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How uplifting to hear David Bowie’s ‘girl with the mousy hair’ tell her story

3 5 31

How lovely to hear from Hermione Farthingale, the girl with the mousy hair and muse of David Bowie for his 1971 song Life on Mars. Finally we’ll be able to get closure on those questions that have baffled us for the best part of half a century. Why was her mother yelling no? Why did her father tell her to go? And why didn’t she consider some sort of colouring product to brighten up her hair?

In fact, none of these questions is satisfactorily answered in the interview Farthingale gives for the forthcoming BBC film David Bowie: Finding Fame. We learn, though, that after they fell in love in 1968 (“He looked ridiculously young, he looked about eight”) they formed a band called Feathers. The following year the dancer and actor ditched him to make a film called Song of Norway.

We learn that Farthingale later married an anthropologist and moved to Papua New Guinea; that now she teaches yoga and pilates in Bristol. And, oh yes, we learn that she broke Bowie’s heart. “I didn’t get over that for such a long time,” he says in the film. “It really broke me up.” His song Letter to Hermione includes these lines: “I tear my soul to cease the pain, I think maybe you feel the same, what can we do?” He was carrying a torch for Farthingale as late as 2013. In the video for his single Where Are We Now? you can see he’s wearing a Song of Norway T-shirt. Farthingale still remembers him fondly too,........

© The Guardian