How much do you know about David Half brother Terry Jones?
February 6 2004 at 11:48 PM
Robert (no login) from IP address 220.127.116.11
I know few things, the basic actually, like he was schizoprenic, Bowie was afraid he would be himself in the early seventies, TMWSTW lp refers to mental illness, and Terry (All the Madmen), Bewlay Brother on Hunky Dory, and Jump from BTWN.And i think he died in 1985 or 1986, by suicide. That's it. Who knows more?
I heard that David loved his older brother so much that he sometimes slept in his bed. That Terry took David around to clubs because he was a huge music fan, and turned David on to lots of different kinds of music, which motivated his decision to pursue rock.
That David's mom was abusive to Terry, and favored David. And that David didn't really forgive his mom for her treatment of Terry.
Also, that Terry went missing a few times in David's life, and was presumed dead at least once before he died on the train tracks.
And I heard that "The Man Who Sold The World" was about one such occurence of David finding his older brother again in a hospital after he was missing for so long and presumed dead. And that his brother didn't really recognize him.
David says "I thought you died alone...a long long time ago."
His brother replies "Oh no, not me! I never lost control. You're face to face with the man who sold the world."
I lost my brother the same way and the same year Terry died. I certainly can relate to how David must have felt, even to the point of not wanting to attend the funeral. If i had had a slightest chance of skipping the funeral, i would have done exactly as David did altho' David was sharply criticised for his behavior in the press.
as far as skipping the funeral goes, that is a personal decision. it wasn't a brother but my life long best friend hung hilself on my bday in 2001. i was planning on going but when i went to the funeral home for the viewing the night before i got within 10 feet of the casket and freaked. i left and refuse to attend the next morning. his mother didn't understand and still holds it against me but and i feel guilty to this day but i couldn't bear to see it again. i've sepnt the morning of every bady since at the cemetary
one of my brother's friends turned up drunken to the funeral and refused to attend the ceremony. i was angry with him for a long time(i guess i still am a bit). Actually i only learnt a year ago how Terry died and that David only sent flowers to the funeral. it was quite spooky coz Terry was born on the same date as my brother and my brother being a Bowie fan identified himself a bit with Terry's fate ( at least i think he did).
It seems quite a grim story in Bowie's case, He cut Terry out of his life for ten years and didn't see or communicate with him at all.
When Terry's situation and despair grew worse he tried to kill himself, and Bowie's aunt Pat went to the Sun newspaper saying Bowie was "callous and uncaring" and hadn't done a thing to help Terry, whereas he could have easily had him put in a private nursing home with good medical care rather than Cane Hill mental hospital where Terry was, and which was apparently a very unpleasant place.
The newspaper thing prompted Bowie to visit Terry for the first time in a decade, giving him a few presents. According to Terry, Bowie promised him he'd get him out of Cane Hill and he waited months for this, but seemingly Bowie never made contact again. Four or five months later he unsuccessfully attempted suicide again, and again in January where he finally succeeded.
Bowie seemed to come to terms with all this in interviews circa '93 by saying that he'd never really been that close to Terry in the first place, and maybe it's true.
How caring a person is our hero david actually? Abandoning his only brother in a gloomy asylum and then making a statemant afterwards they weren't that close after all. What about all the talk about Terry being his hero and everything? Maybe Lucy had a strong point when she decided to sell all her cd's and saying goodbye to the man.
Well, Bowie cut his Mum off in the mid-70s, too, and only re-established contact with her when she was upset enough to tell the papers. I'm sure he's probably a bit nicer now he's much older, but a lot of fans do seem to have created a kind of comfort zone where Bowie is some kind of lovely, cuddly person. It's actually not relevant, though. It doesn't change one note of the records, or dilute the power of any of the ideas or imagery, does it? We don't socialise with him, do we? What we have is the work.
