David Bowie – Moments With My Old Neighbour

david-bowie David Bowie and I both had our offices in New York at 641 5th Avenue, the building known as the Olympic Towers. Yet Bowie and I never met in New York.

It was years later when I moved to Los Angeles on a mission to acquire some assets to get a beer company in Toronto into the movie business. Did I want to make movies? Not if I could help it. Everyone asked me what was I going to do?

Having met Ted Turner on several occasions in New York, I had a plan. I was going to go buy film libraries, compress and digitize them and then wait for a business called mobile communication to evolve and develop.

I would tell all those who listened that 80% of the world’s population has never had a phone in their hands, and when they do, it will be a mobile phone.

Nevertheless most people thought I was nuts.

Like Bowie I believed in owning content. I knew someone who was in trouble at the time and so I met with Jerry Weintraub, brought my entire team to his house in Malibu to pay cash for his film library under Weintraub Entertainment a collection of all Thorn EMI films. The captain of my team was Arthur Taylor who had been president of CBS from 1972 until 1976. I was outbid and was left empty-handed. As Frank Sinatra sang, “I pick my self up and get back in the race”.

So while I busy getting back in the race I would walk each day past the car of my dreams. It was a Jaguar E-Type V12. Each day I would look at it. It had been fully restored. It was the right colour, British racing green. It’s owner never drove it, (oh he did once and ended up on the wrong side of the road on Crescent), parked next to it was his1974-Jaguar-XKE-001 girlfriends car a Mercedes-Benz 560SL.

That’s it I am going to leave a note for this man, I love his car. That man, owner of the Jaguar bought in Vancouver, was none other than David Bowie.

Bowie called me back upon receiving my note. The beer company in Canada that had given me some dollars to play with and had sponsored many of his tours was John Labatt. Bowie and I made a plan to go have dinner when Iman went to acting classes to go talk, music, art, anything to see if we could see eye to eye and perhaps start a label together. I was told we would be going casual, so I wore jeans and T-shirt.

Bowie shows up at my front door. I open it he is standing there in jacket and tie.

“Oh, hell David, let me change I thought we were rolling casual?, you’re wearing a tie”. (After all who wears a tie in Los Angles).

“I am a Londoner, Tim”. was Bowie’s response.

Just like when I asked him, “David do you like curry?”.

“Tim, I am a Londoner and Iman makes the best chicken curry, really Tim”. I took a pause after that one, thinking man this guy has not had my moms curry.

I can’t give all the stories away, after all most will find their way into the film I am making on Bowie. Bowie asked me “Who’s your favorite band?”, without blinking an eye I said “Queen”. “I mean I love your music as well, but Queen is my favorite”. “I have been asked to come and play at Wembley Arena in tribute to Freddy Mercury”, Bowie told me. It was then he told me of his favorite cigirate break. Freddy Mercury had been recording across the hall both ran into each other over a cigirate break and Freddy invited Bowie to come and sing a few bars of a song, it was “Under Pressure“. I saw Bowie and Lennox rock this tune and it was just magic.
What I loved the most about Bowie and Lennox, the makeup on Annie Lennox, and the suit tie, shirt combination worn by David Bowie. Yes, he is truly a Londoner, and London is my most favorite city in the world.

“Bowie is a pioneer not just in music, but also of rock theatre, videos, internet and digital downloads,” said the exhibition’s co-creator, Victoria Broackes. “He’s always personally and actively involved in everything that he creates and he is continuously cited as an influence by artists, designers and performers. This influence on music, fashion, visual and virtual culture, which seems if anything to be growing, links him directly to almost every subject area the V&A covers.”

The reason stated above is why I am making my film, on video, using a mobile phone, being personally involved in the process as Bowie would, experimenting, showcase, fashion, makeup artist’s, stylist’s, designers, of clothing, shoes, luggage, Formula 1 drivers, filmmakers, chefs, students all over the world touched by his influence directly. The mobile communication business that I had talked to so many about it rapidly growing at an alarming rate. When all is said and done people will watch the film, and think nothing of creating it on a mobile phone. Because in the future so many would have done it.

People have asked me, you will travel around the world making this where will you show it? Vimeo On Demand I tell them, but who knows in a few months something else will come along. Bowie and I would talk of computer games and how the young will discover music through that media. Bowie became the first musician to put his music in computer games.

One of the most interesting things about Bowie is his radical individualism. He doesn’t do what other people do and he doesn’t tell other people what to do. It’s how I live, I go with the flow creatively creating on my own terms.

Visit the David Bowie exhibition

Follow the production of ‘David Bowie Around the World of Formula 1

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