7 – Blog 28 – London Calling

Holy sh*t, what have you done,” Bowie shakes me as we watch water shoot 100 feet into the air over Geneve’s harbor.

“I did nothing. The Lake is magical. The dolphins are magical. Your song is magical. So, don’t be surprised when magic happens at exactly the right time.” I claim ignorance.

“You say my song is to blame?”

“Better pray that the geyser is ‘Just for one day…’”

Even Bowie laughs. We escape by boat with all the equipment back to North Geneve. Henri calls a press conference while we escape into the night. We are just the musicians.

le Museum has gone all out on our final dinner before we recamp to London. M Iverson has a formal Raclette meal set up when we arrive. Only I appreciate his effort to please my Raclette fixation. To everyone else it is a cheap Swiss imitation of pizza. After the excitement of playing one song at the Geneve Harbor I am famished. Amar and Emile sit with Popa Mustafa. Thinking it is the full meal, they dig in with Mike and me, finishing off the starter Raclette, while everyone else enjoys wine and chats about the night’s performance. Freddie, Roger and Deacy show up. Soon talk turns to the Friday shows in London.

“You know, Earl’s Court is mainly used for military ceremonies by the Royal Army’s Kensington Barracks. They parade their horses around,” Roger is in the know. “The place always stinks of horseshite.”

“Thanks, asshole,” Freddie reprimands Taylor. “You can be in charge of pre-show clean-up. Deacy will help.”

“What about Brian?” Roger complains.

“If he shows up, he can help you.”

“He’s not playing with us,” they both cry.

“That’s what Billy’s for,” Freddie has them by the short hairs.

They continue to glare at each other.

“Amar says you have family in London?” I ask Popa Mustafa.

“Well, there’s a whole community of Tunisian immigrants,” he replies. “My sister’s family is there and Amar’s cousins.”

“The cousin are Sufi, too?”

“They are all girls. No Dervish dancing allowed.”

I am about to argue with him when Mike grabs my knee and shakes his head. I realize I am about to argue about his culture, not mine.

“I hope the family will be able to see you dance.”

“We’ll see,” he dismisses my concerns.

The waiter comes around and takes dinner orders. Fortunately, the raclette sits easily in my stomach. I order a large steak entrée.

“Laz has become Peter Pan, flying around the stage,” Bowie informs Freddie. “I’m a crocodile going ‘tick tock , tick tock’ after him.”

“Your stage show uses wires and trapezes?” Freddie is dismayed. “We need some smoke and flame pots then, for our show to get stadium effects.”

“Talk with Henri,” who conveniently joins us after the press conference.

“You were a big hit,” Henri tells Bowie. “The press had all these questions about you two. I turned their attention to ‘Save the Dolphins.’ Since the Earl’s Court shows are a benefit for charity, I pledged all profits to the dolphin campaign. Expect great newspaper coverage tomorrow. The booker says it is sold out Friday and wants to add Saturday shows.”

Everyone groans since that means we are playing for free, twice the shows for no pay.

“It’s your cause, saving the dolphins, Laz. The local Canton representative was there with his kids. He promises to introduce a Lake-wide ban on killing dolphins. Few people knew they existed in the Lake.”

“We’ll be on the way to London,” Bowie deflects praise. “Can you issue reports from there. I’m counting on Laz to have tricks up his sleeve for our shows.”

“He is the boss,” Henri laughs.

“He has his own band now, the Boss band,” Freddie adds. “They get one song when Laz appears as Ziggy Stardust.”

All this discussion about me is making me nervous. They are the professionals. They will make it work, I tell myself. I dig into my steak.

Once we get home, the adults go out on pool deck to smoke pot. I grab a guitar and Mike comes with me to the practice room. I sing his ‘Ben’ song changing it to the ‘Mike’ song. He lays his head on my lap as I sing to him.

He cannot help himself from singing with me, after I sing ‘I used to say I and me, now I is us, now its we.’ We switch back to naming each other Ben. I lead him back to Brian’s room and we fall asleep together. We are so odd and love it.

In the morning, everyone is running to and fro before our departure for London. We run down to the Lake, finding Amar and Emile surrounded by what seems like their fans among the swimmers. We join the circle and talk about the upcoming shows. When I describe the flying I have to do as Ziggy/Starman, they cannot stand it and start running around with their arms outstretched. They act little kids. I guess they are. It helps my confidence that they believe we can do anything. One kid asks me if we will adopt him, like we did Emile.

