No one would have believed in the last years of the 1960s that human affairs were being watched from the timeless worlds of space. No one could have dreamed that we were being scrutinized as someone with a microscope studies creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. And yet, across the gulf of space, a mind immeasurably superior to ours regarded this Earth with envious eyes, and slowly, and surely, he drew his plans against us...


Part 7. David Bowie

David Bowie fell to Earth in 1969 and promptly set about laying waste to human civilisation with his powerful heat ray. Oh, the humanity. However, when it was explained to him that this sort of thing was terribly bad form, he realised his faux pas and turned the whole thing in.

Everybody was very good about it, they all had a bit of a laugh and they were all the best of friends. Today a blue plaque commemorates the spot on Horsell Common where his first victim was vaporised.

Zany knockabout antics

Instead of enslaving our planet, Bowie instead captured our hearts with his zany knockabout antics, wry cheeky grin and fully charged disintegrator pistol. Wherever he went audiences welcomed him with open arms and invited him to satisfy his insatiable alien bloodlust by feasting on their first born children. By now Bowie had read a book on etiquette and so would politely decline the offer, telling them he had already had a boiled egg that morning.

His audiences were always aghast at his dextrous juggling, but more than a little apprehensive when he wheeled out his laser powered nuclear mindpump and transmogrified the first three rows into giant intergalactic mutant spider people.

Nevertheless Bowie was still confused when people screamed in panic as he rolled into town. After all, he was no monster, just a big fluffy bunny. Not literally, of course. Not like the vampire space rabbits of Praxis 6 who would rip your face off for the mere whiff of a space carrot.

An opinion poll

So Bowie did what anybody would do in his position - he commissioned an opinion poll and found that over half his sample couldn't tell him from butter and that only 3% would be prepared to swap him for two of their usual brand.

Bowie went off to have a word with his marketing people and found that his publicists - a firm called J, J, J and Jay, possibly because of some typewriter malfunction - were continuing to bill him as an alien warlord. 'David Bowie at the Royal Pavilion', screamed the posters. 'Be there or be imploded.'

Bowie sued the company for damages. He was incapable of violence, he told the court, the heat ray misunderstanding notwithstanding. The judge sympathised with him but when her deliberations went on for too long he grew impatient and had her eradicated.

High pitched shrieking

The court case signalled a new era in Bowie's career and he felt free to experiment with more exotic musical forms, such as releasing an album of high pitched shrieking which only dogs could hear, or a concept album which occupied six dimensional space and which you had to place your ears into two different planes of existence in order to appreciate.

His work polarised critics, electrified his audience, magnetised the establishment and irradiated Mrs Doreen Wellsby of Stornoway. Meanwhile, Bowie went on to further fame and fashion, married a china girl called Blue Jean and settled down to become a diamond dog breeder in Suffragette City.

None of this is true, by the way.

Ricky Stratocaster will be calling in at the dry cleaner's to pick up his suit trousers on Friday.

Return to 'The History of Rock'

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