Jarvis Cocker says he was 'saved' by David Bowie after 1996 Brits arrest

Amy Johnson
·2-min read
Jarvis Cocker attends The Q Awards 2019 at The Roundhouse on October 16, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Jarvis Cocker attends the Q Awards 2019 at The Roundhouse in London. (David M Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Jarvis Cocker has said that David Bowie helped to "save" him after his famous stage invasion of Michael Jackson during the 1996 Brit Awards.

The Pulp frontman walked onstage during Jackson's performance of Earth Song, leading to his arrest, where he was held by police on suspicion of assault.

The singer said in a statement released at the time that his actions were "a form of protest at the way Michael Jackson sees himself as some kind of Christ-like figure".

Read more: The Brits’ most controversial moments

Now Cocker, 56, has told The New York Times: “There was an accusation that I’d knocked some kids off the stage. I’d been arrested. The only footage that’d been released was like a CCTV camera, and you couldn’t see what was happening.

Brian Eno, Jarvis Cocker and David Bowie at the 1995 Q Music Awards. (Photo by Sean Dempsey - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
Brian Eno, Jarvis Cocker and David Bowie at the 1995 Q Music Awards. (Sean Dempsey – PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)

“I was saved by David Bowie. 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.”

Bowie died in 2016 at the age of 69 from liver cancer, with Cocker dedicating a BBC radio show to him after his passing.

Read more: Peter Frampton tells how David Bowie carried him from smoking plane

Cocker also elaborated on the effects the infamy of the incident had on his mental health at the time, as he became so recognisable he "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.”

Watch the latest videos from Yahoo UK’s ‘Up Close and Socially Distant’