This letter is to let you know about the time in 1989 when I had a very special couple of meetings with David Bowie and the entire Tin Machine band.
I didn't even know that David was in Australia until I had a phone call from a friend of mine early one morning. We knew that Tin Machine had done a few shows in America and Europe but never expected the band to get to Australia. Well this friend rang me and asked if I had seen the morning papers. I hadn't and asked her what she was on about. She told me that Tin Machine had done a surprise concert in a small Sydney night-club the night before. It was not advertised and everyone was taken completely by surprise.
The newspaper article revealed that Tin Machine were in Sydney to record the second album. As you can imagine, I was really disappointed that I missed out on the show but there was no way that I could have known that it was going to take place. Nobody did! Can you imagine being in the audience to see a local Sydney band and out comes Tin Machine. What a magical moment that would have been.
Well at least I knew that David was in the same city as myself and this was all the incentive I needed to hunt him out. When I found out that Tin Machine were recording in Sydney I was determined that I was going to meet the band. EMI has their own recording studios in Sydney and I guessed that this would be the studio that David would use. So every afternoon after work I would go out to the studio and just wait. The studio was only about a fifteen minute drive from where I live.
Well I did this for about five days and nothing happened. I was beginning to think that maybe they were using a less known studio to avoid the press coverage and the fans. The surprising thing was that there were no other fans waiting outside the studio other than myself and my friend Julie. I met her in 1987 while we were lining up for tickets. I was first in line and she was second and we have been the best of friends since.
But then one afternoon I saw Reeves Gabrels enter the building by himself. I walked in after him and asked if I could speak to him for a while. Reeves is a great guy and unlike David, he apparently was not used to the attention that he was getting because of Tin Machine. He seemed quite surprised that I recognised him. He is a very friendly guy and very easy to approach. He spoke to me for about half an hour. He confirmed that Tin Machine were recording their second album in Australia. I asked how it was going and he said that it was going to be very different from the first album. I got him to autograph the first Tin Machine album and asked if the rest of the band was due to arrive. Apparently they weren't coming in until the following day. He was just laying down some guitar tracks by himself. I thanked him for his time and asked if it would be okay if I came in the following day. He said that that would be fine and said that he'd see me tomorrow.
So the next day I went out early and just waited. At about 2PM a car pulled up and David Bowie and Hunt Sales got out. We got them both to sign the album and spoke a couple of minutes about the new album. David then said that if we waited a while, that the car was going back to the hotel to get Reeves and Tony. So we waited of course, and about half an hour later the car came back and who should get out but Tony Sales and Reeves Gabrels as well as Charlie Sexton. Charlie was in Australia playing guitar for Jimmy Barnes (an Australian singer that you may have heard about). As you know he is a close friend of David (Charlie that is, not Jimmy). Charlie appears in the live Glass Spider video from 1987 which was filmed in Australia. He was hanging out with Tin Machine while they were in Australia. Again we got autographs. I now had the Tin Machine album signed by all four members. What a buzz. It looks really fantastic.
David was really keen that everyone in the band be treated as equal members. He got slightly annoyed when we only seemed interested in him and not the other three Tin Machine members. But you can't really blame us because we had idolised this man for years. We didn't get any photos at this time because David seemed in a hurry to get up to the studio to start working.
We decided to keep hanging out because you never know what can happen, and anyway we wanted to see if we could get some photos with the band. A couple of days later we met David and Reeves again. We asked if we could get some photos with them. David was really friendly this time and very co-operative as the two photos I have attached will show. The girl with David is my friend Julie. As you can imagine she absolutely loves this photo. It looks like David and her are dating. He really is a very nice guy when you meet him when he is in a good mood. Please don't reproduce these photos as they are very special to us and eventually I want to use them on my Internet homepage dedicated to David Bowie and Tin Machine.
David and Reeves went up the studio to work for a couple of hours. When they came out we were still waiting. David came over to us again and thanked us for our support and said that fans like us were very special to him. He seemed to generally mean this and we feel in love with him even a bit more, if that is possible. And then he said something that we could not believe. He promised that when the album was finished he would take us both up to the studio to listen to the stuff that they had recorded.