Teenage Wildlife

Close Encounter with a Superman


Although my encounter with David Bowie was brief (about 5 minutes), in many ways it was prophetic and profound for me. I should explain that before the concerts I attended (Philadelphia 10-3 and 10-4 and Fort Lauderdale 10-8), I awoke from a most vivid dream and the only one I had ever had about Bowie, 3 days before the 10-3 concert. I sat straight up in bed at 6:30 a.m., smiling and actually woke up AMan (David) and told him I had the coolest dream ever. Briefly, the dream was about meeting Bowie backstage in Philadelphia - a group of us had arrived late during a break at the concert and once inside the venue, security (feeling sorry for us!) told us to walk to the right, go under the balcony and go outside through a door, walk to the left around the building and look for a large door and we could meet Bowie. In the dream, I noticed some of the walls outside the building were covered in little windows, boarded up or covered from the inside.

The group all went towards a large door that was locked and tried to enter the building, I went alone, more to the left, around more of the building and found a smaller door which was unlocked. I could hear David Bowie's voice and I opened the door which opened up to a small hallway that led to a larger room, looking like a warehouse with open beams on the ceiling. To the right of this small hallway was a small room where Bowie was talking on the phone - I walked straight past him so as not to interrupt, and into the warehouse-like room. I stood in front of a small wooden counter towards the center of the room and by this time, the rest of the group had entered the other larger door and were talking to Gail and others from the band. Bowie came down the hallway and went to the other side of the counter, joked around with some of us and finally said, "Right, I guess we should give them our autographs" and gave us all autographs on paper they had produced. That was basically the dream which freaked me out later, when - Frippertronic (Micke) told me 1 day later (10-1) he had a vivid Bowie dream! Frip's dream was almost identical to mine - from the windows, to the warehouse-like room, to the wooden counter Bowie stood behind! In his dream, he had gone through the larger door with the group. He even woke straight up from bed like I had and later in the day, told one of his mates about the dream because it was so vivid and detailed. Imagine the chill bumps I got when Frip told me the time he had the dream in Sweden (which is 6 hours ahead) was at 12:30!!! - the exact time I had my dream! I got more chill bumps when I arrived at the Electric Factory on 10-3 and saw the outside of the building (the windows on the side of the building were identical to the ones in my dream). I told Frip a bit more about the dream and that I had interpreted the dream as, 'I would need to find Bowie for myself'.

Anway, sorry to go on about the dream but it seemed significant. The 10-3 concert was awesome and my first Bowie concert. I could not imagine the recordings of his songs would be that much more powerful in concert! The 10-4 concert was different for me in that AMan joined us but I stood further back, behind the control station and got the full effect of the light show and the videos (I saw the full, real versions of the porn show and the other projections behind Bowie on stage on these small screens. Also the setlist was in full view). Well all in all, the Philadelphia experience was great, made even greater by meeting all the Teenage Wildlifers and partying afterwards on 10-4. But, I did not get to meet Bowie at this point....

Okay so I fly back to Florida that Sunday morning (stayed up all night, only 3 hours sleep in 3 days). I cry and laugh all the way home from the airport (AMan was off travelling for a couple of days so I was on my own), missing all the great people I met and wanting them with me! So anyway I think, oh well, me and AMan will go to the Ft Lauderdale but it probably won't be as fun. So Weds. 10-8 finally comes, we drive over to Ft Lauderdale in 3 hours and go straight to the venue at 1:00 p.m., just to see what it is like and if people were already in line. We see RobotMonster there and are pleased to see the venue is small. We go back to the motel, check in and go back to get in line. There are others that were ahead of us in line (only about 7-10 people total) and I meet Kelley C., Hans M., and some others who tell me about the 10-7 concert and that Bowie had come into the side of the building the night before, just around the corner from where we were in line. He had come out after the soundcheck to sign autographs the night before. So I had Aman hold the line for me and hung out at the end of the building, just hoping to get a glimpse and a quick photo of Bowie going from whatever vehicle (we had seen a limo earlier) and into the building. Okay so about 3:30/4-ish a few equipment buses start arriving, parking on the side of this street and we wait for any signs of Bowie-life. So Kelley and I both continue to hang out and watch what was going on. She had been allowed to shoot photos inside the Chili Pepper the night before and had great shots of Bowie. She brought her Aladdin Sane album cover to get signed inside the cover where the full shot of Bowie was and we joked that if he signed that, she should hang it over her bed. A few hours go by and still no Bowie - we also realized he may not need to do a soundcheck since he played the night before. Security put up a few barriers and I chatted up one of them who was standing there. He told me that they had blown out the speakers the night before and the crew had been there early in the morning setting up 12 new speakers (chances were that a soundcheck would be in order) and he also told me that the Atlanta concert would be a "pitstop".

