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Chapter 15: Fame  

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Whatever had eroded their trust in Defries, the Bowies were clearly no longer happy with him and the whole Mainman operation. Defries temporarily quelled their anger by ensconcing them in a two-bedroom suite at New York’s swank Sherry-Netherlands Hotel, where they managed to run up around twenty-thousand dollars’ worth of room service charges in a month. The Bowie-Defries affiliation continued out of necessity for a while, but it was clear to everyone around them that their whole Elvis and Colonel Tom Parker dynamic was disintegrating. As was the Bowies’ marriage, it seemed.

David liked my apartment on 20th Street, and he also liked Norman Fisher’s coke, something for which he’d recently acquired an insatiable appetite and for which I had, of course, hooked him up. And since my days were winding down at Mainman, I guess David felt comfortable getting high with me and opening up about anything and everything that was on his mind. He spent many an evening, often an all-nighter, sitting in one of my canary-yellow enameled wicker chairs, doing lines, drinking milk (he never ate at all during this period), and telling me one crazy story after another -- Defries and Adolf Hitler were buddies . . . Lou Reed was the devil . . .he himself was from another planet and was being held prisoner on earth -- going on and on about power, symbols, communication, music, the occult, Aleister Crowley, and Merlin the Magician. I never did any of David’s coke (and, what’s more, he never offered). I just sat there, smoked my pot, sipped my Café Bustelo, and got totally into his rap. This was probably the period when I was most in love with him.

Sometimes David would busy himself with my record collection -- Duke Ellington’s Live at Newport and the Ohio Players’ Skin Tight among his favorite LPs. And occasionally he and I would have sex in my mirrored, mosquito-netted, dycro-lit, pink-satin bedroom, taking everything a bit further than we had that first time in Boston, and utilizing the many new sex toys I’d since acquired. One time, after I’d arranged for him to shop privately at the new Yves Saint Laurent boutique on Madison Avenue and get the most fabulous black wool overcoat, he came up the five flights of stairs to my apartment, and fucked me without ever taking off the coat and then left immediately to hang out with Mick Jagger. Bowie liked my bedroom so much, he even brought Claudia Lennear and Jean Millington (the other sister from Fanny) there for sex on occasion. I didn’t participate, but I got off on how much he appreciated the setting.

Cherry narrating a commercial she produced for David Bowie's Diamond Dogs album in 1974

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