Birthday I'll never forget

April 27, 2004 at The Backyard in Austin, Tx. A day I'll never forget! For starters, the day before my birthday. The greatest gift was getting to go to this concert of Bowie's. I had wanted to see him my whole life. I was born in the late 70's, and Bowie was a frequent play on my parents' record player. I became a fan as in a way a friend since grade school just becomes like family. As I grew up, his music influenced me on to other music influenced by him. Back to the concert, I honestly don't remember how my friend and I did it but, we were able to get to the very front of the stage! While he sang China Girl and leaned down to touch my hand I think I squeeled like I was a crazed fan teenager. But, that's not where the story gets authentic to me. It would be later on, the next night. My actual Birthday night, Bowie's band and their side project "Spooky Ghost & Friends" were said to be playing Continental Club in South Austin. It was rumored Bowie himself would be at the club in support of his band mates show. Well, I got in, and there he was...15 feet from where I stood he was sitting on a tall bar stool next to the far left of the stage, leaning in a calm state as he watched his friends play. I remember that brief moment in my head thinking, "what a cool dude, what a regal man and what an inspiration.", unfortunately, some drunk guy came ripping out of the mens bathroom and almost ran into Bowie then, shouting, "oh you're David Bowie!!!" and within seconds after Bowie's security stepped up, Bowie was out the back door as fast as lightning strikes. After the band played, me and my friends got to go back stage, I was buying one of Gail Ann's cd's, and before I knew it I was chatting it up with Gail and the rest of them about music, Austin food and scene, and felt like I had known them all forever. They were all so warm, thoughtful and engaging. I'll never forget that Birthday. It was an awesome moment to see Bowie just 15 feet away that night but, I think the magic of it was the feeling how his spirit brought such warm souls and energy all around him. It's a rare kind of spirit especially when you throw such a fame on top of it but, he always inspired me that he seemed to stay true to his soul yet continue to create and not lose sight to that. His love for Iman was also was a huge influence to me. I heard once, he would read her poems a lot, and I thought to myself, 'more men need to be like that'.

I did some paintings for a local Bowie Tribute Show here in Austin at an art store "Jerry's Artarama", and it's to raise money for Cancer Research.. I listened to his music including his last album Blackstar while I painted them. Bowie will never be forgotten, his energy has not left this planet and that will continue to be a bright burning star here ! Love and light, long live Bowie.

Olivia Rains

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