“Are you having trouble at home?”

“No, I just want to go to London.”

“Well, practice your Sufi dancing. We may need more Dervishes if we go on tour.”

He promises that he will.

As we leave with the two boys, the swimmers all sing our song, ‘You Ain’t the Boss of Me.’ Our fans.


Flying into Gatwick means an hour-long train ride into Central London. As green fields turn to outlying suburbs and eventually decaying urban blight, I realize that regardless of what you see on TV, Britain is pretty run down. Not wishing to annoy Freddie and the Queen contingent, I keep my thoughts to myself. I do whisper my observations to Mike who nods in agreement.

“Wait until nighttime when the ghoulies come out,” he whispers back.

“Are zombies allowed,” I whisper.

“No eating anybody” Mike demands.

We giggle. Everyone stares at us like we are little kids. Amar and Emile are sitting under the watchful eye of Popa Mustafa.

Coming from the South we arrive at Victoria Station, close to Park Lane’s Dorchester Hotel, across from Hyde Park. With no old memories, it is my first hotel experience, with London on my doorstep. And I need not use my New English when speaking: they call it the Queen’s English. We fit right in.

Freddie and the rest of Queen are staying with family. David has the penthouse suite with a balcony and grand views of the park. We meet there and plan our Swiss Invasion. Mike and I are in a smaller single bedroom while Amar and Emile share with ever watchful Popa Mustafa. The Knobs have no family in London and have doubles, like Mike and me. Claude and Henri have simple suites. The cost of all this hotel extravagance comes out of the charity receipts from the concert. We have no shame. I also know White D can take care of herself.

I get really excited when Henri tells us we have dress rehearsal at Abbey Road Studios in Saint John’s Woods, North London.

 ‘Abbey Road!’ I shout.

“Calm down, Boss. It’s just another studio.”

“My first studio!” I proclaim. Why not start at the top?

All the bands load into four limos and drive about fifteen minutes away. The Boss Band (Amar, Emile, Mike & me) jump out and practice our street crossing together.  We try to keep straight faces, while the real bands are stopped by paparazzi as they enter the hallowed grounds.

The adults quickly set up on a small performance stage, with the Knobs going first. It takes forever for the equipment to be set up and the sound levels adjusted. Mike and I get bored and go exploring the other recording and practice studios.

A tall and thin, slightly graying man stops us, “Where are you going boys?”

Mike whispers that he is George Martin, Beatles producer and arranger.

“We’re waiting for our bands to set up to rehearse for our show tomorrow in Earl’s Court.”

“Great venue. Where are you from?”

“Montreux, in Switzerland.”

“I know it well. The Casino and the music festival. Do you know Claude?”

“Claude Nobs is in one of the bands we are playing with. The Knobs.”

“Claude is in the band? What does he play?”

“Percussion, a tambourine.”

George laughs. “Who else is playing ‘your’ show?”

“Queen and David Bowie.” I explain.

“Oh. I do know about that show, sold-out four times. You boys have a band playing as well?”

“We were already playing roles in the show, so we formed our own band to do a single song in middle of David’s performance. We’re called the Boss Band. I also do Ziggy Stardust as a stand-in for David, so he can do more mature songs later.”

“Like ‘Heroes?’ Everyone loves that song.”

“David wants to be more than a space alien. The whole show is about real aliens, immigrants.”

“My, you boys are really involved. I may come watch some of the rehearsal later. I’m working with Paul right now in studio B.”

“Bring him, too. Sometimes we do one of his Wings songs; he might like to do it himself. It’s a charity concert for immigrant acceptance.”

“Oh, ‘Let ‘em In.’” George is pretty sharp. “I’m back to work. And, don’t touch anything boys.”

“Yessir,” we quickly agree.

“You look familiar,” George stares at Mike.

“Yeah. I’m Michael Jackson. I’m in the movies with Diana Ross.”

“I saw the Wiz. Keep your day job.”

We all laugh.

It feels like Rock n Roll heaven at Abbey Road except nobody has died yet.

It is time to start rehearsal. The Knobs are tuning up. I hit the MOOG and they all tune to my harmonic. Their set is pretty standard rock n roll R&B. Billy seems a bit off as I have to fill in when his guitar is off-beat.

“What’s wrong,” I ask him after ‘Smoke on the Water.’

Tommy answers, “Billy’s all wound up about playing in Queen. Brian May is a no show.”

