ANDY WARHOL I NEW YORK 1969
In my first year in New York, I was just shooting for myself. I showed someone my portfolio And surprisingly, got an OK to shoot Andy Warhol and his creative team at The Factory.Andy never said a word to me throughout the session, but did everything I asked of him.He was already a social icon of his own design but I truly respected his work in the way it Infused masterful art and aesthetics with commercialism. Andy changed the way we look At art
CARLY SIMON I LOS ANGELES 1974
Carly arrived at my studio in a casual cotton skirt and blouse. I asked what she had on underneath. She stripped down to a black teddy and began dancing around the studio to the soundtrack of SHAFT. The image used on the cover of PLAYING POSSUM was considered to be one of the sexiest ever to be on an album. Carly was actually in the process of a series of yoga exercises! She later commented "Looking at myself I thought-my god, I had a baby 4 months ago. The shot doesn't go along exactly with the image of new motherhood but I liked it!"
THE EAGLES / LOS ANGELES 1976
Soon after commencing the session, the band walked out I had no idea why at the time.A week later, I showed them a poster design I had created by combining a number of individual shots. They loved it and all was forgiven. It became a poster insert for the HOTEL CALIFORNIA album. I shot the Eagles 2 years later for a ROLLING STONE cover and recently re-designed the original poster in color for the re-release of the HOTEL CALIFORNIA vinyl.
FRANK ZAPPA / LOS ANGELES 1976
My early days of shooting were very trial and error. I was exploring how to get artists to let go. Standing opposite Frank I asked him "How far are you willing to go"? He looked at me and almost sneered, "Anywhere you want to go. So we hit him in the face with a pie. Big mistake. We got cream in his ear and he was not pleased. Somehow, Frank's quirky sense of humor and my style of shooting worked well together. I shot Frank many times after that and it was hard not to get a good shot.
JAMES TAYLOR / MARTHA'S VINEYARD 1969
This was my first editorial session in the US. I was hired to photograph James in Martha's Vineyard. I found him alone on a large plot of land single-handedly building a house. We spent a wonderful day hanging out and I photographed James at work. James's music had become an anthem for the times, but here was a very down to earth capenter at work, genuinely building a home. I was impressed. I came back to the house many years later to photograph Carly Simon when they were married.
I 1. IODI FOSTER / LOS ANGELES 1976
JOHN BELUSHI / LOS ANGELES 1981
John arrived for the session with his wife Judy. They danced together, kissed and seemed to be in love and I remember being amazed at how well she handled his outrageous sense of humor.They were really having a ball. In a strange way, John reminded me of one of my best friends at school and as crazy as he was, I saw into him. Beneath the turmoil was a private vulnerability and sensitivity that touched me.
JOHN HUSTON / LOS ANGELES 1985
Sitting opposite John Huston was like being in the presence of a sculptured rock face, and an elder. He was ill at the time and conversation was difficult as he was on oxygen supplementation. I was uncomfortable doing the session and wondered why he had agreed to do it I felt he didn't have long to go. I was wrong. He actually went on do direct another movie - THE DEAD.This image ended up as a billboard for the Apple THINK campaign.\
JOHNNY CASH / NASHVILLE, 1978
My team, including a film crew, drove to the impressive Cash estate outside Nashville, which had a sizable lake adjoining the house. The Cash family greeted us warmly, hanging out in the kitchen before the session began at the lake shore. I got some deeply personal images that were so pensive, even though he was surrounded by a rather large crew. Johnny had a majesty in his presence without being overt about it. I was touched by the authenticity and humility of the man who had achieved iconic status as an artist.
JONI MITCHELL / LOS ANGELES 1987
Over the years, I shot her more than 10 times. She was always astounding. One minute, she is lying on the street using chalk to draw the outline of her body, the next moment I'm in her studio looking at her emotionally evocative paintings. After that, she's playing piano and introducing me to some new work. Later, we end up shooting her in her swimming pool. Joni always came with ideas and we would joust a bit until we agreed on what we wanted to do. Some were straight up photo sessions but once she drove up with a bunch of wolves and we had to set up an electrified fence.
KISS / LOS ANGELES 1975
When KISS first came into my studio, / was astounded. What are grown men doing dressed up like this? I soon found out They had an almost uncanny ability to interact and improvise like a dance ensemble. It reminded me of Kabuki Theater and so I decided to art direct their HOTTER THAN HELL album in a Japanese theme and of course it did well in Japan. KISS defined a brand and continued on to become one of the most successful musical acts with a remarkable sustainability.
MERLE HAGGARD / NASHVILLE 1981
I rented a funky hotel room in downtown LA. The paradox was that we all arrived to the shoot in a limousine. In this shot, Merle was showing me, with a wry sense of humor, the one thing he learned in prison - how to peel an apple in one piece.
1 2. PATTI SMITH & ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE / NEW YORK
1969 Soon after my arrival in New York, I met Robert and Patti at a downtown Manhattan bar. I thought they looked cool and asked them to do a session with me. The authenticity and emotional depth of their love was exactly what I was looking for in my images. 40 years later these shots, which were simply a way for me to build my New York portfolio, have been in great demand for book covers and television & magazine stories around the world.
RAY CHARLES / LOS ANGELES 1985
Ray was testy with me at the start of the session. Ultimately, he loved the process and we ended up with him calling me "brother. It was a seminal session. We plunged deeply into his subjective process and it became a benchmark for where I aspired to go with artists.
Ray summed it up for me: "You can bring yourself to your own incompetence, but there's always more left in the instrument. If you can think of it, see that's the key, to create it in Your mind.
THE ROLLING STONES I LOS ANGELES 1971
For the EXILE ON MAIN STREET session, Mick had the idea of the Stones coming down the ramp of a ship 'defecting to France - for tax reasons. Rather than risk shooting at the Long Beach docks, I decided to build a set The session began at midnight Mick's assistant, in period costume, impulsively turned to kiss Mick and lost her footing and they both came down. I captured a sequence of shots that we turned into postcard inserts of classic "Stones' moments that have since become valuable collectors items.
STEVE MARTIN I LOS ANGELES 1977
I relocated to LA as Creative Director of United Artist Records in 1971.| rented a house in Laurel Canyon and Steve lived in a bungalow on my street Steve's manager gave me a video of Steve sitting on a toilet telling jokes. I took it to the execs at UA. They looked at it and said they didn't think he was funny and passed. I tried. My biggest problem in working with Steve was to hold the camera steady.