My first ever portrait assignment was a one-off In 1974, photographing Stevie Wonder for Melody Maker when one of their regulars was ill.
A recording studio had been installed In his suite at the Royal Garden Hotel in Knightsbridge and he remained In close proximity to his tape players as If they were life-support machines. When the Journalist and I walked into the room Stevie Wonder was on the phone. In the most playful manner he assumed a series of regional British accents - cockney, upper-class and Scottish. Each was uncannily accurate.
During the interview he began fiddling with a soda syphon that was on the table in front of him. Unable to work out what It was, he asked us. When we told him, he reached for the bottle, sprayed soda over the plush carpet and collapsed Into giggles because he liked the sound it made. The Journalist and I Just sat there, too embarrassed to say or do anything. At that moment the reality of his blindness was far more shocking than the force of his fame.
As the interview came to an end, Stevie Wonder politely asked where the bathroom was. There was a long pause. Then I took his hand and led him to the loo.