I read that db's father hated Terry (in the Gillman I think) and that he subjected him to emotional and psychological abuse, while db was the golden, favoured child. When Terry was learning to ride a bike he was humiliated and degraded for his efforts. When he fell off but manfully tried again, he was laughed at. This sort of abuse may well have set the physiological stage for schizophrenia in later life.
When Terry confronted db's father as an adult, db's father apologised for his treatment of Terry but, of course, it was far too little far too late and Terry never did recover. Terry was a sensistive, intelligent, gentle soul (every bit as sensitive, intelligent and gentle as db) but db's father never did want to get to know him it seems.
While abuse may not always lead to mental illnes, it goes to show that parents should never subject their children to such treatment as the ramifications in later life can be appalling. Parents should really get to know their children for who they really are and accept them, not try to force them into a mold of their own making or subject them to humiliation and ridicule - after all the parents, while having full power over the children, also owe them a duty of proper care.
The Cane Hill mental hospital was also the place Michael Cane's half brother was placed and finally died. His mother gave him away before she met Cain's father and he never knew until a newspaper reporter fold out.
I have felt that something happened to our David during his childhood to make him want to escape his surroundings and reject all that was around him at that time. Many early songs deal with an idyllic innocence which turn to isolation and rejection. Only recently with Iman and his children I feel he has laid those ghosts to rest.
When you think about what a taboo and difficult subject mental illness still is today, it was much more so back then. But I think for a family, it's very difficult to see someone you love go insane. It can cause divisions in a family, sometimes blame is placed. Sometimes, mentally ill people get to a point you can't do them any good whatsoever. Whats more, they can cause you great pain seeing them like this, because you love them so much. It's a very complicated issue, and varies greatly with each case. Thats my two cents worth on that subject.
'Almost' every comment made in this thread seems to come from those who must have some inside knowledge to David's personal life. Just because the press claim that 'David cut ties with his brother and mother' how do they know this?
What did David do this morning? What did he have for breakfast? How many phone calls did he take? We don't know! David has every right to have his own private life and 'WE' as fans have no right to intrude on this. Just because we don't know doesn't mean that our own thoughts should suddenly become 'the facts' of what has happened.
I know I'm leaving myself open to the 'normal' message board abuse that is piled upon those who say what they feel, but c'mon guys, none of us know anything about the day-to-day personal life of David Bowie - so why make statements when you have no proof to back up these silly claims.
Well, they're actually facts - Bowie's family have spoken out about it, including the one who was left to look after Terry, and Bowie's own mum went to the NME in the mid-70s to grieve about how he'd cut her off. Although of course everybody has their own personal slant on things.
But it's all on public record. About it being anybody's else business or not, you're right, really, but it's all part of fame and stardom, where people want to know every last detail about you.
I agree 'Little Metal Faced Boy' but as always, there are two sides to every story and everyone knows how much a newspaper story is always blown out of proportion - to make normal family life sound more interesting, which of course makes for a better story - and making more money.
Bowie's Mum didn't actually get any money for going to the NME, though - she seemed to do the interview to try and publicly embarrass him into resuming contact with her again, and it seemed to work to a degree.
Bowie's aunt spoke about Bowie's abandoning of Terry to both the tabloid press (the Sun, I think) again to try and force him to help because Terry was stuck in the grim Cane Hill place (I doubt she'd have taken money) and later to the Gillmans who wrote Alias David Bowie. She did have a bit of reputation for being a bit of a thorn in the side as far as the family went, but you also get the feeling she might have had a reason to be.
I suspect the Gillmans were keen on the story themselves, because their whole book seemed to centre on the idea that the motivating force of all Bowie's work was his fear of the family madness. They seemed to interpret everything he did this way (to quite a ridiculous extent.)
I am a Bowie fan myself and of course I want to find out as musch as I can about David's background. So if anyone has 100% first hand knowledge of the facts then I would accept what they are saying, but when these so called 'facts' can only be backed up with nothing but a newspaper article - I find that to be wrong and nothing but gossip.