David Bowie Superfan Neil Gaiman Never Wants To Meet The Rock Star

David Bowie Is, the hugely popular exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, wraps up this weekend. Among the concluding events is a reading by Neil Gaiman, who will present a kind of fan fiction written about David Bowie. The story appears in Gaiman’s new book and is called “The Return of the Thin White Duke.” Ironically, it was started in 2004, just as David Bowie was about to begin what would become a 10-year-hiatus from music-making.

As Gaiman told the Chicago Tribune, Bowie had a huge influence on his life and work.

“The iconography of Bowie, the look of Bowie, to a teenage Neil, was absolutely magical, and as I have gotten older, and appreciate him as an artist, and a creation, he still seems weird and powerful. I owe him so much. I have always become interested in what he’s interested in.”

Despite his admiration for Bowie, Gaiman has never been so ambitious as to arrange a sit-down with the singer. He actually avoids the prospect of meeting Bowie face-to-face.

“This will sound stupid because David’s son Duncan is a good friend of mine, and Bowie himself has said some lovely things about my books in the past, but I have gone out of my way to avoid him. I don’t have that many heroes left. Sondheim, Elvis Costello, Bowie: I have to put a small effort into not meeting them now.”

Gaiman went on to describe himself as “a weird kind” of Bowie superfan.

If the attendance figures at David Bowie Is are any indication, Gaiman is not the only Bowie superfan who made the pilgrimage to the exhibit. A separate Chicago Tribune article reports the show is on track to be the MCA’s most popular exhibition in decades, although exact figures will not be available until after its closure. Chief curator Michael Darling described the show’s success.

“We’ve outpaced every expectation we had. The show has done just phenomenally well. People are averaging 90 minutes (in the show), and when they leave — and we don’t see this often — they look happy. Or the impact was so huge, they’re crying.”

According to the Tribune list, among the celebrities who have attended the Chicago show are Iggy Azalea, Judy Greer, Usher, and Rob Zombie. David Bowie himself had yet to make an appearance.

Despite his reluctance to do media interviews, Bowie has sent out messages to fans through official channels. His website recently posted a holiday note.

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