Red Hot Red
By Dylan Jones
'The cigarette was the thing you noticed first, sticking out of his fist like a little torch, or indeed a little chopstick. Neither would have looked out of place in a Venn diagram of Bowie bits and pieces. He had been espousing all things Oriental for well over a decade now, and if you scanned the cover of Lodger - the record before the last one – you’d probably see a little torch there somewhere, lying on the floor maybe, near one of his hands, as Mr Protein Pill lay on the floor with a squashed up nose.
He was puffing away on it, anyway, in between chatting to Catherine Deneuve, who was also leaning against the rail, although as we’d all been pointing out since we got there - to ourselves, not to her - Mr Protein Pill was leaning against it with a bit more conviction. After all, she’d already been in dozens of films, probably hundreds if you counted properly, and no doubt couldn’t care less about leaning against anything, whereas this was only Mr PP’s fourth of fifth film, and he was going to get as much leaning in as possible.
Anyway, what I suppose I’m saying is that his smoking was easily as good as his acting. But then he was smoking Marlboro Reds, so you would have expected him to be better at smoking those then Embassy Regals, for instance. Or Player’s No.6.
All around us, Peter Murphy’s Bauhaus were making one hell of a racket. In a few years they’d circle back and, by releasing their own version of “Ziggy Stardust”, finally admit they’d been massive Bowie fans all along, like everyone, like all of us, like me in my shiny silver suit walking up and down the stairs in Heaven today trying to look as professionally nonchalant as Catherine Deneuve. But in the summer of 1982 they were still in their pupa goth phase. As “Bela Legosi’s Dead” poured out of the club’s p.a. system, a man who looked suspiciously like Peter Murphy himself scuttled by, carrying some kind of Gladstone bag, although he was carrying it in a way you might hold a baby, perhaps for fear of dropping it. This was understandable, as the bag appeared to be overflowing with make-up products - tubes of foundation, eyeliner pencils, powder puff compacts, huge make up brushes, transparent glass tubs of brightly and perhaps unnecessarily coloured goo, some of which were falling out of his bag as he rushed across to the stage at the far end of the room. As he ran by, he glanced in my direction (admittedly I was staring), and he suddenly looked like a heavily made-up marionette, a clown already late for his own party.....'
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