It’s official. David Bowie will never perform in Rochester again, in part because he is dead, but also because he never went back after he and Iggy Pop were arrested there for possession of marijuana in the 1970's.
According to the Democrat and Chronicle (no pun intended), Bowie, Iggy and one other good-for-nothing stoner were arrested on March 21, 1976 for criminal possession of about half-a-pound of marijuana, the estimated medical minimum to get through a trip to Rochester.
The group were apparently staying in a three-room suite at the Americana Rochester Hotel—now a Holiday Inn—when they were busted by vice squad detectives around 2:25 a.m.
Asked for a plea by City Court Judge Alphonse Cassetti to the charge of fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, Bowie said, “not guilty, sir.” The court used his real name — David Jones.
He stood demurely in front of the bench with his attorneys. He wore a gray three-piece leisure suit and a pale brown shirt. He was holding a matching hat. His two companions were arraigned on the same charge.
Charged with a class-C felony, Bowie technically faced up to 15 years in prison in Rochester—a redundant statement if I’ve ever heard one—but the charges were ultimately dropped.
Cool guy Bowie paid for everyone’s bail. Now he’s in heaven, and here’s how we know: He’s not in Rochester.