A WEEKLY DIARY EXCLUSIVELY WRITTEN FOR MIRABELLE MAGAZINE
7th September 1974
The Bowie household is currently in rather a confused state. Mrs. Bowie always the interior decorator, decided that what our house in New York needs is complete redecoration, from top to toe.
I promptly forgot that Angie had even mentioned this to me until one morning (well, actually late afternoon!) I rolled out of bed and went downstairs to be met by teams of painters, upholsterers and carpenters, all busily attending to their respective jobs, and looking at me as if to say: 'Who let him into the house?' I was beginning to feel like an intruder and considered picking up a paint brush so I'd look like I belonged, when, suddenly, I tripped over a paint can, splattered paint all over the floor and rammed straight into a wall, getting fingerprints all over the wet paint!
Everyone watching tried to suppress their laughter and, I must say, I was the only one in the room who didn't think this was funny. At this point Angie walked into the room took one look at me and knew that if she didn't get me away from the scene of the crime soon that there'd be fireworks. I was still not quite awake and sort of in shock, so I did indeed appreciate being rescued.
Angie took me back upstairs and Corinne, who was watching the commotion from the kitchen, brought me up a cup of tea. Then they informed me that the entire family was moving to a hotel for the duration of the redecorating period. They assured me that when we moved back in, everything would be calm, peaceful and absolutely beautiful.
So, here I am sitting contentedly in our hotel room, not daring to go back to the house to check on the progress. Mainly, because it's just too dangerous to be around there! There are only a few days left until the house will be finished, but I must admit that I'm getting rather attached to just getting anything I want from room service. When I go home, I'll probably drive Angie crazy by saying, 'Get me this' or 'Get me that', but she'll put an end to that pretty quickly I assure you!
Oh, there's one thing I really must tell you before I go. A good friend of mine, Ava Cherry (she just happens to be a MainMan artist) has got her first role in a play. She's going to be playing Dorothy in a stage production of 'The Wizard Of Oz' and everyone is really excited about it. I'll tell you all about it after I see it.
I must tell you all about the wonderful new projects I've become involved in. I'm going to produce a movie called Oktobriana. What, you may say, is an Oktobriana? Well, Oktobriana is a who, not a what, and she's the beautiful blonde, super-heroine of a very famous Russian underground comic strip.
I was given the collection of Oktobriana comic strips as a present - and while reading them it suddenly came to mind what a fabulous thing it would be to make Oktobriana (OK for short) a real person and film all her escapades. We'd even update the Oktobriana adventures and while she'd still be an exotic Russian, her adventures would be all over the world and she'd perhaps even wind up in space, occasionally.
Then I got stumped. Who in the world could play the role of this invincible, indestructible heroine? Luckily, I didn't have to go too far for the answer to that question. MainMan's own Amanda Lear just happens to be the perfect person. Amanda is blonde with a very fiery temperament just like the lady in question and she also really does have a Russian background. She was absolutely destined to play Oktobriana.
When I told Amanda about it she was very excited and we began working on scripts immediately. You know, of course, that I just can't resist writing in at least a tiny part for myself. We'll have to come up with a segment, 'Oktobriana Meets Starman', or something like that. Anything to get starstruck Bowie into the show!
Anyway, Amanda is having such a great time with this character that she doesn't want to be known as anything else. As she says, "Amanda is the past, Oktobriana is today". She says this with a flawless Russian accent so one tends to respect her wishes.
We're also having a wonderful time designing costumes for Oktobriana.
Our plans so far have Oktobriana wearing clothes made out of animals skins, high boots on her legs and she'll also carry a shining sabre. This girl really means business. Sounds exciting, doesn't it?
Oktobriana also has an album of songs coming out in the near future. It tells of all Oktobriana's adventurers and her loves and I'll have my hand in producing this record, too!
It's not going to be easy creating a match for the last great super-hero of the world, Ziggy Stardust, but Oktobriana is in mighty good hands.
I really must tell you about my very favourite city to perform in the whole of the United States of America! It's Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - and it's one place that has always been so good to me that I've gained a special kind of attachment for it.
