Thursday, July 2, 2015

David Bowie

My BFF, Tony Colter, first turned me on to David Bowie.
I must have been seventeen or so and Tony's ears were ahead of mine. He drove a red Volkswagen station wagon and had David blasting from the speakers. That was in the days of eight tracks and big Afros. And Ziggy Stardust.

Facts you might know...real name David Jones. Changed it because there was a famous Davy Jones already. In the Monkees. So influential...there was a time that it seemed all the English bands had singers that sounded eerily like him. He was also the first major star to sell his song catalog for millions. Smart.

I first met David on CBS This Morning. He was a guest and I was all excited that I was going to interview THE David Bowie.
He was there to help promote a book, Blimey!, that covered the history of the London art world. During our interview I mentioned that while Madonna got a lot of press for her different looks, he was the guy who invented different personas. It seemed like every time you looked up, David was somebody different. Alladin Sane and The Thin White Duke were just two.

He very politely thanked me on the air.
And me? I darn near fainted.

The next time I saw him was on a flight to L.A. on Christmas Eve 1995. My daughter Maya, who is twenty now, was a baby then.
David was newly married to Iman, the super model and super nice person. I knew her and brought Maya over and after she cooed over her she said, "Show her to David. Maybe he'll get some ideas!"

Well, they have a daughter now and I guess I'm the guy you should be thanking for that.

Last story...

As you know, I did Live By Request on A & E and David was the star of one of those shows.

The way it worked was there was a studio audience of about two hundred people with millions more watching on the tube. People would call in, David would talk to them, and play their memories.

Very cool.

In the audience that night were Tony, my sister and brother, Karen and Kirk, and my wife, Denise.

Big Time Bowie fans, all.

During commercial breaks there was down time and each of the artists we did handled that time differently. Phil Collins played Motown songs, Elton John sang bawdy limericks.  David just stood there quietly while his makeup artist touched him up.

And then it happened.

From the audience a woman shouted, "David, I love you!" Everybody laughed including David. When the crowd died down, he said with a twinkle in his eye, "You don't love me, you just admire me from a distance!" The audience erupted again.

The show continued, he was great, the band was great and afterwards I took my entourage backstage to meet Mr. Bowie.

On the ride home, I was still so pumped, and we excitedly talked about the evening. I said, "Can you believe that woman shouting out that she loved David?" They all turned to my wife and said, "SHE did it!"
"I couldn't help myself," Denise said sheepishly.

I was aghast and proud at the same time.

True story.

David Bowie.

A true original.

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  1. Go Denise! That took some moxie! Guess you had to step up the game to compete with him--ha! Love this story. Leave it to you to have a personal anecdote when a famous person dies. I now believe you have interviewed the whole lot! Kudos for a great story, Mark!

  2. Very nice, Mark. Kirk posted the A&E concert today. My first time viewing it. The loss of a legend.