The White Witch That Exorcised David Bowie’s Cocaine Crib

From 1974 through sometime in 1976, David Bowie was a mess.  He was an alcoholic. He ingested vast amounts of cocaine. He became paranoid. He was convinced that some malevolent forces were out to see his precious bodily fluids, so he began storing his urine in his refrigerator. He was convinced he was under surveillance by aliens and traveled with a high-powered telescope so he could sweep the skies at night, looking to be alerted to their presence. He ate little more than red peppers and milk. His weight dropped to around 90 pounds.

I repeat, David Bowie was a mess.

Dangerous Minds picks up the story of the white witch which (that’s correct grammar, yes?) who helped Bowie cleanse his rented LA house.

When he arrived in 1975, Bowie was staying at the Los Feliz house of Glenn Hughes, bassist for Deep Purple, who lived just down the road from “the LaBianca house,” as Hughes recalls, being the site of one of the Manson murders in 1969, specifically the killing of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca two days after the murder of Sharon Tate and several other people in Benedict Canyon. As 1975 progressed and faded into 1976, Bowie would suffer from powerful forebodings right out of another connection to Roman Polanski, Rosemary’s Baby.

The artistic and sensitive Bowie clearly perceived a malign influence from the Manson connection to Hughes’ home. He was using huge amounts of cocaine. According to Marc Spitz’s 2010 Bowie: A Biography, Bowie was “obsessed with using occult magic to attain success and protect himself from demonic forces.”

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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