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Written on October 18, 2005, and categorized as Secret and Invisible.
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John Allanson was ahead of his time. He was an interesting chap from South Norwood, pleasant, enterprising, and a real David Bowie fan. When he was 17 he saved up and flew to New York to see Bowie in Elephant Man, stayed a week there on his own, saw the show several times, and lurked stage door to meet him. Bowie, relaxed and enjoying the stage run, spent some time chatting with John, appreciating that he had travelled from practically the same part of South London where he grew up.

I liked Bowie from a time in my childhood when space travel seemed to represent a way out of everything I couldn’t stand – the oppression of the age is easy to forget. He wrote Space Oddity, and it was the first record I ever went and bought – Woolworths, Crystal Palace, seven inch vinyl. It cost less than ten shillings. I still have it.

Then his style changed. Perhaps Ziggy Stardust and his other eccentric, chameleon creations were cocaine-fuelled, but for us early adolescents, his sensitive extroversion was a remarkable freedom, and a wonderful alternative to skinhead culture and the Bay City Rollers. Bowie had all the best lyrics, and one day I went round to John’s after school, and he played me Time. It was the first time I heard the word wanking recorded. We played it loud – his parents didn’t seem to mind.

Time

Time – he’s waiting in the wings
He speaks of senseless things
His script is you and me, boy

Time – he flexes like a whore
Falls wanking to the floor
His trick is you and me, boy

Time – in quaaludes and red wine
Demanding billy dolls
And other friends of mine
Take your time

The sniper in the brain, regurgitating drain
Incestuous and vain, and many other last names
I look at my watch it say 9:25 and I think oh God I’m still alive

We should be on by now
We should be on by now

Lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai
Lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai

You – are not a victim
You – just scream with boredom
You – are not evicting time

Chimes – goddamn, you’re looking old
You’ll freeze and catch a cold
’cause you’ve left your coat behind
Take your time
Breaking up is hard, but keeping dark is hateful
I had so many dreams, I had so many breakthroughs
But you, my love, were kind, but love has left you dreamless
The door to dreams was closed. your park was real dreamless
Perhaps you’re smiling now, smiling through this darkness
But all I had to give was the guilt for dreaming

We should be on by now
We should be on by now
We should be on by now
We should be on by now
We should be on by now

Lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai
Lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai
Lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai
Lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai
Lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai
Lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai
Lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai
Lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai, lai
La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
La, la, la, la, la, la

Yes time

“His trick is you and me – boy.”

I used to feel ambiguous about his voice – I wished he’d pitch better. But I always loved the way he sings that phrase – boy. So aloof, and so damned Brechtian.

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This thing has 2 Comments

  1. transience
    Posted 19 October, 2005 at 1:08 am | Permalink

    this sounds strange, but the first real memory of bowie i have is when i watched labyrinth. i was quite young then but i felt an ache every time i watched him singing with his weird hair all about. he could very well be my first wet dream. imagine that.

  2. Ms. Lori
    Posted 20 October, 2005 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    I have loved Bowie since I was a little girl. He is one of the most magnificent men alive, imo.

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