David Bowie is a maverick, a creative genius and, most importantly, he's still making great music. But, now that he's an elder statesman, it's easy to forget what a long and storied past this unconventional weirdo has had. Forget the time he rescued Iggy Pop from rehab and the two hit the road together, the Duke's love-life alone is a sight to behold. And yes, while Bowie has been married to the unbelievably magical Iman for the last 22 years, there were flings aplenty before that blessed union occurred. Here are five of Bowie's most surprising ex-lovers.
1. Susan Sarandon
In 1983, Susan Sarandon started to feel "the awful hunger" -- not just in her role in the long-forgotten vampire movie, The Hunger, but also for her co-star, Mr. David Bowie, with whom she had a fling. As the trailer for this nonsense makes clear, he has a "cruel elegance" and she has an "open sensuality." When you put it like that, something was simply bound to happen! We're only just finding this out because Melissa McCarthy blurted it out during an introductory speech for Sarandon at the 2014 AARP Annual Movies for Grownups Awards Gala. Nice one, McCarthy -- we can (kind of) forgive you for Identity Thief now.
2. Mick Jagger
If music biographies are to be believed, everyone was boning everyone in the 1970s. According to Christopher Andersen in his 2012 book, Mick: The Wild Life and Mad Genius of Mick Jagger, the two men weren't merely flirtatious and affectionate with each other in public. According to the book, in 1973, Bowie's wife-at-the-time, Angie, walked in on the two superstars while they were naked in bed together, and was entirely convinced they'd been doin' it. Andersen also claims that Angie responded by bringing them "coffee and orange juice on a tray." Later that year, Bowie also had an affair with Mick's ex, Marianne Faithful. And you thought San Francisco was romantically incestuous.
3. That Lady From the "China Girl" Video
Remarkably, starring in one of the least racially sensitive videos of all time couldn't squash the crush that Geeling Ng developed on David Bowie during filming. Even that incredibly offensive eye-stretch maneuver he pulls at 1:12 didn't dampen the passions that ensued. Ng told The Guardian last year: "After the shoot, I got a call: 'Do you want to come to Europe with me?'
I became a bit of a groupie for two weeks. I knew it was a passing
phase. I was 23, we lived in different worlds, but he gave me an
experience that I'll never forget. We were whisked out of back doors of
hotels, flying in private jets, David hiding from fans under a rug in
the limousine. It was like being in the movies."
4. Tina Turner
Theirs was a match made in 1980s heaven. According to legend, Bowie and Turner's lust blossomed sometime during the Live Aid concerts of 1985. Shortly afterwards, when the two appeared on stage together at a different show, lip-readers the world over got a shock midway through a heartfelt performance of "Tonight" when sly Bowie, in the midst of dancing cheek-to-cheek with the lovely Tina, appears to whisper something rather filthy into her ear. She throws her head back and laughs heartily. Why? Well, it looks -- check the video above for yourselves at the 2:09 point -- an awful lot like he says "My cock is still sore." He's a classy one, that David.
5. Claudia Lennear
The legendary backing singer is assumed to be the inspiration behind Bowie's "Lady Grinning Soul" and the Rolling Stones' "Brown Sugar" (her 1974 pictorial for Playboy was given the same title). Having recently returned to the spotlight in the Oscar-winning documentary 20 Feet From Stardom, Bowie apparently reached out to her. Claudia, who had an on-off affair with him in the '70s, apparently got a call from Bowie after this year's Academy Awards. Lennear told NME.com: "I couldn't believe it when I first heard his voice. We haven't seen each other in 20 years. He told me he wanted to write my next project. This is bringing so many gifts back from my past." So. Many. Gifts.