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The PinUps album cover photo of Bowie with 60s ‘It Girl’, Twiggy (shot by her boyfriend – photographer Justin de Villeneuve) with makeup by the brilliant Pierre La Roche was planned to be an Italian Vogue magazine cover. Bowie would have been the first man on the cover of Vogue. However, Bowie opted to use the image for his album cover instead.
Justin de Villeneuve:
“[Twiggy and I] met Bowie a few times socially, and he mentioned that he wanted to be the first man on the cover of Vogue. I called them to suggest this, with Twiggy, of course, and after a bit of a hoo-ha, they agreed.
Bowie was working on PinUps in Paris, so we flew there to do the shoot. When Twigs and Bowie were together and lit up, I looked through the viewfinder and realised that David was pure white, whereas Twiggy was tanned from a holiday in Bermuda. There was a moment of panic because I knew it would look bizarre; but the makeup artist suggested drawing masks on them, and this worked out even better. I remember distinctly that I’d got it with the first shot. It was too good to be true.
“When I showed Bowie the test Polaroids, he asked if he could use it for the PinUps record sleeve. I said: ‘I don’t think so, since this is for Vogue. How many albums do you think you will sell?’ ‘A million,’ he replied. ‘This is your next album cover!’ I said. When I got back to London and told Vogue, they never spoke to me again.”
As this was an album of favorites by David’s idols, the title is a dual reference to the pinups teenagers had hanging in our rooms – posters of our idols plastering our walls – and also the title of artist Richard Hamilton’s 1961 collage titled Pin-up (a mixed-media work of a female nude using plastic). Hamilton was the progenitor of pop-art. He designed The Beatles (white album) cover and was also a hero and inspiration to Roxy Music’s Bryan Ferry.
Bowie’s chocolate brown suit on the back cover, with cuffed baggy trousers was purchased from Tommy Roberts’ City Lights boutique.
Also see my story about the 1974 Mainman billboards…
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