Ever since David Bowie died earlier this month, his peers and admirers have come out in droves to pay their respects. One person who’s been silent until now has been Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor, who knew Bowie well. I’m guessing it was just because Reznor was getting his thoughts together. Reznor was a Bowie superfan by the time he got famous, and in 1995, Nine Inch Nails and Bowie embarked on the co-headlining Outside tour, doing a few songs onstage together every night. Reznor also starred in Bowie’s “I’m Afraid Of Americans” video in 1997. And in a powerful new Rolling Stone piece, Reznor writes movingly about everything Bowie meant to him, including some of the things that we might not know. Apparently, Reznor was deep in the throes of addiction during that Outside tour, and he learned a lot by watching Bowie, someone who had gone through that process, living a good life. Years later, after getting clean, Reznor got another chance to meet Bowie. Here’s what he wrote:
A few years later, Bowie came through L.A. I’d been sober for a fair amount of time. I wanted to thank him in the way that he helped me. And I reluctantly went backstage, feeling weird and ashamed, like, “Hey, I’m the guy that puked on the rug.” And again, I was met with warmth, and grace, and love. And I started to say, “Hey listen, I’ve been clean for …” I don’t even think I finished the sentence; I got a big hug. And he said, “I knew. I knew you’d do that. I knew you’d come out of that.” I have goosebumps right now just thinking about it. It was another very important moment in my life.
So yeah, put another one in the “David Bowie was an ever better person than we knew” file. The whole article is well worth your time; read it here.