The “Prince of Pinups” and Me

006a_JOY230First he invented his own brand of glamour photography. Then he built a canyon studio as a backdrop for his pictures. And finally he designed his own camera to snap them with. No wonder photographer Peter Gowland developed into what many consider the Prince of Pinups. (Bob Pool, L.A. Times – 4-13-04)

In 1953, my mother and I walked into the studio of Peter and Alice Gowland, then located in Los Angeles. I was 13 years old…looked 18…fresh faced and very curvy. I eventually became one of Peter’s first (of hundreds) models. We shot all kinds of classy cheesecake and figure photography in the distinctive Gowland Southern California look…magazines, cover shots, product ads, gallery shots and tool company calendars which hung in shops, sheds, and garages all over the world. I never did Playboy Magazine for which Peter was famous. I was too young…and not interested.

towelMy favorite group of photos…I call them the “Towel Pictures”…..were shot in one day….when I was 14 years old. I am using one of them as the cover photo of the “Monktet’s” new album, “Joy Bop”. Once they got over the shock that yes indeed that was me….the guys in the band made their choice. I was pleased.

I felt that I should contact Peter and Alice for permission. Through the years, I’ve sent them my hand drawn Christmas cards and think of them often. So I wrote a letter of request, describing who I was and a little background. I didn’t know what to expect.

colorAlice called me almost immediately! Yes she remembered me well, and Yes I could use any and all of Peter’s photos!! We chatted for over 30 minutes…so many wonderful memories. Peter, at 93, is still active and designing cameras. Alice still manages his catalogue of over 100,000 negatives. I promised to send them a copy of “Joy Bop”. I hope to deliver it in person. What a wonderful thing to give them both the biggest hugs I can manage! What an honor…and a real pleasure!
By the way…Alice asked me about my old contract with Howard Hughes…If I can put together enough nerve, I’ll tell you all later…if you are interested.
The attached pictures, of course, do not include the “Joy Bop” cover photo. You’ll have to wait for the album. Soon.

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