“That’s your dream, Billy. Now you can’t keep up?”

“He keeps looking to see Brian walk in the door,” Jock is also on Billy’s case.

“Okay,” I tell them. “From the top again. And, Billy if you can’t keep up, I’ll be Brian instead of you.”

The rest of the band whistles and hoots as Billy looks more determined. He is now cured of Queen distraction. I do not blame him for wanting to play rock star. Being a Knob is kind of a letdown.

After they finish their regular set, I look at the back of the room and see George Martin and Paul McCartney watching me produce. George gives me a thumbs up. Time to up my game.

“Now you Knobs have the first song in the Bowie set to do. Is the wire trapeze set up here?” I ask Claude.

“Not until tomorrow at Earl’s Court,” Claude answers.

I notice George telling Paul who Claude is. They both laugh. I am the Boss of the boss of Montreux.

Bowie walks out and we do the intro to Space Oddity, going as far as the countdown. Bowie walks backwards to simulate taking off into space. Bowie and I switch roles as Ground Control, Major Tom, Ground Control, and back to Major Tom,

 “Here am I floating ’round my tin can
Far above the moon
Planet Earth is blue
And there’s nothing I can do”

I enter playing guitar as Ziggy to ‘Starman,’ with the Knobs playing until we reach,

‘…Let all the children boogie.”

The Boss Band is ready on the other side of the stage to jump into our hit, ‘You Ain’t the Boss of me.’ I play my guitar leads as Emile and Mike hold the rhythm together and Amar shouts out his lyrics.

I watch McCartney and Martin double over in laughter at the switch and use of children to boogie.

I rush to center stage, backed by Bowie’s Turkish band, I belt out the hits from Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane about selling myself for sex, doing drugs, rioting in high school and just being wasted. I wriggle around on the stage floor as ‘Jean Genie.’

Bowie comes back as I slink away. He does a string of mellower songs, ending with ‘Heroes’. At this point Duncan runs out and hugs his dad. Bowie asks him what his favorite song is.

“You know, Da, ’Prettiest Star.’ You always sing that to me at bedtime.”

Bowie sings the lullaby as Amar and Emile take Duncan and start their Dervish spinning with him. Bowie goes into ‘Boys Keep Swinging,’ until at the end Duncan is launched into the air. The boys catch him before he hits the ground.

Duncan runs to his dad who gives a short speech about immigrants only wanting to be friends. Amar goes to the mic and the band plays ‘Yassassin.’ Amar belts out the title phrase as Bowie sings the verses with the Turkish band playing with gusto if not exactly pure rock n roll. The song is Turkish reggae.

Freddie appears on stage, to assure that the fans do not demand a Bowie encore. The Turks leave and the Queen musicians take their places. Billy is on guitar with a big grin due to Brian May’s absence.

Bowie asks Mercury if he wants to do Pressure Drop, which they sing together.

Freddie takes the mic and announces their new hit, ‘Another One Bites the Dust.’

At the end Freddie explains that Brian May does not like the hit and that is why he is missing.

“That is why I wrote another new song to beg him to return, ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’.”

After they finish, through the back door, Brian May rushes in. Billy hands him his steel twelve string guitar and all of Queen are reunited, there for all to see.

They play their normal string of hits, ending with ‘God Save (the) Queen.”

Paul and George run onto the practice stage and congratulate Freddie and David for a great show. Paul looks at Mike and smiles, “You don’t need to be the center of attention?”

“My mean manager/dad has slapped a restraining order prohibiting my playing anywhere for money. I can only do this show because it is charity. Laz is my best friend, so I’m here to support him.”

“He seems to be doing pretty well by himself. How old are you boys?” Paul asks.

“We’re both nineteen,” Mike answers.

“How about I sing ‘Let ‘em In?’ George says you do it as a cover.”

“Great,” David answers. “Just come out from backstage at the end. I’ll do Yassassin after you finish. I’m pushing it as a new single.’

Paul looks around and counts heads. Only George and the Knobs (except for Claude) are actually English.

“Looks like we’ve all been let in,” Paul laughs. He and George go back to their studio to work on Wings next album.

“Meet us at Café Royale tonight for dinner.” David yells to Paul. “You’re in the show now.’

George Martin comes over, “Why don’t you boys follow me. I’ll record your one-hit wonder and you can sell it at the show. You may find new fans that way.”

Beatlemania will follow us to the end of our days.

