by Rebecca Tyrrell / The Independent
15th December 2012
Who knew that when David Bowie finally encountered a giant, pink rabbit, after all his years of capacious drug taking, it would turn out to be no figment of his imagination after all? During his 2004 tour of North America, he was followed everywhere he went by someone – clearly well-versed in lesson one of the Stalker’s Handbook: remain unobtrusive at all times, and never attract needless attention – dressed in a bunny suit.
For a while, Bowie was chilled about what he assumed to be, perhaps wrongly, a lad insane, regarding the creature as neither a scary monster nor indeed a supercreep. “I thought, ‘Hey, it’s rock’n’roll. It’s just a 5ft 3in bunny’,” he recalled, and he even referenced the creature in specially adapted lyrics at gigs, at least until things took a mild turn toward the sinister. “Then we got on the plane out of New York, and the bunny was on board. The guy was still in costume.”
The identity of “the guy” remains a closely guarded secret, though the bunny’s height and anecdotal evidence point to a woman; specifically a Canadian with the gloriously reassuring name, for a stalker, of Isabelle Guns.
A pretty Goth from Vancouver who makes part of her living from a small-circulation music-and-sex-tips mag entitled Lollypop Shoved Up My Ass, and another chunk from the more wholesome pursuit of selling home-made soap styled after cupcakes, Ms Guns has never formally confessed.
Both commercially and artistically, the glaring mistake made by whoever occupied the suit was the failure to kidnap Bowie, at carrot point, in the manner pioneered by Robert De Niro and Sandra Bernhard in The King of Comedy. The Thin White Duke and the Plump Pink Bunny, with Bowie cast to type as himself, has art-house smash written all over it, although even that duet would have to take a back seat in outlandishness terms to Bowie’s duet with Bing Crosby on the Christmas medley “The Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth”.
In the event, the only actor to be nominated for an Academy Award for best actor playing opposite a gigantic rabbit (white, invisible, and at 6ft 3in, a full foot taller than Bowie’s) is the man who played Elwood P Dowd in the 1950 classic Harvey. Given the famous gulf between Bowie’s acting ambition and his talent for it, he may be grateful to the bunny for bringing him as close to Jimmy Stewart as he is ever likely to come.