When someone of the status of David Bowie dies, we naturally find ourselves revisiting our music collections and moments from our past. Here’s a moment from mine.
Sometime in the early 2000s I was leaving the Dorchester Hotel in London after a junket. I can’t remember which one now. But I recall that it was raining and we journos were all scrambling for black cabs as we exited onto Park Lane.
I decided to hightail it down to the Hilton, a few hundred yards away. Actually the plan was to sprint down to Green Park tube station but the rain was too heavy.
I reached the Hilton and, lo! There was a cab. I approached it from the road, opened the door and clambered in. The driver was going nuts, shouting in a broad London accent, “Nah, mate! Nah! I’ve gotta fare, mate!”
I slammed the door shut and sat there momentarily, dripping wet with my hair plastered to my head and my bag on my lap. Then I became aware that there was someone else in the back of the cab. I hadn’t bothered to look as I’d got in; I was just too relieved to find an empty taxi in the pissing rain.
I looked up and across to see the impish face of… David Bowie. He was the last person I expected to meet that day. He smiled and said, “I think you’ll find this one is booked.”
I started babbling and shuffled back towards the door, opened it and got out. I shot a glance at the driver who responded with a look that was part fury, part relief. And then a quick look at the back-seat passenger who gave me a quick regal wave as the car pulled away.
I was left standing in the rain with a handful of people regarding me from the kerb with something approaching curiosity and bemusement. And that was my sole interaction with David Bowie.
One of us was the epitome of cool. The other was just a soggy mess.
David Bowie 1947 – 2016