The great music producer Jimmy MiIler in Los Angeles in 1969 to produce "Let it Bleed" for The Stones. We were out on an excursion for the day in Hollywood with Mick Jagger, Tony Foutz, and yours truly.
My great friend Nancy Lee Andrews has always been one of my favorite photographers and captured a really sweet moment with me and Ringo at their home on Haslam Terrace in West Hollywood. It was super good - right from the start.
Playwright Sam Shepard, a Scorpio, used to while away the hours with me at Alfred Street. We talked so much those hot summer days ... I sometimes wondered how I could ever unspool what he was saying. Then I realized I should just listen.
The level of their talent was astonishing, considering they were not widely known yet. The two days I was with them shooting the photos that would become the back cover of Tom and The Heartbreakers first album was quite an adventure. They all had such distinct personalities. The fellow in the middle with the guitar did not ultimately join the group. At one point I whispered to Tom, “You’d better be good to be this cheeky.”
Gram was the happiest at Aces I’d ever seen him. Aces was an after hours country bar in the City of Industry. The place didn’t get going until 2:00 AM. By the time it was Gram’s turn to get up on stage, he was sprung.
If folks crowded the dance floor two-steppin’ with their ladies, you were home free. It was funny to see those rough and tumble guys sweet talking their girls while Gram crooned in the background.
“This old earthquake’s gonna leave me in the poorhouse…”
When you wandered out into the early morning light the merchants next door at the swap meet were just beginning to unload their trucks, laying out stuff on their tables and blankets.
Gram loved all these people and along with prowling the place for old records, he loved to talk to folks. We both loved that - just as much as life at home in the real world, Hollywood - that is.
Don't think the Chateau Marmont was real -- they had this mad little guy as the receptionist - he was like Tony Perkins in "Psycho". Sometimes he'd answer the phone - sometimes he'd just let it ring.
The hotel was falling apart. It was like a high end boarding house with a story behind every door.
Gram and Tony Foutz lived there - Linda Lawrence and Julian Jones - Me and Denny Cordell - Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski - Donald Cammell , Graham Nash, lots of film makers and musicians in this wacky place with a gigantic billboard of the Marlboro man looming over it from it’s perch high atop the Sunset Strip.
Aces ... ground zero country - if you can't sing - then “git” off the stage!
The painful drive back to LA - the brightly lit sweltering freeway choking with smog..
Trying to reach someone at the Chateau - well if that little dick at the reception desk wasn't going to answer - you'd have to use the stairs ( cause the elevator was always busy) and go and bang on somebody's door or drive over there and wreck your car
trying to park in the garage. I wish I could remember that guy’s name - you'd bang on that bell and that smug little guy would be sitting right inside - watching TV.
Finally on the 30th ring .. "Shat- toe - mar---mont......!" If you weren't nice he wouldn't pick up the phone for another two days.
I wanted to capture her inimitable style, which has been immortalized in countless books, magazines, films, and through the photographic medium.
She represented something that was beyond her own personal story.
To me, she was never someone’s girlfriend or a pop star— she was like a never-ending story that one could visit— then revisit time and again— and find a whole new meaning.
Christine Frka, pictured in this photo, was quiet and playful.
I wanted a mix of comedy and balls. I wanted to say something about the emergence of female power. Christine was a Tim Burton character mixed with a silent film star. The photos from the shoot that day were so good. The combo of me and Christine really worked.
When next I saw Frank Zappa, he immediately wanted to license the photo for an album he was doing called "Hot Rats," which I agreed to. Little did l know it would enter the iconography as it did.
A print will be released in conjunction with "Andee Eye," and will be in the book as well.
One of the perks of living in Rome with my fiancé James Fox was that author and raconteur Gore Vidal lived nearby in a third story penthouse. We often visited him for Sunday brunches, which Gore and his mate of decades, Howard Austen, were famous for. There were always amusing and insightful guests.
One Sunday, we visited Gore with an early pressing of Sgt. Pepper in tow.
After lunch I asked to be excused to put on the album. Gore's penthouse had a rooftop terrace with an amazing view of Rome and the Vatican. The music spilled out onto the terrace.
