David Bowie 65th Birthday
January 8, 2012 by staff
David Bowie 65th Birthday, Browsing the shelves in the fashionable McNally Jackson bookstore in New York’s SoHo, a man in a grey overcoat and flat cap barely merits a glance from other shoppers. A regular customer at one of the few independently-owned bookstores left in the city, where he mostly buys books on art, the man exchanges a few pleasantries with the staff before buying, on this occasion, a couple of DVDs.
Then he ducks back out to the busy Manhattan streets and disappears anonymously into the crowds.
Hardly anyone has noticed that the man with the computer bag slung casually over his shoulder is David Bowie, the godfather of glam rock and one of the most enigmatic of rock ’n’ roll legends – and that’s exactly how he likes it.
For the elder statesman of rock, who tomorrow turns 65 and officially becomes a pensioner, has retired from the limelight and is content to live the quiet life as a husband and father.
It is thought Bowie – real name David Robert Jones – has not written a new song in nine years.
“He’s no longer interested,” says a friend. “His days are very sedate. He reads a lot, he watches movies, he paints. He picks up his daughter from school most days and has a great air of contentment.
“He has nothing to prove and living a normal, functioning life for the first time is – to him – very exotic and attractive.
“Nobody worked and played harder than David. He feels he’s earned the right to do exactly as he pleases.” Last month lost footage of Bowie performing The Jean Genie on Top Of The Pops resurfaced after 38 years.
The flame-red cckatoo haircut, androgynous good looks and outlandish stage outfits still stun, even in these days of Lady Gaga.
Dreary 70s Britain was shocked and seduced by this alien life form, a South London boy desperate for fame.
Articulate and with a dry sense of humour, Bowie knew how to create a stir.
Desperate to knock Mick Jagger off his pedestal as Britain’s Baddest Bad Boy at the time, Bowie declared archly: “I think Jagger would be astounded and amazed if he realised that to many people he is not a sex symbol but a mother image.” Miaow. The two later became friends – but were fiercely competitive.
Bowie now looks back on his eager youth with amusement – although he has kept every single costume from those wild days.
When he found the superstardom he craved via his outlandish stage persona Ziggy Stardust, it proved a bitter fruit. Drink, drugs. Girls, boys. Bowie enjoyed excess all areas.
As he switched characters in a bid to stay one step ahead – Major Tom, Halloween Jack, The Thin White Duke – he became addicted to cocaine for a decade followed by a descent into alcoholism.
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