The Sunday Times (Australia) - 17th Feb 2004

Bowie's here for laughs

By Kathy McCabe

DAVID Bowie appears to have reinvented himself as an old-school comedian for his first Australian visit in 17 years.

While Bowie's Reality tour features the performer as a classic t-shirt and jeans frontman, pop's greatest innovator reveals he loves to joke with his audience - and with the Australian media.

I don't think people have realised how many children I have fathered," he said at his Quay Restaurant press conference in Sydney.

"Whenever a gig comes up, I see all these kids mouthing 'dad' at me.

"It's great," he laughed, when asked about a new generation discovering his music. And how does he maintain his youthful appearance?

"It's the new teeth," he said, flashing an impressive set of pearly whites.

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

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

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

Bowie assured his legion of fans he hopes to create yet another theatrical character to rival the impressive 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."