Curtis Mayfield

Pencil Portrait by Antonio Bosano.

Curtis Mayfield Pencil Portrait
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The quality of the prints are at a much higher level compared to the image shown on the left.


A3 Pencil Print-Price £20.00-Purchase

A4 Pencil Print-Price £15.00-Purchase

*Limited edition run of 250 prints only*

All Pencil Prints are printed on the finest Bockingford Somerset Velvet 255 gsm paper.

P&P is not included in the above prices.


The hand of fate was not kind to Curtis Mayfield. In the midst of reviving his career in 1990, after dealing with his record label going bankrupt and a stale reception for his 1985 album, “We Come in Peace With a Message of Love,” he had subsequently issued two LP’s “Take It to the Streets” and “The Return of Superfly,” whilst embracing younger artists like Lenny Kravitz and Ice-T who cited him as an influence. That summer, he played an outdoor concert in Brooklyn where he suffered a freak accident that all but ended his career.

In 2016, the singer’s son, Todd Mayfield, released a biography of his father, “Traveling Soul: The Life of Curtis Mayfield,” with coauthor Travis Atria. That fateful concert is graphically recounted in the book and covers in detail the struggle Mayfield faced, living as a quadriplegic, in the years leading up to his death in 1999. It isn’t an ultimately uplifting read.

Focus instead on his life’s work. In his formative years, he used to love playing boogie woogie on the piano and he learned to play that in F sharp which meant he was playing all the black keys. That’s how he stumbled upon his unique sound on the guitar because he tuned it that way. Whilst standard guitar tuning is E-A-G-B-E, Mayfield would use his instantly recognizable and eccentric open F sharp tuning for the rest of his career. He would also become proficient on bass, drums and saxophones.

Mayfield’s individualism on the guitar later put him in Rolling Stone Magazine’s 100 Top Guitarists of All Time and admiration from such guitar giants as Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. Recalled Hendrix’ drummer, Mitch Mitchell: “Jimi was the only man I knew who knew how to play that Curtis Mayfield style. He would occasionally break into Mayfield’s guitar style and falsetto onstage.”

Check out Mayfield’s “Superfly” soundtrack album from 1972 as just one example of numerous soul and funk classics he would record. Rhino’s “The Very Best of Curtis Mayfield” is another essential release for your driving collection. “Move on Up “ indeed!!!!!!!!!!!