Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!

Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!
Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!

Monday, January 11, 2016

10 Second Memory: Meeting David Bowie

This was my first introduction to David Bowie as a musician. I fell in love with the song "Blue Jeans" in 1984. He was SO COOL.


On January 10th, 2016, David Bowie passed away. The world has lost an incredible musician and artist. According to Wikipedia, David Bowie "sold an estimated 140 million albums. In the United Kingdom, he was awarded 9 Platinum, 11 Gold and 8 Silver albums, and in the United States, 5 Platinum and 7 Gold."  He was the consummate artist, experimenting and crossing genres during his 47 year plus incredible career.

My experience with the Thin White Duke was a brief meeting in October of 1997 when I worked at the Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia as a concierge. He was staying with us during his Earthling Tour supporting the album of the same name. I was finishing up some paperwork at the concierge desk with my head down in paperwork as usual. Sometimes I'd be hiding down below behind the huge massive dark oak and marble desk to avoid talking to people.

I heard someone clear their throat and in a quiet soft voice state, "Excuse me."

I looked up from the chaos of papers and before me was a delicate wisp of a man, perfectly dressed and composed. It was David Bowie! I had heard he was staying with us and hoped for a sighting but instead, he was now before me! I had to fight every urge to freak out and instead maintain MY composure!

It was just the briefest of encounters. I cannot even remember exactly what was asked, I think he was asking directions to a particular store. I do know that this man, this rock star, this rock GOD David Bowie was such a gentleman. He was also unassuming, polite, warm, and genuine. He was genteel.

I was also so impressed with the fact on how he traveled. If my memory is correct, he was there with a single bodyguard and his macrobiotic chef. Macrobiotic. I had no idea what that meant. "Macaroni?" I asked Gideon, my concierge counterpart who responded with a fit of laughter. I remember catching our Chef rolling his eyes at the very word "macrobiotic." David Bowie was waaay ahead of his time. Now, you see variations of macrobiotic and vegan diets everywhere!

In comparison, another MAJOR British band had just stayed with us on their tour just prior to Bowie's stay. They took up an entire floor, had the Ritz-Carlton Suite wired for European soccer and even had a room just for wardrobe. They had the "roadies" stay over at the Wyndham Franklin Hotel.

And here was David Bowie, so down to earth and unassuming, taking up a whopping three rooms. I never forgot that. David Bowie never let fame nor fortune go to his head. Sure he wanted nice digs while on the road touring. But he didn't need 21 plus rooms for him and his entire entourage!

So back to my chance encounter with Mr. Bowie. I gave him the information he requested. I think it was directions to a shop on Walnut Street up by Rittenhouse Square. I told him that it was just a short walk a couple blocks over.

He simply responded, "That's brilliant."

Me, being the starstruck dorky young American leaned over the huge concierge desk and blurted out, "IT IS BRILLIANT! ISN'T IT?!?!"

He looked at me confused and yet ultimately bemused. After an awkward pause, he quietly chuckled before it seemingly gliding away on air just like one would expect David Bowie to do. :)

Red faced, embarrassed, and flushed, I once again hunkered down behind the massive desk.

And with that, my favorite of all favorite David Bowie songs, performed with the exquisite Annie Lennox at The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert in London, 1992.







14 comments:

  1. Oh dear brother.....LOL.....will we every REALLY be cool when we meet the Stars!!! "it is brilliant isn't it!" LOL Love you and the story!.....Big Sis

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  2. A moment in time that live forever in you. A very cool story. Brilliant! --WG

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    1. Thank you SO MUCH WG. We'll have to toast him with Dom one evening. :)

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  3. I remember when he stayed at the Ritz, I think Prince was staying at the same time too. You are so lucky you got to meet him. I think he was touring with Nine Inch Nails then

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    1. Yes! I remembered David yelling across the Lobby Lounge at Prince, "Who is that young child wearing high heels!" Prince shot him such an evil look. lol

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  4. Brilliant story... thanks for sharing. Jack R.

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  5. "Brilliant" post Marc. This brought back amazing memories of working at the Ritz and you captured the feeling perfectly.
    Cheers

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    1. Thanks David, I really appreciate it. It was a special time in our lives. Nothing like the Ritz "family"!

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  6. That's great that you got to meet him!!
    Kathy๐Ÿ˜Š

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    1. Thank you Kathy. It is now even more of a special memory. :)

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  7. Marc,
    I read today that David Bowie could keep his personal and famed life separate!! A talent that most celebrities can't do!! He was AMAZING!!!
    Kathy :)

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