Locus Focus: Pink Floyd's Burbank Burning Man

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Those trailblazing album cover artists at Hipgnosis followed their memorable prism design for The Dark Side Of The Moon sleeve with a more traditional photo on Pink Floyd’s next offering in 1975.

Wish You Were Here featured two suited businessmen shaking hands at the Burbank movie studios lot north of Los Angeles. The Warner Brothers Studios tour guide will still gleefully pinpoint the spot at the intersection of the Mill Building and Stage 16 at 4000 Warner Boulevard, Burbank, California.

More traditional it may have been, but the photographic approach on Floyd’s new album cover had, as usual, a memorable and inspirational Hipgnosis touch: Storm Thorgerson’s photoshoot required one of the businessmen to be engulfed in flames. As the image was created before the common use of computerised imagery, stuntman Ronnie Rondell was kitted out with fire-resistant underclothes beneath a business suit and a wig.

Once set alight, the safety precautions worked – up to a point. They hadn’t taken into account the wind direction – it blew towards Rondell, burning his moustache, before he and fellow stuntman Danny Rogers changed positions.

The Wish You Were Here cover is location No.30 in Rock Atlas USA, published by Red Planet, price £22.00