On rubbing elbows with VIPs I grew up with celebrities. In Malibu you’re always around it. It never affected me—half of the people that I photograph, I grew up with. They were not celebrities before I shot them, and I’ll sometimes forget that they are famous and that we have to hide their cars or the paparazzi are going to follow them to the shoot. It’s very shocking to me. I’m not jaded by it—I’m proud of them and happy for them.
On John Taylor What’s not pretty about his face? He’s just about as pretty as a man can get! Our daughters—Jesse Jo and Atlanta (Bean)—grew up together, inseparable, always dressed alike in matching jean cut-off shorts.
On CL A complete force to be reckoned with; a woman totally in charge! At the same time, she possesses a very pure and sweet innocence. She has such a distinctive point of view and understanding of style that it’s a gift to have a moment to shoot with her.
On Lionel Richie’s generosity We didn’t have a place to live in Hollywood and he rented us a house that was really affordable. It was a godsend for us to be near our work and be able to raise our new child when we couldn’t afford a house like that. He was very generous, he and [his second wife] Diane.
On Joel Madden, or the new breed of rockstar He is a real family man. That’s what he’s all about. He is the epitome of a new breed of rockers—his values are incredible. It used to be drugs and rock ‘n’ roll and chicks that were cool. Now it’s being sober, being rigid, drinking juice, worrying about your family, and going on the road to make money and coming back and being serious about life.
On Cher First off, I was obsessed with her wardrobe. She’s so iconic in her choices and she’s very micromanaging. It was hard for me—she’s been my mentor, so it was me switching it around where I’m going to tell her what to do and how to dress and it’s in my control. She let me take over the photo shoot and the pictures and the makeup. She’s not used to that. She sets everything for herself and for her, it was a very big deal to not have any control over the situation. She also doesn’t really shoot with anyone. Magazines will ask if they can photograph her and she’ll tell them, ‘I only shoot with her.’ That has been really interesting. She still does her publicity shots for her albums when she has to, but she doesn’t do sessions.
On Linda Ramone & J.d. KING I entered the Ramones’ ranch not knowing what to expect. Upon my arrival we had a lovely espresso sambuca. The music was playing—of course, vinyl. The room that made me laugh was the Mickey & Minnie Mouse bathroom. Linda is obsessed with Disney and she has a great sense of humor and whimsy. I walked away feeling as if I was transported to another time and place, Linda’s own museum of an era that was so preciously preserved.
On Duff McKagan and finance writing He’s a writer, a very big writer, and I see him as the guru of finance. So many rockers have no idea what to do with their money when they get it. He’s been on both sides. He does hedge fund investments for musicians now and is really great for people like himself who have money and who want to set themselves up for the future, but they don’t know how to, they aren’t educated in that way. If he wrote a book on that, it would be great. I think he should!
On Slash and that leather top hat It was pretty straightforward: he loved his original [cloth] hat and he wanted something that would be completely over the top and legendary, so he asked Chrome Hearts to do a version in leather.
On Jake Shears & baby daddy as besties His energy is contagious and he is one of my most cherished friends. He can say really intense things to me and I can connect to it. When you’re on the same wavelength and talking about parts of the world you’re both in, you end up having the same kind of lifestyle. My friends that I grew up with, a couple of them have stayed in the same place and don’t travel. They have never been to Europe. They wouldn’t understand if I woke up in the middle of the night and called them from London and said, ‘I am having a moment where I am missing home.’ But Jake would say, ‘I am right there with you; I do this, I do that, take a bath…so walk or let’s talk, I totally understand.’
On the first time she shot Steven Tyler The first time I shot Steven the camera just died. It was a stupid maneuver on my part because the little backing on the film wasn’t pulled out of the camera and it was stuck. I wasn’t experienced and I didn’t have an assistant, but I didn’t want to lose the moment, so I just tried to pull it off without one. He was so patient and I was sweating. He kept saying, ‘It’s fine, let’s just do this together. This happens, don’t worry.’ And I kept saying, ‘I’m so sorry.’ He just said, ‘This is the best time it can happen, with somebody that you know. So we can work through this together.’ I was so grateful it was him afterwards, but horrified it was him at the time.
On her first Iggy Pop show When I saw him on stage naked, I was like ‘AHH!’ I had never seen a show like that. I’d never been to a rock show where the guy was just in the audience and into the character and completely possessed with his part. He loved having no shirt on and his pants, which were red leather ones that I had made, were undone. He called me the next day and said, ‘You know, they’re wet and I don’t know what to do, how to keep them dry. They’re going to get all stuck together.’ And I said, ‘Hang them out of your hotel window inside out and they’ll dry out.’ That was a cool phone call to get from London or Madrid or whatever crazy place that was.