Monday, January 11, 2016

Without David Bowie

For my 25th birthday, my ex-husband arranged that I interview David Bowie.  We were friends with his managers, and I was working at the television division of Newsweek,  and I loved everything that David Bowie did.  I’ll never forget meeting him. Oh, those blue eyes!  When I woke up this morning at 6 am and read that Bowie had passed away, I felt myself instantly transported back through the decades to that suite at the Pierre Hotel.

Bowie was warm and charming and very humble during the time we spent together.  He had just returned from a trip to Africa with his young son, and he was eager to tell me about it.  He felt very drawn to the African people and was honored that they had been able to meet with some Masai tribesmen.  He told me that it had been hard to arrange since a group of tourists had gone there and caused trouble.  He said that the Masai believed that if you took their photograph, you would steal their souls, so the tourists had agreed to not bring any cameras. One man secreted his Instamatic in his jacket and took a photo of one of the warriors, who smashed the camera, stabbed the tourist and tried to kill him.  Bowie and his little boy had a very different, positive experience, and were welcomed by the tribe.

He proudly went into his luggage and pulled out a Masai spear to show me that they had given him a special present to show how he was their friend.  I was captivated by him, by his stories and his graceful aura. He was so delicate and slim and wrapped himself elegantly around a chair, smoking cigarettes and pouring tea for me.  I decided that David Bowie was everything that a rock star should be, with a strong dash of debonair gentleman thrown in for good measure.

About a month later, my ex and I had dinner with his parents, who had just returned from a safari trip to Africa.  They brought us a gift.  I was astonished when we opened our present and it was a spear just like the one that Bowie had shown me.  “Oh my god, where did you get this?” I asked excitedly.  “Why, all those Masai were selling them along with other trinkets on the street corner outside our hotel,” my mother-in-law told me, “We thought it would be fun to bring you something different for your apartment.”

I still don’t know what to make of it.  Let’s just say that I was bewitched by David Bowie, and leave it at that. “There’s no smoke without fire.”  Now, one of the great masters of mystery has left this world, and while his legacy of music, film and theatre remain, we will miss his fabulous flame.

My favorite Bowie song: 

Just when I'm ready to throw in my hand
Just when the best things in life are gone
I look into your eyes, uh, uh
There's no smoke without fire, uh, uh
You're exactly who I want to be with, uh, uh
Without you
What would I do
And when I'm willing to call it a day
Just when I won't take another chance
I hold your hand, uh, uh
There's no smoke without fire, uh, uh
Woman I love you, uh, uh
Without you
What would I do

David Bowie, “Without You”



Calm, Forward, Straight said...

Now it's time to leave the capsule if you dare...

Mrs Shoes said...

I think it's entirely possible that Bowie's story was a true one; just because they also make spears for sale wouldn't make their gift to him any less special.
My (now deceased) Gramma crocheted gorgeous(!) large pieces (like tablecloths, etc) as a big part of her income, but every doily that she ever gave to me is special because she made it with her own two hands.

Horse Companion said...

Hi I really enjoyed reading your blog. Yes it's sad about David Bowie. I met him once at a party in London years ago. Really nice guy. I'm adding your link to my list of favourites on my web page.