14.2.14

BOWIE & THE MEDIA - Part 2

A sense of doubt characterised Bowie’s more dramatic press statements from the Ziggy era onwards and to confuse the issue he regularly contracted himself, no doubt deliberately, in order to maintain his enigmatic mystique. The boldest example of this was in the case of what most observers regard as his most important interview ever.
          In the third week of January, 1972, David sat down to talk with Michael Watts of Melody Maker. It still stands as the most famous interview David ever gave, the picture of the star in his Ziggy cat-suit alongside the headline ‘Oh you pretty thing’ acting as a statement of intent that probably did more than anything else to unleash David Bowie on to the world.
“I'm gay and I always have been, even when I was David Jones,” he told Watts who described David as ‘as camp as a row of tents, with his limp hand and trolling vocabulary’. That same week the London Evening Standard picked up on the story and repeated it. Ken Pitt was horrified. “I wasn’t at all happy when the ‘I’m Gay interview appeared’,” he says. “It wasn’t the kind of thing I would have advised him to do.”
          “I think he said it very deliberately,” says Watts today. “I brought the subject up. I think he planned at some point to say it to someone. He definitely felt it would be good copy. He was certainly aware of the impact it would make.”
          But was it true? “I think it was or had been true,” continues Watts. “I think he’d had a relationship with a man at some time in his life so it wasn’t a lie. I don’t think he was lying. There may have been something between him and Mick Jagger. I think it was something [manager] De Fries encouraged. He [De Fries] understood the news value of something like that. I was aware of a changed mood towards gay people, not just in rock but in culture as a whole.
          “Bowie was a very alluring, charismatic figure. You couldn’t help but feel he had a hell of a lot of magnetism. He looked like a star. It was a mixture of film star and rock star appeal – he was so much better looking than other rock stars.”
          But when I brought the subject up in Detroit four years later Bowie denied it completely. “Bisexual? Oh Lord no, positively not. That was just a lie. They gave me that image so I stuck to it pretty well over the years. I never adopted that stance. It was given to me. I’ve never done a bisexual action in my life, on stage, on record, or anywhere else. I don’t think I even had much of a gay following. A few glitter queens maybe, but nothing much really.”
          Yet, later that same year, talking to Cameron Crowe for Playboy, Bowie said: “It’s true. I am bisexual. But I can’t deny I have used that fact very well. I suppose it’s the best thing that ever happened to me. It didn't really matter who or what it was with, as long as it was a sexual experience. So it was some very pretty boy in class in some school or other that I took home and neatly fucked on my bed upstairs.”
          Meanwhile Bowie made no secret of the fact that he was – or had been – married, had a son and, like so many in his profession, displayed a healthy appetite for female groupies, several of whom have gone on record about the experience, some purring with contentedness as they recall the size of his manhood.
          “He doesn’t lie so much as change his mind all the time,” says Bowie’s most recent biographer, David Buckley. “This, married with a very short attention span, means that he’s constantly hopping from one idea to the next. So, he can say, back in 1990, that he’ll never play his hits again, and genuinely believe it, even though the rest of the population on the globe know that that was never going to be possible.”


No comments:

Post a comment