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5 Things You Didn't Know About David Bowie, Even If You Were Obsessed

Don't call him Sir David Bowie.

"I don't know where I'm going from here, but I promise it won't be boring." -- David Bowie in 1997 at his 50th birthday concert in Madison Square Garden 

 

Over most of David Bowie's life, it was hard to miss him if you lived on planet Earth -- or in space for that matter. But today, as news spreads throughout our planet that the rock legend died on Sunday at the age of 69, all of his fans are doing just that for the first time: missing him.

Bowie achieved massive fame at a young age and never let it fade, literally releasing a critically acclaimed album, "Blackstar," just days before his death.

Although you've most likely encountered his legend over and over in your own life, here are a few of the still little known moments of the artist's career.

 

1. David Bowie turned down knighthood because he thought it was pointless.

In 2000, the British government offered Bowie a C.B.E. title (Commander of the British Empire), but the artist turned the honor down.

When fellow British musician, Mick Jagger, accepted a knighthood just a few months earlier, Bowie commented to The Sun, "I would never have any intention of accepting anything like that. I seriously don’t know what it’s for. It's not what I spent my life working for."

A few years later, in 2003, Bowie declined the even grander title of knighthood from the Queen. 

 

2. Someone once threw a lollipop at Bowie while he was on stage. The stem got stuck in his eye, causing the candy to grotesquely dangle, but Bowie kept playing.

While Bowie was performing in Oslo, Norway, during a tour in 2004, a fan threw a lollipop onto the stage, somehow landing it into the artist's left eye.

Most likely, the fan had no intention of striking Bowie and meant to toss the candy in adoration (apparently lollipops are nicknamed "love on a stick" by Norwegians), but still the lollipop incident forced Bowie to stop playing during his third song of the set.

In joking anger, Bowie called the person a "creep" and a "bastard," but then claimed he now had "to do an even longer show" -- to many cheers. 

(Here are pictures and audio from the gruesome yet hilarious moment. Beware, one of the photos is pretty gross. )

Bowie has had bad luck with his eyes in the past. During a fight over a girl at age 14, Bowie took a bad punch, which caused his right pupil to enlarge and remain that way for the rest of his life. The condition, anisocoria, also explains the difference in his eye colors.

 

3. At 17, before his music career took off, Bowie was interviewed by the BBC for founding The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Long-Haired Men.

"I think we all like long hair and we don't see why other people should persecute us because of it," Bowie claimed while on the BBC's "Tonight" show in 1964.

The segment was clearly played for laughs, but Bowie kept a straight face while telling host Cliff Michelmore, "I think we're all fairly tolerant. But for the last two years, we've had comments like 'Darling!' and 'Can I carry your handbag?' thrown at us, and I think it just has to stop now."

 

4. Slash once found his mom in bed with Bowie. And this is just one of many legends in Bowie's sexual history.

Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash is the son of Ola Hudson, a once stylist and lover of Bowie. Slash recalled in 2012 that although his mom originally worked with Bowie professionally, the two started hooking up, with the guitarist accidentally witnessing one such moment.

Slash told Australian radio station Triple M:

He was always over -– they were always together. I caught them naked once. They had a lot of stuff going on, but my perspective was limited. Looking back on it, I know exactly what was going on. When I look back on that whole combination of people, I can only imagine how freaky it was.

A common hookup like this was far from Bowie's most daring sexcapade, though. As Wendy Leigh wrote in her salacious book Bowie, one of the more memorable sex acts Bowie partook in was hosting a regular orgy in his house with first wife, Angie Bowie. This orgy -- all according to sources who claim to have been there -- took place in "The Pit," a four-foot deep bed lined with elaborate furs. Apparently Jagger was one of the more famous people to show up.

Bowie would also, according to tales, claim that he and Angie met by "f**king the same bloke."

 

5. Bowie is credited with helping bring down the Berlin Wall.

Most Bowie fans know about his Berlin period in the late '70s, which the iconic albums "Low" and "Heroes" originated from. The lyrics for the title song off the latter album were about two lovers who first met at the Berlin Wall.

In 1987, Bowie returned to Berlin to play a concert in West Berlin, performing close enough to the wall so that those on the other side could hear him. Violent riots broke out because of the show. Only about a week later, President Ronald Reagan told the Soviet Union's leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, to "tear down this wall."

Shortly after Bowie's death was announced, the German Foreign Office tweeted thanking the artist for his role in bringing down the wall. 

 

May he now rest in peace.

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