When I came to London in 1972 I wanted to photograph T-Rex’s Marc Bolan originally – I didn’t know who David Bowie was. But after the shoot with T-Rex I saw a poster, the cover of The Man Who Sold the World which was advertising an upcoming David Bowie gig. The poster was such an arresting image that I decided to go to the concert. 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 and rollers, he had something special that I knew I had to photograph.
I stayed in the Portobello Hotel in London – the hotel was famous for hosting American rock and rollers at the time. The staff there were very glamorous, I always remember that. I heard rumours from the staff about what Bowie was like while he was staying there that spurred me on to capture him even more. I came to London with Yasuko Takahashi, she’s a stylist and she managed to get in contact with David Bowie’s manager. I told her that I was desperate to work with him and she told his manager. I brought my portfolio to his manager who thankfully liked my work and granted me a session to shoot with David. That was the start of a 40 year collaboration.