Baby Bowie

Tara Bradbury
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Musical couple named their child after late rock star

Dicky Strickland’s phone and Facebook page were busy Monday morning, receiving messages of condolence from friends and family for the death of someone Strickland didn’t personally know.

Submitted photo
Dicky Strickland and Courtney Day of St. John’s with their baby, Bowie (holding a crocheted David Bowie doll), at their home Monday afternoon.

Though he admits it was a little strange, he may argue against the “didn’t personally know” part. David Bowie may not have known Strickland, but Strickland definitely knew Bowie.

Strickland, a local musician, was woken up by text messages from loved ones telling him Bowie had died. The legendary British rock star passed away in New York Sunday, after a short and private fight with cancer. He had turned 69 and released a new album, “Blackstar,” on Friday, just two days before his death.

“At first I thought it was a hoax, some kind of Bowie publicity stunt for the new album, so I went right to the Internet,” Strickland said. “Then I saw it was true. I wasn’t prepared for it or expecting it at all.

“When somebody has had that much of an impact on your life, it is almost like losing someone close to you.”

Strickland — who admits he took Monday off work after hearing the news — first got into Bowie’s music as a teenager in high school, and he remembers picking up a copy of his “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust” album at Music World in the Avalon Mall. A budding songwriter at the time, the CD changed the way Strickland wrote music, as well as his onstage persona: he took to wearing more flamboyant stage outfits, he said, including gold suits and makeup.

Strickland went on to become a member of bands such as Sonny Trip and Long Distance Runners, the latter with three albums and multiple MusicNL and East Coast Music Award nominations to their credit. Strickland recently started a Go Fund Me campaign with the goal of raising the funds needed to produce a solo album.

You might also recognize him from Take Charge NL TV commercials, in which he pops up in a couple’s living room, playing the double bass and singing about ways to conserve energy and save money.

We just started calling him Bowie while he was in the womb, and it stuck. We love the name. Dicky Strickland

Strickland and his girlfriend, fellow musician Courtney Day, have a four-month-old son together, named — you guessed it — Bowie.

“It was actually Courtney’s idea,” Strickland said of the name, chuckling. “I kind of thought she was joking at first. We just started calling him Bowie while he was in the womb, and it stuck. We love the name.”

Strickland compares Bowie to artists like Elvis or Michael Jackson: extra-talented musicians and performers with personas that can never really be duplicated. Bowie, he notes, influenced not only music, but fashion and pop culture as well.

Strickland never got the chance to see his idol live onstage, but was the organizer behind a couple of Bowie tribute shows that have happened locally over the past few years. He’s considering putting together a pop-up Bowie memorial show over the next couple of weeks.

On Monday, Bowie’s “Blackstar” producer Tony Visconti confirmed the rock star had deliberately created and timed the recording as a parting gift for his fans.

Strickland hopes people will buy it.

“The bittersweet thing about it is he did the album knowing he was dying,” he said. “I’m hoping people will take the time to listen to him.”

To read more about Strickland’s fundraising efforts for his solo album, visit .



Organizations: Go Fund

Geographic location: New York

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Recent comments

  • ErictheGreat
    January 18, 2016 - 03:36

    The parents are a sight for sore eyes. The photo indicates that's the one they submitted. Esh.

  • Jonno
    January 13, 2016 - 01:28

    How embarrassing.

    • Jason L
      January 13, 2016 - 16:49

      Who is more embarrassed...these parents familys, the kid, or the reporter that had to do this story. Lifes priorities...skip work for a dead musician.

    • Steph O
      January 16, 2016 - 08:14

      I love that you commented. :) Karma is funny.

    • Nicole
      January 18, 2016 - 12:35

      Embarassing for who exactly?

    • Nicole
      January 18, 2016 - 12:37

      Embarrassing how?

    • Nicole
      January 18, 2016 - 12:41

      Embarrassing how?

