The Man Who Fell to Earth—with a Thud

I laughed at this and hugged the man, for I’d always loved David Bowie. He laughed back and said, “I’m not him, you know. I’m an alien.”

It happened in the late '70s, when I was in transition from bright Oxford bags to black skintight jeans and my hair had turned scarlet at the sight of the new band in town, the Sex Pistols. I was staggering in downtown Glasgow with my best boy of the time, Sandy, who had Sid Vicious hair and eyes black with liner and who cut a figure that I was a bit proud of.

We stopped at a close for a quick one, but we hardly got far when _thud!_ a man landed on Sandy and knocked him to the ground. He looked at me with one eye strange and smiled, peg teeth, as I looked askance. “What the hell?” said I.

A London voice in a creature so weird seemed a tad unreal to my own ears. He looked a bit familiar, and I had it in my head that I’d seen him before, so I said, “Who are you, then?” He smiled at me and said, “C’mon, you know me”—then sang a bit more: “As I was walking down the high street, when I heard foot steps behind me....”

I laughed at this and hugged the man, for I’d always loved David Bowie. He laughed back and said, “I’m not him, you know. I’m an alien.”

I laughed again and said, “He is, too, isn’t he?” But the Bowie man was nervously hopping and skipping and singing like a blind bat in hell. “I’m here to help him with a film," he sang. "It’s about me.” Sandy sat up just then and went for the Bowie man who had knocked him to the ground.

We went to see the film when it came out, and only Sandy and I know what a good job the real Bowie man did, 'cos only we know what happened to his alien coach.

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