BootLeg Betty

Was David Bowie’s ‘lance of love’ the real reason for his success?

The Sun
Was David Bowie’s ‘lance of love’ the real reason for his success?
January 13, 2016

Huge ... Bowie was 'massively well endowed' according to one groupie
Huge … Bowie was ‘massively well endowed’ according to one groupie

DAVID BOWIE adventured his way from conquest to conquest, embracing gay sex, threesomes, teens, group sex, straight sex, then, perhaps most startlingly of all, monogamous marriage.

Neither age, race, religion, nor the looks of his lovers ever prevented him from following his lust and wielding what first wife Angie dubbed his “lance of love”.

With Tina Turner (and Keith Richards)
With Tina Turner (and Keith Richards) Bob Gruen

A brief overview of his conquests includes: Bette Midler (reportedly an isolated incident in a closet – Mister D: If this was the incident, it’s not true. She was in a closet with David Bowie and Mick Jagger. From Bette’s account they were all talking business about concert touring where she said she learned a lot of information. Maybe down the road they had an affair, but this is not it.), record executive Calvin Mark Lee, Playboy model and actress Bebe Buell, singer Nina Simone, Charlie Chaplin’s widow, Oona — 22 years his senior — dancer Melissa Hurley — 20 years his junior — and singer Ava Cherry.

Along the way he paid court to Elvis’s ex Monique van Vooren (20 years his senior), and an affair with singer Dana Gillespie.

Even Elizabeth Taylor enjoyed an amorous friendship with him.

In the spirit of his continuing rivalry with Mick Jagger, David toyed with Jagger’s onetime girlfriend Marianne Faithfull, his backing singer Claudia Lennear, and briefly dated Mick’s first wife, Bianca Jagger.

According to Angie, now 66, there may also have been more than a moment with Mick Jagger himself.

... with Monique van Vooren
… with Monique van Vooren Getty

In her version of the alleged event, she returned from a trip to find Mick and David in bed together, only not sleeping — something which David took the rare step of denying.

However, David’s girlfriend in the early Seventies, model Winona Williams, also says, “I remember walking in on David and Mick, and tending to think that they had just finished doing something together.”

Other of his conquests — never denied — include Susan Sarandon, Tina Turner, Lulu, his second manager Ralph Horton and possibly Ken Pitt, his third manager.

 

Voracious David also conducted simultaneous affairs with male mime artist Lindsay Kemp and Natasha Korniloff, Kemp’s costume designer. When they found out about his two-timing, both attempted suicide.

Bowie also had a much-publicised affair with transsexual Romy Haag, affairs with sundry staff at his record label, and trysts with an array of groupies, both male and female.

As he put it in a 1997 BBC radio interview, “I was hitting on everybody. I had a wonderfully irresponsible promiscuous time.”

... with Liz Taylor
… with Liz Taylor Terry O’Neil

But even Bowie drew the line somewhere. Josette Caruso, a seasoned groupie, travelled to Philadelphia to meet him in 1972 on Bowie’s invitation. She was 19 at the time.

She recalled: “In bed, he was a wonderful lover, massively endowed.

“But earlier that night, I experienced the most bizarre thing. There was a knock at the door. The bodyguard answered it and called David.

“David was away for a few minutes, during which I could hear him very distressed.

“When he came back into the bedroom, I could see that he was very, very upset. Then he told me that the person at the door had offered the bodyguard to bring him a dead, warm body for David to have sex with, as if he were into necrophilia. David was horrified.”

From a young age, David had trumpeted sexual freedom and diversity. As an up and coming teenage musician, he was adept at playing London’s gay elite.

His coterie of male admirers included a journalist who managed to insert regular items about him in Melody Maker and a radio DJ who played his records with embarrassing frequency.

Male mime artist Lindsay Kemp was another partner
Male mime artist Lindsay Kemp was another partner Hulton Archive

Singer-songwriter and convicted paedophile Jonathan King, who worked with Bowie, said: “David was bisexual, but predominantly heterosexual. Looking back now, I’ve got the feeling his gay experiences were part of wanting to get on.”

In those early years of clawing his way up the ladder to success, his impressive endowment would prove to be one of his most valuable assets. And far from being shy about his considerable genetic gifts, David happily flaunted himself in the tightest trousers possible.

