Former Livingston resident Robert “Bob” Heimall, who graduated from Livingston High School in 1961, as part of the first class to go from 9th grade to 12th, upon completion of the building, has led an interesting storied life. He not only brushed shoulders with iconic rock legends like John Lennon, Carly Simon, James Brown, Jim Morrison and more, while working with them to create their iconic record album covers – he has also helped shape the lives of people in the Dominican Republic and supported the efforts of NY’s corporate softball leagues.
In July 2019, Heimall published a book on his music industry experiences called, “Cover Stories: Tales of rock legends and the albums that made them famous.” The book not only tells the stories behind the creation of the covers – it includes pictures of the albums covers too. In the book, Heimall bares all – sharing his journey in the music industry as he lived the life of “sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.” He also details his spiritual journey.
At the Beginning
Heimall moved to Livingston when he was in third grade and attended Roosevelt Grammar School. He lived in town with his younger sister, Lois Brown, now of Parsippany, his mother Wilma Victoria Heimall, and father, who owned Louis R. Heimall Plumbing and Heating.
“We lived on Dickenson Lane, near the Chatham border out in the sticks,” said Heimall with a laugh. “We were the very last school bus stop on the route, and it took a half hour to get to and from school each day.”
He added, “My dad was the plumber in town back then and he did most of the developments.”
Over the years, he moved back and forth in and out of Livingston, finally settling in at a farm in Sussex County for 40 years, where he lived with his wife Tori, and children Raina, Blake and Ashley. He now has five grandchildren. This July, moved from Vernon, NJ, to become a full-time resident of Cape May, where he’s always had a summer house.
“I’ve being going to Cape May since I was 5,” he says. “My parents had a house there.”
He added, “I love Cape May and I’m so excited to finally be living here full time!”
The Book & Heimall’s Career
Heimall says he showed aptitude as an artist at a young age and enjoyed the art classes he took throughout the Livingston schools. He says he is still friendly with his art teachers, Robert Batitto and Stanley Gorka.
His art prowess led him to attend the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Art and NYU.
He says he spent the majority of his career at Electra Records, Arista Records and more as a designer, photographer, designer and an award-winning art director, where he designed album covers for some of the industry’s finest stars including John Lennon, Carly Simon, James Brown, Jim Morrison.
“I loved my work and really got to know the stars,” she says. “ I developed great professional and personal relationships with them.”
In July 2019, Heimall published a book on his music industry experiences called, “Cover Stories: Tales of rock legends and the albums that made them famous.” The book not only tells the stories behind the creation of the famous covers – it includes pictures of the covers too. In the book, Heimall bares all – sharing his journey in the music industry as he lived the life of “sex, drugs and rock n roll.” He also details his spiritual journey.
The book also includes stories on other artists he has worked with and covers he has designed including the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Nico, Lou Reed, Bread, Queen, Harry Chapin, Jim Croce, Patti Smith, Barry Manilow, Kinks, Outlaws, Dickey Betts, George Burns, Isaac Hayes, Kool & The Gang, The 4 Tops, Ronnie Spector and Reba McIntire.
The back cover of his book says, “From the psychedelia of The Doors’ Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mine to the austere beauty of Carly Simon’s No Secrets, some of the most memorable and groundbreaking images of the last five decades have graced the covers of these rock albums that were created by Bob.”
In his book, Heimall includes an accompanying evocative, humorous, and/or sentimental story for each album he crafted – about the artist, the creative process, the industry and the music he loved. He says that “it was always about the music!”
In the book’s Foreward, written by Holzman, founder of Electra/Nonesuch Records and member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, he says, “As Elektra bloomed in the 1960s, Bob Heimall joined the company and, overnight, doubled the size of our graphics department.”
It also states, “His addition added a more youthful and spirited approach .... when Bob left in 1973, he was ready to go out on his own, which he did with the great success, so well-illustrated within the pages of this book.”
The book also includes a 1970 quote from Jim Morrison that says, “(Jac) take care of Bob... he’s real talented.”
A 1970 quote in the book from Linda Eastman McCartney states, “Bob, one day I am going to marry one of these stars!”
After leaving the music industry in 1980, Heimall started a company called, Corporate Sports, which has been placing corporate softball teams at the best fields in Central Park South for over 40 years. He is the Commissioner.
At the same time, he opened the Bob Heimall, Inc. Graphic Design studio in NYC and taught Visual Communications for 10 years, while in NYC, at Pratt Institute and School of Visual Arts.
Heimall’s Charity Work
Heimall has also dedicated his time to doing missions in the Dominican Republic. He became a part-time Missionary in 1983. He joined the full-time staff of Mission Emanuel in the Dominican Republic in 2003 and has been making four-five trips there a year. He says he goes to the Barios (slums) on the outskirts of Santo Domingo to serve the impoverished people there.
“We built a water purification plant, two Christian schools and a medical and dental center with approximately 300 children, which is sponsored financially by Americans who visit on Short-Term Mission Trips,” says Heimall.
He adds, “Being in the DR has been some of the happiest times of my life – it’s my sweet spot.”
Heimall says he will be going to the DR again in October 2019 and February 2020 to help lead Short-Term Mission Trips.
“My main mission now in the DR is to mentor a young talented lady named, Lissette, in photography and graphic design,” he says. “I’m basically training her to do my job. Part of what our mission does is help the poor people down there learn to help themselves to earn a living. It gives them value and self-confidence, instead of having to wait for handouts and welfare.”
“Lisette is eager to learn and is a blessing to me,” says Heimall. “I love teaching her photography techniques and tricks.”
Heimall says he has enjoyed all the stages of his life and can’t wait to see what the next chapter in Cape May will hold. He also says he’d love to hear from old friends, who would like to reach him at email@example.com and from anyone who reads his book.