This man rocked my world when I was just 12 years old. I was at a friend’s birthday party and Starman came on TOTP. Bowie turned and looked me in the eye and picked on me. I was slain. I couldn’t wait for the next episode, hoping it would be repeated. In those far off days, there wasn’t the net or Youtube, I had to wait for TOTP and scan the teenage mags for pictures which at first were slow to find. A man who could look like a woman, that was hugely attractive.
Memories. Walking to school looking at pictures in magazines of him and Mick Ronson, sharing specials with friends who were into Trex and David Cassidy. I read widely, NME and Musical express. Then I got my copy of Ziggy, it was so alien that at first I was almost embarrassed, but then it rocked. Moonage daydream is my favourite. Then I got steadily his albums to that date, Hunky Dory affected me the most, Queen Bitch is the song of my life, why didn’t I say, Why didn’t I say?
Then came the David Bowie haircut and trying silver spray paint in a streak, can’t believe I got away with it at school. Then my friend Loren Boniface (where are you?) and I, got permission to go to his concert in Southampton in 1973. A girl in our year promised us tickets, but she lied. So there we were trying to get tickets on a darkening evening. I bought one, and Loren FOUND one. I felt for the person who lost it. I had my Alladin Sane gold star on my forehead and got talking to a lad with his girlfriend, he knew all about Bowie.
We even got near the back stage as but the girls we we had made friends with were rude to some roadies, so we got chucked out. They had brought roses and wouldn’t listen to me when I said the track wasn’t in the show. Then at last! We went in and sat, but not for long. There was quite soon a rush down the front and I found myself standing on a chair hanging on to a bloke in front of me. He threatened to touch me up if I didn’t move, I didn’t, so he did, but I had a view of all the stage. What did my mother think was going on at the concert, all primly sitting holding our tickets? If only she knew.
Through my reading and absorbing the lyrics, even at 13, I’d picked up a loose attitude towards sex, which I thought was of the time and everyone else felt the same (wrong). If only someone had said to me, you will put someone on a pedestal, admire, dream of meeting him, but its just part of growing up, this will pass.
We rocked that night, even when Bowie stood on the amplifiers in that short costume – as a writer of the time said- showing he had nuts. Then it was all over, the bloke I was leaning on scuttled. I saw the lad, even though he had the drippy girlfriend in tow, he asked me if I was with someone and like a twit I said yes, thinking of the bloke. Why didn’t I say, Why didn’t I say? One of my life long regrets.
And that was it, school, ponies, Diamond dogs, and Bowie sold out to the states. I fell in love with Freddie Mercury as Queen’s star in the ascendant, also batting from both sides. Throughout my life, I’ve idly followed Bowie, bought a few albums, loved Suede because they were like him. Returning from a year in Switzerland to Heroes. Part of my life Mr B, and thank you, it was maybe a misguiding of my innocence, but it formed the person I grew up into, survived and blossomed from. Rosy tinted spectacles, but he was soooo sexy!