David Bowie’s stylist recalls warning singer he was hanging out with teen fan

Suzi Ronson was more than just David Bowie’s hairdresser – she was also his “tour madam.”

While on the road, the stylist took on the “less glamorous” role of picking up fans who wanted to meet the band, as well as keeping a close eye on those who followed the entourage in cars. And sometimes looking out for “the prettiest girls” to join their circle wasn’t always so simple.

Ronson has written a new memoir titled “Me and Mr. Jones: My Life with David Bowie and the Spiders from Mars.” In it, she described what it was really like hitting the road with the singer during one of the most creative periods of his decades-long career. Ronson is known for giving the late star his iconic Ziggy Stardust do.


Suzi Ronson has written a new book, “Me and Mr. Jones.” (Pegasus Books)

“It’s the story of a young girl who was looking for adventure and found it and ran away with a rock ‘n’ roll circus,” Ronson told Fox News Digital.

According to Ronson’s book, Bowie and his band were at a bar in Birmingham after performing when she spotted a giggling blonde who caught his attention. After Bowie flashes a smile of approval, he “welcomes her into his circle and slides his arm around her shoulder.” They headed off to his hotel room and everything seemed fine – until a woman in her 40s with “a red face and a determined attitude” marches into the bar, frantically looking for her daughter.

“I didn’t know she was 16, and I was the one that brought her back to the hotel,” Ronson explained. “She didn’t look 16. She looked 20. She was a gorgeous-looking girl with long messy hair, full makeup. She was dying to meet David.”

A close-up od David Bowie wearing a colorful blouse

Suzi Ronson was the mastermind behind David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust haircut. (Michael Ochs Archives)

“When her mother came into the hotel looking for her daughter, she said, ‘She’s only 16,’” Ronson recalled.

A stunned Ronson immediately ran up to Bowie’s room and began banging on his door. He replied, “F–k off, Suzi.” Meanwhile, the girl’s mother continued to ask around the bar, looking for her daughter.

“I said, ‘That girl’s mother’s here, she’s 16. David, she’s got to go,’” Ronson told Fox News Digital. “Then the girl goes, ‘Oh, trust her to come and spoil all my fun.'”


David Bowie greeting an excited young fan from the audience

Suzi Ronson, a hairdresser, found herself taking on the role of “tour madam” whenever she hit the road with David Bowie and his band. (NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal)

“She didn’t want to leave,” Ronson said. “But David asked her to leave, and she did. And her mother was so happy to see her alive in one piece. [The girl] was crying all the way, heading downstairs, wailing, ‘Oh I love him, I love him.’ And I’m like, ‘You’re too young.’ Without her makeup, of course, yeah, she looked a lot younger.”

“But it was me – it wasn’t David,” Ronson said. “I didn’t know she was that age. I had no idea. He definitely didn’t. And being by herself? We didn’t know.”

“… But back then, there were a lot of young girls that came to those concerts,” said Ronson.

David Bowie being greeted by fans

It wasn’t unusual for fans to follow David Bowie and his fans by car, said Suzi Ronson. (Mark and Colleen Hayward)

The stylist admitted she was stunned to see girls as young as 14 and 15 in the audience.

“I was shocked by that,” she said.

In the book, Ronson described how the girl sobbed to her mother, believing she wouldn’t see Bowie again. Meanwhile, the angered matriarch swiftly took her daughter home.


David Bowie smiling as Ziggy Stardust

Suzi Ronson claimed that David Bowie had no idea his eager fan was underage. (Mark and Colleen Hayward)


“As I escort them out of the hotel, the mother now directs her anger towards her daughter, who once again bursts into floods of tears,” Ronson wrote. “I wearily return to the bar for a much-needed drink. It’s hard to tell with girls, and even though I could see she was really young after she cried her makeup off, at the gig she looked amazing and could easily have passed for 20. I might have to start asking for proof of age before they get on the bus, I think to myself.”

Ronson was no stranger to groupies and their determination to get backstage.

