David Bowie was known not only for his music, but also for his eccentric and fun personality. The world knew him as an artist, but those who met and were close to Bowie knew him as much more.
People who worked with Bowie have shared that his heart was as big and complex as his different personas, like Ziggy Stardust, the Thin White Duke, and Major Tom. Nice stories about David Bowie include the time he helped an autistic fan, or went all out for his wife Iman. Memories of Bowie from his friends, family, colleagues, and fans show that he touched hearts as well as minds.
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He Walked His Body Painter To Her First NA Meeting
In 2016, after Bowie's death, The Guardian asked its readers to share any firsthand experiences with the musician. Carolyn Cowan shared how Bowie, when she was his makeup artist, walked her to her first Narcotics Anonymous meeting:
I met David Bowie in 1991, in Dublin, on a shoot for [the Tin Machine] video. I was his body painter. Three days later he walked me into my first NA (Narcotics Anonymous) meeting in Dublin.
Wherever one went with him, there was always a seismic shift. Space and time changed. Mine, beyond all recognition: Every moment of my reality changed in a moment, on that day. I am now almost 25 years clean and sober. I know I would not be here without that intervention, and all the years working with him, subsequently, reinforced the power of recovery, sobriety, and faith in the self.
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He Wrote Back To The Person Who Sent Him His First American Fan Letter
Bowie gave special attention to most fans who approached him. Sandra Dodd, the first American fan to write to Bowie, even got a letter back in response. She shared what he wrote:
A few moments ago I was handed my very first American fan letter, and it was from you. I was so pleased that I had to sit down and type an immediate reply... Thank you for being so kind as to write to me and do please write again and let me know some more about yourself.
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Before Proposing To Iman, He Searched For A Ring She Said She Liked Two Years Earlier
In 1992 when Bowie was planning to propose to girlfriend Iman, he returned to a store in Florence where two years before the supermodel had pointed out a ring she liked. But when Bowie returned, the ring had already been sold. This didn't stop him, however, and he began a hunt to locate the ring.
Bowie found the owner of the ring and purchased it. Iman recalled:
Somebody had bought [the ring], so he went and found it and bought it from them! It was sweet and of course I said yes.
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He Paid Extra Attention To An Autistic Fan And Gave Him A 'Magic' Mask
Writer Paul Magrs shared a story on his blog about a friend with autism who met Bowie in the 1980s at a London screening of Labyrinth, which starred the musician. The friend, not yet diagnosed with autism at the time, often felt shy and uncomfortable around others. He recalled how comfortable Bowie made him feel:
We all got a signed poster. Because I was so shy, they put me in a separate room, to one side, and so I got to meet him alone. He'd heard I was shy and it was his idea. He spent 30 minutes with me. He gave me this mask... He said: "This is an invisible mask, you see?" He took it off his own face and looked around like he was scared and uncomfortable all of a sudden. He passed me his invisible mask. "Put it on," he told me. "It's magic." And so I did.
Bowie then made a "magic mask" for himself, put it on, and said, ''Now we've both got invisible masks. We can both see through them perfectly well and no one would know we're even wearing them."
"So, I felt incredibly comfortable," Magrs's friend said. "It was the first time I felt safe in my whole life."
Magrs's story was turned into a book, Stardust and Snow.