  • Jayne
    January 12, 2016 - 17:42

    I can't believe how upset and absolutly rude people are being. Dicky and Courtney have a beautiful healthy baby boy, and regardless of if you like the child's name or not, are being great parents for their child. And as for Dicky taking the day off work, who cares? He's obviously got more passion in his life than you people could possibly ever imagine. Guys, you've got a great kid, and Dicky, you've always been the biggest Bowie fan i've ever known, if anyone deserved to speak out about his passing, it's you.

  • Anon
    January 12, 2016 - 15:29

    Could have named him after a relative. Surely relatives are more important than Bowie?

  • Bill
    January 12, 2016 - 14:09

    Nice story of how an artist and art can affect people. Fortunate child to have such parents.

  • CY
    January 12, 2016 - 13:06

    Dear trolls, Get a life. Is this how you spend most of your days? Adding your two cents of negativity of the Telegram comments section.You're pretty pathetic. This story is refreshing from the norm. Might I add, what a wonderful looking family!

  • Craig
    January 12, 2016 - 12:38

    Personally, I'd rather read a story like this, as opposed to another story on an armed robbery or Dannyville! The family looks happy and healthy, and the fact they named their child after Bowie, does hold noteworthy relavence upon David Bowie passing. Myself, not sure I'm attached to anyone musican to take a day off work, but as that holds no repercussions to my day to day life it's not my business to judge or comment on. The fact that someone would make very personally insulting remarks on the story leaves me shocked. Only a person with a sad, lonely, meaningless life would stoop so low!!

  • Rose
    January 12, 2016 - 12:14

    It's amazing how much someone whom you had never met can impact your life. That's passion and that's what music should be about. There is no way that baby Bowie WON'T be the coolest kid in his class.

    • James
      January 12, 2016 - 14:05

      Wild hey? Growing up around the out ports in the 50's there where two pictures hanging in most homes. One of Smallwood and the other of JFK.

  • ceeb
    January 12, 2016 - 11:51

    Sweet little story! I'm sure baby Bowie will be brought up with some great musical taste! Love the little knitted Bowie doll! I don't understand why people are upset this is in the news! I personally, would rather read stories like this, or that someone lost their shoelaces and found them even, then read about another death due to DUI, bombing, or drug arrest. If there is room in the Telegram for a cute story like this, then I consider it a good news day.

  • Jenny
    January 12, 2016 - 11:14

    Cute story! Cute baby and love the Bowie dolls. Interested to hear if the dad's music has any obvious Bowie influences. Will check it out. Nice to see little stories like this on the front page sometimes. In this case it's a break from all the Bowie obituary type articles that have been posted over and over and over. Kudos!

  • Elizabeth
    January 12, 2016 - 10:59

    How is this front page news? Oh Newfoundland....

  • Dicky
    January 12, 2016 - 09:53

    Sorry for ruining your lives everybody! It's just an article that The Telegram reached out to us to do and we wanted our baby to see that he was in the paper when he was older. If that's the worst thing you ever heard, then we are deeply sorry and I will personally refund the money you spent reading this online for free. Oh, my taking time off work yesterday doesn't warrant your concern. You're not my boss or co-workers.

    • Right....
      January 12, 2016 - 10:43

      The Telegram reached out to you huh? Because they knew that somewhere in metro there was a young couple with a kid named after David Bowie? Rightttttt.......Glad you've recovered to be able to be online today.

    • hum...
      January 12, 2016 - 10:54

      What's with the gofund me link?

    • Tara Bradbury, reporter
      January 12, 2016 - 10:56

      Thank-you for your comment, "Right..." Dicky is correct- I've done stories on his band, Long Distance Runners, in the past, and I knew he had a baby named Bowie. I reached out to him for an interview about his love of David Bowie, and he agreed.

  • James
    January 12, 2016 - 09:28

    Spiffy looking couple with an uncanny resemblance to David and Angie Bowie in the early 1970's.

  • justin case
    January 12, 2016 - 09:07

    @ must be a unionized worker. Wait, I think that may be an oxymoron.

