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Seven Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About David Bowie…

 

Tony McGee, Davie Bowie Listens to Tony McGee’s Story (1982)

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1. Bowie’s left pupil is permanently dilated after being punched in the eye by his friend George Underwood (they were fighting over a girl!) Due to the appearance, the dilated pupil gave rise to the rumour that Bowie had Heterochromia, a condition whereby a person’s eyes are naturally different in colour.

 

Tony McGee, David Bowie, McGee Studios (1990)

(As seen in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery)

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2. For the best part of three decades, Bowie favoured a sharp suit. These were in fact made by a tailor in Hong Kong! Sam’s Tailors developed an impressive clientele, including Prince, Pavarotti and Kate Moss. 

 

Tony McGee, David In Front of Himself – Smoking (1991)

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3. The photos on Bowie’s Heroes (pictured behind him) was inspired by the angular gestures of German painter and printmaker, Erich Heckel, particularly from his 1917 painting Roquairol. 

 

Tony McGee, David in The Rainbow Theatre, London (1991)

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4. Bowie was trained in mime by Kate Bush’s choreographer, Lindsey Kemp. The picture above, is a cropped version of one of the original contact sheets signed by David Bowie. Tony McGee would personally take the contact sheets from the photoshoots to Bowie who would sign off on the images and put gold stars on the images of his choice.  

 

Tony McGee, David Working for His Serious Moonlight Tour, Brussels (1983)

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5. In the early 1980s, David Bowie went to Austin, Texas – not for a show, but to learn how to box. Richard Lord, a well-known Austin boxer trained Bowie in 1983. Bowie kept up the training, though not with Lord throughout his years.

 

Tony McGee, David in His Red Jacket, McGee Studios (1990)

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6. Bowie’s teeth were like everything about him; different! His smile revealed an imperfection that made him seem more real, more human. However, Bowie had undergone cosmetic dental treatment and had his characteristically crooked teeth replaced with a set of crowns in the early 1990s. (Rumour has it that he in fact made the decision to replace them for his wife, Iman Abdulmajid)

 

Tony McGee, David Covers His Mouth Twice (1991)

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7. In this photograph, Bowie stands in front of a montage of his old album sleeves, one hand across his mouth, and the other on the mouth of the younger Bowie’s behind him, the long-haired androgyne of Hunky Dory. This is because, the Rainbow theatre had become a shelter for the homeless, and Bowie was responding to one of the homeless men who were standing about, watching the photo shoot and firing questions. ‘Who’s that girl in the cover, there’? said the man, indicating Hunky Dory. Bowie replied, ‘It’s a girl I used to know.’

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