PHOTOGRAPHER David Bailey has revealed how drink was his drug of choice during his rise to fame in the Swinging Sixties.
He says he did not indulge in the illegal substances that were prevalent on London’s party scene such as cannabis and LSD.
Now 74, Bailey has spoken about quitting alcohol 40 years ago after overdoing it in the decade renowned for excess.
He even admits that he now likes to have “the occasional joint”.
Speaking to art historian Tim Marlow, for Sky Arts programme Living The Dream, Bailey says: “I had a great time, I wouldn’t change one night but I never took drugs in the Sixties, though I did drink a lot.
“Everybody drank a lot, it was kind of a culture of drink really.”
Asked what he does for recreation now, Bailey says: “I have the occasional joint. If someone offers me a joint I’ll say, ‘Why not?’”
He found fame after his iconic 1962 Vogue photo shoot with British model Jean Shrimpton in New York. The pair became lovers and their affair and the shoot was the subject of a BBC film, We’ll Take Manhattan, earlier this year.
Bailey said sleeping with models and actresses was natural for photographers. He told Marlow: “If you are a doctor you usually sleep with nurses, if you’re an airline pilot you probably sleep with air hostesses, so being a photographer it was either models or actresses.”
Bailey, who was married to typist Rosemary Bramble, actress Catherine Deneuve and model Marie Helvin, admits to loving sex.
And he speaks passionately about his fourth wife, model Catherine Dyer, 51, whom he married in 1986.
He says: “I am mad about my wife, I think she is the sexiest woman I’ve ever met.”
The photographer, who is also a keen painter, divides his time between homes in London and Dartmoor.
David Bailey’s conversation with Tim Marlow can be seen on Sky Arts on Tuesday January 8 at 8pm.