Absolute Beginners - Sleeve

David Bowie - Absolute Beginners - London 1986

When Julian Temple made his film of Absolute Beginners he asked us to take photos of all the cast members and I spent a week on the movie set taking portraits of all the Actors. As well as appearing in the film David Bowie had written the title song and was going to make a video to promote it, the record ended up at Number Two on the Single Charts. The video was shot in a variety of locations around the Embankment of the Thames and although I had many great images from the video David and I felt that we should shoot a special photo for the cover. We set up our lights near the Houses of Parliament and waited for a break in the filming, but, not surprisingly they were running late and we ended up taking the photo just as Big Ben chimed midnight. Given the time restriction the photos were done very quickly, but, working with David is so easy that we only needed to shoot two rolls of film. On seeing the contact sheets there was one frame where he had this big smile, but his publicist told me that he would not approve it as he never smiled on his record covers. However, when we want thru the photos together David agreed that there was something special about this frame and agreed for it to be used. To this day it's the only time he ever smiled on a cover.