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Rock stars with their cats and dogs
03.27.2014
04:30 pm

Topics:
Animals
Music

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555keefdo.jpg
 
Cool pictures of musicians with their pet dogs and cats, which show how even the most self-obsessed, narcissistic Rock god has a smidgen of humanity to care about someone other than themselves. Though admittedly, Iggy Pop looks like he’s about to eat his pet dog.
 
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Patti Smith and stylist.
 
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This is not a doggy bag, Iggy.
 
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There’s a cat in there somewhere with Joey Ramone.
 
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Tupac Shakur and a future internet meme.
 
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Bjork and a kissing cousin.
 
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O Superdog: Laurie Anderson and friend.
 
More cats and dogs and musicians, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Kate Bush, Stevie Wonder, David Bowie and others expound on the topic of ‘Punk’ in 1979
03.18.2014
05:54 pm

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Music

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Getting it or not getting it to varying degrees are Kate Bush, Stevie Wonder, David Bowie, Cliff Richard, Steve Harley, Mick Taylor, Peter Gabriel, Paul Cook, John Lydon, Meatloaf, and a surprisingly astute young Leif Garrett putting in their two cents on the topic of “Punk.”

According to the caption on YouTube, these comments aired in December 1979 on a program called Countdown on a specific episode called “End Of the Decade.” Presumably this is something from the archives of Australian television. It looks like an editor’s raw “selects” in the formulation seen here.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Cornball 1974 TV commercial for live David Bowie album
02.21.2014
05:36 pm

Topics:
Advertising
Music

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It’s a 1974 TV commercial for David Live and it’s pretty goofy. It’s but 30 seconds long, so there’s not a lot more to say about it other than it’s pretty goofy.
 

 
Okay then…

Here’s a better one from earlier that same year, for Diamond Dogs. The sultry voice-over here is by Cherry Vanilla, Bowie’s then publicist at his MainMan Ltd. management company. She probably produced it, too, as she came from a Mad Men-era Madison Avenue advertising background before Andy Warhol beckoned.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
An in-depth analysis of David Bowie’s teeth
01.29.2014
03:26 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Music

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I guess people really do give a shit about David Bowie’s teeth! I, for one, have never thought about them. Never.

Apparently it was/is a hot topic as the video below goes into great—painful, even—detail about Bowie’s choppers. Celebrity surgeon Dr. Alex Karidis makes an appearance and “looks Major Tom in the molars.”
 

 

 

 
h/t The World’s Best Ever

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
The ‘rare’ ‘David Bowie’ Joy Division cover that hoaxed the Internet
01.27.2014
11:25 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Music

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Perhaps you noticed a number of your friends posting—and then deleting—a “rare” cover version of “Love Will Tear Us Apart” on their Facebook walls today. The track in question was supposedly recorded by David Bowie and members of New Order.

Here’s what it said on YouTube:

A chance meeting in 1983 had David Bowie, Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook chatting away over beers in the Kings Arms in Salford. “...So we were all there just having a laugh and we joked that he should come n have a jam with us, then next minute - well, it was the next day actually, but i didn’t expect he’d definitely come by - and we were in the practice rooms and we were playing Love Will Tear Us Apart and i was like, f%$K we’re playing Love Will Tear Us Apart with David Bowie singing, this is crazy. We never released it - Bowie took a recording of it, and just layered some more vocals on for fun, sent it back to me…” - Bernard Sumner.

Yeah, right.

Was this the handiwork of Tim Heidecker?

Was Adam Buxton responsible, perhaps?

Until the perpetrator steps forward we may never know who was behind this clever prank, but Joy Division’s Peter Hook has weighed in on Twitter to say that… it’s a fake (as if that already wasn’t already totally obvious to anyone with ears, although I did appreciate the low-fi “bootleg” sound quality, which lent an air of authenticity to the proceedings. Extra points for that).
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
David Bowie explains what ‘Ziggy Stardust’ is all about before it was released, 1972
01.03.2014
10:02 am

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Music

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In February 1972, several months before the release of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders of Mars, David Bowie gave an interview to a radio interviewer in the United States, whose identity is unfortunately unknown. In the interview Bowie describes the general concept of Ziggy Stardust and discusses a bunch of tracks from the Hunky Dory and Ziggy Stardust sessions that for whatever reason had been left off those albums, songs that were released in other forms later on—in some cases much later on.

Amusingly, the interviewer appears to have a very solid source on Bowie, because he asks about unreleased material he’s not really supposed to know about. Bowie is initially alarmed at the interviewer’s depth of knowledge on these songs but quickly relaxes and jovially fills in a few blanks.

