David Bowie‘s cousin has written a letter to The Economist, detailing their childhood together.
Kristina Amadeus wrote to the Economist in response to their obituary of Bowie – in which they claimed that he “grew up as David Jones, a sharp-toothed kid from dull suburban Bromley whose parents held no aspirations for him.”
Headed ‘A Musical Child’, the letter ran:
“I was grateful for the insight and sensitivity in your obituary of David Bowie (January 16th). But it is not true that he ‘grew up as David Jones, a sharp-toothed kid from dull suburban Bromley whose parents held no aspirations for him’. David’s parents, especially his father, ‘John’ Jones, encouraged him from the time he was a toddler. His mother, Peggy, spoke often of our deceased grandfather, who was a bandmaster in the army and played many wind instruments. David’s first instruments, a plastic saxophone, a tin guitar and a xylophone, were given to him before he was an adolescent. He also owned a record player when few children had one.
“When he was 11 we danced like possessed elves to the records of Bill Haley, Fats Domino and Elvis Presley. David’s father took him to meet singers and other performers preparing for the Royal Variety Performance. I remember one afternoon in the late 1950s when David was introduced to Dave King, Alma Cogan and Tommy Steele. ‘My son is going to be an entertainer, too’ he said. ‘Aren’t you, David?’ ‘Yes, Daddy,’ David squeaked in his childish high-pitched voice, his face flushed and beaming with pride.
“Although Uncle John never lived to see David’s huge success, he was convinced it would become a reality. My beloved David fulfilled and exceeded all his father’s dreams.”
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