Stars and Ocean: My Introduction to Bowie

Stars and Ocean: My Introduction to Bowie

Growing up in a conservative home; where the only music played was classical with a splattering of Jim Reeves, and when my parents were feeling daring the odd Beatles track made it into the home airwaves, this somewhat gave me a slow start to the colourful world of music.

I didn´t really know what I was missing until I found myself in the middle of the English Channel on a balmy night, looking up at the stars through a deep blue cloudless sky.

I was on the Falmouth Packet, with the OYC (a sailing organisation for teenagers). Although this experience took place nearly 30 years ago I can still remember the faces of my fellow sailors and the places we visited; Plymouth, Alderney, Sark, Paimpol and Roscoff. Spending a week with 11 other teenagers from all walks of life was an eye opening experience. I didn’t just learn how to sail, I also learnt that music wasn’t just noise; it was poetry.

This all happened back in 1987 before the age of the mobile phone: I was introduced to Bowie by my Watch singing “Space Oddity” (the Major Tom song) with a backing track of the tide gently lapping at the side of the ship, the odd wave breaking in the distance and stars that seemed to be within my reach; the knowledge of being so far from land added to this whole amazing sensation. That song stayed with me along with the sights and sounds of that night, etched into my memory for eternity.

Needless to say when I got back on dry land I headed directly to Woolworths in search of my first David Bowie album; Love You till Tuesday, which I still have to this very day.

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