Here’s Bowie explaining Ziggy Stardust:
 

Interviewer: Could you explain a little more in-depth about the album that’s coming out—Ziggy?

Bowie: I’ll try very hard. It’s a little difficult, but it originally started as a concept album, but it kind of got broken up, because I found other songs I wanted to put in the album which wouldn’t have fitted into the story of Ziggy, so at the moment it’s a little fractured and a little fragmented…. I’m just lighting a cigarette….

So anyway, what you have there on that album when it does finally come out, is a story which doesn’t really take place, it’s just a few little scenes from the life of a band called Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, who could feasibly be the last band on Earth—it could be within the last five years of Earth. I’m not at all sure. Because I wrote it in such a way that I just dropped the numbers into the album in any order that they cropped up. It depends in which state you listen to it in. The times that I’ve listened to it, I’ve had a number of meanings out of the album, but I always do. Once I’ve written an album, my interpretations of the numbers in that album are totally different afterwards than the time when I wrote them and I find that I learn a lot from my own albums about me.

 
That chunk of the interview is the first half. The second half is dedicated to the outtakes, including his cover of Jacques Brel’s “Amsterdam,” which was released as the B-side to “Sorrow” in October 1973; the second version of the 1971 single “Holy Holy,” which ended up being the B-side to “Diamond Dogs” in 1974; and his cover of Chuck Berry’s “Around and Around,” which was released as the B-side of the single “Drive-In Saturday” in April 1973 under the title “Round and Round.”

Two songs are of particular interest to Bowie lovers. The first one is “a thing called ‘Bombers,’ which is kind of a skit on Neil Young…. It’s quite funny.” “Bombers” was recorded during the Hunky Dory sessions and was released by RCA in the United States as a promo single in November 1971—Bowie seems to regard the song as utterly unknown, so it’s safe to say that that promo didn’t get wide release (the interviewer, earlier so eager to demonstrate his wide knowledge, also says nothing about it). Eventually “Bombers” was a bonus track on the 1990 Rykodisc reissue of Hunky Dory.

The other song is, ahem, “He’s a Goldmine,” which of course is one of Bowie’s most famous B-sides, thanks in part to Todd Haynes’ 1998 movie Velvet Goldmine, under which name the song was released, as the B-side to the 1975 re-release of “Space Oddity.” Bowie seems quite tickled by the track in its state at that time, saying that “probably the lyrics are a little bit too provocative.”
 
“Bombers”:

 
1972 U.S. radio interview:

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘Thin White Gelato’: David Bowie’s holiday memories set to gorgeous fantasy animation
12.30.2013
11:25 am

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Animation
Music

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This is honestly some of the more interesting David Bowie-inspired art I’ve seen, and believe me—-I’ve seen a ton. The man is the progenitor of so many artistic foundations, many of them visual. In my line of work, I’ve waded through a lot a of really bad Bowie-related short films and fashion lines before finding anything that’s not been done before. Not only is this little cartoon interesting, it’s unexpected.

The short starts out with footage of Bowie reminiscing on Christmases past, then unfolds into a lovely animated quest where winged ice-cream trucks soar across gentle psychedelic landscapes. If the art seems familiar, the animators are quick to cite the children’s picture book and subsequent cartoon, The Snowman as their inspiration. The book was a holiday staple for many childhoods, including my own, and it’s an interesting nostalgic contrast to David Bowie the career futurist.

There’s something unbelievably soothing about David Bowie’s voice over cartoons of migrating ice-cream trucks. It’s dreamy and sweet (no pun intended), and for a moment, you even forget the cartoon is Bowie-inspired—high praise when the man casts such a long shadow. Honestly, I doubt he’d object. David Bowie was obviously never averse to a little sentimental sweetness; I think we all remember that awesomely surreal “Little Drummer Boy” duet with Bing Crosby and just the other day, his thin white duke-ishness sent over some holiday cheer from his home in New York to his native Britain via “This is Radio Clash.”
 

 
As a bonus, check out this 1968 ice-cream commercial which features a young Mr. Bowie for a split second. (These individually-wrapped ice-cream bars came with trading cards of pop stars incidentally.)
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
David Bowie: Early performance of ‘Space Oddity’ on Swiss TV, 1969
12.13.2013
08:34 pm

Topics:
Heroes
Music
Television

Tags:

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A very early clip of David Bowie performing “Space Oddity” on Swiss TV’s music series Hits a Go Go in 1969. The show was hosted by Graham Bonney, best known for his sixties’ chart single “Super Girl” and for later hosting the UK kids music show Lift Off.

