Every morning I stand on my head and do a yoga workout.
I did not want to be somebody who lived off his reputation. I wanted to continue to be part of the modern music scene.
I do not use the word ‘genius’ lightly, but if David Bowie is not a genius, then there is no such thing.
I’d photographed musicians before but this was different. Syd was very charismatic, and he had the aura of a poete maudit, which made him the perfect subject for me – I realised that rock n’ rollers were the modern equivalent of all the poets I was so enamoured with.
It’s a miracle that David Bowie, Lou Reed and Iggy Pop are actually still alive today, given how hard they lived.
It’s funny because unlike back in the seventies when I made hardly any money, today I could just live off the past if I wanted to. I have no interest in that.
My allegiance was always to the act. I wanted them to be happy. I wasn’t owned by a magazine or a record label. And I was a very naughty boy to boot!
Newspapers and magazines didn’t want pictures of musicians behaving badly back then. Now, because of the Internet, that’s all the media wants.
People think: ‘If this photographer’s looking like a big jerk-off, maybe it’s okay if I do.’ I like to catch my subjects off balance a bit.
Somebody had given me a copy of ‘Hunky Dory,’ which had yet to be a hit, although it was starting to percolate. I’d seen a couple of pictures of David, with his interesting hairdo and outfits, and I decided to seek him out, which wasn’t difficult back then, as he was eager to do any kind of publicity.