A WEEKLY DIARY EXCLUSIVELY WRITTEN FOR MIRABELLE MAGAZINE
5th October 1974 - (4 Page Special)
I must confess that just recently I turned into one of your typical camera carrying tourists! Little Zows had a short holiday away from nursery school to be with his mum and dad out here in California. So, I've got the perfect excuse to go all the places I've heard about since I was just about Zowie's age.
The family's first outing was to Disneyland. We all started out really early - Angie, me, Zowie, Zowie's nanny Marion, and Geoffrey (who was a bit annoyed that he was dragged out of bed so early) and started out to discover just what wonders Disneyland had to offer.
Well, we weren't in the least bit disappointed. Disneyland is quite fabulous! We began on Main Street which is designed to look just like an American town in the 1890s. It's full of old houses, gas lamps, horse-drawn carriages and people walking around in old-fashioned costumes. All the Disney characters came out to meet us and Zowie was astonished to see all the cartoon characters he'd seen in the movies come to life right before his eyes!
Of all the cartoon characters Zowie met that day, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and so on, it was hardest to drag Zowie away from Dumbo. Angie had just taken Zows to see the film 'Dumbo' in New York, so Zowie thought Dumbo and he were old friends.
We spent the whole day going on just about every ride here. Angie loved the Matterhorn, which is a huge replica of that particular Swiss Alp, complete with cascading waterfalls and a roller-coaster which speeds through and around the mountain. I don't know who was more frightened on that 60 m.p.h. trip down the mountain, Zowie or me, but we were holding on to each other for dear life!
Another trip is the boat ride down the Amazon. It's so well done that one really begins to believe one is down in South America. Lazy hippos gaze at you from the water, and alligators swim right up to the boat. They're not real, of course, neither are the natives who stare fearfully at you from the shore - but they certainly look and act real enough. And I was glad when that ride was over and we landed on safe, dry land. I'm afraid I'd never make it as a great white hunter!
We went to Frontier Land just in time to witness a gun fight in front of the old-time western saloon. We were really getting into the swing of things - rooting for the good guy and all. Zowie looked up at me and said: "Don't worry, Daddy, they're just pretending." Just what I need, a three-year-old know-it-all!
But all good things must come to an end and Zowie's little holiday with Angie and me did just that and he's back at nursery school.
Since then I've been receiving some very curious items in the mail. Marion likes to keep me posted on Zowie's progress and so far I've received a number of finger paintings, one of which I'm told is supposed to be me. Actually, it looks like a big red splotch with something resembling an eye on one corner of the paper and arms and legs going every way. I can't remember ever looking like that and the thought of Zowie picturing me in that condition is rather distressing!
The next little project of Zowie's I had the pleasure of receiving was a figure made of clay which was intended to be an animal one would find in a zoo. Well, in my travels, I've been to many zoos all over the world and I've yet to figure out what Zows had in mind for this one. At any rate, I look forward to Zowie's little packages 'cos they're always good for a laugh - no offence, Zowie!
I was paid a very pleasant surprise visit by my friend, Freddie, just a few days ago. He not only regaled me with stories of what has been happening in New York while I've been away, he also showed me designs of all the new autumn clothes that he's been working on for me.
These days, my off-stage wardrobe has been mostly jeans and t-shirts (definitely due to Californian influence) - and Freddie's replenishing my wardrobe with the splendour I fancy myself accustomed to! He's started on a few more suits like the one I wear on stage now, except in heavier-weight materials for colder weather. But the one piece of clothing I'm really excited about is the new coat he's almost finished for me. It's tan camel's hair, very long, with a large stand-up collar and very loose, widely cuffed sleeves. It's very elegant really and definitely a Freddie original. I know it's a Freddie original 'cos Freddie himself has one almost exactly like it! Freddie and I are always being mistaken for one another and from now on there will be no telling us apart!
From what Freddie's been telling me I've really been missing a lot that's going on in New York. Mick Ronson and his assistant, Susie, have just arrived in the city to put the finishing touches to Mick's new album and to generally just have a good time. Every time Mick's been to New York it's been on tour with me, so he hasn't had a chance to see much except the inside of his hotel room. But this time he swears he'll make up for lost time.
Actually while Mick is here I'm really looking forward to one of those really long 'heart-to-heart' talks we used to have together.
Since Mick left to go solo we really haven't had the chance to get together and talk. Also since Mick's departure the rumours that we don't like each other any more have inevitably started.
Well, let me tell you that any rumours like that are definitely rubbish. The only reason Mick and I haven't bothered to deny them is that we simply didn't think it was worth it. We reckoned that anybody who cared about us would know that people like Mick and I couldn't fall out overnight like that.
All that happened was that Mick wanted to find his feet by himself and do the artistic things that he'd always wanted to do.
The latest thing is that he's joining Mott The Hoople. The Hoople, as I'm sure you all know. I'm very intrigued about this, because it could be a really interesting partnership. I can't wait to ask Mick about it. It sounds great and nobody's more pleased about it than I am.
I think I'll take him out for a celebration meal at one of my favourite places where I know he'll get the full star treatment. Mick's a bit shy, but I know he'll love it really!
Of course, there'll be all the news and gossip from England as well. Nobody likes a bit of gossip better than me! I bet you're the same. No, well I don't believe you!
Okay, it's about time for me to sign off now. Keep on smiling!
