This is a recounting of a 1993 encounter with Angela Bowie, published in Ad/Vance 3. Notes since that time:
Toni Collette, in Todd Hayne’s Velvet Goldmine, captured her quirky American / attempted London mid-crust / unplanned Eurotrash accent with perfection.
The song I allude below is actually called “Turn My Heart Over Easy”and appears on an album she issued in 2002 called Moon Goddess.
You have friends, you do favors — even favors as degrading as going to a book signing by professional former rock star wife Angela Bowie, David’s ex. Her claim to fame, aside from bopping both the Thin White Duke and Marianne Faithfull, is that she is the Angie (as in Mick Jagger singing …). She’s now cashing in by telling all to an uncaring public in her opus Backstage Passes: My Life as a Bowie Hanger-on or something like that. Overcoming my reluctance and deciding that maybe seeing a never-quite-was in the flesh might make for a breezy afternoon, I wound my way downtown on a Friday afternoon to meet Ms. B.
I walked in: NO crowd, not even a line. I got there about 5:30 — minutes after the thing started; two people were there worshiping at her feet. She was trying to explain her poetry to one of them and kept saying, “It’s hard to explain … I need to show it to you. It’s in my first book.” The store didn’t have it in stock. The other guy there actually had a copy and she introduced them and let them talk about her poetry. My turn.
I told her the books were for two good friends of mine in New Orleans. Then I mentioned I’d seen her on cable singing “Heart over Easy” (which featured her wild scream of “Now SLAM DANCE!” — only twelve years after the fact. Some people just can’t keep up with the trends.). I asked if it had ever come out. She said, “It takes a long time to get these things out. When I went on that show, I thought the album would be out six months later. The same with this book, it’s been three years since we came up with the idea.” I’ve no idea who the “we” is since she was alone except for a bookstore employee who must have been assigned to keep replenishing her supply of books to sign. He wasn’t busy at this point.
After she inscribed the books, I got into the check-out line behind five other customers. Only one of them had her book. No one was waiting in line to talk to her.