Kevin Rowland, the frontman of Dexys Midnight Runners, and the legendary David Bowie are still at war with one another it seems. Rowland recently recalled a moment from 1983 when he called Bowie “full of sh*t” and “a bad copy of Bryan Ferry.” This candid revelation sheds light on a tense encounter that unfolded during a support slot, leaving a lasting impact on both musicians.
To set the scene, during a support performance in 1983, Dexys Midnight Runners were riding the wave of success, delivering an electrifying set to an enthusiastic audience. However, amidst the sea of adoring fans, Rowland noticed a group of individuals near the front of the stage who appeared disinterested in the performance. Curious, he inquired about the chants coming from this particular section and was informed that they were shouting “Bowie! Bowie! Bowie!” in his direction. This revelation triggered an unexpected outburst, as Rowland, fueled by the effects of sleeping tablets and an apathetic mood, unleashed his unfiltered thoughts on the unsuspecting crowd.
In a moment of raw emotion, Kevin Rowland approached the dissenting group and expressed his frustration, stating that they were merely waiting for “f*cking David Bowie,” whom he deemed to be a pale imitation of Bryan Ferry. The fiery exchange escalated further as the plugs were pulled, abruptly ending the performance. Unbeknownst to Rowland, Bowie had been present backstage and had overheard the derogatory comments. The consequences were swift, as Dexys Midnight Runners were subsequently denied the opportunity to perform for a second night.
Years later, as Kevin Rowland embarked on a journey of recovery from cocaine addiction, he seized the opportunity to make amends. Recognizing the impact of his words on David Bowie, Rowland composed a heartfelt letter of apology, extending an olive branch for reconciliation and offering a listening ear if Bowie wished to address the incident. Although he never received a response, Rowland remains at peace with the gesture, acknowledging the significance of seeking forgiveness and the healing power of personal growth.
As reported by NME, Rowland stated: “Many years later when I got into recovery from cocaine addiction, I wrote him a letter apologising, to make amends, and said if he ever wanted to talk about it, please contact me. I know he got the letter, but I didn’t hear back. But that’s OK.”