David Bowie Diaries 1973-1974-1975 1975
MY WORLD by David Bowie


Spectrum Arena, Philadelphia 1974 David Bowie Diaries 1975 David Bowie Los Angeles 1975

1st February 1975

   Kon Chi Fa Tsai! That means Happy New Year in Chinese! You may think my greeting is a bit belated, but it isn't, if you're Chinese that is. In China the year 4673 has only just started. The Chinese measure time from way back over 2000 years B.C. and have special animal names for each year like the year of the ox, tiger, snake, etc. This New Year is the year of the rabbit.

   Now, you may be wondering why I'm telling you all this! Well, it's because I've just been to a huge Chinese New Year's celebration. You see the Chinese-Americans keep up the tradition and have really big festivals over here in Chinatown every new year. And I was lucky enough to be in Chinatown for one night of the celebration. Chinatown in New York is really interesting all year round. It's got thousands of restaurants and little shops where they sell all sorts of exotic things. Instead of chemist shops they have herbalists who cure all their customers ills with things that seem to me to be magic potions.

   Anyway, on Chinese New Year the area becomes really incredible. They have huge noisy parades with people dressed up in colourful and frightening costumes, acrobats and dancers who perform in the middle of the streets - and people come from far and wide to see the celebrations.

   My favourite part of the parade was the dragon. They use this enormous paper dragon which is painted very brightly and has fierce look on his face. He's about thirty feet long and about ten men stand under him to make it look like he's walking and charging at people. All this is accompanied by fireworks and the whole thing is quite exciting. The little children whose parents had taken them out for a night of fun weren't having a very good time, though. They were frightened to death and I'm sure they had nightmares about a monster coming after them, so I'm awfully glad that Zows wasn't along to see it! I enjoyed my little taste of Chinese culture, though - and I didn't have any nightmares!

   Cherry Vanilla is doing another show and I went to see her again. She's fabulous as usual and she's expanded her act to include more songs, and poems, including one about Yours Truly! I'm very flattered to say the least.

   I must go now, I'm late for a show I'm going to tonight. So goodbye until next week...

8th February 1975

   Freddie Burrett came over for dinner the other night. It was really great to see him, 'cos even though he's been here for ages, we haven't got together for quite a while and we had a lot to talk about! He told me me he never wants to see another sequin or feather boa again. He's completely off the glitter look and is getting back into the classic elegance of haute couture (as he puts it). Actually, his ideas are quite fabulous. He's working with furs now and I'm so impressed with his designs that I've put in my order for my first fur! It should be really beautiful - very slimly cut.

   Freddie's greatly influenced by Italian fashion currently, so anyone he dresses, including me, will no doubt wind up looking like an Italian Count. Next, Freddie will try to convince me to grow a pencil thin moustache like the one he wears. I'll try very hard to resist the urge!

   We had quite a party in town the other night. Before they went home, all of Dana's band members, Dana and I decided to have an impromptu get-together. All the band are Ronno's old friends from Hull, except for the drummer and the keyboard player who was my musical director on the last tour - so we all knew each other really well and swapped stories about the good old days. Did you know that Ronno used to be a gardener at an all-girls' school in Hull? He was quite popular there, until the authorities noticed that all the girls' grades were going down and the quantity of weeds were going up! Anyway, Ronno's come a long way since then!

   The biggest news at MainMan these days is that Tony DeFries (my manager) may begin to manage Raquel Welch! Just think, I won't be the only sex symbol in the MainMan stable of talent! I don't know if I'll be able to stand the competition - only kidding!

   Angie has been playing matchmaker again. The last time she was over here, she introduced Geoffrey, my back-up singer and best friend to this French girlfriend of hers. Well, Geoffrey has fallen in love! His girlfriend lives in Europe now, so Geoffrey is dying to get back there. They talk to each other every day on the telephone (very expensive) and Geoffrey talks of no one else. Ah, love, isn't it wonderful?!

