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Jarvis Cocker says David Bowie ‘saved’ him after 1996 Brit Awards arrest

‘Among many other things I’m grateful to David Bowie for, that was amazing’

Louis Chilton
Monday 06 July 2020 15:15 BST
Jarvis Cocker walks on-stage during Michael Jackson's 'Earth Song' at the 1996 Brit Awards

Jarvis Cocker has said that he was ”saved” by David Bowie in the aftermath of his infamous appearance at the 1996 Brit Awards.

During the ceremony, Cocker appeared on-stage during Michael Jackson’s performance of "Earth Song", and was subsequently arrested and held by the police on suspicion of assault, before being released without charge.

In an interview with The New York Times, Cocker revealed that it was only after an intervention from Bowie that he was let off the hook.

“There was an accusation that I’d knocked some kids off the stage. I’d been arrested,” he said. “The only footage that’d been released was like a CCTV camera, and you couldn’t see what was happening.

“That year, David Bowie was getting a lifetime achievement award, and he had his own camera crew there. After two or three days, they released their footage, and then the charges were dropped straight away. Among many other things I’m grateful to David Bowie for, that was amazing.”

In the same interview, the Pulp frontman also spoke about how the incident at the Brits had impacted his life, saying that the “fallout” had “changed my life forever”.

“In the UK, suddenly, I was crazily recognised and I couldn’t go out anymore,” he said. “It tipped me into a level of celebrity I couldn’t ever have known existed, and wasn’t equipped for.

“It had a massive, generally detrimental effect on my mental health.”

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