Last time I appeared there instead of playing in a huge arena, I was welcomed back to the Tower Theatre. It's a great old local movie theatre, seating only about 3,000 - and has such wonderful sound quality and vibrations.
And during that particular visit to Philadelphia, I was pleased to find that my very good friend, Ava Cherry, was recording there, too. So I got to see her smiling face and snow white hair every night back-stage, before and after the show.
You may already know that Angie's been spending a lot of time in London just recently. She's working on a 'secret' project - yes it's even secret to me! Angie has also been re-organising all the MainMan fan clubs so that you will be receiving much better attention in the near future - and some very selective and valuable facts on Zowie, Dana, Ronno, Angie and yours truly.
Every time Angie and I are apart I really do miss her, but I also understand that she has to do her own 'thing' - and I think we've found that the key to our happy marriage is the freedom of expression we allow each other.
Although one's natural instinct is often to possess, we must realise that to prevent or deter each other's individual growth is to prevent or deter the growth of the relationship. Many people with old-fashioned ideals and habits may view our marriage as something bizarre - but when I sing the words in 'Space Oddity' (and by the way, I still include this song in my shows) "tell my wife I love her very much..." Well, I mean them as much now as I did when I first wrote that line for Angie, even though she's now often oceans away.
Back on the work scene... I've almost completed work on my next album, and I should soon be starting on part two of my current U.S.A. tour.
During my last tour I really had to keep to a very tight schedule - and that was just another reason why I was so pleased to be in Philadelphia again. Let me explain... I appeared there six nights in a row - and with the kind of schedule I'd been keeping to, staying in the same place for just about a week was like a rest cure!
On that particular tour I lost a few pounds in weight and suffered from a bad sore throat for a while. But apart from that everything went fine.
I also had a short holiday at the gorgeous Cherry Vanilla's beach house on Fire Island, and that break did me a power of good!
This week I'm going to tell you about one of my concerts in July at Madison Square Garden, New York City. The first one was on a Friday night and there was the loveliest red sunset over Central Park and the West Side of Manhattan - and with a nine p.m. show starting time, I got to see it all!
I sat quietly and alone for almost an hour staring out of my hotel window, sort of meditating. I really needed it, too, because I must say that for the very first time in my whole career, I felt what can only be termed as 'scared stiff'. I'm not quite sure why. Certainly I've played in large arenas before and at a time in my career where fright would certainly have seemed to be expected. But on that particular night I got a very bad case of the 'jitters'.
Well, the sun went down behind the Manhattan skyscrapers, and I slipped back into reality when my friend Corinne came to get me. I swallowed hard, had a look in the mirror to make sure I was there(!) and followed her out of the hotel suite. But I forgot all about my nerves when I saw Angie and Dana standing in the hallway waiting for the lift. They looked gorgeous!
Then we went to the hall and the ladies went to their seats, and I went to my dressing room where, once again, I was alone and scared.
Then suddenly I began to hear a trickle of recorded sounds. I was escorted out of the dressing-room and, like a giant tidal wave of sounds, I heard the roar of 15,000 faithful fans.
When I stepped onto the stage, I freaked out! There was absolutely nothing but blackness in front of me - a giant wall of roaring blackness. For some reason, the way Jules had the lights set, I couldn't even see the first row - and me with a rare case of nerves! Well, the roar continued and the music was good - but my voice just wasn't coming out right. So I just danced more than usual, and thank goodness the crowd seemed to be pleased.
I made up my mind that the next show on Saturday night was going to knock 'em dead! I hurried out of the theatre, feeling a bit depressed, changed my clothes and went to a little MainMan family type party at the Plaza. Mick Jagger and Bette Midler arrived, and very soon I was in a relaxed state. I laughed myself silly that I should ever be afraid of anything. Then I took Angie by the hand, threw kisses goodnight and went home to get a good night's sleep and to dream about the nightmare that really wasn't.
|Created: July 1997 © Paul Kinder||Last Updated: 10/6/12|