A devoted David Bowie fan has described the singer-songwriter as the most "the most amazing, gentle and kind" person she had met.
The music world is in mourning after the death of the 69-year-old artist, who is widely regarded as one of the most influential men in music.
Hastings' Alison Arthur of Matapiro Olives met The Thin White Duke during his 1983 Serious Moonlight Tour in Wellington.
The then 16-year-old defied her parents' orders and sneaked out of home to see his concert.
The mini-muso said she was almost "squashed" in the crowd as fans tried to get a glimpse of their idol.
"I was right up the front and I got taken by security to stop me getting injured."
The move proved fortunate, as she was taken backstage and got to meet Bowie.
The starstruck teen talked to the superstar and shook his hand. He even fetched her a glass of water.
"I will never forget his eyes. One was totally different from the other."
Mrs Arthur said Bowie just sat down and talked to her.
"I was gobsmacked."
As she was still sporting a thick British accent, Bowie asked the young fan where she was from and how she enjoyed it here.
"He was nervous as heck to go on stage, he told me."
She said the experience was definitely a highlight of her life.
"I got to watch the whole show from there."
"I have a lot of memories from a lot of his songs but I think Space Oddity -- 'Ground Control to Major Tom' was the first one I ever heard."
She said she loved the song Heroes as it was one of Bowie's favourites.
"I told him that day he was my hero."
Mrs Arthur said what made Bowie special was the fact he "bucked the trend".
"He was a trendsetter but didn't care what people thought -- he did what he wanted to do," she said.
"He kept himself out of the public eye. He lived his own private life."