25 Fascinating Facts about David Bowie

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1China Girl

David Bowie recorded ‘China Girl’ to pull Iggy Pop from financial ruin.


2. David Bowie asked his fans to vote for which songs he should play for his 1990 world tour. They voted for “The Laughing Gnome” which is arguably Bowie’s worst song. Bowie did not play the song at the world tour.


3. David Bowie refused Knighthood in 2003, which would have made him Sir David Bowie. He said, “I would never have any intention of accepting anything like that. I seriously don’t know what it’s for. It’s not what I spent my life working for.”


4. Many people think Bowie has two different colored eyes. In reality, they are both blue. What you are seeing is his permanently dilated pupil. When he was about 15, Bowie got into a fight with a good friend whose fingernail sliced into his eye just so as he got clocked. Doctors were concerned that he would lose his sight entirely in that eye but ended up being able to restore it (albeit with some depth perception and dilation problems). But, Bowie didn’t hold grudges. His sparring partner later did some of the artwork for his album sleeves.


5. David Bowie was known as a multi-instrumentalist. In addition to his playing guitar, keyboards, harmonica, and saxophone, he played stylophone, viola, cello, koto, thumb piano, drums, and percussion.


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6Telling Lies

David Bowie was the first major artist to release a downloadable single (Telling Lies) in 1996.


7. His real name was David Jones. He even recorded his first single “Liza Jane” under the name Davie Jones. He later changed his name to not be confused with Davy Jones, the lead singer of the Monkees, who was already famous in the United States.


8. When David Bowie heard Nirvana’s cover of “The Man Who Sold the World”, he said he was “blown away” by the fact that Kurt Cobain liked his work, and said, “it would have been nice to have worked with him, but just talking with him would have been real cool.”


9. While making ‘Station To Station,’ his diet consisted of only red peppers, milk, and cocaine. He said that he doesn’t even remember the recording sessions because he was so coked out.


10. David Bowie was briefly banned from SNL in 1997 for playing a song that reminded Lorne Michaels too much of the time when he was a heavy coke user.


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11Under Pressure

“Under Pressure” was written by David Bowie and Queen during a 24-hour wine and cocaine marathon.


12. When David Bowie played his song “Andy Warhol” to Andy Warhol, he did not like it. When the song had finished playing, Warhol and Bowie reportedly just stared at each other for a while until Warhol said “I like your shoes” and the pair then had a conversation about shoes.


13. David Bowie was the first sexually ambiguous British pop star, declaring himself bisexual in 1972 (before contemporaries such as Freddie Mercury and Elton John made similar declarations) and only five years since male homosexuality had been decriminalized in the UK. In a magazine interview, he stated that he met his first wife when they were in a relationship with the same man.


14. The baby noises heard in “Magic Dance” in The Labyrinth was dubbed over by David Bowie himself because he felt the actual baby didn’t perform as required.


15. David Bowie once performed at the Berlin Wall, while East Germans gathered to listen behind. He said “And we would hear them cheering and singing along from the other side. God, even now I get choked up. It was breaking my heart. I’d never done anything like that in my life, and I guess I never will again.”


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16Let’s Dance

The late great Stevie Ray Vaughn got his ‘mainstream’ start playing with Bowie, playing on his studio album “Let’s Dance.” Stevie was one of the best blues guitarists ever, and if it weren’t for his time in Bowie’s band, who knows if we’d know who he was.


17. Queen’s collaboration with David Bowie on ‘Under Pressure’ wasn’t planned. Bowie just happened to be by the studio while Queen were recording the song.


18. An unknown Freddie Mercury, at that time a London shoe stall assistant, fitted David Bowie for a pair of boots, over 10 years before “Under Pressure” was recorded.


19. David Bowie and William Boyd created a fictional (hoax) artist called Nat Tate with an aim to expose the pretensions of the art world.


20. There is a spider named after David Bowie, the ‘Heteropoda davidbowie.’


21Low

After David Bowie released his album ‘Low’, Nick Lowe responded by releasing an album named ‘Bowi.’


22. David Bowie was next on a hit list of targets of John Lennon’s assassin, Mark David Chapman.


23. The Moonwalk pre-dates Michael Jackson by at least 50 years, having been performed by James Brown, David Bowie, Dick Van Dyke, and Cab Calloway.


24. David Bowie once kept a four-foot-deep, fur-covered bed nicknamed “the pit” in his living room for orgies with famous friends.


25. Ola Hudson, Guitarist Slash’s mom, while Slash was just a kid, worked at one point as a costume designer for David Bowie. Eventually, they developed a relationship and Slash walked in on them once.

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