Space Oddity: Don Meets David Bowie

So one day I get a call from L.A. to pick up David Bowie in Houston, on a certain day, time and flight. "How will I know him?” I asked, "Oh, you’ll know him,” was the reply. This was after his unexpected hit, "Space Oddity,” I looked at the album cover but there was no picture of "Major Tom." Now this was probably around 1968, and although hair was starting to grow even in Texas, and there was moderate pot use, it was still pretty conservative. So the big day came and I go out to the airport wondering if I should have brought a sign with DAVID BOWIE written on it, like the Limo drivers had.

In those days most of the passengers, were businessmen, and a parade of them were passing me by when I noticed a tall, young man with cropped hair and what appeared to be eye shadow and maybe glitter on his face. As he came by I said, "David?” and he smiled, and held out his hand. He was wearing jeans and maybe a blouse kind of shirt or whatever, but he seemed perfectly normal.

We began the drive into town and were making small talk when he asked what we did for fun in Texas, and I mentioned we’d go to movies, eat out, maybe a club sometimes; how about him? He told me, but I’ve been advised not to report it in this forum…darn lawyers.

We pull up in front of Houston’s great Top 40 station, KILT-AM, and go into the Lobby where I introduce Bowie to the receptionist and ask her to ring the Program Director, Bill Young. Suddenly the door at the back of the Lobby bursts open, and out comes the diminutive, legendary General Manager, Dickie Rosenfelt, in his high-heeled cowboy boots.

He yells, "Sundeen, what the hell have brought into my radio station?" Bowie who had been so relaxed in the car looked like he was messing his pants, and took my hand. I said, "Dickie, I'd like for you to meet the famous British recording artist, David Bowie."

Dickie said, "Who?" About that time Bill Young came down the stairs, strolled over and said, "Hi Don, hello David, my name is Bill Young, come on upstairs." We had a nice chat, and Bill told Bowie that he looked forward to my bringing him David’s new record when released.

We made a couple of other stops, none as exciting as KILT, and on the way to the airport,

(He was heading to Phoenix that night on a cross-country blitz), Bowie looked at me and said, "What was that mean little man’s name again, Dickie?" and I replied, "Yep, that’s it, he’s a little excitable, and pretty conservative." We pulled up to the front of the airport, and he got out and didn’t say another word. Probably disappointed that he hadn't met any real Cowboys.

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