My Monday started off beautifully. Really cool comments and emails from great people. Then I found out that falsely accused Coyote Shivers was finally out of jail! And more than thrilled that the magazine I’ve been acting as managing editor for during the past few months is closing this week and our first issue will be out February!
Then I heard the news. It was mentioned in a Mick Karn tribute group that David Bowie was dead at the age of 69. My heart dropped and I had no energy to read anything other than to find out what happened … cancer.
How could this be? The news was kept secret from the press. He just put out a new album. And just a few days ago it was his 69th birthday. My husband and I celebrated by watching the Ziggy Stardust concert.
My husband heard me crying, as my office is next to our bedroom. “David Bowie died,” I said as I cried in his arms. As I am sure many are crying today. David Bowie was an icon to most of us, in our youth. When I was first aware of him, I was probably around 12, reading Creem and Circus magazines. I started buying his records. My all time favorite was “Low” produced by Brian Eno.
In 1984 I saw David Bowie’s Serious Moonlight Tour, 10th row center at Madison Square Garden. It was the first time I spent a crazy amount of money on a ticket. I even got one of the moon balloons, as the show ended with hundreds of them flying over Madison Square Garden.
Around that same time I saw Iggy Pop perform at The Ritz. I don’t remember if it was before or after the show, but I was walking to the upstairs bar and heard a loud voice, “EVERYBODY MOVE TO THE RIGHT!”
I was scared. I thought someone was hurt. But the voice came from a bodyguard who was accompanying David Bowie down the stairs. The legend walked right past me and I was close enough to see his two different sized pupils in his eyes.
In 1987 I saw David Bowie perform again; the Glass Spider Tour, this time in what was once called Giant’s Stadium in New Jersey.
I had tickets to see David Bowie in 1998, at the Roseland Ballroom in NYC, but he had laryngitis and canceled the show. I didn’t know until I got there, so I took a cab ride downtown to see Shane McGowan perform instead.
I loved Bowie’s movies too, “The Man Who Fell to Earth,” “The Hunger,” and “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence” were my favorites.
Almost everyone I know has a story about meeting David Bowie. All the stories are either heartfelt or ridiculously funny. I never met him, but he seemed to be an incredibly kind man with a great sense of humor.
One year prior to her death, I interviewed Cyrinda Foxe, who dated David Bowie while he was with his first wife, Angie. She was in his Jean Genie video. And he was very supportive of her when she had brain cancer, telling her she had to have a “good wig” and making her laugh. Cyrinda spoke to me about Bowie in this interview: http://www.punkmagazine.com/stuff/morestuff/cyrinda_foxe.html
My heart goes out to every Bowie fan out there … this is a very tough day in the music world, indeed.
Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/162903908X