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David Bowie's karmic relationship with Greece

17 January 2016 / 20:01:25  GRReporter
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David Bowie's relationship with Greece was karmic. It wasn't only his famous love for Cyprus, where his first wife Angie Bowie, mother of his son Duncan Jones, was from. Bowie nurtured a well hidden weakness for the island of the Revelation, Patmos, and spent many of his summers there.

 

From the 1980s onwards, when he was at the peak of his fame, David Bowie chose the scenic Aegean island, which was less cosmopolitan back then, for his own refuge.

The little white houses with arches, the picturesque piers, the dozens of churches and diverse landscapes with many inlets, small valleys, gorgeous cliffs rising defiantly on the hilltops: Ziggy Stardust adored the place for all this.

Many Patmos residents recollect having seen David Bowie walking among them; they remember his simplicity and kindness.

 

The oldest bar in Chora, Astivi, where the rock star drank his gin and tonic

Bowie, the champion of diversity, never hid his identity from the locals, but his star status held people off.

It is a myth that Bowie bought a house on the island however he adored the place and kept mentioning it while talking with his loved ones. He was always a guest on Patmos: of Prince Aga Khan IV, who did buy a house on the island, or of Lord Drake.

Most times, the singer walked alone on the island. Enjoying his solitude, he sat in cafes in Chora over a cup of coffee, or walked around Aloni.

He also liked to swim in the bays of Psili Amos, Campos, or Lambi. In the evening, people would spot him in Astivi where he had his favourite gin and tonic.

 

Yannis Pouliezos, the old owner of the club, remembers that the singer frequently threw parties with the lord and a dozen friends, with his records being played. Aga Khan IV was another frequent guest.

His acquaintance with Cyprus is reflected in one of his 1979 songs, Move on, which goes:

Cyprus is my island
When the going's rough
I would love to find you
Somewhere in a place like that

The inspiration for this song came from his wife Angie Bowie, the daughter of an American, born in Agios Dometios in 1949. She lived with David for a decade, sharing the best moments of his career, and was never too shy to define herself as a Cypriot by conviction.

David Bowie was enchanted by the beauty of Cyprus. In 1972, the family, together with their son, visited the island, walked around Kyrenia and Lefkara. His last visit was in 1974, just before the Turkish invasion. Bowie actually flew out on one of the last planes departing from Nicosia.

 

David Bowie and Angie

"We bid goodbye to our childhood. I haven't returned since. I can't go there as a tourist. I want to see our house and places where I used to play. I don't think they exist any more. Maybe one day I can be satisfied by revisiting the pearl of the Mediterranean and spreading my towel on the beach. Revisiting, rather than going back home," says Angie.

Bidding his goodbye to the iconic artist, the famous music producer and writer Giannis Petridis also writes about Bowie's karmic relationship with Greece: "It is no secret that David loved Greece. During the three days of his visit, along with his friend Iggy Pop, Mikis Korinthios and I walked them around the archaeological sites. Apart from music, we talked about history and what an important role Greece has played in the history of the planet. They were both impressed, as well as the secretary who accompanied them, while visiting Delphi, with the infinite calm the place offered, and were also impressed with the view from Mount Sounion."

Tags: David Bowie Angie Greece Patmos Cyprus
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