David Bowie was my pal’s lodger (and lover, I learn)

David Bowie was my pal’s lodger (and lover, I learn)


norman lebrecht

January 05, 2016

It’s about 40 years since I shared a night shift with Mary Finnigan, working at television news.

Mary was a single mum with a whiff of mischief and (possibly) marijuana about her. She was a very conscientious journalist with two small kids. I think I was aware she’d hung out with Bowie, but I never thought to ask for details.

Now Mary has written a book – out this Friday – in which she writes how she gave Bowie a room in her home in suburban Beckenham, south London, fell in love with him and started a free rock festival in summer 1969.

mary finnigan bowie

Mary soon found out that Bowie had been sharing his love with people of both sexes halfway round the neighbourhood. ‘It transpired that he had been bisexually multi-timing me for the entire period of our relationship. I was just one among many, of whom Angie was probably the principal,’ she says.

Here’s Mary talking about it on BBC Today.

But that’s not the end of the story. Mary writes: ‘Eventually it is Angie, part angel, part hellcat, who provides the solution to this dilemma, when she sets out with unshakeable determination to seduce me. I guess Angie is testing her acting skills – and my potential as a lesbian lover….’

mary finnegan angie beckenham summer 1969
Mary Finnegan with Angie, Beckenham, Summer 1969

Psychedelic Suburbia – David Bowie and the Beckenham Arts Lab by Mary Finnigan is published by Jorvik Press on 8th January 2016. Buy it here. It’s one of the most honest books I’ve ever read about life with a rock star.


  • RW2013 says:

    Mein Gott!
    Didn’t we all have him in the late 70’s in Berlin (remember Anderes Ufer)?
    Should we all write a book about it?

    • Craig Hamlin says:

      Did you manage to do anything of worth yourself , whilst ‘having him’ in Berlin ??
      Perhaps set up an Arts Lab or organise a free festival ??? Give him a home perhaps ??

  • Hilary says:

    I look forward to reading this book which is the first time Bowie’s orientation has been in the open (cleverly skirted in interviews) and the author seems delightful judging by the interview.
    Unlikely as it may seem, another biography exists on Bowie which was penned by a man who also wrote a books on Rachmaninov and Robert Simpson.

  • Hilary says:

    RIP David Bowie