The Sun - 7th January 1973
THE BOWIE FREAK-OUT
On the road with the man 250,000 fans fight to see
By Bob Hart
THE DAVID BOWIE show was about to reach its climax.
As the music hit boiling point, the flame-headed star peeled off his patterned silk playsuit, and stood rocking in gleaming red briefs.
Fans fought to reach the stage. Seats were ripped out, and limbs snapped.
At the back of the hall, a young couple happily made love.
This was Glasgow. Just a few nights ago. David Bowie, the new god of pop 'n' rock was on the road with the freakiest show in Britain today.
Backstage Bowie said: "They really are animals here, and I love them."
Told of the rival performance at the back of the hall, he said: "Isn't that incredible? As far as I know, nobody has ever made it at one of my gigs before. That is devotion."
The freaky scenes they see on stage where Bowie has his ornate costumes torn from him by girl helpers, are no more bizarre than the off-stage carry-ons.
In the Bowie camp, unisex is taken to its farthest extremes. The male make-up fad, now creeping into pop, is in full swing here.
At Dundee, a blonde autograph hunter broke through hotel security and confronted the Bowie entourage. "Which one is David?" she asked.
"That's me," said an earringed fellow called Jamie. "And this," he said pointing to Bowie, "is my wife."
"Hi, there," purred Bowie.
The blonde went away happy with her autographs of Mr and Mrs David Bowie.
Jamie is just one of the 30 disciples, male and female, who travel in the wake of this 26-year-old Londoner.
Jamie and another New Yorker called Zee were in Andy Warhol's sex-shocker play Pork. Bowie hired them for his management team.
"Travelling can be unpleasant," Bowie says, "but not the way I do it. I surround myself with witty, colourful, brilliant people." Among them is a black bodyguard named Stu, who is built like a buffalo and moves like a panther.
Intruders who try to force their way into the Bowie camp soon come up against him. But not all strangers are kept at bay.
As soon as young David moves into a club or hotel lounge, the groupies home on him as if they had radar, busying themselves trying to explore his slim body.
They are little different from other groupies.
In the same way, despite the weirdities of Bowie's act, the fans are little different from other pop fans.
They seem as unaware of the peculiar sexual aspects of Bowie's movements, as early Presley fans were of Elvis's uninhibited gyrations.
To them, Bowie's mystical, rocking songs are as romantic and exciting as those of the more conventional pop idols.
David Bowie's fans worship everything about him.
When his wife Angie took her seat in the box at his Edinburgh concert, the audience rose to cheer her as if she was royalty.
To the fans she is just that. And David is the boy king.
TO CLOSE WINDOW