David continued to live quietly in Switzerland, skiing down his giant pile of cash while others had to make do with snow. He did this for two whole months. Villagers could sometimes hear his voice way off in the distance, "...weeee!....I'm rich!...." as it echoed off the mountainsides.
On January 30th he had been voted No 1 Reclusive Male Singer in the annual New Musical Express readers poll. But it didn't interrupt his skiing.
The skiing finally ended when he returned to Britain in late February just as his 'Baal' EP was being released and as 'Baal' was being shown on BBC-2 Television. Reviews for Baal were not as great as could have been hoped for :
Television Review - Baal was on last night? Shit!! I missed it!
Teen Dream Magazine - For a David Bowie show, it left my panties curiously dry
At the beginning of March strict security was again enforced when Bowie began work on his third film, 'The Hunger'. He would insist once more that everyone give him a full body cavity search, especially Susan Sarandon and Catherine Deneuve. Susan would continue to search his cavity well after the film's production ceased.
'The Hunger' was a sci-fi horror film with some great lesbian scenes in it. Bowie appeared as John Blaylock, a 300 year old vampire living in modern-day New York with his 6000 year old vampire girlfriend. Church groups were outraged at the age difference (some 5,700 years) portrayed in this film.
In one famous scene Bowie ages over a hundred years, his skin wrinkling as he becomes haggard and old. Special Effects technitions describe how they produced this effect :
'After working in the music business for so long Bowie's face had become taut with stress, using soothing music and tranquilisers we just got him to relax into his normal state. Due to the strain of touring so often, Bowie's normal relaxed state is approximately that of a 100 year old man"
The movie was directed by Tony Scott and written for the screen by Michael Thomas, they found Bowie pleasant enough to work with though his frequent requests for cavity searches sometimes unnerved them. The main shooting locations were a house in Mayfair, the gay disco Heaven, Charing Cross Station and Luton Hoo in Bedfordshire. Nobody connected with the film was there the time of the shootings luckily, so no harm was done. Except to those people who were shot.
David was often seen in a drunk and disorderly state at various nightclubs and discos around this time, such as Gossips where he downed quite a few with members of Exploited. When asked for comment he replied, "Oh God, I love you guys so much, hang on, I'm gonna be sick..."
He was also seen buying R&B records in various shops. Someone swore they saw him buying milk in a corner store. Alice Greene said she saw him in a dream. David saw himself a number of times in mirrors.
Someone who hadn't seen David in a long time was Terry, who proceeded to jump out of a second story window on 2nd June. Terry had been locked up in Cane Hill Asylum for the past 16 years. When Bowie heard the news he came to visit and smother him with a pillow. But apon seeing his brother he just didn't have the heart to smother him, instead promising to look after him just like he had the past decade and a half. 'To get better you need plenty of neglect,' he told him 'perhaps buying some of my albums might help.'
Japanese film director Nagisa Oshima had seen Bowie in the Elephant Man. Bowie had told Oshima that he was just keeping The Elephant Man warm, honest. But Oshima had seen. So Bowie reluctantly agreed to star in Oshima's next film 'Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence'. In August filming began on the Cook Islands.
Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence, based on a short story by Sir Laurens van der Post, deals with the Japanese Character. Namely why they beat the living crap out of their prisoners of war. It also deals with homosexuality, but there were to be no really good lesbian scenes in this movie. The question of why the Japanese eat seaweed goes unanswered.
Bowie would co-star with celebrated Scottish actor Tom Conti and former Japanese pop star Ryuichi Sakamoto. This, disappointingly, would make lesbian scenes unlikely, if not impossible.
On November 18th RCA released the Bing Crosby Death Songs. Namely Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy. It went to number 3 on the British Charts over Christmas, disturbingly.
As soon as he finished filming 'Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence' Bowie went to his loft in New York and booked studio time at the Record Plant Studios for November and December. He then called Tony Visconti to tell him he'd met someone else. Someone who could press play and record much better and provide him with a funky R&B satisfaction. Visconti was shattered.
The interloper was Nile Rodgers, funky cool disco producer and rhythm guitarist. Bowie knew Rodgers could give him a good time. Another discovery was Texan blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan, who would double his pleasure. Visconti sent flowers to no avail.
Joining him in the studio these months were Carmine Rojas on bass, Omar Hakim on drums and Rob Sabind on keyboards. Not that David noticed with his eyes all over Stevie and Rodger. The new album was given the very tentative title 'Lets Finally Dump RCA and Make Shitloads of Cash'
Over Christmas, while David was sunbathing and dreaming of R&B, Rodger and money Eric Idle stumbled across him and invited him to barely appear in the film 'Yellowbeard' with Spike Milligan and Marty Feldman. Bowie agreed enabling him to tick off 'play a cameo as a shark' on his to do list.
2. And the eyes of them were both opened and they knew they were both naked, and Adam said to her, 'Stand back, I don't know how big this is going to get.'