How Keith Richards Inspired Dr. Evil

08/06/2002 at 12:00 PM EDT

Inspiration comes from many sources, but who was to guess that Dr. Evil's pinkie biting routine in the "Austin Powers" movies came from none other than Rolling Stone Keith Richards? Amazing but true, PEOPLE.com has discovered, courtesy of legendary rock photographer Henry Diltz. Why, even Austin's and Evil's alter ego, Mike Myers, 39, acknowledges this, according to Peter Blachley, Diltz's business partner and gallery manager of Henry's Gallery in New York's Soho. As a photographer of the Stones' New Barbarians concert tour in 1979, Diltz, now 63, snapped guitarist Richards, now 59, in the exact pose favored by Dr. Evil. During a recent visit to Henry's Gallery Blachley pointed this out to Myers, who exclaimed, "God, I thought I was the original, but I wasn't!" Looking over the entire exhibit -- Diltz, whose work has just been collected for a new DVD called "Under the Covers," has shot more than 200 album covers, including those for Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Jerry Garcia -- Myers ran across images of his fellow Canadian, Joni Mitchell. Said Myers: "Joni Mitchell is a national treasure. These pictures should be on our Canadian currency." Just the job for Goldmember.

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