Teenage Wildlife

Sound & Vision (My Brush With Greatness)

By Lynne Barberian

I've been through this story a million times in my head, but it is difficult for me to put it down in writing because it is just so unbelievably awesome. I guess I should start at the beginning.

I have loved David Bowie and his music since I was twelve years old. It started in 1980 when I used to sneak into my older brother's room to listen to his "Scary Monsters" album. I was hooked from then on. I bought everything I could get my hands on related to David and his music...albums, posters, magazines, books (you get the picture).

Fast forward to 1990

In the early months of 1990, I read in Rolling Stone that David had a 1-900 number to call for information on his upcoming Sound & Vision tour. I laughed this off, because I didn't want to place a 1-900 call. But as the days rolled on, I was curious about when he would be coming to Boston. So I gave in and called. At the end of the recording there was an option to enter a contest...so of course I entered. The automated machine asked three questions about David...I was informed that I got all three questions right and would be entered into the contest. (I really didn't pay attention, figuring there was no way in hell I would win.)

In August, 1990, my mother got a call from someone saying that I won a prize in a David Bowie contest. She never gave me the message, thinking it was a scam. A few days later I received a letter in the mail saying that I won a prize. In order to get the prize I had to sign the letter, have it notarized and return it by Federal Express. The day after I sent it, I got a phone call in work saying that I won the grand prize....A WEEK IN EUROPE TO TOUR WITH DAVID BOWIE!!! I was speechless, so I took the woman's phone number and told her I would have to call her back when I recovered from the shock. When I regained my composure, I found out that I would be traveling to Madrid, Lisbon and Barcelona and I would get to meet David in person.

September, 1990

The first show was in Madrid. The day of the concert, I met with the tour manager at the hotel and was told that David was tired from traveling. The tour manager told me that I would not meet David until we got to Lisbon. That night, I watched the concert from a platform in the middle of the stadium (where the lights and cameras were). I had so much fun... dancing and singing under the Spanish skies. What a dream!

The Lisbon show came two days later. I had my first close-up glance of David backstage while sitting at a picnic table eating dinner. I was sitting next to my friend that accompanied me when all of a sudden a cold shiver overtook me. I looked up at a closed door...the door opened...out stepped DAVID BOWIE! I was in utter amazement that I was in the same room with him...breathing the same air! I didn't move a muscle. My eyes just followed him around the room as he piled food on his plate and left the room.

About an hour later, the tour manager told me that it was time for me to meet David. My legs felt like spaghetti! We walked up some stairs (that seemed never-ending at the time) and I waited in a long corridor. I don't know how long I waited, but I had butterflies in my stomach and I was shaking all over. Then, David came out of his dressing room and walked right over to me. I pointed at him and put my hand over my mouth in a shock-like state. He laughed at my reaction, shook my hand and welcomed me to his show! I was speechless. He told me to check out some museums while I was there and told me that he hoped that I had a wonderful time. My friend took a few pictures of us together and my dream had come true! I had met DAVID BOWIE! That night I watched the concert from the stage (where the guitars are). During "China Girl", David looked over at me, pointed with one hand, put the other hand over his mouth (like I did when I first saw him) and then he smiled and waved at me! This was done in front of thousands of people!! It was the best night of my life! (or so I thought!)

Barcelona was the last concert that I was scheduled to see. I was definitely getting used to the tour setting though. I loved every minute of it, and hated to think it would end! Once again, I stood on the stage to watch the show. Bowie was at his best, of course. After the show, I gave Coco ( David's personal assistant) a present and asked her to give to David. It was a book from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston on Robert Mapplethorpe. Life was good!

Back at the hotel lounge my friend and I were enjoying the atmosphere. We were sitting at a quiet table drinking some beers. Some of the band members were hanging out in the lounge also. I walked around to all of them, and thanked them for being so kind to us. I also got my last-minute autographs. In the meantime, Coco and David walked through the front lobby, AND DAVID had my present under his arm! Awesome! About a half hour later, David came into the lounge and headed straight for the table we were sitting at! He smiled and said "I didn't know you guys were from Boston, do you mind if I sit down?" (Do I mind????) He thanked me for the book and talked with us for ONE SOLID HOUR!! He had a few beers and tons of cigarettes. He was funny, friendly, intelligent, talkative, inquisitive...everything I imagined and more. For the first five minutes I was speechless, but then I calmed down and I was fine. Here are a few highlights of our conversation:

  1. He looked at an autograph that was sitting on the table that said "Love, Adrian Belew". He picked up the autograph, read it out loud and said "huh" (in a laughing tone) and wrote underneath it "More love, Bowie".
  2. He was talking about one of his albums and he said, "I can't remember what year I recorded it..." and I blurted out the year.
  3. He was asking me if I heard of a musician and I replied "yeah, aren't you considering working on an album with him" and he said "How do you know all this shit about me?" So my friend replied "she knows everything about you." and he replied "Geez, I guess so."
  4. He asked me who my favorite singer was and without missing a beat I said "You are, of course!" and he blushed and said, "I didn't mean for you to say me!"
  5. He told me that whenever he's in Boston I can get backstage passes. (It has worked in the past, I'm going to try soon for the Orpheum shows!)

Basically, we talked about music in general, Tin Machine, songs (I told him "Cygnet Committee" was my favorite song), Boston, etc.

Well, I think I've done enough babbling. I could go on and on and on about this. So I tried to just tell the most interesting, but I have tons more to tell. So if you want to chat or have questions, feel free to e-mail me at Lynne.Barberian@FMR.com.

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This document last updated Thursday, 14-Dec-2000 14:45:13 EST
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