Inside "The Bowie House," the Palm Springs Rental Dedicated to the Late Icon
Decorated by a diehard David Bowie fan.
With the exhibition David Bowie Is finally hitting the U.S. this month after its five-year tour around the world and the Coachella Art and Music Festival coming up fast, fans who can't make it to Brooklyn Museum might want to commune with the Thin White Duke via a stay at a midcentury Palm Springs rental dubbed The Bowie House.
British by birth, its owner, superfan Sheila Peevey Weyland, remembers the exact date of her first time attending a Bowie concert, in London on his Ziggy Stardust tour.
"It was July the 8, 1972, at the Royal Festival Hall and I would have been 13," she says. "It was my first concert ever and I went with some friends. I fell in love with the album Hunky Dory that came out about that time, and I was just hooked."
Weyland says she was so into music at that age that a local record shop offered her a job because she spent so much time there.
"Then I just started going to see him whenever I could. Concerts weren't like they are now. Then, they were not that frequent and they certainly weren't as expensive," she recalls. "The next time I saw him was in tiny Civic Hall when I was leaning on the stage."
Over the years, Weyland probably saw the performer about 25 times, she says. ("Not that many.") In the 1973 D. A. Pennebaker documentary Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, she's pictured dancing away in the front row at the 1973 concert where he famously retired the Ziggy persona, and she treasures a screen-grab from the film. "It wasn't the same in those days, everyone wasn't taking pictures all the time," she says.
Before settling in Brentwood with her husband Trevor, an insurance executive, and their 15-year-old daughter Ava, Weyland had a long career as an event producer in the fashion industry in New York and later for Tom Ford at Gucci when she returned to London for a spell.
And, though she crossed paths with Bowie in person twice at events, she says she didn't want to break the spell and meet him.
"First of all, what do you say to somebody who has made such an impact on your life?" she says. "And then also you're kind of worried they're going to be like, 'Yeah, whatever …'"
Fast-forward to this year when she and her husband were renovating their newly purchased midcentury Alexander home circa 1958 for the Palm Springs rental market and had to come up with a name for the house.
"There were a lot of the houses called 'Martini Afternoon' or something really corny and when we talked about it, I said to Trevor, 'I want to call it The Bowie House because he's had such an impact on my life. The Bowie House is not really a house about Bowie, but I wanted to make it my house."
So there are portraits of Bowie by British photographer Gavin Edwards, concert posters and, over the master bed, a Banksy print of the Queen with a Stardust lightning bolt superimposed over her face. And a number of books, including, of course, the volume from the current exhibition.
Weyland has seen the show five times, including both the opening and closing days in London, and she and the family are coming east in May to view it one more time in Brooklyn.
"It's very in-depth and it's very personal. The amount of costumes they have is just amazing, and there area lot of handwritten lyrics, which are also really incredible," she says. "You don't have to be a fanatic to enjoy it. You really see how brilliant he was and how influential he was."
One bit of memorabilia that Weyland keeps in her own home is a rare original 1973 Lynn Goldsmith of Bowie in all his Ziggy Stardust glory.
"I absolutely love that photograph. It sums up my whole experience with David Bowie," she says. And when her daughter, then about 3, first saw the photograph, she adds, "She just looked at it, and it's from behind and everything, and then she said, 'David Bowie.' That was just so incredible."
Now Weyland is a concert-going mom and has logged many hours with her teenager, starting with One Direction right up to 21 Pilots. Recently, though, mother and daughter caught the Celebrating David Bowie tribute concert at the Wiltern, featuring a lineup of musicians who worked with Bowie.
"She's a big music fan," the proud mom adds. "But she got to see some real music when she saw that."