|Angie Bowie's exact influence over a generation
of pop culture is endlessly debated. In a recent ITV documentary,
Lou Reed credited her, unequivocally, with creating his legendary
Transformer look, adding weighty testimony to the claims of
her supporters that her influence extends far beyond the boundaries
of Ziggy Stardust and The Man Who Sold The World. Then there’s
the Rolling Stones’ legendary tribute “Angie”,
her friendship with Marianne Faithfull, her best-selling autobiography
'Backstage Passes' (rumoured to have been the major inspiration
for the “fictional” Velvet Goldmine). The list
just goes on and on.
These days Angie Bowie lives in Tucson, Arizona, far away
in time and space from London’s heady Glam Rock days.
Her children are grown up and making their own ways in the
world. She happily communicates with the world via her website,
writes books, knows some great recipes, works on film projects,
and has a lot of fun with her fans and friends.
Not so long ago, Subterraneans’ singer and Camden-based
record label supremo, Jude Rawlins happened upon something
called Moon Goddess, an album of original material by Angie
Bowie. Intrigued, he decided to check it out, and was completely
taken with what he heard. He immediately contacted Angie,
and promptly signed her to the Electric label. Moreover, he
cheekily suggested that Angie join Subterraneans on a wild
rendition of the Stones’ classic “The Last Time”.
The result is that rarest of triumphs: a stunningly contemporary
cover version of a ridiculously famous song that allows you
to completely forget the original for the duration.
As Jude says “I wanted it to sound like a couple who’d
succeeded in driving each other nuts. I wanted it to have
the spirit of the Stones, the stuff that made them special
in the first place, which I think all the other recent covers
completely missed. Angie understood that instinctively. Her
performance is spot on. No one else would have got it so right.”
Of course, Angie singing a Stones’ song is bound to
raise a few eyebrows.
Tell us about your new album?
Moon Goddess is the collection of songs that I recorded from
my first theater show, Krisis Kabaret at the Little Theater
in Upper St. Martin’s Lane in 1976 to now! I guess it’s
my musical biography.
What made you record it?
People began to use my poems as lyrics. Roy Martin recorded
a poem Soul House for Track Records and then I wrote Some
of My Best Friends Are Strangers while hanging at my friend
Benny Carruther’s house in Chelsea listening to a guy
called Steve Busch play blues guitar.
Once I realized that I could write songs like Lionel Bart
did; singing the melody to a musician, I was jazzed and got
busy. As I wrote poems and lyrics, I wrote the melodies and
recorded the songs so it was easier for a band to learn them.
What's all this about a new
book on bisexuality?
It’s called ‘Bisexuality, the Pocket Essential’.
During my ‘Twenties Madness’, I really missed
there being a book with the lives of Bisexuals so one didn’t
feel like such an alien. At that time very little was written
about it and usually what was written was an adjunct to homosexuality
or in a disparaging way that offered no practical help for
confidence and self-esteem. When www.angiebowie.com was set
up in 2000, my essay on Bisexuality was the first article
to be posted; there was a big response to it. It seemed like
the natural follow-up to do a ‘little’ book with
the biographies of bisexual people as encouragement to people
who were so enthusiatic about the website essay.
Where do you live now and can
you tell us something about it?
I live in Tucson, Arizona and wish I could afford to live
in Camden! I used to live at the Angel, Islington but it got
so expensive in England, I figured I better go and see what
living in America was like. What’s that great line from
the movie K-PAX? “Your produce alone was worth the trip!”
That’s kind of how I felt about America because I had
never lived here before.
Do you like Camden?
Camden is Camden; it’s London, it’s gorgeous and
having lived in England for so many years, I’ve always
gone to Camden. Of course I like it! How could you not like
Camden? An architectural marvel full of Georgian beauty and
nineteenth century warehouses!
We hear you recently worked
on a building site?
I often work construction whenever I need to lose a little
weight. The first time I tried it was after I met my partner
Michael Gassett. Michael wanted to do something physical because
he ran a service department for an airline and he has back
problems if he is not active.
I got into working physically when I had my horse ranch
for 5 years. So Michael and I joined a framing crew in Atlanta
and loved it. We built about 20 houses and 16 condos. i like
all that walking on beams on 50 or 60 feet in the air. what
can i tell you/ i’m a daredevil.
So then when we went to Tucson, my friend Sage Cavanaugh
gave me a job with her painting company but soon she had me
designing and doing interiors. That is not as useful to me
as the physical labor, flattering but not useful!
And the problem with working construction is that I have
no time for my real work/Writing.
Construction is physically tiring so you can work hard all
day and then really sleep; but that means you have no stregnth
to work in the evening etc at writing. So I would do it for
3-6 month spurts and then get back to writing and I’d
be looking good, svelte!
Instead of paying for a gym or a trainer! I am such a Cypriot;
I have to have a bargain! There you go; another reason I love
Camden! It’s the London hangout of my compadres from
Cyprus! Camden and Finsbury Park!
What other jobs have you had?
