David Bowie’s long and eclectic career involved far more than music. He left his mark on movies, fashion, painting— even the internet. But there are some things he never did:
1. A James Bond movie. Bowie was offered the role of Max Zorin in A View to a Kill but turned it down. It’s a good thing, too— Christopher Walken got the role instead and was the best part of the movie. The rest of it stunk and Bowie probably couldn’t have saved it.
2. A Bond Song. There’s this great documentary about the theme songs and scores of Bond movies on Prime called The Sound of 007. At one point, someone associated with the movies lamented that there were several artists who “they” would have liked to have done a song but never did. An image of a list flashed on the screen and who was listed first? Bowie.
3. Accept a knighthood. Queen Elizabeth would have awarded Bowie the prestigious CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in 2000 and a full knighthood in 2003, but he turned them down.
4. Covered Paul McMartney. Bowie covered John Lennon, George Harrison and the Beatles. He covered the Doors, the Who, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Pink Floyd, the Velvet Underground, Iggy Pop — even Paul Williams. But he never covered Paul McCartney. He never covered Led Zeppelin. He covered Cream (“I Feel Free”) but never covered Eric Clapton as a solo artist (though Clapton named his album, “Old Shoe,” after a thank you note Bowie sent him, addressing him as “Old Shoe”).
5. Become a U.S. Citizen. Bowie spent most of his last two decades living in New York State and very little time in England. But he never renounced his British citizenship or, as did John Lennon, become a U.S. Citizen.
6. Appear as Ziggy as a cameo in a movie. I don’t know if there was ever actually much call for this, but wouldn’t it have been cool if Ziggy was sitting in a corner of the Creature Cantina in Star Wars? Given the proliferation of space movies that followed, you’d think the Starman would show up somewhere. It never happened, but the Guardians of the Galaxy named their new spaceship, “The Bowie.”
7. Wrote on autobiography. From time to time, Bowie would drop hints about writing an autobiography or refer to such a project as the only place he’d address certain topics. But alas, it was not to be…unless there’s a hidden manuscript somewhere…
8. Have an open romantic relationship with another man. A hero to many in the LGBT community, between wives Bowie was frequently seen with a parade of attractive women, but never once another man as a romantic partner. We can get technical and argue about his pre-fame days and what constitutes an “appearance,” but let’s say this— from the time he was married to Angie and ever after, he would only be seen dating or married to women.
9. Staged a Ziggy Play. Bowie talked about turning the Ziggy story into a stage play. Never happened. He talked about doing a play having something to do with Bob Dylan songs. That too, never happened. He wanted to do a musical version of 1984. George Orwell’s widow hated the idea and vetoed it. He wanted to portray Frank Sinatra. Sinatra hated the idea and vetoed it. There’s actually a long list of projects Bowie talked about that never came to fruition. Who knows how they might have turned out. But yes, I would have liked to have seen a Ziggy play…
10. And finally, Bowie never met me!