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That Time When David Bowie Was Caught For Marijuana With Iggy Pop

Today we mourn the passing of the Godfather of alternative music as we know it.

Reuters reports that the legendary David Bowie passed away on Sunday at the age of 69, after fighting cancer in secret for 18 months.

His death, coming days after the release of his 25th studio album, “Blackstar”, was announced via his official Facebook and Twitter pages and subsequently confirmed by his son, film director Duncan Jones.

While Bowie and his recordings are a major influence on the modern rock landscape, he was also one of the first musicians to become synonymous with the counterculture, including cannabis culture. Mind-blowing singles such as “Space Oddity” and “Starman” provided the perfect soundtrack for smoking sessions.

And then there was the time when Bowie was arrested on March 21, 1976 in Rochester, NY, for criminally possessing half a pound of marijuana.

According to the Democrat and Chronicle, Bowie was picked up by vice squad at Rochester’s Americana Rochester Hotel. Bowie’s company would also be arrested. James J. Osterberg of Ypsilanti, Michigan, then 28, would eventually become better known in the world as one of Bowie’s closest confidants, Iggy Pop.

Facing a possible 15-year jail term, Bowie remained cool and fashionable on his court date, according to the Democrat and Chronicle:

Asked for a plea by city judge Alphonse Cassetti against the charge of fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, Bowie said, “not guilty, sir.” The court used his real name: David Jones.

He stood modestly in front of the bank with his lawyers. He was wearing a gray three-piece leisure suit and a light brown shirt. He was wearing a matching hat. His two companions were charged with the same charges.

The charges were eventually dropped and Bowie was kind enough to pay bail for Iggy as well.

Rather than begrudge the justice system for the arrest, Bowie — like the cool stoner he was — even thanked the police.

“They (the city police) were very courteous and very gentle,” Bowie said. “They were just great.”

Photo credit: Flickr.com/acemegarex

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