Calgary's David Bowie reflects on sharing name with music legend

The 57-year-old truck driver who was born David Bowie says people always think he's joking when he tells them his name.

Sharing name with one of the most influential musicians in the world hasn't been easy

British singer David Bowie performs on stage during a concert in La Courneuve on July 3, 1987. (Bertrand Guay/AFP/Getty Images)

In 1958 music legend David Bowie was a tween who still went by his given name — David Jones.

And so, without a second thought, a couple from Calgary with the last name Bowie named their newborn son David.

For the first decade of his life, no one batted an eye at the boy from Calgary named David Bowie. 

But that all changed in the late 1960s when a singer from across the pond started making a name for himself and took on the stage name David Bowie to set himself apart from The Monkeessinger Davy Jones.

"It was mind-blowing. I get goosebumps when I think about it," said David Bowie, 57, who lives in the southeast community of Riverbend.

His name is listed in the phone book, and that's how CBC's Calgary Eyeopener found him.

'Actually, I had the name first'

Sharing a name with one of the most influential musicians in the world hasn't been easy. 

Calgary's David Bowie says meeting new people is like listening to a broken record.

"I'd tell them and they'd go, 'Yeah right, I'm Alice Cooper.' And I'm like, 'No, really that's my name,'" he said.

"Or they'd go, 'Well how come you changed your name to the singer's name? Were your parents fans?' And I'm like — actually, I had the name first," said the truck driver who is currently looking for work.

He says when he applies for jobs, he has to drop off his resume in person.

"They pull it out of the pile and think that somebody in their company is pranking them and they throw it in the trash and pull out another resume and read it instead."

"I think that's why I've never, ever won any draws of any kind because I figure when they draw my name they go, 'Yeah right' and throw the ticket away and then draw somebody else's name."

Despite all the missed opportunities, David Bowie of Calgary still loves David Bowie from England.

He says his favourite song is Life on Mars.

  • What's your favourite David Bowie song and why? Leave your suggestions below in the comments section.

With files from CBC's Falice Chin

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