12th October 1974
I must tell you the most wonderful news! I've bought a new house! It's in a section of New York called Chelsea. The area isn't a chic as Chelsea in London, but it is really comfy. I'm living on a tree-lined street (not easy to find in New York City) and the houses around me are really very quaint and attractive. It seems to be a really friendly area, too. I've already met some of my neighbours and they seem to be quite nice. Of course it helps that my good friend, Cherry Vanilla, just lives a few doors away from me! She knows absolutely everyone - and any friend of Cherry's is a friend of mine - so I've been given the royal treatment!
Anyway, I must tell you about the house! It's enormous! I have six floors - and right now I really don't know how I'm going to take advantage of all this space, but I'm sure Angie has some ideas about how to do it!
My favourite part of the house is the top two floors. The sixth floor is a great big bedroom and this room has a gigantic hole in the centre with a trellis around it and plants streaming all the way down through to the fifth floor - it gives the whole thing a balcony-loft type of effect and it's just great. It's almost like sleeping in a tree-house! The fifth floor is my studio. Finally, I have enough space for all my equipment - video tape machine, cameras, stereos, my piano and guitar and I can go in there and disappear for hours!
I have to say that I'm very satisfied with this new place and I plan to spend many enjoyable hours here!
Let's see, what else have I been doing? Oh yes, I just saw an absolutely charming new stage play. It's called 'Man On The Moon' and it's a musical. The songs were just fabulous - very '40s. In fact, the whole show has a '40ish flavour. It's about an astronaut who lands on this planet that is exactly like earth was about thirty or forty years ago. He meets a girl and they fall in love and everyone lives happily ever after! The show is full of weird space creatures and everyone sings very sweetly and dances very energetically - it's really a perfect show for children, so I think I'll send Zowie off with Marion some afternoon to see it!
I'm now writing this epistle from gloriously sunny California. Even though it's turning into autumn in New York, it's still boiling hot out here and for most people it's perfect beach weather. I say for most people because I personally have never been much of a sun worshipper, as my all-year-round white skin proves.
California is a very funny place, especially Hollywood. It seems that just about everyone out here came to this place wanting to be a movie star and, of course, not everyone makes it, but they all keep trying. Also, everyone seems to be on an enormous health kick. They're forever working out in gyms to keep their bodies in shape and eat nothing but natural foods like whole grain breads, carrot juice, cucumber shakes and so on. And almost no one out here eats meat.
I'm surrounded by vegetarians who, if given half a chance, try to convince me I'm practically a cannibal for my carnivorous ways. I'm starting to feel guilty every time I order a steak.
Another curious thing about being out here is that nobody walks anywhere. Everyone drives. If you don't have a car, you're absolutely lost. There are no subways, or buses, so your only choice is to get a taxi or buy a car! But people carry it to the extreme out here. They get in their cars to go to the corner store. It really takes some getting used to!
Anyway, the most exciting thing I've been doing out here is performing, of course. The concerts have been just fabulous, if I do say so myself! The audiences have really loved the shows and we've received telly coverage on all of them. My friend Geoffrey, is in the show with me, you know. He's one of the back-up dancers and he keeps reminding me that all that late night dancing at the 82 Club in New York has really paid off.
Angie has flown out here to catch the shows and to give me news of London and New York. She's just finished some more modelling assignments in London and raced back to New York to puts Zows in his second year of nursery school. From what I hear Zows is turning into a marvellous student and is quickly becoming 'teacher's pet'.
I must go now and check the equipment for tonight's concert to make certain everything goes perfectly.
26th October 1974
I've just received the most exciting news - and I really must share it with you. My album 'Diamond Dogs' has just been certified gold in America! That means that in the States alone I've sold over a million copies - much cause for celebration! And speaking about celebrating - I've been doing quite a bit of that!
My designer, Freddie, has been over here getting together a whole new wardrobe for me. When he's not hard at work at the drawing board, he's busy being shown around all the New York hotspots.
The other night we went to Madison Square Garden to see a really wild Latin music festival.
I knew Latin music was popular in New York, but I had no idea just how popular! What started out calmly enough, 20,000 people sitting listening to sambas and swaying with the music, soon turned into the most incredible free-for-all. As the music got faster and hotter the audience got wilder and wilder, and by midshow there wasn't one person left in his seat. Everyone, just everyone, that includes Freddie and me, was in the aisles dancing to that Latin beat. If you think people go a bit mad at rock concerts, you wouldn't believe your eyes or ears at something like this!
Freddie thought it was absolutely fantastic and is now a genuine Latin music fanatic, too! For someone who's usually so super-cool, this is rather a dramatic change. Freddie also couldn't keep his eyes off the costumes that the musicians and singer were wearing. Talk about glitter! By the end of the night we were just about blinded by the sequined jackets the men were wearing. Now I know where the glitter look really started!
I've also acquired a taste for the cultural side of life. I've been to the ballet. Admittedly, I've never been an active ballet fan, but I must say I was really quite impressed with this one. It was Nureyev dancing in 'Sleeping Beauty'.
Of course you all know the fairy tale about the princess who falls asleep for a hundred years and can only be awakened by the kiss of a handsome prince - well, I must say, I was carried away by the romance of it all. I've also never seen anything as beautifully and gracefully performed. And to think that those dancers train for years and actually dedicated their lives to adding beauty to the world. It is really quite a stirring experience. See what a little culture can do to a person?
Well, enough of this, I really must be going now, so until next time -
|Created: July 1997 © Paul Kinder||Last Updated: 12/3/08|