Hallo Spaceboy: how I became a fan of David Bowie

In February 1996,  I was 14 and not at all interested in David Bowie. I remember a brochure advertising a film club which often fell out of newspapers and magazines. While flicking through it, I would often pass an artist called “David Bowie” who had an album called “The Singles Collection“, which didn’t interest me in the slightest. To be honest, the cover made him look like a 60’s crooner, a bit dull, and I had no intention of ever buying any of his albums.

Instead, I was into the Pet Shop Boys. The music and videos to their singles Can You Forgive Her? and Go West were exciting and had really grabbed my attention. When they brought out something new, THAT interested me.

And so in February 1996, aged 14, I was very excited to hear that Pet Shop Boys were  performing on a new song – Hallo Spaceboy – on Top Of The Pops. The fact that it was with David Bowie was of no interest to  me.

That performance changed everything. I  loved it! And actually, David Bowie DID seem rather interesting. I went out and bought the single the first chance I got and, while I was at it, picked up a copy of “The Singles Collection”. I only had to put it on once to realise that this was something special. Somewhere between the opening seconds of Space Oddity and Bowie’s cry of “Ground control to Major Tom, your circuit’s dead, there’s something wrong”,  I went from having become interested in David Bowie to having become a FAN of David Bowie. I’ve got the Pet Shop Boys to thank for that.