The Evening Standard’s interview with leading member of “The Club” photographer David Bailey is surprise, surprise nothing but a suck-up to a talented yet pompous prick of a man suggests Matthew Steeples
On Monday, the Evening Standard published an interview with a man they termed “the original bad boy photographer”, David Bailey.
Given the paper is owned by Evgeny Lebedev – a man whose oligarch father stated: “I do not treat newspapers as business. I treat them as my responsibility” on buying The Independent (he later closed it down) and a man who is either in the company of a pet wolfdog named Boris or toady individuals like titleless David Furnish and talentless Elizabeth Hurley – one sadly could only expect something that would end up being a suck-up to a plainly extremely brilliant, yet truly repugnantly rude man.
I admit I am biased: I was introduced to David Bailey by a PR at a party for a property development, for which he’d been handsomely paid to provide photographs for each and every apartment, some years ago. I politely said: “Hello, Mr Bailey, a pleasure to meet you”. He stood there grimacing and grunted. The perplexed PR interjected the silence: “David, please could you sign a catalogue [about the development] for this man? I’d like him to have a signed version”. Bailey answered: “What does he want me to sign? My fucking cock?” I walked off into the night with a copy of said tome and gave it to a beggar.
When I recounted this tale to two other legendary photographers, they shared with me similar tales of how Bailey is notorious for his arrogance and sheer disdain of others. They claimed he is regarded unabashedly angry by both subjects and contemporaries, but in conversation with the Standard’s Charlotte Edwards, he actually just came across as a bitter old bore.
Aside from bizarrely lauding Donald Trump’s “power”, Bailey predictably referenced his closeness to the Krays and the Murdochs (he photographed the weddings of both). He commented “if you’re an artist you’ve got to have an ego” and claimed “now is my heyday”. He termed Mario Testino “[without] talent” and remarked that he views selfies to be “a form of masturbation” (he’s not wrong there). That he considers Lucian Freud as a “superficial” being who should have “put his effort into something else” is yet further proof that fame has gone to his head but that he supposedly once compared himself to Picasso (he disputes this) shows true delusion.
At one point Bailey refers to how he was a “fucking pain in the arse” when he was younger. Plainly, this chippy, yet talented man still is.
He once said:
“To get a good fashion photo,,make her cry!”
He is a cruel, nasty old man. Very talented but just horrible. Sad really.
I met him at the same event, his response to my question made me laugh. I asked David how long did it take you to snap these photos. he replied “60 years” The guy is a genius however there is NO excuse for rudeness.
Is it really necessary to use what is, after all , a courtesy title? It seems frightfully affected.
I was at that party too – didn’t speak to him, but he seemed just a grumpy old man and I’m afraid his work isn’t what it used to be. I don’t think the loss of the (unsigned) book was a big loss Matthew
He did ultimately sign it but I just want rid of it. It had bad karma. Rather like him. An odd fellow.
David bailey. the name does ring a bell.
Nah! You got old Baily bang to rights. But he’s a diamond geyser. Most
‘Nah’? What on earth is all this faux East End ‘hardman’ nonsense. So tedious.
David Bailey never stops going on about he was ‘mates’ with the psychopathic and sadistic Krays.
The man is terrified of being a dribbling old man. Now Don McCullin….seriously talented and a gentlleman
Nah! You got old Baily bang to rights! But ‘Es a diamond geyser ..east enders are flash gits. They wanna rattle toffee nosed ponces and tarts who chatter like they’ve got a plum stuck up their arse. ‘Tsall an act mate!
Mr Berkoff, are you perchance related to the old thespian, Steven Berkoff?You know, the other professional ‘East Ender’who loves to come up west to put the toffs in their place.
What would these people do without ‘toffs and ponces’ to make them feel good.
Bailey is a working class boy through and through albeit a chippy one and has no time for the middle, middle “chattering classes”. In his arrogant mind he will be rude to any and all as his mood takes him. His wife was stunning in her younger days…and his work my oh my just perfect art. Well at least he didn’t get his cock out!
Seems like Julie likes the idea of a bit of ‘working class’ rough. I imagine she gets a sort of orgasm whenever the muscly Pimlico Plumber comes to attend her blockages.
Bailey has made a career of being a East End hardman…so boring.