After my article on driving the Bullitt car-chase route appeared in the Wall Street Journal earlier this week, photographer Paul Slaughter sent along an email with two fabulous images he had taken of Steve McQueen, the late star of Bullitt. Rather than tell you about the photos, here's Paul to tell you in his own words:
"In 1971 I was showing slides of my work to Sid Ganis, who at the time was a publicist for CBS Pictures and a prospective new client. Today Sid is an independent film producer and past president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which awards the Oscars. At our meeting in '71, Sid remembered me from my earlier days as a jazz disc jockey in Los Angeles. [Photo above of Steve McQueen by Paul Slaughter]
"When we met, Sid was the publicist for the film Le Mans, which starred McQueen. It seems they didn't get all the publicity photos they needed of Steve while on location in France. I was hired to take photographs of Steve at the Ontario Motor Speedway in California.
"Steve drove a race car around the track. As he got in and out of his car, I took pictures. He was cooperative, outgoing and friendly.
"As for the photo above, it was taken in 1974. At the time I was driving down Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood when I passed the Samuel Goldwyn Studios and saw there was a fire. [Photo above by Paul Slaughter]
"I parked my car, grabbed my cameras and went on the Goldwyn lot. Apparently a fire had broken out at one of the sound stages where they had been filming. Right in front of me was Steve McQueen and Ali McGraw running from the fire. That's when I snapped the photo you see here.
"Guess what film Steve was shooting? Towering Inferno."
Want more PhotoStory? Scroll down the right-hand column of JazzWax to the "PhotoStory" heading. There you'll find links to the other posts in this series.