Tattoo by

Tattoo by

Mr. Touchshriek

Why I didn't put Bowie on the back of my Jacket!

I battled with myself.

Should I embroider "Sparks" or "Bowie" on the back of my beige corduroy Wrangler jacket?

Bowie was the obvious choice, but I'd noticed a bit of a backlash occurring and it made me uneasy, and Sparks had just burst on the scene.

Barney still had the Ziggy cut and because his hair was very dark some of the other smoker kids who hung around the bottom of Chapeltown flats at night had started saying he looked more like Eric Faulkner from the Bay City Rollers! Not very nice! Hateful in fact!

I already wore a pair of rubber and plastic crinkly foam wedge boots, almost identical to the ones db wore on the back of the 1972 re-released Space Oddity.

"Bowie" on my back would have given the game away to potential bullies. I'd had enough of being called "four eyes", "space glimp" and "freak out", and being punched repeatedly on the shoulder, a spot that bullies seemed to favour in the 70's, probably 'cos the bruises were kept out of sight, not as detectable as a black eye or a fat lip!!!

Something had to give, I opted for "Sparks".

I still got called the names, I still got punched. That's when I realised it doesn't matter what you do, some people are always gonna be morons. Do what you wanna do.

Barney and I stopped sharing cigarettes with the Bruce Lee fan club who had fallen out with db because he'd killed Ziggy, and his mum said we could hang out in his bedroom, she was alright was Mrs. Maughan. Obviously we were now labelled "Puffs" but we didn't really care, because a best mate who was into Bowie and a place to go where we could listen to records seemed quite an intelligent step up from walking around in the cold, kicking the shit out of phone boxes and bus shelters!

I unpicked "Sparks" from the back of my jacket.

Mr. Touchshriek.
4th February 2003.