Blues singer and friend of the bears, Steve saw a photograph that Claire had taken and posted on Flickr and decided he wanted it for the cover of his 2011 album. The album just happened to be called; “You Can’t Teach an Old Dog New Tricks” and Steve wanted to feature the Labrador-collie cross on its cover. Claire admitted she did not even know who Seasick Steve was when he phoned to ask to use it. He spotted it on the internet and said, because Twm was standing in water, it went well with his stage name. Seasick Steve’s popularity has soared in England since he performed on Jools Holland’s annual hootenanny in 2006, and he has now sold more than a million records.
The 69-year-old singer phoned Claire, originally from Tonna, Neath, last November. He left a message on her answer phone, but she was not sure who he was at first. She said at the time; “I had this voice message from someone called Steve from America, but I wasn’t sure who he was,” she said. “He said he liked my picture and would like to use it on his next album,” she added.
Ms Sambrook, who works as a creative technologies lecturer at Portsmouth University, said the penny dropped when the singer explained he liked the image because it featured Twm standing in water and so it suited his stage name, Seasick. “Steve said he was looking on Flickr when he saw a file called old dogs and he saw Twm. He said he was going to launch a competition to find the right picture, but when he saw Twm he said there was no need for a competition anymore. I think it’s absolutely wonderful for Twm and I’m delighted my picture has been used on the album.”
Claire is credited for her photograph on the album, which also includes a few details about Twm.
After hearing of Twm’s death, Steve said; “Thanks for bein’ my Cover Dog, Twm … sure woulda liked to known you … See you on the other side!”
Twm died peacefully of old age.