Strange how things coincide. I was only reading about David Bowie’s earliest days in yesterday’s Sunday Times and then this morning the story comes full circle with the news of his death.
It came from extracts from the memoirs of his former landlady and lover, Mary Finnigan, titled Psychedelic Suburbia: David Bowie and the Beckenham Arts Lab published this month.
They met in the summer of ’69 when she heard him playing his 12-string guitar at the home of his friend, Barry Jackson, and invited him over to share some tincture of cannabis, like you do. She invited him to become her lodger at £5 a week, not that he ever paid her or that she minded too much.
I presume she published the book to coincide with Bowie’s latest and last album, Black Star, but I guess the timing could not have been better from Finnigan’s pint of view. I can’t link to the News Review feature as it is subscription only, but there is similar fare from The Independent here.
The news of his death came as something of a shock, mostly because I still think of him as that twenty-something whose music meant a lot to me when I was a twenty-something. Part of me says that we never grew up from that and Bowie’s passing is an unpleasant reminder of my own mortality.
I won’t go on since there will be plenty of other words to be read about him over the coming days, but I wanted to include one of his songs. The question is, which one? In the end I plumped for The Man Who Sold the World from his third album of the same name. It has been much covered (versions by Midge Ure and Lulu spring to mind) and this video is from 2000.