It should be fairly obvious what this is, but for a full explanation and to participate, join BOWIE KOOKS (the only Official David Bowie Facebook Fan Group), and then follow this link.
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BOWIE FAN FOCUS – Andy Barding, 55 (tomorrow)
AB: Andy Barding
AB: I’m as old as Liza Jane (David’s very first single). It’s our birthday tomorrow.
~ What does David Bowie mean to you?
AB: He was a pioneer. One of the greatest artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. In the not so distant future, I’m convinced, his name will carry the same cultural weight as, say, Van Gogh, Dickens or Mozart.
~ When and how did you first become aware of him?
AB: Space Oddity on Top of the Pops, ’75. The BBC showed a clip from the Love You Till Tuesday film.
~ First item you ever obtained, including music, memorabilia, magazines, etc.?
AB: I commandeered a copy of the Starman/Suffragette City single from a relative when I was 12 or so. I would run home from school, every lunch break, purely to play both sides on the family stereo. I’d have just enough time to spin the record a couple of times before running back to class.
~ Is there a Bowie holy grail for you that you have yet to track down?
AB: I would still love a copy of Liza Jane by Davie Jones and King Bees, since it popped out on Vocalion Pop the same day I did: Friday June 5, 1964. The sheet music for the same would be nice, too.
~ Most valuable Bowie possession you own on an emotional level?
AB: I’m custodian of some LPs owned by my late friend, Alison Hale: a rare laminated-sleeve Hunky Dory and a first press of Ziggy Stardust. They’re still hers... I’m just looking after them.
~ The best Bowie show you ever attended?
AB: Torn between Birmingham NEC 6.6.83 and Tin Machine at the Baggott Inn, Dublin, 14.8.91. They were decades ago, but I remember bits of each one vividly.
~ The show you wish you had witnessed?
AB: One of the late ‘72/early ’73 shows. Maybe Manchester Hardrock. I spoke to someone who was at one of those and the picture he painted in his description was incredible... so striking. He was 14 or 15, and David and the Spiders put in such a supercharged and intense performance that he found it all just a bit terrifying. What a thrill that must have been.
~ What would you have said had you met him, or, if you did meet, what did you say?
AB: I asked him when Pixies would be supporting him (this was on the 1990 Sound and Vision tour). We’d heard they were about to take over from Kim Wilde as warm-up act. He responded by singing a few lines of “I Should Be So Lucky” and laughing like a drain... He’s still laughing in my photo that was taken with him (main picture) at that chance meeting (at a motorway service station near the Germany/Austria border).
~ Favourite album?
~ Top ten songs?
02. Station To Station
03. Silly Boy Blue
04. Dirty Boys
05. Fantastic Voyage
06. The Motel
07. Five Years
08. Cygnet Committee
09. Be My Wife
10. I Dig Everything
~ Favourite lyric?
AB: “From behind their tinted window stretch/gleaming like blackened sunshine.”
~ Favourite film?
AB: The Prestige
~ Favourite video?
AB: The live 1974 clips of Rock’n’Roll Suicide and The Jean Genie on the ‘David Bowie Is’ app blow my mind.
~ Favourite era?
AB: Maybe ’76.
~ Best Bowie moment?
AB: An impromptu meet and greet with Tin Machine after their second Brixton show - the last one of the European tour. A handful of us fans were given exclusive t-shirts as a thank you for following the band around, night after night. What a smashing treat.
~ Guilty secret?
AB: I stole a pack of David’s cigarettes from the front of the stage at a gig (I smoked them and kept the empty packet. I still have it, somewhere).
~ What impact upon your life has Bowie had? Eg: Music, art and literature? Children or pet’s names? Tattoos? Mannerisms? Clothing? Choice of life partner?
AB: I wear a Blackstar badge on my jacket, permanently, as a memorial.
~ Do you have a Bowie related photograph we could use? If so, what’s the story behind it?
AB: (Smaller photo) This is me, David and the aforementioned Alison Hale, outside the Conrad Hotel in Dublin, August 1990. As you can see, a gust of wind caught David’s hair in the split second that the photo was taken. Thanks, gust. My partner, Rhoda, had this picture framed for me as a thoughtful keepsake of two people who mean the world to me and who are both now gone.
Does David Bowie influence your working life?
AB: Yes! I own a record shop on the Isle of Wight (AAA Records) which has a decent Bowie section. And I publish concert photo-books under the name Cygnet Committee. I also work as a music tour manager and was TM on Earl Slick’s Station To Station tour, as well as driver on a couple of Holy Holy UK tours. Those were wonderful times - to see those shows night after night was a thrill.
I hosted a Q&A with Earl on the island last year, and I will be doing the same with Woody Woodmansey in July. It’s part of the ‘Iconic Bowie’ exhibition which opens at Dimbola Museum on Thursday, June 6, with an illustrated talk by Phil Lancaster. He'll be talking about the three concerts he played with David at Ventnor Winter Gardens in 1965. As will writer Kevin Cann, who penned Any Day Now which, as we all know, is one of the best books ever written about David. Exciting!