It’s been, what, two-three days since my last Bowie-related post? Well fear not, fans of the Dame, here’s another…
The gorgeous Ava Cherry was David Bowie’s mistress and lover during the mid-70s. She was one of his back-up singers, the Astronettes, along with the late Luther Vandross. In the clip below, you can see her steal the show when Bowie was performing “Footstompin’” (which later got reworked into “Fame” with John Lennon) on The Dick Cavett Show in 1974. (Is it possible to be any hotter than this woman???) This is pretty much the moment where the Diamond Dogs tour gave way to his Young Americans Philly Soul obsession
In late 1973, an Ava Cherry album was planned and partially recorded with Bowie producing, but due to lawsuits with his-then manager Tony DeFries, the album was shelved for 22 years. The tapes that existed had some Bowie originals along with some oddly chosen covers from the Beach Boys, Frank Zappa and Bruce Springsteen. What appears to be a semi-official release came out in 1996 as People From Bad Homes. The material was released again in 2009 as The Astronette Sessions.
In truth, it’s not that great. I wish I could tell you it was some undiscovered gem of what Bowie called his “plastic soul” phase but it’s, at best, a curiosity for intense Bowie freaks. The most memorable track is probably “I Am A Laser” which was later re-worked into “Scream Like A Baby” on Bowie’s Scary Monsters album in 1980. In this rehearsal recording, you can hear Bowie in the background leading the band and calling chord changes.
Note the rap and the line about her “golden showers.” (I wonder if “Golden Years” has a meaning that has hitherto escaped us?)