With David Bowie, it’s the voice. I think he is the greatest pop vocalist of forever. There’s no-one who can inject such drama. I got him first when ‘Let’s Dance’ came out. It was this amazing departure for him. I knew ‘Hunky Dory‘ and ‘Ziggy Stardust‘ and I felt a bit disconnected from them because they were from the ’70s and he was reacting to the ’70s and the ’60s, but ‘Let’s Dance‘ was this huge ludicrous R&B record out of nowhere. The was he sings ‘tremble like a flower‘ is one of the most amazing pieces of pop vocalization I have ever heard.
If I’m feeling paranoid and worn out, which can happen when you re touring or appearing in Hell’s Kitchen, I really like listening to ‘Low’ because you get the feeling that someone else knows exactly how you feel – there is such a beauty to be had out of paranoia and exhaustion. If you read about his life at the time, there’s no way he should have been able to make a decent record because of the state he got himself into, but it’s extraordinary.
I like the idea of changing masks too. I read recently where he said, ‘You don’t get it, I’m every man, I’m reflecting that is going on and wearing a mask to show it artistically.’
Pub Landlord wouldn’t like him. He might daringly serve him a white wine if he were to enter the pub
In the ’70s he was saying everyone is looking for a strong leader and all that frightening quasi-fascist stuff. If that’s really what he means, that he is trying to reflect what is going on, I suppose it make sense. His current persona is blokey, but he can’t be that blokey – he’s too arch and clever. I do relate to the idea across. It’s what I do with Pub Landlord.
I never bought any of his David Bowie Bonds because I was skint at the time back in 1997. But it’s fascinating he should do that. It was a canny way of raising money. He’s famously been involved in the internet since whenever – they had email on the Serious Moonlight tour before anyone else. And he’s so attuned to what’s going to happen next.
For a lot of people, David Bowie is the twat who dances with Mick Jagger in ‘Dancing In The Street‘, that ghastly ’80s moment. Some think he’s just style-over-substance, and has taken ‘medium us the message’ to its utter extreme. For me it’s the music and the voice.
Pub Landlord wouldn’t like him. He’d think he was some ghastly transvestite with monkey teeth – a disgrace to Great Britain. He’d damningly server him a white wine as a grand gesture if he entered the pub.