David Bowie once shocked his good friend Glenn Hughes by asking the Deep Purple bassist/vocalist to have sex with his wife Angie... and Hughes admits that he felt "awful" for doing so at his friend's request.
Hughes and Bowie met in 1974, while the English hard rock titans were recording Stormbringer, the second album from the David Coverdale-fronted Mk. III line-up, at the Record Plant studio in Los Angeles, and staying at the Beverly Wilshire hotel.
Hughes told this writer, "One night, at about 11pm, I was in my room, and there was a party going on - as there were most nights - with Alice Cooper and Ronnie Wood and Keith Moon there. And there was a knock at the door. Angie Bowie, David’s wife, walked in and whispered into my ear, ‘David wants to meet you.’
"It turned out that they were staying on the floor above, so I went up to meet him. The California Jam concert had been on TV a few days before, and David was fascinated by the fact that here was a long-haired rocker guy with soul."
Hughes says that Bowie wanted to work with him on his Young Americans album, but that the idea was effectively vetoed by Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore.
"He strongly suggested that I shouldn’t do that, because he felt it could be damaging to Deep Purple," Hughes recalled. "I was upset, but I understood that it may have looked bad to our fanbase."
Bowie and Hughes kept in touch, and in the spring of 1975, as Hughes recalls, Bowie moved into his house "with no-one else knowing", and wrote the bulk of his tenth studio album, Station To Station, while staying there. Hughes remembers the period as "an interesting time'. In fact, in his 2011 autobiography, Hughes revealed that the pair bonded to the extent that Bowie asked him to sleep with his wife Angie.
"I’ve done a lot of things in my life," Hughes told this writer in 2019, "but up to that point, no friend had ever asked me to take home their wife and shag her. I thought, Er, okay, where are we going with this?
"I had no business being with my mate’s wife," Hughes added. "But David was David... he was into all kinds of wacky shit, and they had a very open marriage. That wasn’t my thing, but I ended up being led down that path, and doing exactly what he wished for. I felt bloody awful about it, actually, and it still seems weird today. But Angie is still a close friend of mine."
Glenn Hughes will be revisiting his time in Deep Purple - though not that specific incident - when he plays a set of classic songs by the band on the Saturday night of the inaugural Maid Of Stone festival, which will take place at Mote Park in Maidstone, Kent, from July 21-23.
Hughes has also lined up a UK tour to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the band's 1974 album Burn. The run of 11 shows will kick off on October 10 at the Picture Dome in Holmfirth: full dates below.
Oct 10: Holmfirth Picturedrome
Oct 12: Southampton 1865
Oct 13: Bexhill De La Warr Pavilion
Oct 15: Nottingham Rock City
Oct 17: Newcastle Boiler Shop
Oct 20: Glasgow Queen Margaret Union
Oct 21: Wolverhampton Civic
Oct 23: Bury St Edmunds The Apex Arts Centre
Oct 25: London Electric Ballroom
Oct 28: Frome Cheese and Grain
Oct 29: Manchester Academy