Friday, April 25th, New York - 1975
…At 12:00 we rolled up outside a modestly fashionable ‘brownstone’ with a recently-restored front, on one of the streets somewhere in the East 60ths. This isthe studio of Richard Avedon - by all accounts One of the World’s Leading Photographers and He has chosen to photograph no less than us. Python is to be immortalized in the pages of Vogue.
Avedon turns out to be a slight, wiry, dark-skinned, bespectacled man, who could be between 25 and 55. Full of vitality and easy charm.
We are dazed from our efforts in NY and our early appearance on ABC and he must have found us a lifeless lot as he made us coffee. But after ten or 15 minutes of uninspired ideas, he leapt on the suggestion, made by Graham and Terry J, that we should be photographed in the nude. The idea sounded no worse and a lot better than putting on silly costumes or funny faces, so it was resolved. We would keep our shoes and socks on, though, and I would wear my hat.
Avedon - remarkably spry for one who has, by his own account, just worked a 15-hour, non-stop session - took us into his studio, a simple, square room, white-walled, about twenty feet high. Apart from camera equipment, siple lights and photos of Marilyn Monroe and a huge blow-up of A’s photo of the Chicago Seven, the place was quite austere.
Soon the Python grup were a little naked gaggle and Avedon was busy arranging us in a parody of the sort of beautiful person photo where all is revealed, but nothing is shown. So our little tadgers had to be carefully hidden behind the knee of the man in front, and so on, and every now and then Avedon would look through the viewfinder of his Rolleiflex and shout things like ‘Balls!… balls Graham, balls.’
After a few more exhortations like this, GC was heard to mutter, ‘Are you sure he’s the world-famous photographer?’
We dressed, muttering jokily amongst ourselves about how ashamed, how very ashamed, we were of what we had done. The elfin Avedon, busy as ever, talked to us as he scribbled some letter. I couldn’t help noticing that the one he was writing began ‘Dear Princess Margaret.’
As we walked out into the sunlit street, I felt slightly high and rather relieved, as though I’d been for an exotic medical check-up.