On that debut visit, the wild-eyed boy from south London was all over his new-found promised land.
“I think I’ve been in prison for the past 24 years.
Not long afterwards, Bowie admitted, “I like fast drugs.
I don’t like drugs that slow me down.”Last in the can were the remodelled project – loitered with menace. “We demanded a rise, or we were going home on the next plane.”Ronson intervened and the tour went ahead but Bowie blew his top.
Fair enough, David couldn’t be Ziggy forever but he had this expensive lifestyle while me and Woody could barely exist.
The royalties weren’t arriving; they never arrived.
I remember coming straight from the airport and walking into Madison Square Garden very late.
Driving from concert to hotel in a chauffeured Daimler, he’d started drinking heavily and consuming cocaine by the phial. It would be great publicity and the old adage ‘leave them wanting more’ would only up his profile.
They sat next to fellow VIPs John Lennon, Led Zeppelin, Simon & Garfunkel and Bob Dylan.“Elvis was a major hero of mine,” Bowie said later.
“And I was probably stupid enough to believe that having the same birthday as him actually meant something. I was in the middle of a tour and I flew over on a Friday to see Elvis on the Saturday night.
Coming to America has opened [a] door.”If that initial trip kick-started the burst of creativity that became at the epicentre.
He was the stranger in a strange, dystopian land populated by sexually predatory celebrities, terrorists and snipers, coke dealers, ferocious groupies, Andy Warhol starlets, smacked-out rock-star casualties – and he was loving every cocaine-tooting minute.