This exclusive interview with legendary British journalist and socialite Anthony Haden-Guest was conducted by Nicola Linza and Cristoffer Neljesjö in London during February 2011
Interview with Anthony Haden-Guest
Who is Anthony Haden-Guest?
I have decided the best thing I can do is rewrite an autobiographical verse by Edward Lear. It was also once rewritten by TS Eliot so I am on the shoulders of giants here!
Is it pleasant to meet Haden-Guest
When he’s at the top of his game?
Some think that he’s rather a pest
Some others … well, they think the same.
He writes quite a lot. He ain’t frugal
Occasionally it even rhymes
But why not go check him on Google?
We live in such transparent times
His drawings, well, they are quite various
Just what will he come up with next?
Some find them wildly hilarious
Others are mildly perplexed
He drinks wine but much less than he used to
He soon found that drugs were a bore
He knows he has not yet seduced you
But you don’t seriously want any more?
You recently released your latest work, titled “In the Mean Time,” please give our readers your inspiration for doing the book.
I hugely enjoyed being a magazine writer in the Age of Magazines. Well., the Internet has put paid to that and it is such changes and far more important ones – Jane Goodall once told me that we had ruined the world in our lifetime – that unstoppered the energy that went into this book. And the energy will, I hope, keep pumping.
If you had to select one photographer to take a formal portrait, whom would it be?
Well, Irving Penn has dropped off the perch. Any Magnum photographer. Or David la Chapelle. Hello David!
If you had to do it all over again would you change anything?
I think I’d do much the same but more of it. And much more quickly!
But would I know for my second shot time at bat what I know now? Now there’s a thought! If so, I quite definitely would not have gone out with … too late!
We are going out for drinks and the choice of city and location is all yours. Where are we going? What are you drinking? How do you see the night ending?
We’re in Venice and I’m drinking red wine. I want the ending to be a surprise.
How would you describe your personal style?
Open. And a kind of cheerful pessimism.
It is 1970 and we are meeting up at a party that Luchino Visconti is having in Rome. What are you wearing? In addition, whom do we want to meet?
Omigod! This is embarrassing. Do I have Engelbert Humperdinckish sideburns yet. Probably not yet, they came a bit later. A safari jacket from Rive Gauche. Or a navy blue shantung silk jacket from Ah Man Hing Cheong behind the Mandarin in Hongkong. Flared Levis (not the whole elephantine bellbottoms), the desert boots that Private Eye mocked, a polka-dotted scarf, I said this was embarrassing.
Rome in 1970 wasn’t the Rome of La Dolce Vita – London had grabbed that torch – but it was great. Who do I want to meet? Somebody tremendously interesting or tremendously amusing or tremendously sexual. Preferably – dream on! – all three.
The above interview with Anthony Haden-Guest 2011 © Manner of Man Magazine/Welldressed. All rights reserved. Reproduction is strictly prohibited without written permission from the publisher.