David Bowie: ICON Book: Photos by Terry O’Neill, Mick Rock, Norman Parkinson, Masayoshi Sukita, and More

The TransSiberian Express

david bowie icon book iconic images

October 13, 2020, 11:31am

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Geoff MacCormack: “I was, firstly, a Bowie band member in the ’70s; singing backing vocals, playing percussion, dancing and choreographing movements in performances of ‘Aladdin Sane/Ziggy’, ‘Diamond Dogs’ and ‘Young American’ tours, plus recording on six albums. 

“Masayoshi Sukita acquired a Nikkormat camera for me in April ’73, just after David and I arrived in Tokyo (by ship) for a tour. The first picture I took of David was an outside shot beside a carriage on The TransSiberian Express, which is one of the images I’ve included in this selection.

“To have a collection of images, of my friend of 60 years, documenting that era and to share them is, for me, a great joy.”

© Geoff MacCormack/Iconic Images

david bowie icon book iconic images

Andrew Kent on Getting Bowie’s Approval

October 13, 2020, 11:31am

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Andrew Kent: “I was hired on the basis that: If you get along with David and he likes your pictures, you’ll have the job. I ended up travelling on the tour through the United States and then Europe. They just kept adding more dates. After the first few shows, we had a late night session to approve the photos. I’d marked each one and David said, “Your choices are fine. We don’t have to do this anymore.” I was the first photographer to get blanket approval from David. I could use anything I wanted and was given access to shoot everything. David didn’t like a camera in his face all the time, so I would only take shots at worthwhile moments. I had a good feeling for when it was appropriate.

“In 1976, we were stopped on a train at the border between Russia and Poland. We were on transit visas and we got taken off the train by a KGB agent. He looked at us and said, “We weren’t expecting you.” They took some magazines from us at the headquarters and sent us on our way. Iggy Pop was travelling with us and they strip-searched him and David when we got close to the border. I travelled with a Swiss Army knife and collected all kinds of weird things. I had a little plaque from a train bathroom that said ‘toilet paper’ on it in four different languages. I hid all the stuff in our compartment. Luckily it wasn’t searched. The press were waiting for us at the station and the headline was ‘Bowie Missing in the Soviet Union’.”

© Andrew Kent/Iconic Images

david bowie icon book iconic images

Bowie Photographed Performing Live on Stage in 1983

October 13, 2020, 11:31am

Janet Macoska: “In 1978, for the ‘Isolar II’ tour of the U.S., I learned Bowie had banned all photographers from shooting his shows, but I was determined. When the local promoter asked me to come down early to shoot Bowie’s unique stage set-up for their archives. I did. The trade was that they would turn me loose in the building and forget about me. David had huge security gorillas on each side of the stage in the wings to spot photographers. They would go into the audience and take the film. I cuddled into a row of very nice people so that I could lean out and photograph David. At one point he stopped directly in front of me, smiled and shook a finger at me, as he’d caught me in the act. But he told the big guys to leave me alone and I was permitted to shoot the entire show. Blessed by God.”

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david bowie icon book iconic images

Greg Gorman on Meeting a Creative Genius

October 13, 2020, 11:31am

Greg Gorman: “I was more than a bit nervous to meet such a creative genius, not to mention a real legend. So, I was quite surprised when we came face to face to realise not only how extremely down-to-earth but very, very funny with a tremendous sense of humor he was. That certainly helped relax me for what was to be the first of many photo sessions over the next 10 years.

“I remember one early January day in Los Angeles, David called to invite me to his small birthday party at a then relatively unknown restaurant called Matsuhisa (Nobu’s). He asked if I knew it, to which I responded that I didn’t! In his inimitable form, David replied, ‘Well, in your words, Greg, it’ll blow your balls off!’ Classic David.”

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david bowie icon book iconic images

Bowie Poses With a Large Barking Dog for Publicity Shots for His 1974 Album ‘Diamond Dogs’ in London

October 13, 2020, 11:31am

Terry O’Neill: “At first, I was just asked to shoot some reference photos of David – and a dog – on-the ground, posing. These stills would be used to help guide the Belgian artist Guy Peellaert when painting the portrait that ultimately would become the album cover, complete with gatefold sleeve. For the next session, following the same theme, images were going to be used for publicity, possibly the album interior, concert promos, that sort of thing. On the scheduled day, he walked in with a few assistants, one leading in a giant dog. The dog was going to be placed at his feet. So far, so good. Bowie stretched out in his chair and I started to work. At every snap of my camera, the dog grew more and more agitated. The clicking of the camera matched with the popping of the lights must have set the dog off. At one point, the strobe that was hovering above the star and his canine companion encouraged the now-barking dog to leap. People who were gathered shrieked and took cover. I was tucked safely behind my camera. And David? David didn’t move an inch.” 

