David Bowie fans have been spending all day sharing memories and unearthing emotional trivia about the legend following his death on Sunday.
One particularly touching letter doing the rounds was written by David Bowie to his first American admirer, 14-year-old Sandra Dodd from New Mexico, nearly 50 years ago.
Sandra had just received Bowie’s album as a gift from her uncle and loved it so much she offered to start up Bowie’s first fan club in the U.S.
Bowie was blown away by her support and immediately wrote her back:
Lovely David Bowie letter to a 14 yr old American fan, 1967. "I hope one day to go to America". pic.twitter.com/YtbA7K8hu1
— Paul Kirby (@paul1kirby) January 11, 2016
The text in full:
25th., September 1967
When I called in this, my managers office, a few moments ago I was handed my very first American fan letter – and it was from you. I was so pleased that I had to sit down and type an immediate reply, even though Ken is shouting at me to get on with a script he badly needs. That can wiat (wi-at? Thats a new English word which means wait).
Ive been waiting for some reaction to the album from American listeners. There were reviews in Billboard and Cash Box, but they were by professional critics and they rarely reflect the opinions of the public. The critics were very flattering however. They even liked the single Love You Till Tuesday. Ive got a copy of the American album and theyve printed the picture a little yellow. Im really not that blond. I think the picture on the back is more me. Hope you like those enclosed.
In answer to your questions, my real name is David Jones and I dont have to tell you why I changed it. Nobodys going to make a monkey out of you said my manager. My birthday is January 8th and I guess Im 510. There is a Fan Club here in England, but if things go well in the States then well have one there I suppose. Its a little early to even think about it.
I hope one day to get to America. My manager tells me lots about it as he has been there many times with other acts he manages. I was watching an old film on TV the other night called No Down Payment a great film, but rather depressing if it is a true reflection of The American Way Of Life. However, shortly after that they showed a documentary about Robert Frost the American poet, filmed mainly at his home in Vermont, and that evened the score. I am sure that that is nearer the real America. I made my first movie last week. Just a fifteen minutes short, but it gave me some good experience for a full length deal I have starting in January.
Thank you for being so kind as to write to me and do please write again and let me know some more about yourself.
Signed, David Bowie
What a stand-up guy. “I hope one day to get to America” – dream accomplished, and then some.
This video from 15 years ago, in which Bowie perfectly predicts the future impact of the Internet on society and the music industry, is also getting a lot of love.