“How long has the Boss band been together?” George asks as we set up on Paul equipment. Paul continues to chat with Mike. He is instructing him about song rights. Mike is never starstruck like I can be. He plays it cool.

“We got together on Monday,” I am honest.

“Now you’re in the studio on Thursday, playing four shows on the weekend while I distribute 45s to sell at the show. Instant success.”

“Instant Karma,” I quip. He appears to approve of youthful exuberance and overconfidence.

“Well, get up there and play. You’re taking Paul’s time away from him.”

I grab Mike while Amar and Emile are ready to play. George gives me the thumbs up and we mess up the start.

“Count it off,” George directs. I cannot belief the Beatles producer is ordering me about.

“’You Ain’t the Boss of me’, one two three four.”

We start together and finish together. That’s about the only time we play together. Emile looks especially confused. He knows the song. I go over to encourage him.

“Look, just slide your finger between the notes. There are only three of them,” as I show him how to do it.

We start again. It is better but not enough to impress George Martin.

“You, Boss, listen to the play back while you play the bass part. We’ll multitrack this record.”

I do as told. Then I do the same with Mike on the drums. Finally, I stand at a second mic and sing with Amar. George gives me a thumbs up and we are done. He plays it all back and Paul comes in to hear our single. I think it sounds pretty good. We all clap and cheer at the end.

“You boys have a great song, but honestly Laz is the only one capable of being recorded. I overdubbed every instrument with his tracks. You are doing exactly what Paul and I are doing for Wings. He plays on every track too.”

“You’re comparing me to Paul?” I look in amazement at the Beatle superstar.

“Well, it‘s a punk song by a bunch of kids. I guess you’re a junior Beatle.”

That’s good enough for me. “It’s a wrap,” I announce. “Can you deliver the pressed singles to Earl’s Court before Friday’s first show. We’ll sell them at the door.”

“Young entrepreneurs, I love it. But we need to sign contracts and everything.”

“We’re on Knobs Records. Talk to Claude. All proceeds go to the charity. We just want to know who will buy our record.’

“You want a job at Apple Records?”

“No! I’m Freddie’s personal slave. I go where he is.”

“Okay,” George is disappointed but unsure why. He hands me a copy of our taped recording. It is a long and winding road to rock n roll heaven.

We go directly to Café Royal for dinner. It is ornate with mirrors and looks like something out of the 19th Century. Claude claims it has the best English food in London. That may not be a compliment. Paul McCartney and George Martin show up. We are making a scene. Paul engages Mike in more music business gossip. I realize that my coma leaves a gap of any knowledge after 1976. George is again taken with me and my role as Freddie’s slave.

“He’s not my slave,” Freddie defends himself. “We call him the Boss. We do what he tells us to do. Yesterday we were singing to flying fish in Lake Geneva.”

“Dolphins are not fish,” I defend White D’s honor.

“All I know is thousands of fans were there and a geyser spontaneously erupted in Geneva harbor.”

“The Lake is magical and the dolphins always show up when we sing ‘Heroes. Lake water is what cured me from being brain dead.”

With the arrival of two Beatles (George Martin is honorary), the scene around our two tables becomes hectic. First, actual musicians come over to find out what is happening (and possibly get on the guest list). Soon the lookie looes arrive. My efforts to eat my steak are continually interrupted. I have to explain who The Boss band members are. Michael Jackson spotting intensifies the café society vibe.

George tells me to grab my plate and we move over to an empty table – it is still early.

“Thanks,” I tell George between bites of my dinner.

“You’re not really a zombie, right” as he watches me wash down chunks of steak with wine.

“Why do you want to know,” as I let a mixture of beef and red wine dribble from my mouth.

“Okay. In for a penny, in for a pound. Don’t take advantage of me because I am old and won’t fight back.”

“How old are you?”

“Fifty-two,” he laughs.

“Oh, my. The pre-Beatles/English Invasion generation.”

“I trained as a classical musician and composer, now trapped in the pop world.”

I sing Harry Nielson’s “Think about the Troubles’

I squeeze his hand as he laughs at my song. He turns red and I laugh at him.

“Where did you come from?”

“I honestly don’t know, total amnesia, and I don’t care. ‘Life is the top of the cherry,’” I quote Bowie.

“Pop music is so crass but you are a class act. We spent all that money and time to make the last Beatles albums and most people pay to say they have it and never really listen to it.”

“Old and cynical,” I laugh.

He looks at me as if I have insulted him.

