I never understood the aggressiveness of the people of the media towards Sheila, in the 1960s. How took pleasure in shooting her down for fifteen years, for no reason. They did everything to her, even pretending she was a man, like that, for no reason, just to sell paper. You realize ? Getting on the cover with that kind of naughtiness, how did you expect her to defend herself? I would like to tell you that if she had been a man, she would have deserved the Nobel Prize for cosmetic surgery! She had to be awfully popular to survive the gratuitous wickedness of such lies. As a general rule, why do these media only push bad news? In reality, it’s not really their fault. On TV, on the radio and in the press, it has always been known that only bad news sells; they are not responsible if joyful events do not interest anyone. The media being for the most part commercial companies living from advertising, journalists put forward what appeals to their public; in short, they make the box work, so they’re good little soldiers – you’re not going to blame them for being efficient. The culprits are not them, we are, we the readers, the viewers; we’re the ones asking that. You don’t have to read stuff like that. But I know, if you listen to people, nobody reads them. Or from time to time, “at the dentist”. But these newspapers sell hundreds of thousands of copies every week, hey now a lot of people go to the dentist… I got the wrong job!
Sheila and the great musicians.
I don’t remember Sheila ever turning down a photo idea. I had imagined a series whose theme was “What will happen to them when the artists go to hell”. In this case, the young singer found herself sitting, an empty glass in hand, surrounded by the greatest classical musicians, all holding a glass full of delicious wine. And the legend said that they refused to drink with her for eternity because they did not like her music. Of course, she knew about it and, as usual, she had gladly accepted my idea, thus proving that she had much more humor and distance than the journalists of the time claimed. And especially my luck was that her producer was not present, there was only an assistant who never would have dared to contradict me. Because Sheilita was always okay with everything, as long as we laughed. Today, it would be unimaginable to propose such an idea, entourages, managers or other communication advisers would block it immediately. There it is, the big difference between the 1960s and today. We had complete freedom. We weren’t afraid of anything and the artists weren’t obsessed with their “image”. In short, we knew above all that all this was not serious. The purpose of my photos was to entertain teenagers, and allow them to put a picture on the walls of their rooms. In short, the goal was to make them dream. On the bottle label, you can see Dick Rivers portrait as a devil in all of the photos of the series.