"The famous red and blue lightning bolt which is painted across Bowie’s face was, in fact, inspired by the logo on a rice cooker in the studio kitchen. ‘In the studio we had a sort of mobile make-up table with mirrors on it, and on wheels,’ [Brian] Duffy's studio manager Francis Newman recalls. ‘I remember David sitting in front of that with Pierre Laroche, and they had obviously talked about using this flash. Well, Pierre started to apply this tiny little flash on his face and when Duffy saw it he said, ‘No, not fucking like that, like this.’ He literally drew it right across his face and said to Pierre, 'Now, fill that in.' It was actually Duffy who did the initial shape – I’m not saying he did the actual make-up. It then took Pierre about an hour to apply properly. The red flash is so shiny because it was actually lipstick.’
The decision to get Duffy in to shoot the Aladdin Sane album cover was made by Bowie’s then manager, Tony Defries. ‘I was looking for an iconic cover image and artwork that would help me to persuade RCA that Bowie was sufficiently important to warrant megastar treatment and funding, in order to propel him to exactly that status,’ Tony Defries remembers in the book Duffy/Bowie. ‘Engaging a master, world-class photographer to shoot the product/brand and to design the artwork was the best way to send that message. Brian had the ability to make the mundane image interesting and the interesting image fascinating.’"
From AnOther.com, "Flash of Genius: Photographing Aladdin Sane." Check it out for more information and other pictures from the photo shoot.
The original LP inside cover, when unfolded.