    • Robyn N
      January 12, 2016 - 11:38

      People mourned Jfk. People mourned Elvis. People mourned when Jim Morrison died, Bob Marley, and whoever else influenced their lives. How dare anyone say he can't mourn someone who so influentially affected his life and now his livelihood. If anyone remembers, David bowie tweeted his band's cover event last month. Him and his band have been covered in the entertainment section of this paper. It's news because not everyone wants to hear about refugees and bombs every day. But to insult him and say he must be unionized. I'm unionized. Trust me, if he has any relationship with his employee his grief was taken to heart. I feel bad for Andrew having lost his biggest idol. But I feel worse for people who can't understand why sometimes you gotta have respect for others and why sometimes light pieces make the news. Empathy people, it that hard? And we complain when people outside our province tell us we aren't the kind people we say we are. Yeah right.... Rock on Andrew. Rock on Courtney. Rock on Bowie.

  • Joe
    January 12, 2016 - 08:36

    The guy had a deep connection with Bowie. He's a musician, it's understandable. What's wrong with you people commenting? Not everyone is required to think or feel or live their life the same way you do. Get off your judgmental high horses.

  • Anon
    January 12, 2016 - 08:27


  • Harry
    January 12, 2016 - 08:24

    Immature parents.

    • tara
      January 12, 2016 - 11:32

      immature parents??? how so???

    • Bob
      January 12, 2016 - 13:07

      Immature parents eh? You drew this conclusion completely over the name they chose to call their child? Says something about your maturity level doesn't it...Music is a very big part of both these parents lives, they chose to name their child after one of their favourite musicians, how is that immature? Would it be more mature if they named him Clyde after some dead great uncle they never met? Or John after John Lennon? Maybe Maurice after the famous hockey player? Could have been much worse, how about the hundreds of people who named their kids Kim or Klhoe after the kardashians? When people name their kids the name they choose is influenced by people who have influenced them throughout their lives. These people took the time to think about who did that throughout their lives and decided on Bowie as music is a very large part of who they are. Maybe you'd prefer they close their eyes and draw a name at random from a random list? The fact that you would take the time to come here and call someone immature just because of the name they chose and because they like music really shows where your maturity level is. Grow up people and get a life. It's nice to see something a little more upbeat in the news now and then instead of all the normal doom and gloom.

  • For the ravers
    January 12, 2016 - 08:09 condolences? Personally, I'm waiting for Mick to die so I can take my day off work...if I wait for Keith...I'll probably be retired! ;)

  • justin case
    January 12, 2016 - 07:15

    That upset he took Monday off work. Stupidest thing I ever heard. Get a life Dickey and grow up. Hopefully "The Bieb" doesn't check out, you'll be off work a full week.....and Telegram, this warrants front page?

    • LOL
      January 12, 2016 - 10:38

      and you were that upset that he was upset, you came here and wrote a comment about it, then came back to check if anyone had replied to your comment, and wrote again so you could insult two people on the one article. Who needs to get a life? Hahahahahahaha

  • Jamie
    January 12, 2016 - 07:13

    I'm sorry - I'm all about idolizing someone worthy etc and not to say David Bowie was not admirable - but you took the day off work because you learned he passed? The Telegram must've been hurting for articles to publish this....

    • Vic
      January 12, 2016 - 08:30

      You were hoping for all politics all the time? Or maybe more war and death stories? Please enlighten the world on your idea of what is news.

    • Jamie
      January 12, 2016 - 09:20

      Something a little more in depth than the fact that a superfan took a day off work and received condolence messages for a pop star is more up my alley, since you asked! Nothing wrong with the story...but front page news? NOT. How about an actual article about David Bowie? I can't stand how the news here, not just the Telegram, always has to find the Newfoundland "connection" - my point is here there clearly is none! None that is that interesting anyways.....

    • Slee
      January 12, 2016 - 10:27

      Really? there was a friggin' article about a baby penguin being named Bowie, why not one about a human being named after him? I feel sorry that you have so much time to be butt hurt on the internet about this. Go turn on some Bowie and chill out.

    • CW
      January 12, 2016 - 10:33

      Uh, not sure if you're aware, but The Telegram isn't written specifically with your personal news preferences in mind. You actually don't have to read it if it bothers you that much.