Simon Critchley first encountered David Bowie in the early '70s, when the singer appeared on Britain's most-watched music show, Top of the Pops. His performance of "Starman" mesmerized Critchley: it was "so sexual, so knowing, so strange". Two days later Critchley's mum bought a copy of the single; she liked both the song and the performer's bright orange hair (she had previously been a hairdresser). The seed of a lifelong love affair was thus planted in the mind of her son, aged 12.
"the best music culture theory book that exists"
This piece follows its hero on two journeys. McSweeney's is a literary journal based in San Francisco.