Sydney Morning Herald - 13th Feb 2004

Cross Bowie

By Dino Scatena

Ziggy Stardust never really looked out of place in Elizabeth Bay.

David Bowie has never called Australia home, but he did own an apartment in Sydney for many years.

"I've had really good times in Australia," says rock's most celebrated chameleon. "Always do. I keep telling people that if they want to start their lives over again, go over to Australia to do it."

Bowie first visited our shores during his 1978 Low and Heroes World Tour, but it wasn't until he returned in 1983 that he started forging a closer relationship.

The video clip for Bowie's comeback single, Let's Dance, was set and filmed in an outback pub. The clip for the follow-up single, China Girl, captured Bowie running through the streets of Sydney, infamously ending up naked on one of our beaches, conquering China, as it were.

"They were really very strong, those pieces," says Bowie. "It was a very invigorating time."

Bowie was back later that year as part of his all-conquering Serious Moonlight World Tour.

He next toured in 1987 with the not-so-fabulous Glass Spider extravaganza.

By that time, he had also been regularly taking holidays in his apartment in Elizabeth Bay.

"I would come over for a month or so at a time," he says. "It was really, really fabulous. I loved being there. It was just a great place to be."

Bowie's last official visit was at the end of 1989, when he and his band of the time, Tin Machine, chose a Sydney studio to record their second album (Tin Machine II).

Bowie hasn't been back since, and has sold his pad, too.

"Mainly the reason being that I just wasn't getting there enough and it seems a waste of a really nice apartment," he says.