Remembering David Bowie: 'A generous spirit'
- 11 January 2016
- From the section Northern Ireland
One of the screenwriters behind the 2013 film Good Vibrations has revealed an act of generosity by the late artist David Bowie.
The film told the story of Teri Hooley, who founded the Good Vibrations record label in Belfast.
Based on a true story, the movie follows Londonderry band The Undertones, and their path to fame during the height of the Troubles.
Belfast writer Glenn Patterson said that Bowie provided the track, Star, from the album Ziggy Stardust, for a significantly smaller sum for the production.
"It was an act of generosity and was the perfect track for the end of the film," Mr Patterson said.
He was speaking as people across the world expressed shock at the news that singer David Bowie has died at the age of 69 from cancer.
Dublin guitarist Gerry Leonard performed and worked alongside Bowie for his later albums, Heathen (2002), Reality (2003) and The Next Day (2013).
Mr Leonard had just finished performing at the Dublin Bowie Festival on Sunday when he heard the news of the artist's death.
"It's devastating," he said. "At first I thought it was a hoax. It's unbelievable".
Mr Leonard moved to New York in 1994 where a mutual friend introduced him to Bowie.
The introduction was unconventional.
Bowie, looking for a guitarist, heckled him during a small gig with his solo project Spooky Ghost.
"My friend called me and said, 'Look I'm bringing David down,'" Mr Leonard said.
"We always had a little bit of banter in between songs and I knew that David loves comedy and he shares the sense of the surreal.
"He just joined in on the banter and heckled me during the show but it was all in good fun."
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Mr Leonard said it was "an amazing experience" to work with the late artist.
"Bowie was an obvious master of his craft," he said.
"He's been really part of the fabric of people's lives," Mr Leonard said.
"He's saved people in the way that music does. He consoled people and exhilarated people."
John Bereton, organiser of the Dublin Bowie Festival, said that the singer gave fans permission to be "different".
"He was an icon," Mr Bereton said. "He made you feel like you weren't alone. People across the world felt that they could be themselves."
"I'll miss hearing his voice on the phone," Mr Leonard said.
"I'll miss his laugh and I'll miss playing music with him.
"It's been an unforgettable experience and there's nothing that can replace that."