John Lennon upset David Bowie by asking the same question Paul McCartney had been asking all night

David Bowie admired John Lennon so much that he was terrified of meeting the other musician. However, they soon became friends and started spending time together. One evening, Lennon and his girlfriend, May Pang, were with Paul and Linda McCartney when Bowie invited them. McCartney asked Bowie several times during the night. When Lennon asked the same, however, Bowie was deeply upset.

David Bowie, Yoko Ono and John Lennon | Ron Galella Collection/Ron Galella via Getty Images

David Bowie was afraid to meet John Lennon

Lennon and Bowie met after an introduction by music producer Tony Visconti. According to Visconti, Bowie was “terrified” to meet Lennon.

“About one in the morning I knocked on the door and for about two hours John Lennon and David weren’t talking to each other,” Visconti told the Guardian. “Instead, David was sitting on the floor with a notepad and a charcoal pencil and he was drawing things and he was completely ignoring Lennon.”

Eventually Lennon broke the ice and they started to get along.

“So after about two hours of that, he [John] finally said to David, “Tear this pad in half and give me some sheets.” I want to draw you,” Visconti said. “So David said, ‘Oh, that’s a good idea,’ and he finally opened up. So John started doing caricatures of David, and David started doing the same of John and they kept swapping them, and then they started laughing and that broke the ice.

David Bowie was upset when John Lennon asked him to play a different record

Lennon, Pang and the McCartneys were spending time together when they called Bowie, who invited the group to his hotel suite. Pang explained that they had seen Bowie several times recently, and that he always played them his new album, which would become Young Americans. He also started playing the album that night.

“When it was over, he played it again,” Pang wrote in his book Loving John. “I could see Paul getting restless. ‘Can we hear another album?’ He asked. David ignored him, and when he started playing a third time, John said, “That’s great. Do you have any other albums that might be interesting? »

Pang said Bowie looked surprised but asked him to choose another album. When she put it on, Bowie excused himself and left the room.

“‘I think you hurt Bowie’s feelings,’ I said to John,” Pang wrote. “‘Paul’s been asking him all night to change the record,’ John replied.”

The two musicians then spoke on the phone

When Pang and Lennon got home, they got a call from Bowie.

“They talked quietly for a while,” Pang wrote, “and when John hung up he said to me, ‘David felt really hurt when I asked him to change the record. He was very upset. I kept telling him that wasn’t what I meant John was very upset by David’s reaction.

Pang told Lennon he needed to be more careful about how he spoke to people who looked up to him.

“‘You have to be especially careful when you’re around people like that, because every little word and every gesture means something special to them,'” she told Lennon. “Whether you like it or not, you just need to be a little more thoughtful. »

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