Iconic and official photographer of the Swinging ’60s in London, Bailey also photographed the Stones for the following album covers: THE ROLLING STONES NO.2, 12 x 5, THE ROLLING STONES, NOW!, OUT OF OUR HEADS (U.S. edition), GET YER YA-YA’S OUT, and GOATS HEAD SOUP (for which he also did the album design). Also, one of Bailey’s photos of the Stones was used on a Times Square billboard in NYC to promote the DECEMBER’S CHILDREN album in 1965. Mick Jagger was best man at Bailey’s wedding to French actress Catherine Deneuve in 1965. A year later, Bailey planned to make a film titled ‘The Assassination of Mick Jagger’, but the project never got off the ground.
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n the indefatigable Beatles vs. Stones debate, it’s clear which side photographer David Bailey falls on.
“I really liked jazz and the blues before I met (the Stones),” says Bailey, who was in town recently to attend the Rolling Stones showcase “It’s Just a Shot Away,” the inaugural exhibit of the new Taschen Gallery on Beverly Boulevard.
“I liked Willie Dixon and Bill Broonzy and all those guys, and so they immediately appealed to me with their music,” he adds. “Whereas the early Beatles were to me like a boy band until they made the “White Album.” With the Rolling Stones I had a connection. And I liked the idea that they dressed like people on the street, and not some idea that (Beatles manager) Brian Epstein came up with.”
Bailey, the model for David Hemmings’ character in Michelangelo Antonioni’s film “Blow-Up” (1966), helped fuel the white-hot ferment of ’60s Swinging London — a confluence of art, pop, politics and fashion. He became almost as famous as his subjects, who ranged from models like Jean Shrimpton (his lover at the time) and Twiggy to actors like Peter Ustinov, Jeanne Moreau and Oliver Reed to the infamous gangsters the Kray brothers.
“I think music influenced art in a way, and art influenced music; it was a two-way street,” says Bailey, who shot the album covers for the Stones’ “Out of Our Heads” and “Goats Head Soup.”
“There was a certain group in London that nobody knew about: Michael Caine, Jean Shrimpton, (fellow photographer) Terence Donovan — people who had a different attitude,” he adds. “In England we had a thing called the class system. And people like me and the Stones were sort of modest working class. And (the establishment) couldn’t (suppress us) because there was too many of us.”
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