After an endless wait, the tourbus pulls up, more barriers go up and 1 security guy tells us to move back to the end of the building and that Bowie is definitely not on the bus, "I promise you"! I tell Tia, who I had met by now, not to leave and that this means he is on that bus! After a long while, Gail gets off the bus and walks straight to the courtyard of the Chili Pepper, not even turning her head in our direction. I did not notice Mike Garson getting off the bus, but I believe he followed. Then all of sudden a blonde girl, Reeves Gabrels and Bowie get off the bus! Gabrels keeps walking and Bowie comes over to us smiling and looking so fine! I could not get a clear shot at first with my camera so I took shots high above everyone's head, not knowing what I was getting. Then it seemed like time stood still - all of a sudden I was pushed right up to where Bowie was, right in front of him (only the railed waist-high barrier between us). I told him, "You are the greatest artist of our time and the greatest visionary", he smiled even bigger and sort of laughed and went "Oh!" - he was humbled by what I had said! People were asking him to sign their shirts, their arms, whatever they could find and I told Bowie that I would let him sign my tits but they were not that big so...... and handed him my Outside tape cover to sign. He grabbed my hand (gently babeh) and held my left hand while he penned the cover for me! I was awestruck at this point and did not know what to say, so I took a bunch of pictures (see 4 of them on the Fort Lauderdale 10-8 Concert Page but I have more!). I was in front of him for a good 4 to 5 minutes with no one shoving me! Someone was asking if he would do his newer stuff and if he would do Changes and he answered him though I can't recall exactly what he said. I told him he was brilliant and that we loved him (bigger smile) and he was rushed into the building...

So then I ran back to AMan, jumping and laughing and shaking...I went back to the car and tried to compose myself and shook for about 10 minutes. I put up my camera, not wanting to risk losing the film if I took it inside the venue (having already experienced the loss of 1 camera in Philly!). So the wait in line begins and soundcheck starts - I'm Deranged was played and a hilarious Country/Western version of Scary Monsters. We finally get inside and stand 1 head back, right in front of Bowie and witness the LEGENDARY 3 hour, 36-song concert! I knew we were in for the ultimate when he came out and asked, "Do you want a short or a long set? You gotta minute?" I pushed my hands further and further apart and shouted "Looonnnnggg" (of course!) And he warned us to call our mamas, that they would be there until Saturday!

The concert was awesome, highlighted for me by Bowie hugging my pig and telling Gail "It's mine" and then he added it to the others (mine was the only pig thrown at this concert). Also, he sang spread-legged over my RaMOANa sequined panties which I had thrown during Hearts Filthy Lesson. Other highlights - touching Reeves guitar, AMan getting a piece of the eyeball and all of us covered in moondust.

I loved watching the superman have the greatest time performing and giving so much to his fans - he talked to us a lot between the 2 breaks and the whole concert was like he was challenging us, trying to blow us off our numbing feet and at the end of it all, he appreciated we hung in there with him every step of the way - exhausted, dehydrated but totally blown away by this awesome concert-marathon. Several of us yelled our thanks to Bowie and he also thanked us.

We could not help but wonder about Bowie - his artistry in his lyrics and music notwithstanding, what was he getting out of all this? The man could not be making any money from these concerts (1,000, possibly 1,500, people at $45 a head at this venue! Enough to pay security maybe!). And the way he was enjoying every minute of it and smiling and talking to us, the concert was both intimate and awe-inspiring.

We get home and AMan shows me the Earthling CD cover - Bowie stands in a tattered Union Jack jacket, but he LOOKS FORWARD. Look at the back of the cover - "you" stand in the same position as Bowie with the same view, but photo-reversed - you are standing in his "shoes"? He is standing with us? We should look forward? (Then AMan tells me Earthling, unscrambled spells Real Thing). He leads us to THINK but does not tell us what to think....I found Bowie. We continue to discover more of the deep-thinking well of Bowie-knowledge, whose profundity leaves me craving more...

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