Elder — who’s known for his work on several Eagle’s album covers, lived in Valentine, Texas, where he worked on his art out of an old barn.
“Most fine artists have their work in museums or collections,” said Elder “My work is in millions of households all over the world.”
In 1973, some of the work that Elder had displayed was lost to a fire at his Valentine studio. With no local fire department to respond, the old family garage, which had become Elder’s makeshift studio, burned completely.
He was left with nothing. But shortly after, Elder received two wild steer skulls, a bull and a cow. So he painted them — pinstriped — just like he would to the hotrods he loved as a teenager. One of those skulls, he covered in a soft blue, adding reds and yellows, feathers and even wings. It became the album art for the Eagles 1975 album One of These Nights. The artist continued his work over the years and was a well-known presence in the Big Bend.