Terry Quirk, artist who painted The Zombies’ ‘Odessey & Oracle’ album cover, dead at 78

Terry Quirk/Marquis Enterprises Ltd.
Terry Quirk/Marquis Enterprises Ltd.

Terry Quirk, the artist who painted the psychedelic cover of The Zombies‘ famous 1968 album Odessey & Oracle and the group’s latest record, 2015’s Still Got That Hunger, died Tuesday, June 2, at age 78.

The band announced the news in a message posted on its Facebook page, writing, “It is with deep sadness that The Zombies family mourns the loss of our beloved Terry Quirk. Terry passed away suddenly…at his home in Salisbury, England.”

The note continues, “Terry’s visionary cover art is eternally connected to our 1968 album Odessey and Oracle. Almost 50 years later, he graced us again with the covers for our album Still Got That Hunger and book The Odessey.”

The message concludes, “Most importantly, Terry’s irrepressible and mischievous spirit left a smile on the face of every person he met, and that spirit will live on forever in his artwork.  Our hearts go out to his wife Erica and their family.  Rest in peace dear friend.”

Quirk was a childhood friend of Zombies singer Colin Blunstone and bassist Chris White, and in 1967 was sharing an apartment with White and Zombies keyboardist Rod Argent while the band was recording what became Odessey and Oracle.

In a note on his online store, Quirk revealed that he came up with Odessey and Oracle‘s title, and while working on the cover art he misspelled the word “odyssey.”

“[T]hat’s my claim to fame,” he maintained. “There’s lots of theories online about why it’s spelt wrong, but there’s no conspiracy.”

In addition to being an artist, the bio section of Quirk’s official website notes that he was a “writer, poet, songwriter, teacher, university lecturer and pioneering black belt in origami.”

By Matt Friedlander
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