Graham Bonney was a star in Germany and had a series of hits in the late sixties and seventies with such… um der groovy Teutonic numbers as “Das Girl mit dem La-La-La,” “Wähle 333,” “Du bist viel zu schön,” and a cover of the Scott English single “Brandy.” However, Bonney had another connection with Bowie, in that he had once been a member of The Riot Squad, the band Bowie later joined as saxophonist, guitarist and singer in 1967. It was with The Riot Squad that Bowie recorded a cover of The Velvet Underground’s “Waiting for the Man.”
 

 
This is a crisp and clean video of Bowie’s first major European TV appearance.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Call in The Riot Squad: David Bowie covers The Velvet Underground… in 1967!

‘Super Girl’ by one hit wonder, Graham Bonney

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Got a big leotard budget? This Bowie-inspired fashion line may be for you!
11.21.2013
06:45 pm

Topics:
Fashion

Tags:

Bowie fashion
Halloween Jack was a real cool cat. Meow.
 
You might remember our recent post on the Twin Peaks-themed clothing line, but I’m way more impressed by Suckers Apparel‘s David Bowie-themed line! They’re super cute, and I could totally do with that Halloween Jack leotard (if I had that kind of scratch).
 
Bowie fashion
 
Bowie fashion
Inspired by the Thin White Duke look
 
Bowie fashion
 
Bowie fashion
 
Bowie fashion
Inspired by Bowie’s “gold circle” makeup
 
Bowie fashion
 
Bowie apparel
Inspired by Bowie’s anisocoria
 
Via Suckers Apparel

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy folds Steve Reich into his epic Bowie remix
11.12.2013
03:18 pm

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Music

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I really like this remix of David Bowie’s “Love is Lost” from his album The Next Day, which came out earlier this year. It was undertaken by James Murphy, recently of LCD Soundsystem, and it incorporates as the primary bed a recording of Steve Reich’s 1972 “Clapping Music.” In fact it’s called the “Hello Steve Reich Mix.”
 

 
“Clapping Music” must be one of Reich’s most popular works. While researching this piece I found a textbook in which the class was told to break up into groups for the purpose of “composing your own ‘Clapping Music.’” Reich wrote it for two people (the video below has ten), and it’s based on a very simple idea. The two clappers clap the same pattern, but one of them adds a slight pause every few bars, which generates interesting and unexpected patterns until it eventually moves back into phase again. Since the notes don’t change in pitch, the notation looks like this:
 
Clapping Music
 
Here’s Steve Reich’s “Clapping Music” performed by the Grand Valley State University New Music Ensemble in 2006:

 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘Cracked Actor’: Classic Bowie doc with rare footage of the ‘Diamond Dogs’ tour
11.07.2013
08:34 pm

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Drugs
Music
Television

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Cracked Actor is a 1974 BBC television documentary film about David Bowie that first aired in January of 1975. It was kind of a “Holy Grail” for Bowie nuts and over the years I’ve owned a VHS bootleg that was barely watchable, a DVD that was a slight improvement over that, and then I taped it off the air when BBC America aired it about ten years ago. Earlier this year, what with all the Bowie hoopla going on in the UK, the film was re-transferred to HD and trotted out again by the BBC. Now it’s really easy to find. In fact, it’s just a few inches below this very sentence.

Cracked Actor is a fascinatingly odd film. It was directed by a then 27-year-old Alan Yentob, later the Director of Programmes for all of BBC Television, who was promised extraordinary access to the singer by his manager Tony Defries. We meet a sickly, obviously coked-out David Bowie, being shunted between performances, limousines and hotels. He’s pale, stick thin and clearly mentally fragile. The somewhat uncomfortable manner in which he comports himself in film apparently made a big impression on Nicolas Roeg, who promptly cast him as an alien in The Man Who Fell to Earth.

In 1987, Bowie said of watching the film again:

“I was so blocked ... so stoned ... It’s quite a casualty case, isn’t it? I’m amazed I came out of that period, honest. When I see that now I cannot believe I survived it. I was so close to really throwing myself away physically, completely.”

Cracked Actor was mostly shot in Los Angeles and the majority of the concert footage was taken from a show at the Universal Amphitheatre on September 2, 1974. It is one of the sole sources of footage from the Burroughsian dystopia via Busby Berkeley vision of the infamous Diamond Dogs tour. Some of the material comes from D.A. Pennebaker’s Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars film.

