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Sir David Bowie? “No”


Mick Jagger went for it. So did Paul McCartney. Keith Richard wasn’t offered it. And David Bowie turned it down. A knighthood, that is. You know, where the Queen Of England puts her sword on your shoulders and head and says “arise Sir David Bowie”.

Or would have, only David Bowie turned down the great honor in 2003, joining the ranks of Aldous Huxley and Albert Finney in being less than thrilled by the prospect of adding another suffix to their names.

yes,  David Bowie turned down an offer of Knighthood from the Queen (not personally, one assumes) with “‘I would never have any intention of accepting anything like that. I seriously don’t know what it’s for. It’s not what I spent my life working for.” I am reminded of the PG Wodehouse (or rather Sir Pelham Grenville, to you buddy) story which rests on a British master of industry hiding his own turning down of a knighthood because he hated the ritual and that makes sense, for a shy retiring Captain Of Industry. But Bowie? Nobody said Bowie had worked his entire career for the honor of a knighthood, has any one?

You might think Aldous, or maybe Harold Wilson, or God knows John Lennon, who returned his MBE “…as a protest against Britain’s involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam and against ‘Cold Turkey’ slipping down the charts.”, would turn down a Knighthood but Bowie? Surely Bowie, who seemed to be embracing fascism back in his Station To Station, would have no kick against the monarchy but there you go.Maybe he is holding out for a Sainthood.

I think I am gonna call him Sir David any way.

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