Bowie and Me
February 23, 2013 8:58 AM   Subscribe

The Thin White Duke, Ziggy Stardust, The Goblin King... what is he really like?
posted by Artw (37 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
You beat me to this by four minutes ArtW.
posted by The Whelk at 9:02 AM on February 23, 2013


I assume he's just this guy, you know?
posted by Mezentian at 9:08 AM on February 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


I disagree with Ms. Basi here, David Bowie would not have made a good Bond.

Bond Villain however....
posted by The Whelk at 9:09 AM on February 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


He'd make a good Jerry Cornelius.
posted by Artw at 9:09 AM on February 23, 2013 [7 favorites]


what is he really like?

Like a leper messiah.
posted by Fizz at 9:11 AM on February 23, 2013 [10 favorites]


Bond Villain however....

I know there's a lot of Christopher Walken love on MeFi here, but Bowie would have made an awesome Max Zorin in A View to a Kill.
posted by jonp72 at 9:12 AM on February 23, 2013 [7 favorites]


He'd make a good Jerry Cornelius.

Actually I'm missing the big picture here, which would have been a John Boorman Elric trilogy.
posted by Artw at 9:21 AM on February 23, 2013 [11 favorites]


Belew: "One time, we went to the Prado in Madrid and he amazed me with his knowledge of paintings and painters. He knew all this wonderful trivia that made my museum visit so much more interesting. David Bowie as museum tour guide! I tipped him at the end."
posted by ovvl at 9:37 AM on February 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


What is Bowie really like? This is what he's really like...



Other than that, he's a guy that buys milk and a paper at the corner store.
posted by C.A.S. at 9:44 AM on February 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm quite looking forward to seeing The Roundhouse concert video from 1970 (Atomic Sunrise Festival) with Bowie and The Hype (pre Iggy), Hawkwind & Genesis (pre Collins). Bowie is a musician I'd like to know/hear more of.
posted by parki at 9:45 AM on February 23, 2013


Sorry. Ziggy, not Iggy. But you knew that.
posted by parki at 9:45 AM on February 23, 2013


I've actually told Art this before, but in the 1980s in Switzerland at a ski resort (I want to say Chamonix, but that seems to be in France, so who knows) I once shared a gondola to the top of the run with a red-snowsuited Bowie.
posted by mwhybark at 10:21 AM on February 23, 2013


I've said this before here, but Bowie and Iggy Pop were my neighbors in Berlin in 1978/9. They were just like any other neighbors, except, you know, for being David Bowie and Iggy Pop. Not much really stands out from that time, except for one incident of mistaken apartment identity :) Oh, and getting backstage at a Queen concert and meeting Freddie Mercury and the band, introduced by David himself. That was fairly cool.
posted by pjern at 10:28 AM on February 23, 2013 [9 favorites]


One time at Subway, my sandwich artist had portraits of four different Bowie personas tattooed on her arm. That's devotion.
posted by jonmc at 10:41 AM on February 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Let's not forget he can improvise songs about what a loser you are on the spot.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 10:46 AM on February 23, 2013 [9 favorites]


I probably shouldn't say this but – ha! – I remember him saying he was quite annoyed that the Spiders wouldn't cut off their mullets.


where is Wesley Willis when you need him....
posted by louche mustachio at 11:33 AM on February 23, 2013


He took my wife and me on the QE2 when Ziggy went to America, and went to dinner in a Ziggy catsuit. After that, he wouldn't come out of his cabin. He said, "They were all looking at me." I said, "What do you expect?" Another time, he came out of the bathroom and he'd shaved off his eyebrows.

I'm sorry, but this really made me laugh. Bowie is the best.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 11:37 AM on February 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


If I ever worked with David Bowie, I am sure it would not go well. Every time I looked at him I would say something like "OH MY GOD DAVID BOWIE. You're David Bowie. DAVID FUCKING BOWIE HOLY SHIT YOU ARE RIGHT THERE I AM IN THE SAME ROOM WITH DAVID BOWIE"



When we saw him in concert, Mr. Mustachio and I kept saying that to each other. "DAVID BOWIE. IS RIGHT THERE. RIGHT THERE! DAVID. FUCKING. BOWIE."
posted by louche mustachio at 11:39 AM on February 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


he's a guy that buys milk and a paper at the corner store.
posted by Legomancer at 11:45 AM on February 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I once met someone who managed the food delivery service the Bowie family used when they where in NYC.

They eat a lot of vegetables apparently.
posted by The Whelk at 11:54 AM on February 23, 2013


When we lived together in Beckenham, I never saw him do any household tasks and he wasn't mechanically minded. His car, a Riley, was his pride and joy. He once left it in gear, turned the starting handle and it ran him over.

This article is full of win!
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 11:55 AM on February 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


Bowie is my life-long infatuation. I came to him as a young teen in the 80's. My first awareness was the yellow-suited Serious Moonlight Bowie. But then I discovered his back catalog, and saved for weeks to buy the Sound+Vision 3 disc set which gave me a real introduction to his many facets. I was hooked.

The Sound+Vision tour (with Adrien Belew) when I was 16 was the first opportunity I had to see him live. My mom let me and a friend drive 3 hours from east TN to Charlotte, NC. I was so fucking overwhelmed by the fact that I was there, that I barely remember the show. A decade later, Adrien Belew walked into the store I managed in Nashville, and my knees started knocking. He was lovely, and listened to my blathering in a very good-natured way.

