Mayor Paul Bell certainly livened up proceedings at the latest Drogheda Borough Council meeting as he attended as Bowie alter-ego Alladin Sane.
The mayor’s subtle tribute has been widely praised in cultural circles but widely condemned in other circles by squares who see it as a cynical attempt to milk street cred from the death of a musical icon while there are people on housing lists and in shopping trolleys in the hostipal and the town in a state of chasis.
The mayor refused to respond to hecklers on his way into the meeting only to say that the red and blue lightning bolts on his face were a personal matter and nothing to do with Irish Water.
The meeting proceeded as normal with lots of important local issues discussed. Motions were forwarded and seconded and then Dundalk got all the jobs and investment. If you were listening on radio it was business as usual. But if you were there or periscoping it then you would have picked up on Cllr. Pio’s Ziggy Stardust wig and sexually ambiguous 1970s jumpsuit.
The Mayor waited until Any Other Business before addressing the Council about Bowie.
“I’m sure yous all heard about the death of David Bowie. I’d like to offer condolences on behalf of Drogheda Borough Council to his widow the Somali one and the rest of his family. I dunno about the rest of youse, but Bowie had a sebinal influence on me life in terms of the fashion and the music.
“I first seen him on Top of the Pops in 1972 singing Staaman. Not everyone had a telly back then so there were people trying to look in through the net curtains. But we’d pull them over and say there was a shine on the telly. “But it’s raining Bell,” they’d sometimes say. ‘Don’t listen to them son. You can’t hear through curtains.’ No wiser words have ever been spoken.
“No sooner had I done that then me da said ‘Will ye lookie here at this boyo! Paul! Come here and look at this funny fella dressed like a girl.’
“I was transfixed. Who was this pansexual spaceman with his laid back androgyny? I mightn’t have been too keen on that side of things but boy did I ‘get’ his music. I’ve been a fan since. I’d say he peaked with Labyrinth. I’ve all his best ofs.
“But enough of my personal memories. I’d like this to be the bit they put in the papers. In light of the sad passing of cultural icon David Bowie it is a good time to pause and appreciate our own musical behmammoths like Johnny Logan who though he’s not originally from the town, does be frequently in it. Support your local artists and we could be heroes just for one day. Ground Control to Mr. Tom. Bye bye now to the Staaman.”
A sombre Bell ended the meeting by singing Under Pressure with Cllr. Tully (who played the part of Freddie Mercury) in what was clearly a choreographed plan between the government partners.