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david bowie icon book iconic images

David Bowie

October 13, 2020, 11:31am

David Bowie poses for Gerald Fearnley’s photoshoot for his self-titled debut album in in 1967.

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© Gerald Fearnley/Iconic Images

david bowie icon book iconic images

Photographer Janet Macoska on Her Love for Bowie

October 13, 2020, 11:31am

Janet Macoska: “For the 1983 ‘Serious Moonlight’ tour, I was credentialled to shoot the Cleveland show. It was during this that I produced what I now consider my favourite Bowie photo, which is also my favourite photo of everything I’ve taken in my 46 years as a professional. It is an image that could have been produced in a studio, but was indeed on stage, in a 1/60-of-a-second moment. The image shows Bowie, left hand in his trouser pocket, bowtie undone. As his right hand holds the mic at his side, his head bows to his left, and a sneer covers his face. The actor/mime/musician/ fashionista combine together in this perfect image of David Bowie, icon, and hero.”

“In 1995, I was able to meet David Bowie during his ‘Outside’ tour with Nine Inch Nails and presented him with a framed copy of my favourite image of him. About three weeks later, I received an envelope from Switzerland in the mail. I didn’t know anyone in Switzerland. It was a handwritten letter from Bowie, on his embossed stationery, thanking me for my gift of the photograph. He asked that I please excuse his tardiness in sending thanks. A handwritten note. Politeness. What a perfect British gentleman! It only made me love him more.”

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© Janet Macoska/Iconic Images

david bowie icon book iconic images

Masayoshi Sukita on Photographing Bowie

October 13, 2020, 11:31am

Masayoshi Sukita: Seeing David Bowie on stage opened up my eyes to his creative genius. I watched Bowie perform with Lou Reed and it was so powerful. Bowie was different to the other rock & rollers: he had something special that I knew I had to photograph.”

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david bowie icon book iconic images

David Bowie, November 8, 1995

October 13, 2020, 11:31am

Kevin Cummins: “Always strive for the best. I told Bowie years later that he was responsible for the career I’d chosen. He looked mortified and replied, ‘Oh no. I get blamed for a lot. I don’t want to be responsible for this too.’ – then laughed…”

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david bowie icon book iconic images

Photographer Geoff MacCormack Was Friends With Bowie for 60 Years

October 13, 2020, 11:31am

Geoff MacCormack” To have a collection of images, of my friend of 60 years, documenting that era and to share them is, for me, a great joy.”

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© Geoff MacCormack/Iconic Images

david bowie icon book iconic images

Photographer Geoff MacCormack Was Friends With Bowie for 60 Years

October 13, 2020, 11:31am

Geoff MacCormack” To have a collection of images, of my friend of 60 years, documenting that era and to share them is, for me, a great joy.”

FIND THE BOOK

david bowie icon book iconic images

Bowie’s Heterochromia Iridis for His ‘Pin Ups’ Album in 1973

October 13, 2020, 11:31am

Justin de Villeneuve: “Twiggy and I flew to Paris where David was recording his new album, ‘Pin Ups,’ and I booked a studio to take the portrait. When T & B sat in front of me, I realised we had a problem. Twiggy and myself had just returned from the Bahamas and she had a dark tan. David was as white as a ghost. They looked weird together. The problem was resolved when the make-up artist Pierre LaRoche and myself decided to draw masks on their faces of the same colours. It was only when I looked through the lens viewfinder that I noticed Bowie’s eyes were different. All the times I’d met him before and I had never noticed!

“When I showed David the Polaroid of the portrait, he loved it and asked if he could have it as the cover of his new album. I replied, ‘But this is a special commission for Vogue.’ Then I asked him how many albums he thought he would sell. ‘A million,’ he replied. I realised Vogue would sell about 80,000 copies, which would soon be forgotten so I agreed David could use it as his next album cover. Vogue never spoke to me again!”

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© Justin Villeneuve/Iconic Images

david bowie icon book iconic images

Markus Klinko on Shooting Bowie’s Album Cover

October 13, 2020, 11:31am

Markus Klinko: “I was working with Iman in 2001. I had just photographed her for the cover of her forthcoming coffee table book, I Am Iman, and we had scheduled an editing meeting. To my great surprise, she was accompanied by David. He was every bit as charismatic as one would expect. About half an hour into the editing session, David turned around and asked me if I would be interested in shooting the cover of his next album! I couldn’t have been more thrilled.”

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