I eventually ended up in NYC, just as Bowie released Heathen in 2002. So much of my early experience of living in New York was about that album and the subsequent shows. I met some amazing people who were also fans. I saw 5 shows during that time (including some small venues like St Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn), and also was able to get into the audience for several TV performances. I met some cool people in the Bowie universe like Tony Visconti and Mick Rock. It was really divine. I can't really call myself an uber-fan, but it was fun to dwell in that world for a little while.

In 2006, I was backstage at Joe's Pub after a Pete Townshend show. As I walked down a narrow hallway, suddenly Bowie was walking towards me in the opposite direction. And what did I do? I just sort of went blank. A face-to-face encounter with someone who had been a touchstone, and I could not form any sort of coherent thought. Instead, I just sort of intentionally moved so that our arms brushed as he went by. Sigh. I felt conflicted about that for a long time (should I have said something? should I have avoided shoulder checking him?) but then I recently read an interview with Boy George which made me feel better. Boy also totally froze up after running into Bowie somewhere and couldn't say anything to him (and he'd met Bowie before).

I'm looking forward to the new album. And it would be great to see him perform again. But really, I can't complain about the 25 years of fandom that I've enjoyed.
posted by kimdog at 11:57 AM on February 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


When you meet David Bowie, remember.

Don't Blink.

Blink and you're dead.
posted by The Whelk at 12:01 PM on February 23, 2013 [11 favorites]


One of my favorite Bowie anecdotes came from tkchrist here on the blue. You know how some people have the gift of making you feel like the most important person in the room? Apparently, with Bowie you don't even have to be in the room.
posted by gimli at 1:00 PM on February 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


You know, The Whelk, no matter how long I stare at David Bowie on the screen, nor how long I look at his eyes, he has never once tried to come into the room I am in. Nor am I turning to him. Perhaps I just haven't looked long enough?
posted by nat at 1:03 PM on February 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Actually I'm missing the big picture here, which would have been a John Boorman Elric trilogy.

And a Lynch trilogy and a Del Toro trilogy. A trilogy of trilogies. What's the rest of the cast?
posted by ersatz at 1:48 PM on February 23, 2013


As I've mentioned before, Bowie came into my store once. He was dressed nondescriptly, but when he was within ten feet of me I could tell who it was. He gave me a look that said "Yeah, it's me. Just let me shop "
posted by jonmc at 2:10 PM on February 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


The real takeaway quote here is this...

"We fell out once, when we were 15. David told me a date of mine had cancelled, so she waited for an hour. I punched him. A week later, my dad said, "You never told me you hit David Jones." It turned out he'd been rushed to hospital and almost lost the sight in his eye. Instead, it turned a different colour. Years later he said, "You did me a favour." People wrote to him saying, "I'm from the same planet as you, man, and it ain't Earth."

His pal knocked one eye into a different colour. Wow

Just remember, Bowie's in Space.
posted by C.A.S. at 2:35 PM on February 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


You know, I have a David Bowie dream.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 2:35 PM on February 23, 2013


Regarding Bowie, I've never really recovered from the disappointment that was Let's Dance, but I love the hell out of the back catalogue-- the run through Lodger, Low, Heroes and Scary Monsters, not to mention Ziggy Stardust! and Young Americans! and Hunky Dory!-- is nearly unmatched. I don't care if he hasn't done anything I've wanted to listen to since; he's still the genius of my teenage years and very early twenties.
posted by jokeefe at 3:40 PM on February 23, 2013


The Word podcast had a great "Bowiecast" a few years ago with stories like these. ( mp3 )

"We're joined in the pod by two card-carrying Bowie experts – Peter Doggett - author of the superb new book "The Man Who Sold The World: David Bowie And The ‘70" and Word’s long-serving associate editor Paul Du Noyer. On the way we learn Bowie’s tortuously complicated childhood, his unproduced rock opera, the lost recordings and the four times Paul got to interview him."
posted by stuartmm at 3:47 PM on February 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Ch-ch-ch-changes: David Bowie in 1969 and 1995."

So ... from 43 years ago to 18 years ago?"
posted by ZenMasterThis at 4:15 PM on February 23, 2013


"Bowie? Skiing?!"

I have no trouble imagining this, as Bowie has always had the effortless fluid grace that I see in good skiiers.
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:39 PM on February 23, 2013


DO NOT SNORT SWITZERLAND.
posted by Artw at 5:39 PM on February 23, 2013


"Bond Villain however...."

Not even Bond could hope to stop the Guild of Calamitous Intent.

"no matter how long I stare at David Bowie on the screen, nor how long I look at his eyes, he has never once tried to come into the room I am in."

Have you tried wishing that the goblins would come and take away your little brother?

Jesus, Sovereign of an international league of super-villains and a Goblin King. Bowie is a busy guy.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 10:56 PM on February 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


I read an old interview with him (I believe it took place during the '90s) where the interviewer met him at a low-rent diner in Manhattan. He showed up surprisingly normally dressed, and when the interviewer remarked on it, he replied something along the lines of, "In real life, I'm purely a jeans and T-shirts guy. The costumes and the weird get-ups are only for the stage."

He seemed familiar with the old waitress who took their order, and after he left the interviewer asked the waitress about him and she said, "Yeah, he's been coming here for decades" and just thought of him as a regular customer and didn't seem to know that he was a legendary star.

I should have found the interview but I'm too drunk to look for it.
posted by Devils Slide at 11:20 PM on February 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


My wee Bowie story.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:15 PM on February 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


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