‘I painted John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd blue In 1979 and John got really mad at me because they wanted to be portrayed as authentic blues musicians rather than the duo from The Blues Brothers. I am not afraid to try something corny. Painting the Blues Brothers blue is as stupid as the Blues Brothers being the Blues Brothers. They were taking themselves so serioust about being musicians, they were forgetting that they were actors and comedians. it was a healthy thing to do, It was funny and it worked. I think i went too far in 1981 with Steve Martin surrounded by big splashes of paint. Even his tuxedo was covered. It was the worst-selling Rolling Stone of that year. I realised that it is important for the person to be recognisable or there’s no point.’



, ‘This Is an idea that was ten years in the making. Lennon had been one of my first assignments

when I Joined Rolling Stone. We’d got on well and the pictures used had been the more informal ones so it set a precedent for how I was to work in the future. A head portrait has never been enough for me. The 1980 shot is a confusing photograph but also an Interesting one because it works on so many levels. They were always being photographed In bed together. They even posed naked for the cover oi Tlvo Virgins. This is something very indicative of them. Rolling Stone said: “lust get John" but it was important to him that they’d be pictured together. To me, the story was that they were still together after all those years. The album cover for Double Fantasy was a kiss. in 1980, romance was sort of gone, out of fashion, but I wanted to do something to show how much in love they were with each other. I always imagined It would be an embrace. it naked embrace. But at the last minute, Yoko decided she would keep her leans on. I was frustrated so I said, “leave everything on!" Then they laid down on the floor of their living room while I climbed on a ladder and took the picture. I remember the printing, trying to get the colour of the skin right. I didn’t realise until afterwards how strong the Image was. lie was killed the same day, a few hours later, which right away gave the picture this sense of history. For a last photograph of someone, to this day, it still moves me, it has different layers of meaning. To see him in that vulnerable position, curled up in a foetal position, very naked next to Yoko Ono who is completely clothed and sort of kissing her goodbye. It’s a good Image of John, a really good image, but an image that after his death became something else.’


‘I had to photograph ten comedians for Vanity Fair. I didn’t even know who Whoopi was. it was before The Colour Purple, before Ted Banson. I hadn't seen her perform but I’d seen a video of her act In which she did a routine of a little black girl who wanted to be white so badly she was trying to rub the colour off her skin. I instantly Imagined her in a bathtub trying to do that and decided to photograph her in milk. We warmed up gallons of milk and poured It Into an old fashioned tub. She slipped into It and relaxed and, all of a sudden, the shoot turned Into sornethlng else. She sort of became the milk. i got something different from what I expected.’


8 The List 17—30 June 1994