David Bowie’s Former Bandmates Comments About Him Revealed
David Bowie on 8/3/83 in Chicago,Il. (Photo by Paul Natkin/WireImage)
With his constantly changing identities and innovative songs, David Bowie, a musical chameleon and unmatched artist, attracted audiences across the globe. Even with his legendary reputation, Bowie’s complex character remained a mystery. In this article, we will look at the thoughts of those who worked with the Thin White Duke in the studio and on stage in this investigation, revealing snippets of the guy who wrote the songs.
1. Mick Jagger: A Unique Friendship
One-time collaborators on the chart-topping “Dancing in the Street,” Mick Jagger and David Bowie shared a friendship that spanned decades. Jagger reminisced about their camaraderie, highlighting the exchange of ideas and occasional friendly competition. Bowie’s interest in Jagger’s fashion choices and their discussions on rock star challenges showcased a unique bond. According to Jagger, their friendship was a two-way street of mutual respect and shared experiences.
2. Mike Garson: Witness to Greatness
Jazz musician Mike Garson, Bowie’s keyboardist for over 30 years, offers a unique perspective on Bowie’s rise to stardom. Garson emphasizes Bowie’s egoless approach to music, describing him as open to ideas and a visionary who trusted his collaborators. Bowie’s ability to lead without micromanaging, according to Garson, mirrored the approach of jazz legend Miles Davis. Bowie saw his band members as integral to his creations, fostering an environment where creativity flourished.
3. Iggy Pop: A Benefactor and Friend
Iggy Pop, Bowie’s friend and collaborator since 1971, credits Bowie as more than just a friend but a benefactor who bestowed good karma upon him. Bowie’s genuine interest in Pop’s family and the personal touch he brought to their collaboration left a lasting impact. Pop’s heartfelt tribute to Bowie’s passing underscores the deep connection they shared, describing Bowie as “the light of my life” and “the best there is.”
4. Thomas Dolby: Creating Transcendent Art
Electronic music pioneer Thomas Dolby, who joined Bowie’s band for the 1985 Live Aid performance, reflects on Bowie’s ability to transcend expectations. Bowie’s last-minute changes to the setlist revealed his commitment to creating something transcendent. Dolby describes Bowie as a conductor who inspired musicians to bring out the best in themselves, creating an unforgettable and inspiring experience.
5. Mick Ronson: The Architect of Bowie’s Image
Mick Ronson, a key figure in shaping Bowie’s early image, reflects on the highs and lows of their collaboration. Ronson describes the joy of the Ziggy Stardust tour and the subsequent downturn caused by the pressures of fame, particularly in America. Expressing frustration, Ronson planned to confront Bowie, lamenting the negative impact fame had on their relationship.
6. Warren Peace (Geoff MacCormack): A Lifelong Connection
Geoff MacCormack, known as Warren Peace, shared a lifelong friendship with Bowie, starting from their school days. Acting as a backup singer and collaborator on multiple Bowie albums, MacCormack acknowledges Bowie’s lasting impact on music history. Bowie’s ability to reinvent himself and defy categorization ensures his enduring legacy.
7. Trevor Bolder: A Complex Relationship
Bassist Trevor Bolder, witnessing Bowie’s ascent to superstardom during the Ziggy Stardust era, expresses mixed emotions about his former boss. Bolder recalls Bowie’s transformation from a caring individual to someone increasingly detached as fame grew. The bassist describes a relationship marked by highs and lows, emphasizing Bowie’s changing attitude towards those around him.
8. Hunt Sales: Bowie as a Bandmate
Drummer Hunt Sales, part of Bowie’s rock band Tin Machine in the 1980s, provides insight into Bowie’s collaborative approach. Sales view Tin Machine as a true band where he worked with Bowie, not for him. The drummer appreciated the honesty in their interactions, highlighting a dynamic where Bowie welcomed candid feedback from his bandmates.
9. Trent Reznor: A Mentor and Guide
Trent Reznor, joining Bowie on the 1995 Outside tour, describes Bowie as a mentor and fatherly figure. Beyond musical collaboration, Bowie’s impact extended to guiding Reznor through personal struggles and helping him overcome addiction. Reznor credits Bowie for offering wisdom and a better way forward, describing moments shared on stage with Bowie as some of the greatest in his life.
10. Reeves Gabrels: The Confidante
Lead guitarist Reeves Gabrels, a constant in Bowie’s band through Tin Machine and beyond, unveils the evolving nature of their relationship. Gabrels discusses Bowie’s early mentorship and later candid discussions about the challenges of fame. Bowie’s straightforward acknowledgment of the limitations of celebrity highlighted his unique perspective on the trappings of success.
11. Gail Ann Dorsey: Positive Energy and Respect
Bassist Gail Ann Dorsey, reflecting on her time with Bowie from 1994 to 2002, praises Bowie’s intellect, positivity, and generosity. Bowie’s intellect, despite a rumored history of drugs, left a lasting impression on Dorsey. She emphasizes Bowie’s support and respect, highlighting moments when he joined her in the shadows to cheer on her solo performances.
12. Dennis Davis: Crafting Sound and Happenstance
Jazz drummer Dennis Davis, Bowie’s go-to percussionist during the 1970s, marvels at Bowie’s ability to merge genres and create music out of happenstance. Davis recounts Bowie’s unconventional songwriting process, involving cutting up words and reassembling them to form songs. Bowie’s knack for experimentation and embracing the unexpected contributed to their collaborative success.
13. Sterling Campbell: A Hero in His Life
Drummer Sterling Campbell, who joined Bowie in the 1990s and continued until Bowie’s final projects, describes the incredible experience of having his hero in his life. Campbell appreciates the meaningful conversations and laughter shared with Bowie, portraying him as gracious and inspiring. Even after Bowie’s passing, Campbell sought advice from beyond the grave, claiming Bowie’s response emphasized focusing on the work and the words.