David Bowie had ties to Austin. One of our city's very own taught him how to box, whipping him into shape for this 1983 tour.
It was the call about a job Richard Lord wasn't expecting in the summer of 1983.
“This friend of mine called me and said ‘They're going to interview a bunch of guys. Come down and interview for the job. It pays really well and you get to work with some Rock and Roll guy.’ I said who's the Rock and Roll guy and he said David Bowie,” Lord said.
Bowie wanted to train in boxing to not only whip himself into shape for his tour, but use some of the moves on the stage.
“When they came out with the song “Let's Dance,” they came out on stage throwing combinations and punches acting like boxers,” he said.
For six intense weeks, Lord trained Bowie at a gym in the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas. Friends like Jim Brewer believe Lord left a mark on the star.
“I never met Mr. Bowie but he always looked in good shape, and he moved kind of like a fighter. So I think that was Richard's influence on him,” Brewer said.
Now in the wake of a tragedy, Richard Lord reflects on the memories he shared with the singer.
“I'd go watch him rehearse. Stevie Ray Vaughn was with him. I know Stevie Ray Vaughn from Austin,” Lord said.
Now Richard Lord operates his own gym on North Lamar, and still has a passion for boxing. David Bowie has passed on, but his legacy will continue to live in Lord’s heart.
“As much as he seemed to be god-like he was very down to earth and he was just a good guy,” Lord said.