Friday, September 13, 2013

40 Year Itch : David Bowie's "Diary"

From 1973 to 1975, David Bowie was supposedly contributing an exclusive weekly diary to the UK teen music magazine Mirabelle. It wasn't until 1998 that Bowie confessed his American publicist Cherry Vanilla, a former member of the Andy Warhol entourage, wrote the column. "The cute thing," Bowie said, "is that every now and then she'd write how I had just come from seeing this great new performer whom everyone should know about...Cherry Vanilla".

Cherry Vanilla and Bowie

8th September 1973 
   I've just remembered that I never told you about the party I had at the Café Royal after my last concert, so I'll make this week's letter about that...

 Oh, what a night it turned out to be! Mick Jagger, Lou Reed, Jeff Beck, Lulu, Spike Milligan, Dana Gillespie, Ryan O'Neal, Elliott Gould, Ringo Starr and Barbra Streisand... all there at my last concert party at the luxurious Café Royal - everyone looking so lovely in their sparkling evening clothes and colourful make-up... dancing, sipping champagne and tasting delicious salmon and big fresh strawberries and cream. The disc jockey played lots of really good soul and rock 'n' roll records, and the dance floor was absolutely packed all night. Cherry Vanilla (my American publicist, a wonderful lady) fell off her gold platforms and split her strapless Chinese dress right up the front, but got up and just kept on dancing and grooving, black suspenders peaking out from newly-opened slit, and that ever wide smile on her face! 

   I got a little off balance myself when Mick and Bianca and Angie and I were all dancing together to 'Honky Tonk Woman' - but managed to stay on my high heels for a few more songs. Most of the evening I spent answering everyone's questions about my decision to stop touring and concentrate on movies and recording. 

  Angie and I arrived a little late because we had gone back to our hotel to change into our party clothes, and then got very involved in conversation with Mick and The Spiders and Gloria (my secretary) - you can't imagine how many telephone calls we received, even though we thought nobody knew where we were. 

   When we made our entrance, Angie in a brand new chartreuse and brown knit ensemble by Freddy, me in my ice-blue iridescent Freddy suit, they announced us over the speaker system, and everyone stood up and applauded.

    Oh dear, I'm running out of space again. Looks like I'll have to save the rest for next week. 

Twiggy and Bowie shot for album cover Pin Ups

 September 22   

  Well, friends, I don't feel I've done justice to that fantastic chateau we stayed at in France. I think I would like to tell you some more - quite a bit more - about it. 

     The Chateau D'Herouville was the name, and what a lovely place to record an album. Warm, summer sunshine, a lovely chateau and a fantastic 16 track recording studio. Enough to please any hard-working, city-weary, young musician. The chateau is in the village of Herouville just outside Paris. We spent three wonderful weeks there, recording my new album 'Pin-Ups'. It's all those fun and fabulous songs from the mid-sixties that never really got quite the attention their lovely easy beats deserved. Ronno, Trevor and Mike Garson were there with us, and Aynsley Dunbar came along to play drums. 

    There seemed to be an endless stream of visitors, like Jean Millington (Fanny), Nico, that really wonderful singer, with a friend of hers, Kid Jensen (of Radio Luxembourg fame) and a lovely French singer called Christine.

    Angie and Zowie came down every weekend, and one day we were photographed together by Terry O'Neil for the Daily Mirror. Angie wore some lovely things from the Paris collections, and I wore my favourite Freddy suit. Oh, and Justin De Villeneuve photographed me with his favourite model 'Twig The Wonder Kid' (Twiggy) for a Vogue magazine cover. 

    Dinners were really momentous occasions, with everyone seated at a super-long table with candles and dry wine, delicious food and all those beautiful faces with their suntanned cheeks and twinkling eyes. 

   The food was very French... though they did seem to serve an awful lot of potatoes! The vegetables and fruits were very fresh and lush, though - and with that famous Paris bread, everything tastes great. 

   It's a good thing we had a nice big swimming pool outside to let everybody burn up some calories each day - everyone but me, of course. I only ventured in once when the heat of the day got to be a bit too much. But Ronno and Jamie (my road manager) had a few good workouts every day.

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