inferno album as a 30th Anniversary Birthday Edition.



  • Orgasmatron, The Heavy Metal Art of Joe Petagno – Foreword by Lemmy, introduction by Steffan Chirazi. Covers his work with Hipgnosis, designing for Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, and Motörhead. Also contains reproductions of paintings on display in Denmark. ISBN 1-932595-00-7

External links



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