My friend David Bowie by Hanif Kureishi

They went to the same south London school, a decade apart, and ended up working together. As a new anecdote-filled book is published, the novelist recalls the Bowie he knew

One of the first, and most important pieces of advice David Bowie ever gave me – this was in the early 1990s – was to make sure I noted down the names of secretaries and assistants I came into contact with. This would help me later, he explained, when I needed to get through to the important people.

Charm, as Albert Camus put it in The Fall, is a way of getting people to say yes before you’ve told them what you want. And Major Tom, or Captain Tom, as Frank Zappa insisted on calling him when Bowie tried to poach his guitarist, had already used his ample portion to get through to the important people. And to the ...