Among the numbers performed in the film are “Space Oddity,” “Cracked Actor,” “Sweet Thing/Candidate,” “Moonage Daydream,” “The Width of a Circle,” “Aladdin Sane,” “Time” and “Diamond Dogs.”
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Too soon?: Lou Reed tribute shirt goes hilariously wrong
10.31.2013
04:53 pm

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Fashion
Music

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It’s clear from some of the other shirts this Etsy user has for sale that this is the work of a morbid and highly twisted prankster, but I have to admit - I laughed. And I kind of want one. Putting a picture of David Bowie on a Lou Reed R.I.P. shirt like that is a pretty great joke.

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Kansai Yamamoto’s fantastic outfits for David Bowie’s ‘Aladdin Sane’ tour
10.01.2013
11:11 am

Topics:
Fashion
Music

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Bowie Yamamoto
 
Kansai Yamamoto was one of the most important “Japanese Contemporary” fashion designers who arrived on the scene in the 1970s, His primary accomplishment as a young designer was to appropriate the traditional Japanese garb of the past—kimonos, samurai armor, and so forth—and from them create enchanting modern variations.

Bowie has said that Yamamoto was “100 per cent responsible for the Ziggy haircut and colour,” saying, according to Peter Doggett’s book The Man Who Sold the World: David Bowie and the 1970s, “He had just unleashed all the Kabuki- and Noh-inspired clothes on London, and one of his models had the Kanuki lion’s mane on her head, this bright red thing.” 

According to Cameron Silve’s Decades: A Century of Fashion, Yamamoto said of Bowie, “He has an unusual face, don’t you think? He’s neither man nor woman, if you see what I mean, which suited me as a designer because most of my clothes are for either sex.”

For his Aladdin Sane tour, Bowie sought Yamamoto out for some wacked-out space-age costumery, and Yamamoto produced the following looks:
 
Bowie Yamamoto
 
Bowie Yamamoto
 
Bowie Yamamoto
 
Bowie Yamamoto
 
Bowie Yamamoto
 
Bowie Yamamoto
 
Here’s Bowie with the designer:
Bowie Yamamoto
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
David Bowie home movie footage, 1965
09.14.2013
04:38 pm

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Music

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Here’s a glimpse of a young David Bowie, from a mid-60s home movie shot in London’s Tin Pan Alley district.

The fellow who posted it on YouTube, Joe Salama writes:

“This exceptional cine footage was taken by my late father on a trip up to the West End of London totally unaware that David Bowie was the young dude that smiles graciously at the camera.

Even when I showed him what he had filmed he was none the wiser and couldn’t remember why he focussed on this particular chap. The face fleetingly seen behind Bowie is that of my mother. Roughly dated to 1968.”

The Mrs. Tsk* Tumblr blog investigated further and found that the home movie, in fact, dated to 1965, by comparing not only Bowie’s hairstyle at the time, but also from a Davie Jones & The Lower Third handbill which had caricatures of the group members that were actually drawn by Jones/Bowie himself. In this self-portrait, he’s wearing the same-rounded collar he’s seen sporting in the film. Mrs Tsk also figured out what block this was shot on, and surmises that the future rockstar was heading into the La Gioconda cafe.

Somebody in the comments points out that it’s more likely to be 1966 or 1965. I’m able to confirm that this is spring 1965. Bigfoot — I mean Bowie, or rather Davie Jones, as he’s still called at this point — is seen walking in a westerly direction along the south side of Denmark Street, London’s Tin Pan Alley, where in May 1965 he recorded a demo with his new band The Lower Third (Tea-Cup, Death and Les, who resemble the three bowl-headed lads seen walking through the arcade) at Central Sound Studio.

—snip—

Central Sound Studio was right next to the La Gioconda cafe, famous as the place where Bowie met The Lower Third and also schizo-rocker Vince Taylor, later to serve as the inspiration for Ziggy Stardust. In fact, I’m pretty sure La Gioconda is where Davie, after flashing his charming smile at the unknown cinematographer, is heading.

 

 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Best photo of David Bowie that you will ever see: First night in the USA, 1971
 
Via Spencer Kansa/Adam Peters

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Ziggy in the USSR: David Bowie visits the Soviet Union, 1973
08.21.2013
04:42 pm

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Music

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There’s a fascinating “long read” article on the Moscow News website looking back on the trip through Russia that David Bowie made forty years ago with Geoff MacCormack, his childhood friend and back-up singer/conga player for six major rock tours.

