Barbra Streisand: In the Camera Eye

James Spada On His New Book “Streisand: In the Camera Eye”

This is my fourth book about Barbra Streisand—I plead guilty to being a fan! Two of those earlier books were more than 50% photographs (the other was an in-depth biography. My challenge with this one, then, was finding as many previously unseen or rare photos as possible. I feel pride in the fact that I was able to do that to a very great extent with this new book.

My favourite photo in the book is the never-before-published cover shot by Cecil Beaton of Barbra as Melinda Tentrees in the 1970 film On a Clear Day You Can See Forever. Barbra was at her most beautiful, and the photo itself illustrates Beaton’s comment that Barbra’s face “is a painting from several historical eras.” There are four other unpublished Beaton portraits from the film in the book.

I was also very pleased to be able to use four unseen shots from Barbra’s very first studio photo shoot in 1960, when she was still singing in  small clubs in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. They were taken by a friend of a friend, Craig Simpson, who was a photographer’s assistant. The negatives were buried in Mr. Simpson’s basement in Northern California for more than fifty years. Despite being terminally ill with cancer, he was kind enough to dig them out for me. He passed away last year, and I’m so pleased that his photos will finally be seen in my book.

There are many other previously unpublished photos in “Streisand: In the Camera Eye”—gorgeous high-fashion shots by Philippe Halsman from 1965; photos taken in 1963 for a Look magazine story that were never used; unseen images from all her films; gorgeous, sexy shots by Mario Casilli taken in 1979 and 1982; photos from A Star is Born and The Main Event by Francesco Scavullo, and lovely onstage shots from Barbra’s most recent concert tour in 2012-13.

All told, I believe that even the most devoted Streisand fans will find much to delight and amaze them in this book.

Streisand: In the Camera Eye is available now!


#OfficeWornStories – Francesca

Today we are continuing our celebration of Emily Spivack’s Worn Stories with a tale of over priced merchandise and underage festivalling from our publicity intern Francessca.

My Worn Story –  A t-shirt from an under-age festival in 2008

What can I say? I was 14, my hair braided so tightly to my scalp that I had lost most of the sensation in my temples and I was going to my first ever festival. Too young for the sex and drugs, I decided it would have to be the rock-and-roll that would see my friend and I through, and I think I may have been right.

I bought this shirt after a lot of umming and ahhing about the price, wondering what my Mum would say when she found out I’d spent £15 (the equivalent of 4 whole magazines and a bottle of diet coke) on a T-shirt, that, she would later claim, “never really fitted anyway”. After scrambling through the crowd, crumpled notes in my hand, I grabbed the nearest one that looked like it might fit, and promptly ducked to avoid the vast array of hands reaching towards the counter. It wasn’t really until later that I actually got to look at it properly.

Every band of the festival was there, splayed across in bright colours and I remember the feeling of wanting to tick everyone off like a list. And I’ll be honest, I nearly did. Florence & The Machine (when they were still doing covers because they hadn’t written enough songs), Glasvegas (who have indeed always looked that hungover), The Gallows (I maintain that no one’s skinny jeans should be quite that skinny, and a thousand names I didn’t get the chance to see. It was an experience made flesh, or cloth rather, and I wore like a badge of pride. It beats the bruises that I seem to wear from other gigs I’ve been to since.

Now it seems to only be brought out as pyjamas or when I have done washing in a while, but it still holds the feeling of standing in a field, surrounded by people, music blaring so hard I could taste my heartbeat, and feeling like the coolest person in the entire world.

– Francesca

Share Yours! @AbramsChronicle #WornStories

Worn Stories by Emily Spivack -PAPress – OUT NOW!

#OfficeWornStories – Emma

We are celebrating the release of Emily Spivack’s Worn Stories with some of our own tales!

Share yours! Tweet us @AbramsChronicle with#WornStories

Working through our Digital department and continuing the shoe trend with Emma and a story of first love, which was, like the Titanic, not unsinkable… 

I mean, I guess you could say I liked my Chelsea Boots.

It would, however, be more accurate to say that they were my feet. Worn until they feel apart and then worn some more.

My mother bought them as a Christmas gift the winter I moved to Oxford for university. I honestly can’t remember what I’d worn to trudge around the city’s icy cobbles before these babies came into my life. Probably leopard print ballet pumps. Not ideal.

They’re not very stylish but, my god, are they practical. The type of thing orange Julian who steals all Bridget Jones’ mother’s money would call ‘an all-rounder, the sort of thing one can wear with anything to any occasion’. And so I took orange Julian’s advice and wore them everywhere. As tough as they were to break in, they were also tough enough to endure a move to London and many treks around European cities, add an edge to girly dresses and withstand festival crowds, long stints in the library and the urge to kick mean boys in the shins.

And then, as if all of a sudden, they began to give up. Still attached to my feet, as soft as slippers, they became just as waterproof. I began walking around puddles rather than through them and avoiding littered gum and discarded cigarettes.

You really will never notice how much vomit there is on London’s footpaths until you have a hole in your boot.

I clung on to the bitter end. They were the Jack Dawson to my Rose DeWitt Bukater. I could say ‘I’ll never let go’ until I’m blue in the face but, once they were wet, we were through and I dropped them into the vast skip outside my flat and got on with my life.

Their memory lives on in the new sleeker, tougher Chelsea Boots currently attached to my feet. Throughout the living hell of breaking these ones in, I mourned my first loves drowning in a sea of rubbish, ill-equipped to protect themselves from the rain.

Worn Stories by Emily Spivack – PAPress – OUT NOW!