He had been first horrified, then furious, when his fifteen year old son, asked for a David Bowie CD for Christmas. Storming into the front room he had all but shouted at his wife “I remember that David Bowie from when I were Adam’s age. Poncing around on Top of the Pops all purple glitter and silver eye make-up. I’m not having it. I’m not having any son of mine dress like a bloody fairy.”
She looked at him with a mixture of amusement and mild anger. “Oh come off it. You are being ridiculous. He wants a CD not a metallic jumpsuit. That boy is his own person. Not that it would matter anyway but I’m pretty sure Adam only wants the bloody thing because Mary O’Brien likes David Bowie. He’s always been soft on her. Let kids be kids. It is only music. ”
“No. I’m not risking it. Kids that age are too easily influenced. You say they just like the music but it’s more than that. They start copying stuff. I’ll have a word with him. See if I can’t persuade him to have a Bryan Adams record instead.”
Adam was insistent that all he wanted was a Bowie CD though so Charlie decided to change tactics; to play a smarter game. He bought Adam, David Bowie: The Best of the Early Years. A collection of the songs that Bowie recorded for the Pye and Decca labels in the late Nineteen Sixties. Well before the glam, the cocaine, the mascara, and the androgyny.
His great plan backfired. At first his son just started dressing like Anthony Newley, adopting the eccentric mannerisms of the music hall, but over time it got worse. The pipe on the mantelpiece, the fishing rod and the red wellies in the hall, the long white beard, the bright red cheeks. And each night, accompanying the muffled beats that seeped through the floor-boards and into the front room, that incessant, high-pitched, jolly laughter.
Read more of Ben’s work at Who the Fudge is Benjamin Judge?.