David Bowie Mugshot Caricature


David Bowie Mugshot Caricature, dated March 25, 1976, Rochester, NY (Rochester Police Department).

This mugshot shows Bowie’s stylish and even classy Class C felony arrest for marijuana possession in 1976 — a night in jail that resulted in the single-coolest mugshot ever. And here is that story.

On March 21, 1976, Bowie played a Saturday-night show at the Community War Memorial Arena in Rochester, N.Y. Later that night, or early the next morning, Bowie and a few friends — including (and this is important) James Osterberg, Jr., 28, of Ypsilanti, Mich. — were arrested at the Americana Rochester Hotel on marijuana charges.

Police at the time said they confiscated “about half a pound of marijuana” from the group. The arrests of Bowie, Osterberg and two others took place at 2:25 a.m. in Bowie’s three-room suite.

Bowie paid all four bonds and then hit the road before his arraignment — for gigs in Springfield, Mass., and New Haven, Conn. — returning a few days later to plead innocent in Rochester City Court. “A crowd of about 200 police, fans and reporters looked on” as Bowie and his entourage were guided into the Public Safety Building.

Bowie ignored most of the reporters and fans — “except for one teenager who got his autograph as he stepped off the escalator,” adding that Bowie’s “biggest greeting was the screams of about a half-dozen suspected prostitutes awaiting arraignment in the rear of the corridor outside the courtroom.”

The date set for the preliminary hearing for Bowie and the three others facing cannabis charges? April 20, a.k.a. weed holiday 4/20.

Bowie faced a minimum of 15 years’ imprisonment on the drug charge but could get as little as five years’ probation if convicted. But in May 1976; the charges were effectively dismissed after a grand jury declined to indict the legendary artist. Bowie never performed in Rochester again.

Oh… and remember that James Osterberg, Jr. guy, the one who was with Bowie that Rochester night and was also arrested? He’s better known as Stooges frontman Iggy Pop.


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All prints are produced using Giclee printing process which is used for archival art reproduction. This process uses fade-resistant archival pigment-based ink which lasts over 100 years. All prints are printed on 310GSM, Luxurious mould-made, 100% cotton rag Archival Certified watercolor paper.

Archival Conservation Mat is included with your purchase. Mat is a high quality, 4 ply (1/16″) surround mat. These frame mats are acid-free & Lignin-free made with 100% virgin alpha-cellulose surface, core and backing papers. So your caricature with mat will fit into a standard comparable frame either “20” x 24″ or “16” x 20″ depending on the print size, (frame not included). Price also includes a Backer Board.

32″ x 40″ stretch canvas print is produced by Giclee printing process and are hand stretched over heavy duty American made white pine. The canvas print is varnished twice after printing. The canvas prints are ready to hang (complete with hanging wire).

Additional information

Weight .25 lbs
Dimensions 16 × 20 × .25 in
Print Size

32" x 40" Stretched Canvas Print $495, 20" x 24" Stretched Canvas Print $330, 11" x 14" Watercolor Print $95, 16" x 20" Watercolor Print $185