In a graphic patterned suit with velvet lapels in January 1974 Picture credit: PA
FOR myself and millions of others of my age it was always about Bowie. And now, on the morning I have just learnt of his death, I know that for us it will always be – “Where were you when you heard Bowie had died?” It’s unimaginable.
Space Oddity was the first Bowie I heard. I was in my bedroom – a room that had been mine since I was two, with pink walls and black butterflies printed on white curtains – and from the now totemic first chords, I was completely enthralled. The image of Major Tom in his tin can far above the world, and the blue planet below, the triumph and isolation and final tragedy was as gripping as any thriller. From then on it would not be entirely inaccurate to say it was love. Certainly my relationship to the music and style of Bowie over the next few years was as obsessive and consuming as many a love affair, and without any of the downsides.
My friends and I looked to David for our style inspiration. The covers of Aladdin Sane, Pin Ups, Ziggy Stardust were our moodboards. Shaven eyebrows, mullet hair, pale skin, blue and pink eye make-up were all attempted with varying degrees of success. The “swishy satin and tat” of Queen Bitch was our look of choice. We spent all our pocket money on skinny silk scarves from Biba, Forties tea dresses from Kensington Market, panne velvet loons from the Jean Machine, multicoloured platform boots from Sacha. For adults, the Seventies was a time of discord, discontent and recession, but for us it was the glorious age of Bowie.
Performing in Manchester in 2003
Picture credit: PA