I couldn't believe what I was hearing as the first strains began. It was clear to me this was a concept album and it was mind-blowingly good. I imagined the heads of Cardinals and Bishops perking up as "With a Little Help From My Friends" wafted over the rooftops and into Vatican City.
I danced until I was out of breath and ran into the dining room. Everyone at the table turned toward me. Gore slammed his hand on the table.
"That's it!" he declared. “They've blown it now. I predict this album will be the end of The Beatles.”
I glanced over at James who shot me a look like... "Do you really want to get into it with Gore for the next hour and debate him?" The whole table was waiting for some sort of show down… but I wasn't going there.
What came to my mind so clearly was— I do not have to defend The Beatles. Not on this day, nor on any other.
1967... The Rolling Stones played the Palazzetto dello Sport in Rome.
My fiancé, actor James Fox and I had been invited by Mick to go to the show. Since we were staying in Rome it was an easy trip to the stadium. More than 5,000 people were attending.
I'd never seen Mick in this world before— I was used to being around him and Marianne Faithfull in more intimate settings in London.
Getting backstage was like a scene straight out of “La Dolce Vita.” Rabid fans tried to tip James’ Jaguar over— they thought one of the band was with us. Poor James was terrified— I could see all the excited faces pressed against the car windows, and the car was rocking wildly back and forth. Finally we scared them off with the help of some local Italian police.
When we made it backstage, we were greeted with one of the most surrealistic scenes I had ever witnessed— Fellini, Lollabrigida, Ponti over in the corner smoking cigarettes… flashbulbs popping... Mick working the room as the ultimate host. He was spectacularly good at it. Everything so glamorous. The best and brightest of Rome!
Brian Jones in a white fedora and pink suede shoes flirting with Italian heiresses, Stash De Rola showing off one beauty after the other.
Someone kept filling my glass with champagne which sent the room whirling.
What caught my eye was Keith Richards off by himself in a separate room. I could see him through a large glass window – hunched over his guitar. I didn’t know Anita had left Brian for Keith just days before.
When they called for the Stones to take the make-shift stage, Mick took me with him down a long hallway up the stairs. I could hear the crowd roaring— stomping their feet— incredible excitement was building
Mick told us to move to the right at the front of the stage! I realized there was no way off. We were right in front of all the screaming fans desperate to see The Stones.
I tried to hide behind James but he kept swinging me around in front of him.
The crowd was pumped beyond belief. Boys tossing their underwear at the stage shouting "Meek… Keef… Brian… Charlie... Bill…!!!!"
When the Stones started to play – everything made sense. I had no idea music could pump through us like that. And what music it was— Under my Thumb, Lady Jane, Satisfaction… it was rip your shirt off good!!!
No light shows needed in those days, no magic lasers. Just the raw spectacular talent of those Rolling Stones…
Leon Russell invited me to go with him and Denny Cordell to the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium as a prospective venue for the L.A. leg of the "Mad Dogs & Englishmen" tour.
While Denny was backstage talking to the management, Leon motioned for me to follow him. We stepped through the curtains onto the stage.
Just the two of us facing an empty house.
“If you can sing to one person, you can sing to a million. It’s all in a raindrop.”
“What is, Leon?” I asked.
“The ocean.” Sometimes when he smiled he reminded me of Clark Gable. He pointed towards the auditorium. “I want them rushing the stage.”
“You do?” I asked. He nodded and smiled. He was straight out of a medicine tent from the heart of Oklahoma. This man was the real thing.
Leon Russell, Denny Cordell, the pilot and I almost went down in this little twin-engine plane on the way back from George Van Tassell's Integratron in Giant Rock, near Joshua Tree. It was apparently the worst rainstorm LA ever had. The guys wanted to visit with Van Tassell who was showing us his energy meter and letting us into his life long work, The Integratron.
The pilot lost radar - the storm pitching the little plane left and right. Leon and I were in the back seat -- he took my hand and said, "We need to white light this plane Miss A," which we did.
Once radar was gone, the pilot was becoming more and more agitated - until Deny Cordell saved the day by speaking him down in such a soothing way. Basically Denny brought that plane in and saved all of our lives.