Why were Bowie’s eyes different? Strange facts about the rock icon

It’s a brand new year, and we’ve already lost one of rock’s greatest icons. Here are five facts you might not have known about David Bowie:

  • David Bowie’s left eye always looked darker than his right. That’s because he got punched in the left eye during a boyhood fight over a girl. It took a series of operations and four months in the hospital to save his sight. Even still, his depth perception remained distorted, and his left pupil was permanently dilated. Incidentally, it was his dear friend George Underwood who punched Bowie. They remained friends and Underwood later provided some cover art for Bowie’s early work.
  • David Bowie was born David Robert Jones. He took his stage name from the inventor of the Bowie knife, Jim Bowie.
  • One of Bowie’s most famous songs, “Space Oddity” was released just five days before the launch of Apollo 11 – the flight that landed men on the moon. Decades later, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield covered the song while floating in space, dubbing it space’s first-ever music video.

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  • Mr. Bowie has a spider named after him: Heteropoda davidbowie. The sexually dimorphic spiders have long orange hair.


  • Bowie was no stranger to horse piss. In a 2002 interview with GQ, Bowie said he was traveling through Hong Kong with John Lennon in the late ’70s. The two were busy “’trying to find a place to eat monkeys’ brains,’ when two guys who recognized Lennon took him into a back room ‘and made him drink the blood of a snake.’ Then he said the Beatles star came back and ‘shoved’ a ‘thousand-day-old egg cooked in horse piss’ into Bowie’s mouth.” (via Time)

Photo credits: Bowie by AVRO; Spider by Seshadri.K.

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