Roughly ten years ago, novelist Michael Cunningham (The Hours) received one of those calls very few of us civilians ever receive: “This is David Bowie. I hope I’m not calling at an inconvenient time.”
The collaboration that followed was for a never-realized musical about an alien marooned on Earth. Cunningham was to write the book and Bowie the songs. Given that Cunningham was a somewhat obsessed fan and Bowie a little sketchy on the details of what he wanted to do, things started off a little slowly, but their relationship grew.
For Cunningham, as he describes in this piece for GQ, to work with Bowie, he needed to humanize him. That became very simple for him after something great happened: