Austin's dancing on David Bowie Street

13th January 2016, Comments 0 comments

David Bowie's mourners have left flowers, candles and glitter around the world, but fans want one tribute to be made permanent -- a street renamed for the late rocker in Austin.

The Texas capital already had a street named for James Bowie, who fought in the Texas revolution against Mexico and died at the Alamo.

But Wednesday morning a central sign suddenly turned into "David Bowie Street," the handiwork, presumably, of a grieving fan who quietly added the music legend's first name.

The act may have technically been vandalism but it was tentatively embraced by the local government of Austin, a liberal hub in Texas known for its vibrant music scene and South By Southwest festival.

"Bowie Street in downtown Austin has ch-ch-ch-ch-changed," Mayor Steve Adler tweeted, referencing one of Bowie's best-known songs.

The city's transportation department announced it would leave the "makeshift memorial" untouched until Tuesday.

"We appreciate Austin's reputation as the Live Music Capital of the World and recognize David Bowie for all he did for the music industry and more," the department said in a statement.

But a petition quickly emerged on website seeking to make David Bowie Street permanent, noting that Austin had already named a boulevard for country star -- and local resident -- Willie Nelson.

Critics on social media said that James Bowie was more important to Texas, but the petition countered that the revolutionary already had a school in his honor.

"While the street's original namesake is a Texas folk hero who should be honored, Austin's culture is always growing and shifting, and David Bowie seems to be a much more fitting reflection," the petition said.

Bowie, a pioneer of glam rock whose career took him to soul, electronica, hard rock and jazz, died Sunday at age 69 after a previously undisclosed battle with cancer.

© 2016 AFP

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