I don’t remember much about this shoot, though it may have been for a Melody Maker feature with interviews from each of the Stones. I do remember that there was lots of Champagne to drink and Mick seemed in quite the fun mood. Keith didn’t turn up to be photographed, though I heard later that he was up on the roof and didn’t want to see anyone!
For this picture in Pete’s garden by the river Thames and opposite the ‘legendary’ Eel Pie Island, we set up some of his young daughter's toys. Pete dressed up in a ‘Pearly King’ outfit with banjo and got his faithful Spaniel ‘Towser’ to pose elegantly for a few shots, I can’t remember what the article was about, but all the shoots we did were a lot of fun. A pity that Pete didn’t carry on with his page, as he was a great writer and offered a unique perspective into the business and music world from the ‘inside out’.
Chris Welch and I were sent off to spend a few days with the Yes band in Switzerland. In fact, we spent a week or so touring with them and nearly got ‘fired’ by our editor for being AWOL. It was a lot of fun and great to have been there at the beginning of their long and eventful career.
Thanks to my mates Fat Fred & Patsy who were the security guards to the stars of the time, I managed to get to the front of the stage as “Ziggy Stardust” was playing out his last days. Despite Bowie’s management’s attempts to stop him from being photographed, I lucked out having the right friends in the right places. This image ran as the cover shot of the May 8th, 1973 issue of the Melody Maker.
In November 1973 The band did a USA tour which I was asked to go on with the Melody Maker to cover a couple of dates in Philadelphia and New York which ended up at a fantastic party celebrating the discovery of the comet Kohoutek at the Hayden Planetarium, with Stevie Wonder, Alice Cooper and half of the New York music scene. Afterwards I remember Stacia and I going to Max’s Kansas City where The New York Dolls were supposed to be playing, there we met Lou Reed, who was sitting quietly at a table and who on being introduced to the six-foot-tall Stacia, turned ‘a whiter shade of pale’ and inexplicably fled the club.
For some reason I’d always associated Leonard with sad girls living in lonely apartments crying their eyes out, and I thought he must be the saddest man ever. To my surprise he was just the opposite. He laughed and joked all through our interview and smiled a lot. He was a poet, and is still one of the great Canadian songwriters, alongside Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, etc.
I was with Mick Watts, the writer from the Melody Maker, doing an interview with Roger in this rather dark and cramped basement flat, illuminated only by one small window looking out onto the backyard. We were sitting round the kitchen table talking, I was taking pictures and Roger was in deep thought about something and about to speak, when a black cat suddenly jumped up on the table, sat down and stared intently out of the window. A few seconds later, another cat jumped up joined the first and then a third. Then as Roger turned to see what they were observing so intently, ‘snap’, I got this shot.