Angie, then 19, would prove to be David’s sexual match. He met her in 1969 through his lover, the Chinese-American A&R man Calvin Mark Lee, who American Angie was also bedding.

David launched his relationship by bluntly telling her he didn’t love her, warning her not to expect anything conventional of him. “Because it can’t be that way,” he said, “I’m not made like that.”

... with Lulu
… with Lulu

Seeing herself as the ultimate sexual adventuress, Angie flung herself into an open relationship with David with abandon. They would share lovers at their first home at Haddon Hall in Beckenham, South-East London.

Angie said: “You have to pick a chick up and she has to agree to be f****d with no one leaving the room — not in private. She has to understand that from the off — it’s a communal effort, like living theatre.”

In her autobiography she later claimed: “David made a virtual religion of slipping the Lance of Love into almost everyone around him.”

On March 18, 1970, Angie and David went shopping for her wedding dress. They were getting married primarily to prevent Angie being deported from England, where she played a vital role in managing David’s career.

Then, on the spur of the moment, they decided to pay a call on a female artist friend. Angie and David ended up in bed with her, and, as a result, as both of them would boast afterwards, they were late for their wedding the next morning.

... with Bianca Jagger
… with Bianca Jagger Getty

Even after the birth of their son Zowie in 1971, David and Angie continued their sexual adventuring, conquering as many boys and girls as possible.

In 1972 David was busy promoting his new identity as the sexually ambiguous Ziggy Stardust. He told an interviewer: “I’m gay and always have been.” Later, in a 1997 interview, he admitted he said it “out of bravado”.

By the time of his 1972 tour of America, he and Angie were more like business partners than lovers. She had begun an affair with his bodyguard Anton Jones, while he was accompanied by new lover Cyrinda Foxe, a 19-year-old model and actress.

Although Cyrinda was was now the most important woman around him, David still availed himself of groupie after groupie.

... with Susan Sarandon
… with Susan Sarandon Time & Life Pictures

Bored on one occasion while having sex with a groupie, he sent for Cyrinda to entertain him.

“She was so stupid, all he wanted to do was f*** her, and he needed someone to talk to, and that was me. I’d be watching the TV and talking with David, and he’d be screwing the groupie. Very nonchalant,” Cyrinda said.

Meanwhile, he was still pushing sexual boundaries. His ex assistant Tony Zanetta recalled: “In New York there were some well-known Puerto Rican transsexuals and David had sex with some of them.”

Back in London, David and Angie moved to a new home in Oakley Street in Chelsea, West London..

... with Romy Haag
… with Romy Haag Getty

The focal point was “the Pit”, a 4ft-deep fur-covered bed in the sitting room, where, in front of a series of audiences, who generally ended up participating themselves all permutations of sexuality were explored. One friend recalled: “Angie and David used to have the most amazing orgies at Oakley Street. Everybody f**** everybody in the Pit.

“Mick Jagger used to come there and be involved with sexual things. Everybody was so sexually liberated.”

David also had an affair with costume designer and model Ola Hudson, whose son, Saul, would grow up to become Slash of Guns N’ Roses.

... with Marianne Faithful
… with Marianne Faithful Hulton Archive

Slash was eight when he walked into a room at home to find David there with his mum, stark naked.

Although David and Angie’s marriage was never exclusive, she was more comfortable with some of his lovers than others. The blow of learning he was dating Bianca Jagger was mortal. She saw the cold, remote, elegant Mrs Mick Jagger as a serious threat to her marriage. The couple eventually split in 1980. By then, David had begun denying that he had ever been gay or bisexual, insisting it was an image concocted by his managers.

There seems little doubt he had been a try-anything sex addict, but by the time he met wife-to-be Iman in 1990 he was ready to settle down.

... with Mellisa Hurley
… with Mellisa Hurley Rob Verhorst

He said later: “I was naming the children the night we met.

“It was so lucky that we were to meet at that time in our lives, when we both were yearning for each other.”

 

— Excerpt taken by EMILY FAIRBAIRN from BOWIE: The Biography by Wendy Leigh. Copyright © 2014 by Wendy Leigh. Reprinted by permission of Gallery Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

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