Cover artwork

The cover of Pinups featured David Bowie and the English model Twiggy. Born Lesley Hornby in September 1949, she was a leading model during the Swinging Sixties.

Bowie had namechecked Twiggy in the chorus of Aladdin Sane’s ‘Drive-In Saturday’, referring to her as “Twig the Wonder Kid”. She later recalled her excitement at hearing the song for the first time.

He’d done a song called ‘Drive-In Saturday’, and there was a line where he said, ‘She sighed like Twig the Wonder Kid.’ I heard it on the radio and went, ‘Oh my God, David Bowie just mentioned me in a song!’ I rushed out to buy it because I thought maybe I’d misheard it
Twiggy
Toronto Sun, 5 March 2012

A meeting between Bowie and Twiggy was brokered by her manager and former partner, Justin De Villeneuve.

By 1973, we were no longer a couple, but I remained her manager. David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane had just come out, and we loved the line: “Twig the wonder kid.” We 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.
Justin De Villeneuve
The Guardian, 16 May 2012

In fact, Bowie would not have been the first man on the Vogue cover. Helmut Berger and Marisa Berenson had been the cover stars of European editions in July 1970. In the USA Richard Gere and Cindy Crawford graced the cover in 1992.

Although he wasn’t a professional photographer, De Villeneuve had observed Twiggy at a number of shoots, and believed he could do just as well behind the camera. He contacted the editor of British Vogue, Beatrix Miller, and art director Barney Wan, who agreed to have Bowie and Twiggy on the cover of their magazine.

The shoot took place in Paris on Wednesday 18 July, during a break in the Pinups sessions. Twiggy and De Villeneuve were paid £393. Also present was make up artist Pierre Laroche, whom Bowie had retained since his work on the Aladdin Sane cover.

Twigs and I flew to Paris because Bowie was in France, at the Château d’Hérouville, the Honky Chateau, recording Pin Ups. Vogue booked the studio, and all of us converged there. We had a huge entourage – I even had a butler at the time, I’m ashamed to say, as did Bowie. The thing is, Twiggy and I had just come back from a holiday in Bermuda, and so we were both incredibly tanned. And so the picture looked ridiculous, as Twiggy was completely brown, brown as a berry, and he was snow white, deathly white. When he took his shirt off I was actually quite taken aback by how pale he was. He was like a sheet. He really was the Thin White Duke. So the lovely Pierre La Roche worked wonders. I’d always been obsessed by masks, as people do interesting things when they have a mask on. So I asked Pierre to give them both masks, and it was perfect. They both look oddly enigmatic. The cover picture was actually the very first frame I took. I did a couple of Polaroids and then just stormed into it. They got on brilliantly, and it clicked. Thing is, it wasn’t until I looked at Bowie through the lens that I realised he had different coloured eyes. He did have an aura about him, something you could never quite put your finger on. He was always surrounded by lovely-looking girls, wherever you saw him. Girls everywhere. That always made me very intrigued.
Justin De Villeneuve
David Bowie: A Life, Dylan Jones
Embed from Getty Images

Although the photograph was taken for Vogue, Bowie was so taken with it that he decided it would be perfect for the Pinups cover.

I knew Vogue was going to love the picture, but a few days after the shoot Bowie called up and asked if he could use it for his album cover. I asked him how much it was going to sell, and he thought about it for a while and then said, ‘Well, probably about a million.’ So I said to Twigs, ‘Well, I think he can have it then.’ Vogue was furious, and Barney didn’t talk to me for ages. In fact no one from Vogue ever talked to me again. Twiggy and I were in LA a few months later and we were driving down Sunset Boulevard and we saw the cover on a huge billboard, and I turned to Twiggy and said, I think we made the right decision. It sounds silly but I have to say it was one of the most glorious moments of my career.
Justin De Villeneuve
David Bowie: A Life, Dylan Jones

The insert which came with initial copies of Pinups credited De Villeneuve. It read:

Justin made the photo of ‘Twig the Wonderkid’ and me
Pierre Laroche made the masks
Ray Campbell lettered
Mick Rock put the sleeve together and made the back photos

However, this insert was left out of some later reissues, meaning that the photographer was not always credited on the record.

To this day, so many people think it’s Angie on the cover. The first pressing of the album had a beautiful inner sleeve with all the credits on, which I thought was very slick at the time, but every pressing after that was just a plain inner sleeve, and as they didn’t reprint the cover, there were no credits on it. So not only did they not know I’d taken the photograph, but no one knew it was Twiggy either. But the cover made perfect sense as Pin Ups was an homage to the 60s, all David’s favourite records from ’64 to ’67, and Twiggy was the face of the 60s.
Justin De Villeneuve
David Bowie: A Life, Dylan Jones

On the album’s back cover were three photographs by Mick Rock, including two live shots from the Ziggy Stardust tour.

The photos Rock and I did were intended to be part of the album packaging. I’d put the word out to my friend, Warren Peace (Geoff MacCormack) that I was looking for a Little Richard-style suit as I was doing some rock things and just felt that I needed an element of fundamentalism. His girlfriend, who worked in a small clothes shop in London, delivered the goods fairly quickly. The jacket owed more to the Forties movies but the trousers had a certain flappy kind of Fifties feel. It looked really good.

I’d had the idea for Twiggy as Chief Pin Up since recording the album in France (I’d already name-dropped her in the song ‘Drive-In Saturday’ on a previous album) and was pretty set on that being the cover. That her name rhymed with Ziggy certainly hadn’t been lost on me either. We’d gone to considerable efforts to trace her and Justin, and Pierre Laroche’s make-up had made the whole thing come together splendidly. The picture was also offered to Vogue by Defries, though, of course, it was turned down as Twiggy was no longer fashionable in those quarters and they blanched at using a man on the cover.

I chose the performance photos for the back cover as they were favourite Rock shots of mine. I also did the back cover layout with the colour combination of red writing on blue as it again hinted at Sixties psychedelia.

David Bowie
Moonage Daydream: The Life and Times of Ziggy Stardust

The third image was of Bowie holding a saxophone under his right arm, wearing a double-breasted brown suit from the City Lights Studio, the boutique store run by Tommy Roberts in Shorts Gardens, London.

The Pin Ups cover featured Justin de Villeneuve’s shot of David and Twiggy on the front cover. This saxophone session appeared on the back and inside the sleeve. The photograph above is the only Polaroid I took during the shoot. As always, we worked very fast because there wasn’t a lot of time.

Although David still has a Ziggy hairdo, he is also looking towards Diamond Dogs. It’s a transitional image, and a universal one too: if it wasn’t for the hair it could have been taken on a lot of other occasions in his career.

Mick Rock
Moonage Daydream: The Life and Times of Ziggy Stardust