“And you act your age, young man, shallow and opinionated.”

“I like you,” I admit.

“Me, too.

Dinner is finished with English trifle, sweet and gooey. As brandy is brought to the adults, Mike and I decide we would rather get out and about in the center of the London theater district. Amar and Emile want to escape Popa Mustafa’s supervision.

“Let us come, too,” they beg.

“Ask your dad,” Mike has no sympathy for them.

They look beseeching at Popa who just shakes his head.

“We’ll keep an eye on them,” I plead their case.

Popa gives me a look that says he would rather trust them with a dog. And, Muslims have no love for dogs. One kiss on stage with Freddie and I am branded for life, a decadent infidel.

We tried but shrug and get up to leave. Bowie reminds me we have to practice our wire act early the next morning.

“Right, Boss,” I say, and everyone laughs. Time to escape adult supervision.

The restaurant is located next to Piccadilly Circus, the heart of the theater district.

“Free,” I shout. “Free at last.”

Mike socks me, I turn around and we race through traffic to the other side of the ‘circus.’ I forget that the British drive on the wrong side of the roadway. I bounce off one black cab into another. Mike grabs and pulls me to safety, looking terrified that I may be hurt. I laugh.

We proceed past the ‘dilly toward Leicester Square. It is quieter and the downtroddened pedestrians look at us like we are there to help them. A guy in ripped clothing is playing guitar and sings a song about going to the gasworks with his girlfriend. He has a strong Irish accent and the song is lyrical and light.

“Oi!” he yells at us. “Put a fiver in the basket,” he indicates a hat with only a few coins collected.

“Do we look like tourists,” Mike tries to act like a local.

“Yeah. What do you want” pot? Girls? Guys? A good time?”

“We look gay?”

“You are holding hands,” he points at us. We had not noticed.

“Where are you from? Ya don’t sound English,” I change the subject of our interrogation.

“I be Irish, ‘cept I’s moved to London whens I’s five.”

“Do you have a band?” I ask.

“Bloody hell, yah I do. The Nipple Erectors. The name’s Shane, Shane MacGowan.”

I’m Laz and my friend’s Mike.”

“I know who yer is. I ain’t dumb. Yer Michael Jackson,” he points at Mike, giving us a toothless grin – English dentists cannot keep up with diets based solely on sugar.

“Yeah, our new band is playing tomorrow at Earl’s Court. The name’s The Boss Band.”

“The Jackson 5 kick ya out?” Shane asks Mike.

“I escaped from the clutches of my mean old dad,” Mike defends himself.

“Least ya growed up not so cute no more,” the punk is a wit. “But why are ya slummin’ with yer boyfriend?”

“We need to see the real London, Not the West-end version,” I assert.

“Welcome to hell. Now give me yer money.”

Mike only has the 100 Swiss francs I gave him.

“That ain’t real money,” MacGowan states, rejecting the offer. He has never seen francs. We need to exchange our pocket money. He is working and turns back to busking for pences and shillings.

“Where can we find a club where the kids hang out?” I ask.

“You want to find punks? Try the 100 Club on Oxford Street,” he offers between verses of his song about busking in Leicester Square.

When I first came to London I was only sixteen
With a fiver in my pocket and my old dancing bag
I went down to the ‘dilly to check out the scene
But I soon ended up upon the old main drag

There the he-males and the she-males paraded in style
And the old man with the money would flash you a smile
In the dark of an alley you’d work for a five
For a swift one off the wrist down on the old main drag

In the cold winter nights the old town it was chill
But there were boys in the cafes who’d give you cheap pills
If you didn’t have the money you’d cajole and you’d beg
There was always lots of Tuinal on the old main drag

‘One evening as I was lying down by Leicester Square
I was pulled in by the coppers and kicked in the balls
Between the metal doors at Vine Street I was beaten and mauled
And they ruined my good looks for the old main drag

In the tube station the old ones who were on the way out
Would dribble and vomit and grovel and shout
And the coppers would come along and push them about
And I wished I could escape from the old main drag

And now I’m lying here I’ve had too much booze
I’ve been shat on and spat on and raped and abused
I know that I am dying and I wish I could beg
For some money to take me from the old main drag’

The Old Main Drag Lyrics as written by Shane Macgowan

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

“That’s some real shit,” I tell Mike. “We sing about flying dolphins while Shane here is dying on the streets of London.”

MacGowan sizes us up.

“Give me that funny money. I can exchange at the ‘dilly’ and we can hit 100 Club .

