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Tennis Stars Pay Tribute to David Bowie

It takes a rare talent to leave John McEnroe speechless, but David Bowie had it.

In his autobiography, You Cannot Be Serious, McEnroe recalls the night Bowie pulled the plug on his playing.

"In between rounds at Wimbledon in 1982, I struggled to learn David Bowie's Suffragette City and Rebel, Rebel in my hotel flat," McEnroe wrote. "I heard a knock on my door. It was David Bowie. 'Come up and have a drink,' he told me. 'Just don't bring your guitar.' "

In an interview with Perfoming Songwriter, Bowie remembers McEnroe's Rebel, Rebel riffing causing sleep deprivation.

"One night, I was in London in a hotel trying to get some sleep," Bowie said. "It was quite late, like 11 or 12 at night, and I had some big deal thing on the next day, a TV show or something, and I heard this riff being played really badly from upstairs. I thought, “Who the hell is doing this at this time of night?”

"On an electric guitar, over and over [sings riff to “Rebel Rebel” in a very hesitant, stop and start way]. So I went upstairs to show the person how to play the thing," Bowie told Performing Songwriter with a laugh. "So I bang on the door. The door opens, and I say, “Listen, if you’re going to play… ” and it was John McEnroe! I kid you not (laughs). It was McEnroe, who saw himself as some sort of rock guitar player at the time. That could only happen in a movie, couldn’t it? McEnroe trying to struggle his way through the “Rebel Rebel” riff."


January 10 2016 - David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with...

Posted by David Bowie on Sunday, January 10, 2016

Fans, including some players, paid tribute to the iconic musician, who lost an 18-month battle with cancer and passed away at the age of 69.

"It's a very sad day. He's an iconic recording guy, I loved him since high school," ESPN analyst Brad Gilbert told Tennis Now today. "To tell you the truth, I was devastated by that."

A month after the 2004 Australian Open, Bowie rocked Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne during his Reality Tour.

From "Rebel, Rebel" to "Heroes" to "Golden Years", Bowie's music resonates with several players, who honored the artist on social media.


R.I.P😔 #davidbowie #legend

A photo posted by Barbora Strycova🐝 (@barborastrycova) on

Photo credit: Bob Gruen