Welcome to the Deborah Samuel Collection of photographs celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the album Moving Pictures. This collection contains a curated selection of alternative front and back album cover images, and a series of photographs of Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee from the same period. Incredibly, these Moving Pictures photographs have remained unseen for 40 years, and are now being unveiled for the first time to help a worthy cause, Grapes for Humanity.
Grapes for Humanity is pleased to work with the Genius 100 Foundation (G100) Gift of Sight Campaign in partnership with Himalayan Cataract Project (HCP). These groups are working to eradicate preventable and curable blindness in low to middle income countries.
Proceeds from the sale of this special anniversary collection of photographs will provide the funds necessary to perform as many sight restoring surgeries ($125USD per) as possible for those in need in various under-resourced regions around the globe where HCP has operations.
Fans of Moving Pictures have undoubtedly stared at its iconic album cover countless times since 1981. Taken outside of the Ontario Legislative building in Toronto, Ontario, the Moving Pictures album cover tells a story, but, according to Geddy Lee, “You have to look quite closely to discover what it is.” The final version of that instantly recognizable album cover was the one chosen from forty-three that were taken that day.
The three alternate versions of the Moving Pictures album cover seen here provide a slightly different look at its ambitious cover. There is photographer Deborah Samuel, depicted as Joan of Arc in each of these previously unseen outtakes. Bob King- the first mover from the left- appears on yet another album cover, this one just five years after he had posed as the “Starman” on 2112. The two young children are both seen screaming in photo number five, perhaps due to not yet having been given their wages; specifically, the promise of a McDonald's lunch! Forty-plus years later, notable in these outtakes is the reveal of the mover carrying the “Starman” picture in photo number 36. That mover- played by Canadian musician Kelly Jay- finally gets his due, decades later, after having been hidden behind the “Starman” painting on the chosen album cover.
The back cover image on Moving Pictures was chosen from sixty-five photos taken at that landmark photo shoot. While many of the friends and crew who appeared on the final back cover are seen in these three previously unseen images, some seem to have wandered off the set, or taken a break during the shoot. A discerning eye will notice the young girl seen standing in front of the Joan of Arc painting in photo number 20 is not seen in either of the two other photos. Similarly, the photographer seen leaning against the silver truck in two of the images seems to be taking a break, and is seated in photo number 11. As Geddy Lee said of this shoot in 2015 from the Moving Pictures chapter of Hugh Syme’s book, “I wish I would have been there. It would have been fun.”
Since 1981, fans of Alex Lifeson have seen but one version of his unique portrait that appeared on the Moving Pictures album sleeve. No alternate versions have appeared in magazines, calendars, books, or online - until now. In celebration of of the Moving Pictures 40th Anniversary, these incredibly rare and never-before-seen versions of Alex’s portrait have been made available.
In the Fall of 2021, Alex looked back on the photo shoot, saying, “I clearly remember the day Deborah Samuel set up for this series of Moving Pictures photographs. Jumping around in the dark with a bright strobe flashing away was disorienting to say the least, but the results fit so well with the album concept and I loved the final photos she produced. I’m thrilled to revisit them and make these prints available in support of Grapes For Humanity.”
Among the numerous portraits of Geddy Lee that have appeared on album sleeves over the course of four decades, perhaps no portrait is held in higher regard than the one from Moving Pictures. These alternate images haven't been seen in forty-plus years. They have been released for this 40th anniversary in support of Grapes for Humanity.
In 2021, Deborah spoke retrospectively about that project, saying, “I used a Monobloc light-head to produce the motion trails of each band member, as the album art concept was a series of visual puns on the words 'moving pictures.'“ Deborah also added, “The Monobloc is a strobe light contained in a light-head, and has a series of dials to vary the intensity and number of flashes desired over a set given time. This was the light source used to create the Moving Pictures band individual photographs.”
Special thanks to Ray Wawrzyniak for his knowledge and contributions.