“Look John, I’ve had some great times with this finger.”
“Lennon and McCartney had been playing together since 1957….By 1964 [The Beatles] had played roughly 1200 times, totaling thousands of hours’ playing time, more than most rock bands play in their entire careers.” via
“Hair is the first thing. And teeth the second. Hair and teeth. A man got those two things he’s got it all.” J A M E S B R O W N
Backstage at London’s Rainbow Theatre, March 1973, by David Reed
David Bowie photographed by Steve Schapiro, 1974.
What was the atmosphere of the shoot like when you first met with David Bowie?
He had this reputation of being a rock and roll star with many elaborate costumes, being a very active performer and a very intense performer. I did not know what to expect when he arrived. We had set up in the morning, at 9 o’clock, and he came at 4 p.m. There was no entourage, there was just this person who was calm, really over-intelligent. We talked more about spiritual things than rock and roll or the weather. I was very impressed with the fact that he understood what he wanted to do with the shoot and was very specific in his mind about it.
What was it that he wanted to do with it?
He borrowed a shirt – a sort of blue cropped-neck shirt – from one of my assistants and went into the dressing room, and then he painted those diagonal white stripes on all his clothes – on the shirt and his pants, and he actually painted his toes white also. And then he proceeded to come out, and we had set up background paper. He started to draw circles on the wall and a question mark, and then finally he drew on the paper on the floor the diagram for the Kabbalah’s tree of life, which did not know as much about at that point. So there was a very spiritual reason for the start of this shoot, in his mind. He had brought a lot of outfits with him, but this was something he’d basically created there. And of course this is the outfit that’s shown up again in the “Lazarus” video.
What was your reaction when you saw the outfit again in the video?
It was an amazing experience in the sense that he was not a person who was prone to wear the same outfit twice. And suddenly this outfit – which I’d photographed in 1974 – was appearing in the “Lazarus” video. All of it was extremely emotional to me in the sense that it was a continuity from this shoot that we had done in ‘74, and suddenly here again he’s wearing this outfit which obviously had much more significance to him than I could’ve imagined.
Iggy Pop, London 1972, by Mick Rock.
“I actually think there shouldn’t be any genders. That’s the way humans really are, but there have been elaborate codes adopted to weed out parts of behavior that don’t match whatever gender or social group you want to belong to. But no, I never wanted to look particularly macho. I wanted to look kind of smooth, slinky, and super forward.”
From an astounding 2012 interview in Vice, “The Flesh Machine”