In 1973, Mick Jagger was still coy about his own sexual preferences, but Bowie made no effort to conceal the fact that both he and his wife were bisexual and often shared partners. “Mick looked at David and wondered if maybe this was the wave of the future,” said Leee Black Childers, former executive vice president of MainMan, the management firm that handled Bowie. “Mick was very conscious of doing whatever it takes to stay hot; David was the hottest thing around at the time.”
“It was the glitter era, and everybody wanted to be part of the bisexual revolution,” explained singer Chuckie Starr, who ran into Mick at a party in Beverly Hills the week that “Angie” hit number one. “Mick was no different. He was wearing rhinestones, blue eye shadow, and platform shoes.”
Angie Bowie also looked askance at the blossoming relationship between Mick and David, but for very different reasons. She thought her husband had nothing to gain from cozying up to Jagger, and that such a friendship might even cost him credibility with his hip, young fan base.
Bowie, who called Jagger Mike — never Mick — thought differently. Not only was he in awe of Mick’s ability to electrify audiences year after year, but he respected the veteran rocker’s songwriting talent and business savvy. “He thought Mick was a financial genius,” Angie said. “We all did.”
Bowie and Jagger were soon spotted everywhere together without their wives: sitting ringside at the Muhammad Ali-Ken Norton bout, hanging out at the London disco Tramp, yelling and stomping their approval at a Diana Ross concert, or just cuddling up together on a hotel room coach [sic]. Neither superstar complained when one enterprising photographer snapped the two men in a moment of repose, Bowie tenderly cradling Mick’s head in his lap. Bowie also took Mick to gay films. “David,” said British TV producer Kevin Kahn, “is a born proselytizer.”
By October 1973, the Bowies were living on Oakley Street, just a stroll from Cheyne Walk. Angie had been out of town for a few days when she returned home one morning and went straight to the kitchen to make some tea. The Bowies’ maid, who had arrived about an hour earlier, approached the lady of the house with a peculiar look on her face. “Someone,” she told Angie, “is in your bed.”
Angie went upstairs to her bedroom, slowly pushed the door open, and there they were: Mick Jagger and David Bowie, naked in bed together, sleeping. Both men woke up with a start. “Oh, hello,” said Bowie, clearly taken by surprise. “How are you?”
“I’m fine,” Angie replied. “Do you want some coffee?”
Mick, blinking awake, remained silent. Angie returned a few minutes later with coffee and orange juice on a tray. While it was not a case of coitus interrupts, Angie “felt absolutely dead certain that they’d been screwing. It was so obvious, in fact, that I never even considered the possibility that they hadn’t been screwing.”
Angie was upset at the time, unsure if David was serious about Mick — and, if he was, how she could ever compete with him. “Even though I cared,” she said, “there wasn’t much I was going to do about it . . . Maybe,” she tried to joke later, “they were writing ‘Angie’ when I caught them in bed together.”
OK, so, before anything goes any further, can I say that I definitely could see this happening? Come on. This was the era of the New Romance. For all we know, Catherine Zeta-Jones was in on this business, too. Count on it.
Have things changed so much that people would be shocked and outraged by this kind of behavior today? When all of this kind of same-sex cozying-up was publicly going on back in the late seventies and early eighties, would people like Jane Pitt still have a platform on which to speak her opinions? Well, yeah, they would, but there’s one thing that’s certain: it feels like there’s far, far more people who are apt to accept gender-bending celebrities and same-sex famous hookups back then it would be allowed for the common person these days.
Can’t we all just take a page out of Bowie‘s book and just let whatever things are, be? He is a god, after all. Thought you knew!