Ava Cherry is a talented singer who has released albums such as Ripe!!! and the Astronettes Sessions. She was also David Bowie's former lover, friend, and a. Singer Ava Cherry met David Bowie at a Stevie Wonder after party in , which then began a lengthy live-in relationship for the two that. Chicago-born singer Ava Cherry reflects on the loss of her former lover and collaborator.
So, yeah, it took me a year to find him. When I did, his main thing was to figure out if he could produce me. After we spent some time in the south of France, he had me come to London, put me in an apartment on Oakley Street, and we started recording in a studio the Astronettes material. These were mostly songs he'd written. Bowie was famously a perfectionist. How was that first recording session with him?
Yes, he was a perfectionist, not just about the studio work but also about how he looked, how he wrote, all kinds of different things. He would go into the studio and he had a special way he wanted to record. That being said, he got along with all the musicians. They loved working with him. How did your professional relationship turn romantic?
That's the thing—it was always both, romantic and work. I would work with him and he fell in love with me. We met, we were attracted to each other physically but he also saw that I was a talent.
He also wanted to be around me, so he said, "I'm going to put her in a group. People wanted to touch him or speak to him or take his picture," says Cherry of accompanying Bowie. Did you go out on the town? We used to hang out with Mick [Jagger] and [his wife] Bianca a lot. We'd go to dinner and whatever parties were going on in town. He would look out for me too.The truth about singer David Bowie
He came over from the other side of the room and said, "Ava, don't drink any more champagne. Do you want to be in the paper tomorrow drunk? When I go to functions now, I don't even drink. It goes to show how conscious he was of living in public. He used to say, "We see how people worship us.
We have a responsibility and a power. He'd say, "Sit down and read this book" or "This is called German expressionism. What's it like walking into a room on David Bowie's arm? You'd walk into a room and the cameras would be flashing and popping. People wanted to touch him or speak to him or take his picture. We'd get dressed to the nines and go out to the clubs and dance and talk to people.
Whenever we went somewhere, it was an experience because there were so many people who loved him, so many people who wanted to see him or talk to him. Was that exhausting—trying to vie with all the admirers for his attention? I wasn't trying to vie for his attention because I knew I had him.
I knew he cared about me. When he walked away [during a party], I was talking to someone else—Andy Warhol or Mick or whomever. I was never the jealous type who would follow someone around a room. Even if he'd be talking to other people about work, he made me feel secure that he was with me.
You've gotta understand that you have a mate who's in show business. You mentioned that you and David were hanging out with Mick and Bianca a lot. You're quoted in a Mick Jagger biography by Christopher Andersen as saying, "Mick and David were really sexually obsessed with each other.
Even though I was in bed with them many times, I ended up just watching them have sex. I told them I didn't say that, but it didn't stop them from writing it. It was not the sensational Mick and David having sex. They were friends, but it wasn't sexual between them.
That's why David said he would not speak another word to [his ex-wife] Angie. What she tried to do was come in and say all these things that were not true just to hurt him about whatever he was.
David Bowie's ex-girlfriend Ava Cherry discusses their love affair
If he did sleep with Mick, it was in total secret and I never did see it. What I'm saying is that we partied and we had fun but it wasn't about he and Mick having any kind of sex or anything like that. Let's say he was ambiguous. He was comfortable dressing up and wearing his hair like Greta Garbo or whatever. That was what the whole glam rock thing was about—it allowed men to look like girls or a fabulous drag queen.
But because his artistry came from mime, putting on makeup and stuff like that wasn't foreign to him in any way. We never discussed race, we never discussed color, we never discussed whether people might not like it. We didn't really give a shit, to tell you the truth. We really did not care. And I mean that. It was a subject that never, ever came up ever. Was part of Bowie's nonchalance that that he saw himself as an extraterrestrial and therefore not bound by human concepts like race or gender identity or sexual preference?
That's what I'm saying! If he liked someone, that was it—he just liked them and would act accordingly. When we started dating, he was getting really into black music—Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye. One day he was like, "I really want to do a soul record.
AVA CHERRY TALKS ABOUT HER LOVE FOR DAVID BOWIE
Where can I go to find a soul band? All the greatest groups perform there. When he got here, we went to the Apollo and saw guitarist Carlos Alomar perform. That's when they began to form the band that would play on Young Americans. Carlos helped him pull in band members and they booked Sigma Sound Studios in Philly. Luther [Vandross] was on those sessions. David was dead set on being a black crooner. He was into Frank Sinatra, too, and all that stuff, and also Bryan Ferry—he really liked that crooner quality Ferry had in his voice.
Did you give him the confidence to sing black music? Despite being a fan of soul music, that obviously wasn't his direct life experience. It was my influence that helped him decide to do black music. I didn't go in the vocal booth and tell him how to sing or anything, but I urged him to do it, to go to New York to find a band and to form a black group.
Do you ever listen to Young Americans these days?
Oh, yeah, I listen to it all the time. I still listen to all that stuff. I'm going to miss him so much. Luckily some of the things we did are recorded on tape so I can go back and recapture that magic. What kind of a lover was he? I don't think I can explain exactly how good of a lover he was, except let me tell you I was deeply, deeply in love. Read between the lines, my friend. So how and why did your romantic relationship with Bowie ultimately dissolve?
The end began with financial troubles. What happened was that David freaked out because he thought he had millions and suddenly because of bad management or whatever he didn't have much at all.
He started being very irritable and erratic and was trying to figure out how he was going to fix what was going on, and obviously he was in some legal stuff. And so he moved out of the place he was in and broke up with me.
It was one of those breakups like, "I'm so desperate right now and I have to break up. I just happened to be there when this streak of bad financial luck happened and he felt he had to be on his own to figure it all out. He was devastated and wanted to cut ties with everybody and be by himself for a while. He was upset all the time and wasn't explaining it to me very well.
The song was like my connection with him, it was him talking about space and being a space invader in my ear — like I had this secret alien guy. So I did a tribute to him in Chicago at a very famous club called The Metro, and it went up when I sang it. Everyone was so into it. We lived together for a while, and I would always go around singing it, and whenever he would say the words, and I would crack up.
When I saw him perform it, I always saw it as like my own private song, our own private joke. He was like this friendly alien in his wonderful fantasy world.
AVA CHERRY TALKS ABOUT HER LOVE FOR DAVID BOWIE | omarcafini.info
He was Ziggy Stardust, he was Starman, they were both so much a part of his spirit. He really was that character. And he just lived it. The way he was dressed was so different from everybody.
He had that glam rock, space invader look. He even got me some space style clothes — this beautiful blue satin dress for example. David loved the way I dressed because I never copied fashion, despite being a model. He loved my hair blonde for example. I would always wear what would make me feel great. In my tribute I wanted the guitars to sound royal. Then I wanted the video to look psychedelic, like it was from the Sixties. I wanted to look rocked out, wearing stuff like from The Who.
It was the look I knew David would happy with — a little bit outside of the box. I felt it was risky and it paid off. David taught me that.