David Bowie looking down at the camera

David Bowie is seen here painting his apartment in 1972 after recording his album, “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.” (Michael Putland)

“When you’ve done a show, and you go back to your hotel room, you want to have a drink, you want to talk to people,” Ronson explained to Fox News Digital. “They didn’t always sleep with the girls that came back to the hotel. Sometimes they’d have a drink and just talk to them. But I’m sure there were times, as they are now, that they ended up in their rooms. … But I don’t know everything. I just knew the things I wrote about.”

David Bowie posing as Ziggy Stardust

David Bowie poses for a portrait in his Ziggy Stardust guise in June 1972 in London. (Michael Ochs Archives)

While Ronson described Bowie as “charming and sweet,” she didn’t fall head over heels for him.

“He made me a bit nervous, to be honest,” said Ronson. “And also, he had this female/male side to him. I liked blokes that looked like blokes. I wasn’t that attracted. I thought he was exciting … but I wanted a job. I didn’t want to fall in love with him. Falling in love with him would’ve been the worst thing that ever happened to me. I wanted to work on the road. I wanted to have my own room, [earn] my own wages. I didn’t want to be there because I was sleeping with somebody. That wasn’t the role I saw for myself. I wanted to be on the bus, not waving at it. I wanted to go on the road and have an adventure.”

David Bowie singing to Mick Ronson as he plays the guitar

David Bowie, left, performs with guitarist Mick Ronson. (Jack Kay/Daily Express)

“My friends said I was crazy,” Ronson admitted. “… Girls weren’t on the road at that point. There were no girl roadies. But I had a vision. And after I cut his hair, I thought to myself, ‘He’s got to keep me around.’ Where’s he going to go for a touch-up, Birmingham? I don’t think that’s going to work. Where’s he going to go? And I was right. He couldn’t really do without me after that haircut.”


David Bowie playing guitar

David Bowie is seen playing an acoustic Espana 12-string guitar to promote the release of his album “Space Oddity” in November 1969 in London. (Michael Ochs Archives)

Ronson first met Bowie right after Christmas 1971. At the time, she was his mother’s hairdresser and had heard things about her “wonderful musician” son who had recorded “Space Oddity.”

“He had that hit … but it had been a couple of years ago,” said Ronson. “So, I thought he might have been a one-hit wonder. I wasn’t sure he was going to do anything else. … It wasn’t until I met him and I met [his wife] Angie and I met the band and those kinds of people that I realized that he wasn’t over. He was just beginning.”

Ronson served as Bowie’s stylist in 1972 after he asked her to give him “a short, spiky” haircut that was really “a girl’s hairstyle.” She won him over, and she soon toured with the band. During her time on the road, she witnessed Bowie’s open marriage.

Suzi Ronson leaning on her husband Mick Ronson

Suzi Ronson was married to guitarist Mick Ronson from 1974 until his death in 1993. He was 46. (Getty Images)

Bowie and Angela were married from 1970 to 1980. They shared a son, Duncan Jones. Ronson said their union was “a little odd,” even for the time.

David Bowie is sitting next to two women

David Bowie and his wife, Angie, are shown at home, Haddon Hall, in Beckenham, England, circa 1971. (Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix)

“David said he was bisexual in the papers,” said Ronson. “Well … he was married with a kid. … He never acted like a gay man. … I hadn’t met a gay man before, but David never used to act like that. He’d horse around with his friends at the house. There was a lot of innuendo, but David never came across as a gay man to me. He didn’t. But he must have had dalliances in the past to be able to say that. And he certainly did once or twice. I mean, I do mention that in the book, but most of the time, he was with girls. But remember, this is before AIDS. … We came out of the ‘60s. Everybody’s sleeping with everybody. So, it wasn’t that shocking.”

David Bowie holding onto his son sitting next to his wife Angie

David Bowie is seen here with wife Angela and their son. (Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix)

“And today, I mean, good Lord, it’s not shocking at all, is it?” she added.


David Bowie laughing in a suit while embracing a smiling Iman who is wearing a lace dress

David Bowie is seen here with his second wife, Iman. (Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection)

Bowie remarried in 1992 to model Iman. They welcomed a daughter in 2000. The union lasted until he died in 2016 at age 69 from cancer. 

Source link