|The former Mrs. David Bowie
David Bowieâs Ex Joins March 18 Trannyshack Tribute to Glamrock Legend
âYou canât ârememberâ if youâre young. How could you?â asks Angie Bowie. âYou werenât there. You hear the stories, but itâs like, âYeah, right.â Itâs like a history lesson.â
From her home in Tucson, AZ, a far cry from the wild, jet-set life of her 20s, the gravelly-voiced grandma has unexpectedly steered our conversation far deeper than just the sex, drugs and rock ân roll most expect from a woman who spent her formative years in a âmarriage of convenienceâ to legendary David Bowie. She is suddenly philosophizing about the state of the youth-driven LGBT community.
âFor those of us who lived those times,â Angie says, referencing the swinging â70s spent wed to one of the music industryâs most groundbreaking rock stars and the social advances she has seen and fought for since, âWe try to pass that experience on or tell people if they want to know, but it has to be a two-way street. They have to want to know.â
Bowie feels todayâs LGBT youth, many of whom have a limited understanding of the struggles their community has faced over the last several decades, arenât even aware of what they donât know. âI canât preach to people,â she says, âItâs not my job to âschoolâ anyone.â
One moment, Angie is excitedly describing herself as an âauthorityâ on drag shows â appropriate, since the former Mrs. Bowie will appear Friday, March 18, as the special guest at Trannyshackkâs wildly popular tribute to her ex. The next, the iconic actress, model, cover girl, musician and author has thrown herself headlong into analyzing LGBT young people and the gay communityâs current perspective on human rights.
âIâm sorry,â she jokes drily. âYou didnât expect this, did you?â
What sent Bowieâs brain into overdrive, it seems, is being asked whether she feels âconnectedâ to the gay community. As an outspoken bisexual, Angie feels âvery connectedâ to the LGBT community. âBut,â she says, âThey donât feel connected to me, so what I feel is neither here nor there.â
Though in conversation Bowie dismissively says sheâs âfineâ with an apparent lack of affection from her own community, itâs clear from pushing the subject, sheâs not. Finally, she admits as much.
âI would love to feel very connected [to the LGBT community]. It would be a dream for me,â she says, âI feel Iâve spent much of my life sticking up for and talking about those of us who have alternate sexualities and all the things which go along with it.â
That much is certainly true. Long before her sex-laced 1992 tell-all Backstage Passes: Life on the Wildside with David Bowie, which not only suggests Angie was largely responsible for her then-husbandâs drag-tastic â70s glam-rock reinvention but also hints at his possible dalliance with Rolling Stones superstar Mick Jagger, Angie was upfront about her own affairs with both men and women.
She was out about her sexuality during a time when the repercussions of being gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or curious were considerably different than they are now, Bowie says. Young people today have limited perspective on what it was like during those times, taking for granted the work of generations before.
âI noticed it in England, with Boy George [in the â80s],â Bowie says, âPeople of his generation, which is only one generation behind mine, wanted to act like by the time they came out publicly theyâd already suffered so much, but now itâs fine.â
While that attitude certainly irked her, as did the fading relevance to young people of the struggles her generation faced, Bowie has learned itâs a balancing act. As sheâs grown older, she has become more ârealisticâ about how her contributions to society are seen. She works to remain enthusiastic and optimistic for those who remember and support her efforts.
âAt no point can you give in to that cynicism of realizing how fickle peopleâs interest is and that the passage of generations can eclipse anything youâve done in a moment,â she says.
Meanwhile, Angie points out, it only takes âtwo or three scholars and students in the entertainment industryâ to re-teach thoughts, ideas and history young people are unaware they have âforgottenâ â because they never knew it in the first place. For this generation, the biggest teacher appears to be Lady Gaga.
âFor younger generation to embrace that thought, which is not new but a repeat of what went before â because everything, like fashion, is cyclical â then they have to think [Gaga] is wonderful and innovative and divine,â Bowie says of the prolific superstar, âAnd she is, because sheâs reminding them of lessons they have forgotten.â
According to Bowie, those who deride Gaga for recycling looks, sounds and images of the past â including many taken directly from her famous ex â are simply âjealous.â âThose people just want to say, âOh, I did that first!,â Bowie says, âAnd thatâs bullshit!â
âGaga has taken their lesson and is showing she learned it well,â Angie says, âShe learned it well enough to repeat if for a new generation. Now she belongs to that generation, and theyâre learning the lessons all over again. Itâs the way of the world.â
Trannyshackâs David Bowie Tribute with Special Guest Angie Bowie, Fri., March 18, 9pm-3am, 11:30 showtime. DNA Lounge, 375 11th St. $15 Advance.
For More Info, Visit: www.Trannyshack.com