   Just lately I've become a backgammon addict. Backgammon is the dice game that it seems everyone over here in the States has been playing for quite a while. In fact, that's why I've resisted learning it for so long, 'cos it's so chic. Anyway, finally I gave in and let some of my friends teach me.

   Of course, I now love the game and play it every chance I get. I've even started betting on the games and owe my guitarist fifty dollars, which I'm determined to win back!

   I've really been getting into soul music just recently. It could be the result of my trip to Detroit which is the centre of that particular brand of music these days.

   Anyway, I included more soul songs in my recent concerts, and they really did make the shows a lot more exciting.

   Well, I think I'll try to dig up a partner for backgammon now - I can feel that gambling urge coming on! So long for now.

15th February 1975

   Things are just changing so quickly around here! I'm staying in New York for a while longer and I'm not going to Brazil at all - even for a vacation. They've got an epidemic of some strange disease down there, and so I decided it would be safer to stay here!

   But, I've got some very exciting news! I'm finally going to make the film I've been wanting to do for so long! It's going to have a 'Diamond Dogs' theme and I start right away! It's been in the planning stages ever since the 'Diamond Dogs' idea came into my mind (that seems so long ago) and now it's finally in pre-production! But, the sad news is that doesn't leave me any time for a European tour.

   My return to Europe is going to be delayed, but actually that will give me more time to get it in shape. Mind you, I don't expect it to be easy making a movie, but always being on the road takes more out of a person than you can imagine!

   I spoke to Ronno the other day and he's starting a new band with Ian of Mott The Hoople. It's bound to be fabulous when the two of them get together. I can't wait to see what they come up with. Mick's over here now working as guitarist and arranger for Lou Reed, so it seems that he's got a pretty heavy schedule set up for himself! Mick and Susie (his assistant) still haven't had much luck in finding a house, so they think they'll probably have to settle for a flat in town. Looks like Mick's never going to get back into the country way of life again, much to his dismay!

   Speaking of flats - I'm pondering about moving again. Isn't that crazy? No sooner do I have time to spend in my apartment that I want to change into a new one. Anyway, I put out word to all the people at MainMan to keep an eye out for a new place. This apartment better be sound-proofed, because I'm getting a few complaints from neighbours who aren't used to musicians living so close by. I try to blame all the racket on Zows, but I'm afraid no one's falling for that excuse! They all think Zowie is a little angel - well, he does look rather like one!

   I must bid you a fond adieu now.

   Meet you here again in the pages of Mirabelle next week.

22nd February 1975

   I went to the wildest party the other night - and gained a bit of culture as well. The party was for the opening of an art gallery and the whole affair was terribly ritzy and totally mad. It took place way across town, so all the people who were invited to this event were picked up and taken there by horsedrawn carriage. That was strange enough as it is. People aren't used to seeing horses trotting along New York City streets, but even stranger was the incredible variety of people riding in the carriages! Yoko Ono was in one, being very quiet and ladylike; David Cassidy shared a carriage with me - it was the first time we'd met and was quite an interesting experience; and various artists, actors, actresses, society people and celebrities took up space in the rest of the carriages.

   There were sixty artists exhibiting at the art gallery, and the theme of this first show as, "The Condition Of The Tie Today" and the guests were dressed in accordance. In fact, one man there was wearing only a necktie. He was the hit of the party!

   I thought the whole thing was very '60s, myself. It was all very pop-artish, you see. There were ties made of every material imaginable. Ties made of oil paint, ties made of metal, ties made of hair - there was even a glass tie, until someone sat on it and crushed it to pieces. But the most spectacular tie of all was a bow-tie made out of beef liver - you could smell it anywhere you went!

   The artists were definitely obsessed with ties. Some of them loved them and treated them as objects of beauty and some of them hated them because they said they were symbols of society's repression!

   Finally, when everyone was almost falling asleep, the carriages came to take us all home. I did have a fabulous time, but I must tell the truth. If I never see another tie again, it will be too soon! I've seen enough to last me a lifetime!

   That's all for now.

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Created: July 1997 © Paul Kinder Last Updated: 4/5/98