You know what’s wrong with all the recent Bowie bios I’ve read? No one has told us about the guy who jumps the stage during “Moonage Daydream” at the 1997 GQ Man of the Year Awards Program when Bowie was the featured entertainer.
If you’ve ever searched that song on You Tube you know exactly the guy and the performance I mean.
The big guy in the black shirt and white pants. I want to know: what did that feel like, to have Bowie hand off the mike to you, to have been at his feet for 1 hr 30 min and then beside him, and then what happened to you when you were escorted off stage.
Whoever you are, I admire you tremendously. Just to be on the front row at that concert — if I could travel in time and space, that just might be my first or second choice stop (the only contender being Bowie’s 2002 Berlin show).
For such a long time we only had a few clips to love from that concert, but recently the whole thing has been ever so generously posted (and no, as a fully paid member since March of the dysfunctional bowienet, I don’t feel bad about bootlegs any longer. A story for another day.).
So much to love:
- the 50-year-old Bowie is wearing what you and I might consider pyjamas to the men’s fashion event of the season.
- but that’s not such a big deal when you factor in he is also wearing sandals with socks.
- and still looking sexier than Adam ever did to Eve — or the snake to Eve.
- notwithstanding the delicate cross around his neck
- which is all the more strange since with his little goatee he seems decidedly demonic (51:45)
- except when he is singing Jacque Brel’s “My Death” earlier in the concert it looks lile he might be clutching a rosary (20:42)
- only it proves to be a dangling ring (1:26:56).
- Then there is the one dangling earring — a self-parody of the Aladdin Sane era.
And what I adored most was the “Moonage Daydream” footage.
I couldn’t figure what why he had what looked like a blemish (Bowie? a blemish?) on his forehead (1:24:22) until the whole concert was posted. It’s okay, it’s moondust. Right before “Moonage Daydream,” he sings “Hallo Spaceboy.” And the lucky folk at his feet throw confetti when he gets to “Moondust will cover you.” He nearly misses a beat laughing, but Bowie being Bowie, he doesn’t (1:21:44).
There are other great bits in the concert at large.
- He begins with a lovely “Always Crashing in the Same Car”
- and releases the eyeball balloons into the audience during “Little Wonder ” while prancing about the stage (1:13:51).
- Reeves Gabrel is in a kilt, so Energizer Bunny Bowie has no choice but to run over and kick it up (1:27:57).
- Then he leaves the stage before returning for the encores (some fools leave 1:17:52!!)– not with the water bottle always at hand in the 21st c but with a lit cigarette (1:18:38).
“Moonage Daydream” is the last of an extraterrestrial lineup — “Looking for Satellites” is in the set along with “Hallo Spaceboy” (there’s also “Waiting for the Man” [8:00], a bluesy “Jean Genie” [22:23], and “Fashion” [51:31] — this is GQ, after all).
Which makes me more fascinated still by the first (yes, there are two [1:29:29]) fanboy to jump the stage. He is rather large and wearing a black shirt and white pants and looking decidedly unfashionable.
How did he get on the front row at the GQ Awards show? Oh, plenty of somebody people are there, like the perfect blondes looking vaguely perplexed (1:24:45) who couldn’t have been born when Ziggy and the Spiders from Mars gave us “Moonage Daydream.”
But our friend who jumps the stage — he is not perplexed. He gets it. Always has, always will. So Bowie doesn’t miss a beat — just hands him the mike (1:26:26), someone throws moondust (this always confused me before) and then Jeeves taps him on the shoulder and it’s bye bye love.
I don’t think I would have made it through this year without you.