Sunday, 17 January 2016

The Night David Bowie Stuck His Tongue Out At Me

David Bowie, looking effortlessly cool, as always.

I never 'met' David Bowie, but he did stick his tongue out at me once. I saw him play live three times. The third time was the best: on the Earthling tour, at the Shepherd's Bush Empire, in London. My trusty copy of The Complete David Bowie by Nicholas Pegg tells me that it would have been either the 11th or 12th of August, 1997 (I can't remember which, now). That's a small venue, especially for someone of Bowie's stature - the capacity is about 2,000. Even better, I was right up next to the stage: the balcony/circle at the Empire curves right around the side of the stage, and I was up there, stage left, mere feet away from the action down below. As I remember it, Bowie strolled on strumming an acoustic guitar for the opening number, Quicksand, and I, somewhat beside myself with excitement, simply pointed down at him, a massive grin on my face. "You're David Bowie! The actual real David Bowie!" I thought to myself. Bowie caught my eye, proper full-on eye contact, and stuck his tongue out, Einstein style, right at me, as if to say, "I know! I'm David Bowie! Good, innit!"
As I said, I can't remember which night I went, but there's a 50% chance it all happened seconds before the picture on this audience video (from the 12th) comes into focus...

RIP, Mr Bowie. You will be sorely missed. In know it's been widely quoted, but it's worth repeating Dean Podesta's (not Simon Pegg's) tweet:

If you're ever sad, just remember the world is 4.543 billion years old and you somehow managed to exist at the same time as David Bowie.

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