I worked for AAA, the Automobile Association selling memberships
and also I wrote scripts for those 900 LIVE SEX LINES. That
was a hoot! What else? Publicity I did the George Dalares
(Greek POP SINGER) American Tour publicity. I liked that.
Publicity is fun and I am experienced!
I worked for Althea and Larry Flynt as a celebrity editor.
Athea was launching a magazine called RAGE Fashion With A
Vengeance. I needed to make some money to finish recording
a couple of the tracks that are on MOON GODDESS.
What or who is the greatest
love of your life?
My Work, Michael Gassett, Stacia and Zowie, my daughter and
Angie with daughter Stacia
How would you describe your
Frankie Laine! I’m sorry I am being cheeky! I
am not a rack-jobber that is someone else’s job to describe
What is the trait you most
like about yourself?
Sense of humour.
What is the trait you most
like about other people?
Sense of humour.
What is the trait you most
dislike about yourself?
I worry; it’s a hang-over from being raised Catholic.
What is the trait you most
dislike about other people?
Oh you mean sanctimonious pompous ass-holes, is that a trait
or an entire breed?
What do you most like/dislike
about your appearance?
I can’t answer that question. I like myself so how I
look is representative of what I am doing at the time.
How important is sex to you?
Pretty important, POP.SEX will be the second book I wrote
I wrote 8 songs for a Chris Stamp/ Lionel Bart project called
Carte Blanche which are serious SEXY stuff. Maybe I’ll
get around to recording them in the near future
What is your greatest regret?
“Non, Je ne regrette rien”
How would you like to be remembered?
Wow! As a good friend, an exhuberant lover, a sensible adult
and a contributor to the freedom of sexuality by my writing,
songs and performance.
With which celebrity do you
most identify and why?
I don’t identify with anybody apart from myself. It
took me so long to escape from the Catholic belief that i
had to serve someone; once i realized that I was free to do
my own projects and that I would get no help from anyone I
stopped wasting what time there was left and got busy.
What would you most like to
change about yourself?
It’s time to go frame some houses; there’s 10
pounds I need to lose. I have been sitting at the computer
for 2 and a half years writing POP.SEX and The Bisexuality
What three elements go towards
making the perfect party?
What a great question! Wonderful interesting Fun people from
all walks of life to mix it up PLUS lighting music and food!
Describe a day in the life of
I get up early at 4.00 am work, eat, work, get bored, walk
around my garden, sit in the jaccuzzi, eat, work, drink innumerable
cups of tea. Make dinner for Michael, work, go to bed. I am
asleep by 8.00 p.m. If I go out of town for performance then
I stay up late and party after taking a huge nap. I have always
maintainedd this schedule, I know it’s odd but it’s
What is the most embarrassing
thing that has ever happened to you?
Shitting myself when I was asleep at school. I was 11, God
I was embarrassed!
Do you ever see or hear from
your ex-husband David Bowie?
Have you been reunited with
your son Zowie?
He wrote me last year and then stopped.
If you met David Bowie today,
what is the first thing you would say to him?
I’d lie and say it was great to see him.
Looking back, how do you now
view your life with him?
As a splendid opportunity to learn my craft as a marketer
and promoter. I did pretty well don’t you think for
my first job?
Your record label, The Electric
Label, is based in Camden Town. Isn¹t that an unusual
choice for someone living in the Arizona desert?
Yes, isn’t that wonderfully bizarre? Jude Rawlins is
a smooth mover!
Moon Goddess is your debut
solo album is it going to be the first of many and how
did it come about?
It looks like it will be the first of many; as we speak tunes
are winging their way back and forth across the airwaves.
Hopefully Osceola Records will be the distributor for the
next CD. I’m superstitious about talking up projects
until they happen; i am not being evasive just cagey!
The video for the classic single
Crying In The Dark was shot in Vienna?
I had such a blast doing that video. Did you like it? Poor
Chico, I doubt if he ever thought his lovely song could suggest
such a mean story-line! He was great playing the deceitful
boyfriend wasn’t he? But you know I love to drag up
and steal the girl!
You are currently working on
your new book Pop.Sex?
It’s a ruse! I thought how can I write the truth about
how little sexual freedom there is in the world without pissing
everybody off. So I gathered all the fabulous stories of sexual
eccentricity together and then I wrote the political debate
and stuck all the cool eccentric sex stories in the right
places! The problem is of course that the Sharia law in Muslim
countries does not allow one to be funny or humorous about
sexuality in Muslim culture because there isn’t any!
No, just kidding. You got me going now, I think I am a comedian.
I like doing political humor with sex it takes the edge off!
You teamed up with Subterraneans
on a wild rendition of the Stones classic ‘The Last
Time’ for your album. How did that happen?
Smooth operator Jude Rawlins. See how he is. Jude recorded
the track with his band and sent it to me and I added my vocal
to his. You know Jude and I have never met; so i sent him
an e mail after I did the recording and said something like
I enjoyed our cyber fuck. I must have embarrassed him.
Bisexuality by Angie Bowie is published by Pocket Essentials
and available from Amazon for £3.99. To buy it click
Angie Bowie's Bisexuality
You can buy Moon Goddess on www.electriclabel.net