The Courier-Mail - 17th Feb 2004

Bowie's back and he's still got the boyish grin

By Kathy Brigade

DAVID Bowie appears to have re-invented himself as an old-style comedian for his first visit to Australia in 17 years with his Reality tour.

Dressed in jeans and collared shirt over a T-shirt, pop's greatest innovator reveals he loves to joke.

"I don't think people have realised how many children I have fathered," he said at his Sydney press conference yesterday. "Whenever a gig comes up, I see all these kids mouthing 'dad' at me."

Asked how it felt to have a a new generation discovering his music, he laughed: "It's great."

And how does he maintain his youthful appearance?

"It's the new teeth," he said with a wide grin.

Bowie reminisced about his former apartment in Elizabeth Bay, which served as his base for month-long adventures to the Outback and north Queensland rainforests during the 1980s.

But he said he wouldn't have time during this visit to return to old haunts, including the journalists' drinking hole, The Evening Star Hotel in Surrey Hills, where Bowie spent a few nights while recording his Tin Machine album in Sydney.

"I think we'll only have time for one quick spin around the Harbour," Bowie said of this visit.

Bowie assured his legion of fans he hopes to create yet another theatrical character to rival the likes of Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane.

"Whether I would be in it or not, I would probably write it for somebody else," he said.

"Like Boy George, get something on Broadway that doesn't get pulled off straight away."

Bowie will perform at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre tonight.