He's also got a wolfish grin, which he's displaying to winning effect as he shimmies through a claque of record company executives at the Hotel Arts, Barcelona, a plate of steamed asparagus in his hand. And to the exhibition [Modern Muses, a collection of 12 prominent women he's photographed that's showing at the National Portrait Gallery]? He's in blue jeans, black sweater, black T-shirt and black boots; his hair is cut almost military-style, with a boyish quiff; there's a light stubble on his pockmarked face.
I've always been very private: it suits me.')This reticence extends even to his having Amy Winehouse spend recuperative time at his house on Mustique during the Christmas period: 'Let me say something about this whole Amy Winehouse scenario. It was Christmas.'Still, a kind act.'I just thought it would be nice for someone to come and spend time...I was on tour for three, nearly four years, and people in the crew were getting married and divorced, and there was this Peyton Place/Somerset Maugham backstage scenario going on, and I thought, "Right: this has got to stop."' It was from then that Adams began to take photography seriously, and from then that he began to enjoy his Chelsea home. 'It's just the dander that comes with the cat.' He much prefers, he says, nights like the one when he discovered that Ray Charles was playing the Hammersmith Odeon, hopped on his scooter, couldn't find a ticket or a scalper, knocked on the stage door, blagged his way in and ended up spending the evening photographing Charles. 'He phoned me up,' says Geordie Greig, with whom Gorbachev was hosting a charity event, 'and asked if he could.That home is, says Alexandra Shulman, 'the ultimate bachelor pad - lots of clean lines and angles, open-plan living space and an amazing south-facing roof terrace looking over the Thames.' It was, originally, three houses, one of them a pub; he bought them all, bit by bit. Like any rock star, Adams has a good speed dial, and his antennae are out - it's the operator in him. So I fixed it up.' He also photographed The Queen, a picture that wound up on a Canadian postage stamp; that came about through Adams's association with Camera Press - to whom he'd been sent by 'Karsh, the photographer, who was a friend of mine'.Some sitters had been more at ease than others - he tells Colvin, for instance, that she had been 'very relaxed. He'd like to go to Baghdad, he says, 'but I guess it's super-frightening.' Then he's off, swapping a joke with Virginia Mc Kenna, chatting to Annie Lennox, glad-handing knot after knot of partygoers.But you've been shot by worse things than me.' There's a pregnant silence. From the NPG, it's on to St James's Church, Piccadilly.