Ontario man remembers playing with David Bowie as 11-year-old

TORONTO -- When Seth Scholes walked backstage to meet David Bowie nearly 30 years ago, the 11-year-old saxophone player from Kingston, Ont.

See Full Article

, was hardly aware of how the encounter would help shape his life.

It was a chance meeting with one of music's biggest icons, spurred on by a story about the pre-teen in the local newspaper.

When he thinks about the Aug. 24, 1987 encounter, he remembers how Bowie was "really cool, in the sense that he wasn't intimidating at all."

"He was just really sincere, easy to talk to and seemed genuinely interested in me," Scholes said in a phone interview on Monday.

Scholes was first discovered when a local reporter spotted him playing saxophone on a sidewalk in Kingston, where street performers were a rarity.

His youthful ambition was enough to merit a short news story; he said he was raising money to buy a ticket to one of Bowie's concerts.

The piece was picked up by The Canadian Press newswire and distributed across the country.

Somewhere along the line, Bowie's representatives caught word of Scholes's aspirations and offered his family passes to the singer's Toronto concert. And the boy would get to meet Bowie backstage.

"He asked me all sorts of questions and his sax player came out and taught me a few lines of 'Young Americans.' I played the best I could for him. He was pretty forgiving," Scholes recalled.

"He was asking what kind of music I liked listening to. I asked him what he was listening to and he told me the Sex Pistols and he told me I should check them out.

"I thought: that's good, he's staying cutting edge a little bit for an 11-year-old."

Scholes had another question for Bowie: whether he preferred Pepsi or Coke.

"There was all this Pepsi stuff around and he just looks at me and is like: 'Well, Pepsi's available,"' he said.

The meeting with Bowie lasted just over an hour, but the interest from Canadians stretched on for almost a year.

"I became a celebrity in my hometown," said Scholes. "With interviews and people stopping me on the street, and just a lot of interest in what happened to me."

TV shows like MuchMusic's "Mike and Mike's Cross Canada Adventures" highlighted him as the young kid who met the international megastar.

And then it was all over.

Decades later, Scholes says the encounter inspired his career. He works as a technical director at a theatre in Kingston.

"It solidified my interest in entertainment and music for sure," he said, noting that while he still occasionally plays saxophone, he prefers the guitar.

Scholes first heard about Bowie's death when a radio station called him while he was driving to work.

"I'm not going to lie, I cried a little bit," he said.

"That experience did project me on the path that I ended up taking -- it definitely had a big impact.

"It wasn't just meeting somebody famous."



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • Springsteen cover band catches heat for inaugural event

    Entertainment CTV News
    TRENTON, N.J. -- Six hard-working guys from New Jersey who make up a Bruce Springsteen tribute band are drawing criticism because they're going to perform at a Washington gala before Republican Donald Trump's inauguration. B Street Band leader Willie Forte (FOR'-tay) says the group signed a contract to appear Thursday with the New Jersey State Society after performing for the group's party during President Barack Obama's inaugural in 2013. Source
  • Dick Gautier, Hymie the Robot on 'Get Smart', dead at 85

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    LOS ANGELES — Actor Dick Gautier, who gained fame playing an Elvis-like singer in the Broadway musical “Bye Bye Birdie” and went on to play Hymie the Robot on TV’s “Get Smart,” has died. He was 85. Source
  • Get Smart actor Dick Gautier dead at 85

    Entertainment CBC News
    Actor Dick Gautier, who gained fame playing an Elvis-like singer in the Broadway musical Bye Bye Birdie and went on to play Hymie the Robot on TV's Get Smart, has died. He was 85. Gautier died Friday at an assisted living facility in Los Angeles County, his publicist Harlan Boll told The Associated Press. Source
  • Former Giller Prize winners Andre Alexis, Lynn Coady among this year's jury

    Entertainment CTV News
    TORONTO -- Former Scotiabank Giller Prize winners Andre Alexis and Lynn Coady are among the jury members who will pick the best Canadian book in 2017. The jury will be chaired by Anita Rau Badami, an award-winning bestselling author who was born in India and now calls Montreal home. Source
  • Kim Kardashian's bodyguard breaks silence after her police statement leaked

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Kim Kardashian’s bodyguard Pascal Duvier doesn’t “waste his time” worrying about how things may have been different if he had been present when the reality star was robbed at gunpoint. The 36-year-old mother-of-two was bound and gagged by a gang of masked men at her apartment in Paris, France, last October. Source
  • John Lewis books sell out on Amazon day after Trump's tweets

    Entertainment CTV News
    Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga. testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington at the confirmation hearing for Attorney General-designate, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., before the Senate Judiciary Committee. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File) Source
  • Mariah Carey a 'diva' who 'can do no wrong': Nick Cannon on disastrous New Year's Eve performance

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Mariah Carey’s ex-husband Nick Cannon could see the singer was getting “flustered” during her disastrous performance on New Year’s Eve. The Hero singer was the headline act for the Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest show in New York’s Times Square, but her set quickly went downhill when her in-ear monitors failed and left the star awkwardly dance onstage as a backing track played behind her. Source
  • Researcher identifies overlooked P.E.I. artist in 'feminist victory'

    Entertainment CTV News
    CHARLOTTETOWN -- For decades, her creations have been wrongly attributed to male artists -- but after a two-year investigation of her work, the daughter of a former Prince Edward Island lieutenant governor is finally getting credit long overdue in what a researcher calls a "little feminist victory. Source
  • Ontario boy pens script for 'The Tonight Show'

    Entertainment CTV News
    A nine-year-old boy from a small Ontario town got to experience a slice of Hollywood fame, after a script he wrote was performed for ‘The Tonight Show.’ Leo Chicoine, from Tiny Township, Ont., penned a script starring a lonely, mansion-owning duck named Quacky and its neighbour Elliott, and submitted it to Jimmy Fallon's show for a segment dubbed "Kid Theater. Source
  • MUN students say new N.L. book tax hitting them hard

    Entertainment CBC News
    Kristen Lo carried her new statistics textbook to the counter with a white-knuckled grip, prepared to pay the new 10 per cent provincial book tax on top of the $90 retail price. Like many of her friends, she avoids the Memorial University book store at all costs. Source