Gatecrashing David Bowie in New York

September 26, 1995

This was Dame David of Bowie 22 years ago, making a personal appearance at the grand opening of a new HMV record shop at New York’s Herald Square, just off Times Square, which just happened to coincide with his first public signing session in 25 years and my very first trip to the US, ostensibly to cover the first eight dates of the Thin White One’s Outside co-headlining tour with Nine Inch Nails.

A few days earlier I’d been pleasantly surprised (ok, thrilled) to see a HMV store in Toronto’s Yonge Street stocking Crankin’ Out, the Bowie magazine I was publishing. It was thanks to the mag that I had started to develop a relationship of sorts with the Bowie camp, particularly after David had started contributing to it himself the year before.

Isolar, Bowie’s personal HQ which at the time was based in a swanky office block on Fifth Avenue, had furnished me with a press pass for the NYC personal appearance so I could snap a few piccies and do a write up (I don’t think I actually bothered doing the latter), but I was under strict instructions from Tresa Redburn, his American press agent, not to join the queue, and “Let the fans get their autograph. You get stuff signed with him all the time.”

I obeyed… until I saw the line peter out. I grabbed an Outside CD off the shelf and hopped over the strategically placed rope and made my way up to the counter.

“Hi David!” beamed I. DB looked up, saw it was me and promptly burst out laughing. “Hi Steve. See, even you have to queue up!” he cackled, mock theatrically and ever so slightly camply. I didn’t pay for the CD, by the way.