He gathers his bundle of rags and his acoustic guitar. We walk off to our London adventure. After exchanging our CH Francs, Shane takes us into the London Underground where we avoid paying the fare by hopping the turnstiles and get off at Oxford Circle, walking to 100 Oxford Street where a dozen bizarrely dressed punks are loitering about.

My new role as a Ziggy clone perks up. Instead of my ‘who cares what I look like, it is all about how I act,’ everyone here was closely observing how they are seen by everyone else. Mike and I have at least coordinated our look. I always wear his clothes since I have none of my own (except underwear which I do not wear). (TMI). Shane uses the money he got at the foreign exchange booth in Piccadilly to get us in, going straight to the bar and downing 3 whiskeys in a row. We don’t try to keep up but also feel ‘very toasty.”

Prepared for battle we charge to the front of the sparse crowd listening to marginal band droning away on stage. MacGowan yells at the singer to pick up the beat. The singer yells at Shane to crawl back under the rock he came from.

“Leicester Square where these two Yanks pay me to see the London scene.”

“You are your own scene,” the singer yells, “the drunken drugged-out rent boy scene.”

She then goes into a great song about bondage

She is screaming and running around. The masses at the bar coming running and it is thrash time. I feel right at home but Mike is terrified. I grab him and we pogo up and down until he realizes no one is going to attack him for being Black, American and apparently gay in my arms. I do not care.

The next band comes on but everyone is back at the bar, awaiting new inspiration to thrash around. MacGowan has another three whiskeys for further inspiration. The band fails him, so we go outside and ‘hang’ with the locals. Several toughs try to harass him but he gives as good as he gets. Everyone likes a sloppy drunk.

Mike remains petrified at the spectacle of punk violence. He drags me away.

“But we are having fun?”

“We need to dump the drunk before he finds out where we are staying and moves in.”

“Okay,” I agree as we walk down Oxford Street. “I have to practice flying with Bowie in the morning.

I give him another 100 francs. “Be more careful who you give your money to.”

“Your money, sucker,” Mike has his spunk back.

It is now well past midnight. Time flies when you are having fun. The London lowlife is much more lively than the Café Royal scene. We fall into bed together even though there is second bed in the room. Our bromance was challenged by hanging out with a rent boy. We just ignored the comments. ‘Of bondage, up yours.’

Mike rolls over and back to sleep when Bowie calls to get me ready for our Peter Pan rehearsal in the morning. He asks me what I want for breakfast which he orders and is delivered before I come up to his penthouse. We sit on the balcony and eat.

“That’s the park where JM Berry met the lost boys from Peter Pan,” Bowie points to Kensington Gardens past Hyde Park.”

“Peter Pan was a rent boy he picked up in the Park?”

Bowie can’t stop laughing as I relate our rent boy experience the previous night.

“Actually he sang quite well with an Irish accent.”

“The Irish are all farmers or sailors. Dour or gay,” he postulates.

“So the sailors all sing for their supper?”

“And quite well, they do.”

“Where’s Earl’s Court?” I ask.

“It’s the on the far side of Kensington Gardens, north of Chelsea.”

“Take me to Boy in Chelsea, it’s a fashion shop for punk. It will be Bowie at Boy.”

“And who will pay?”

“You, of course. Just let them take your picture; that’s a real Boy endorsement. They can pay you by outfitting me.”

“You have money.”

“Well, I’m learning how to be a London punk. I need you to pay for me.”

“I prefer you as Peter Pan, not Peter Punk.”

“It’s a deal. I teach you to fly, you teach me about London fashion, ‘Fashion, turn to the left. Fashion, turn to the right.’”

I jump up on the balcony railing, “I can fly.”

Bowie grabs me before I fall. It is the first time he shows me that he really cares. I give him a big hug.

“London is bad for you. Get your head on straight.”

“What if I’m not straight,” I wink at him.

“Mike will be very upset.”

We leave it at that and spend the morning flying around the Earl’s Court stage. We are totally in sync and never get our wires crossed. “I will be Ziggy and you will be in Queen,” I tell him.

“And we will be Heroes,” he sings.

Once we are unhooked, I close my eyes and visualize him holding me in his arms. It feels like he is actually holding me. I open my eyes and it is true. He kisses me quickly without leaving me the chance to kiss him back.

“Saying goodbye to your space alien self?”

“Yes, and making sure I never lose him,” he winks.