Ziggy Stardust

January 2007


David Bowie will be 60 on the eighth of this month. He celebrated 50 with a bash at Madison Square Garden, televised around the world as a pay-per-view, but it looks like 60 will be a quieter celebration. He shares a birthday with Elvis Presley, albeit, the King was born 12 years earlier than Bowie. Offstage, Bowie is David Robert Jones. He married his second wife, Iman, in 1992. They have a daughter, Alexandria Zahra Jones, nicknamed Lexie. Bowie also has a son Joe, aged 35, with his first wife Angie.


I first fell in love with Bowie’s music on a clear, crisp, Christmas Eve night in 1977. My brother was driving the family back from our annual Christmas get-together at my aunt’s country house. While in the back seat looking up at the moon bulging with fullness, Bowie’s song Space Oddity began playing on the radio. My brother turned it up and no one spoke a word. I felt like the earth stood still for those five minutes. The ethereal music and lyrics, the cold night, the stillness all around that permeated past Earth and to the stars, put me in a place I had never been before.


I met both David Bowie and his former wife Angie. The meeting with Angie was in 1993 in Cleveland, Ohio, at a book-signing for her exposé, Backstage Passes. I walked into the bookstore not knowing she’d be there. After I shook hands with Angie, a reporter started asking me questions about my favorite Bowie song and how long I was a Bowie fan, and I began to feel sorry for Angie, sitting alone, still in David’s shadow.


I met David Bowie on Wednesday, October 11, 1995, after winning six backstage passes from a radio contest. I was such a huge Bowie fan that my vanity license plates read BOWIE. At the concert, I removed the plates from my car to show David as well as to prevent their theft. When I showed David the plates he said, “I’m Bowie, drive me.” I quickly responded, “Every day!” We all shook hands and had a nice photo taken. As part of my prize, I also received mosh-pit tickets. I was lucky enough to move to the very front and watch Bowie sing to me for over two hours, while I stood mesmerized about six feet away from him. Not much could top that night.