MacCormack was one of The Astronettes along with Bowie’s mistress Ava Cherry and Jason Guess and he appears on Aladdin Sane, Pin-ups, Diamond Dog, David Live and Station to Station (he’s also in the Ziggy concert film). He put it nicely when he described the three decadent, action-packed years he spent touring with Bowie to Goldmine magazine: “Say you’re my friend and I invite you to a party, and the party goes on for three years, and you change costumes, and maybe we go home and say hello to mother — which is important, obviously — and we check with our families and, and we do all that, and we come back to the party and we carry on the theme, or the next theme, or the other theme, or whatever the theme is going to be and that’s kind of what it’s like.”

I can certainly see that.

Here’s just a small excerpt from Kevin O’Neil’s “Space Odyssey on the Trans-Siberian: Bowie in the USSR”:

The travelers were given communist propaganda on their arrival: the book “Marx, Engels and Lenin on Scientific Communism” and various leaflets explaining what they could and couldn’t photograph, as well as a sermon on the evils of Tom and Jerry which said the cartoon was sick, degrading and a threat to children’s development. To back up this argument, the leaflet noted that then British-Prime Minister Edward Heath had staged a private showing of the cartoon at his country home of Chequers.

It was only once they got to Khabarovsk that they realized that they weren’t actually on the Trans-Siberian Express. This fabled train was a bit of a disappointment after the grand old Nakhodka-Khabarovsk train – more Formica than wood paneling, even if they were travelling in first class.

In the rather sweet columns that Bowie wrote for teen magazine Mirabelle, he paints a pleasant, varnished picture of the trip, as if writing to reassure his worried aunts at home.

“I could never have imagined such expanses of unspoilt, natural country without actually seeing it myself, it was like a glimpse into another age, another world, and it made a very strong impression on me. It was strange to be sitting in a train, which is the product of technology – the invention of mankind, and travelling through land so untouched and unspoilt by man and his inventions.”

More realistically, MacCormack told of how he had to run and jump onto the train after it began moving out of the station while he was buying food on a platform. “The very thought of being stuck with no ID in the wastelands of Siberia still fills me with panic, even after all these years.”

The two train attendants in his carriage, Danya and Nadya, were unsmiling and stern (as would you, if you were on a seven-day shift), but they melted once Bowie presented them with a soft toy he had been given in Japan. They also were given the full Bowie charm.

“I used to sing songs to them, often late at night, when they had finished work. They couldn’t understand a word of English, and so that meant they couldn’t understand a word of my songs!” wrote Bowie in Mirabelle, whose readers almost certainly took an instant dislike to these women who had what they had dreamed of and didn’t even know the language, let alone all the words by heart.

“But that didn’t seem to worry them at all. They sat with big smiles on their faces, sometimes for hours on end, listening to my music, and at the end of each song they would applaud and cheer!”

Joining the two in Khabarovsk was Robert Muesel, a veteran reporter with UPI with hangdog looks, and photographer Lee Childers, whose spiked platinum-blond hair and snakeskin platform boots drew plenty of looks, too.

Muzel described what happened when Bowie boarded the train.

“A passenger made an entrance that stopped onlookers in their tracks, as he was destined to do at most of the 91 stops to Moscow. He was tall, slender, young, hawkishly handsome with bright red (dyed) hair and dead white skin. He wore platform-soled boots and a shirt glittering with metallic thread under his blue raincoat. He carried a guitar, but two Canadian girls did not need this identifying symbol of the pop artist.

“‘David Bowie” they screeched ecstatically, “on our train.” Bowie turned their spines to jelly with a smile.”

There was reaction from the Russian side too, as one passenger looked at Bowie askance and said that such a thing could only happen in the decadent West.
Muesel hints that Bowie had a fun time on the train, but without providing any details. Mentioning talk of Bowie’s bisexuality, he wrote, “There was nothing ambiguous about his relationships with some of the prettier girls on board, either. “My wife Angela understands,” he laughed one day.”

Tee-hee!

Read the rest of “Space Odyssey on the Trans-Siberian: Bowie in the USSR” at Moscow News.

Geoffrey MacCormack’s book From Station to Station, is a memoir and photo book about his life on tour with Bowie from 1973 to 76. The book, which has a foreword by Bowie, is available from Genesis Publications.

Below, you can see MacCormack (and the very lovely Ava Cherry) backing up the thin white coke-fiend on ‘The Dick Cavett Show’ in 1974. He’s the guy in the jumpsuit to Bowie’s right:
 

 
Via David Bowie News

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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