Jim Elyea grew up in Texas and Kansas listening to Rock and Roll on the radio in
the 1950s — one of his earliest memories is listening
to “Blue Suede Shoes” as a kid in the back of his parents ’56 Oldsmobile
Super 88. Jim took up the drums in 1960, and later, as a teenager, followed
the music of the British Invasion. Inspired by The Beatles, The Who, and
others, he was able to play the music he loved in local bands. Never far
from gear, in high school he did drawings of his amp designs on his English
homework. When it came time to choose a college, Jim was torn between a career
in electronics or the arts, but chose the later, and in 1973 graduated with
honors from the prestigious Art Center College of Design with a degree in
Jim worked as a graphic artist at several television stations and networks including ABC and CBS. While there, he worked as a courtroom artist, covering trials that included Larry Flynt, John DeLorean, and The NFL vs. the Oakland Raiders. His freelance art clients included Neil Diamond, HBO, and Star Wars/Revenge of the Jedi.
Photo by Alice Hall.
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