R.I.P David Bowie

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stringtapper
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Re: R.I.P David Bowie

Post by stringtapper » Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:34 pm

Adrian Belew wrote:In 1978 I did my first tour of Europe as "stunt" guitarist and singer for Frank Zappa's band. The night we played in Cologne, Germany unbeknownst to me Brian Eno was in the audience. Brian knew David Bowie was looking for a new guitarist for his upcoming tour. He called David after seeing our show and told David he should come see the guitarist for Frank's band.

The next night we performed in Berlin. There was a part of the show where Frank took an extended guitar solo and most of the band members, including myself, left the stage for a few minutes. As I walked to the back of the stage I looked over at the monitor mixing board and saw David Bowie and Iggy Pop standing there.
Wow! I couldn't believe it!

So I walked over to David Bowie, shook his hand and said, "I love what you've done, thank you for all the music". And he said, "Great, how would you like to be in my band?" I motioned back towards Frank and said, "Well, I'm kind of playing with that guy." David laughed and said, "Yes, I know, but when Frank's tour ends my tour starts two weeks later. Shall we talk about it over dinner?"

David said he would meet me back at our hotel and sure enough when I arrived back at the hotel David Bowie and his assistant Coco Schwab were sitting on a couch in the lobby. As I walked past them they whispered to me, "Get into the elevator, go up to your room, come back down in a few minutes, and meet us outside. we have a car waiting."
It was like something out of a spy film.

When I came back down and went outside there was a black limousine waiting. The driver opened the door and I got in the back with David and Coco. David immediately launched into all this plans for his upcoming tour, the songs we would play, the staging, and so on, and how much he loved my guitar playing! It was so exciting! He said they were taking me to one of his favorite restaurants in Berlin.

How many restaurants are there in Berlin? 25,000?

We arrived at the restaurant, went in the front door, and who should be sitting at the very first table but Frank Zappa and the rest of the band! So the three of us sat down with Frank and the band. David, trying to be cordial, motioned to me and said, "Quite a guitar player you have here Frank."
And Frank said, "F••• you Captain Tom."
(note: Frank had demoted David from Major Tom to Captain Tom.)
David persisted, "Oh come on now Frank, surely we can be gentleman about this?"
Frank said, "F••• you Captain Tom."
By this point I was paralyzed. David said, "So you really have nothing to say?" Frank said. "F••• you Captain Tom."

David and Coco and I got up and went back out the front door. Getting in the limo David said in his wonderfully British way, "I thought that went rather nicely!"

(watch for the postscript tomorrow)
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starving student
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Re: R.I.P David Bowie

Post by starving student » Tue Jan 12, 2016 11:41 pm

now this is riveting.

Division Monarchy
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Re: R.I.P David Bowie

Post by Division Monarchy » Wed Jan 13, 2016 3:02 am

This loss hurts. He is my favorite and most influential artist without question.

stringtapper
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Re: R.I.P David Bowie

Post by stringtapper » Thu Jan 14, 2016 5:35 am

Adrian Belew wrote:By definition a postscript is never as engaging as the story itself. I hope you're not expecting too much, but here's the conclusion:

It was February in Europe which meant it was icy cold outside, but for me it was even more icy inside. When you're touring, especially in a professional band of hired musicians, you tend to "partner up" with someone; one person you hang out with the most.
Frank was the person I hung out with. I often sat next to him as we traveled on planes and buses, I joined him at breakfast, etc. I had stayed at Frank's house many weekends during our 3-month rehearsal schedule and I felt we had some sort of friendship beyond employer/employee.

Of course he was entitled now to be distant to me. He had plucked me out of obscurity, taught me so many things, and shined a bright light on me. Frank was my mentor and he was not an asshole to me, not ever! He was generous, funny as heck, brilliant, and informative. A genius. I had the time of my life around him. It was never part of my plan to leave Frank's tutelage forever.

We still had two weeks of touring left. Frank had already informed me of his intentions after the tour ended. He said he was going to rent a giant film editing machine and spend three or four months editing our live concert footage into a film called "Baby Snakes". He explained I would be kept on a retainer which meant I would be paid to do nothing but wait for Frank's next project. I received a call from my manager. Now it was official: I was being offered a 4-month tour with David Bowie. (In reality it turned into more than a year).

Later that day we were on a bus to an airport. I decided to break the ice. I walked to the very last row in the bus where Frank was sitting. I told him about David's offer. I reminded him of his plan to edit his film and pay me a retainer and asked him if it didn't make more sense for me to join David's tour for 4 months instead. I told him I would gladly return after the tour. Frank reached out and we shook hands.

That evening, February 26th, we played a concert in Brussels, Belgium. One of Frank's songs we did was "Yo Mama". But for that show Frank substituted the words "Your David". So this is what he sang:

"Maybe you should stay with your David,
He can do your laundry and cook for you,
Maybe you should stay with your David,
You're really kind of stupid and ugly too".

Two nights later the tour ended in London at the Hammersmith Odeon. There was an onstage occurrence which angered Frank. Fortunately I had nothing to do with it. Frank cut the show short and stormed off. The next day most of the band members flew back to L.A. where they all lived. I was told later that Frank fired the band on that flight home.

I got on a plane to Dallas for two weeks rehearsal with David Bowie.
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Machinesworking
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Re: R.I.P David Bowie

Post by Machinesworking » Thu Jan 14, 2016 6:03 am

:lol: :lol: :lol: Somehow that's all so appropriate for Belew!

H20nly
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Re: R.I.P David Bowie

Post by H20nly » Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:33 pm

:lol: @ the Belew bio

starving student
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Re: R.I.P David Bowie

Post by starving student » Fri Jan 15, 2016 2:50 am

thanks for that, it was great.

regretfullySaid
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Re: R.I.P David Bowie

Post by regretfullySaid » Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:39 pm

Yeah, great story. I can understand why Frank was upset but he seemed to be acting like a baby about it. And it's not like Adrian didn't finish the tour, wtf.
Must've felt 'betrayed as a friend'. But come on, would you rather make money from retainer or from touring with Bowie?
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Re: R.I.P David Bowie

Post by Angstrom » Sat Jan 16, 2016 3:38 pm

From my Facebook, where it appears that a good 20% of everyone I know either worked with either Bowie or Alan Rickman and has an anecdote.
Post by Michael Dignum - a friend of a friend ... On set with Bowie
One part of my job is to keep the talent close while we make small changes to lighting and camera positions. While shooting the video for David Bowie's Miracle goodnight we had a change that was gonna take 10-15 mins to complete. I decided to strike up a conversation to kill the time. Let face i was talking to my childhood hero. I asked Mr Bowie what was the biggest moment in his career. His reply was EPIC. and It went like this
David..... Well let me tell you about it. I had quite the attitude as a young pop star, its easy to get caught up in the hype. It changes you. So i was on the set of the music video Ashes to ashes, do you know the one.
Me.........Yes i do. (thinking boy if only he knew)
Bowie... So we're on the beach shooting this scene with a giant bulldozer. The camera was on a very long lens. (Camera is along way away, but the artist fills the frame) In this video i'm dressed from head to toe in a clown suit. Why not.I hear playback and the music starts. So off I go, I start singing and walking, but as soon as I do this old geezer with an old dog walk right between me and the camera.
Me.........Laugh (seeing this video in my head and what that must of been like on the set)
Bowie....Well knowing this is gonna take a while I walked past the old guy and sat next to camera in my full costume waiting for him to pass. As he is walking by camera the director said, excuse me Mr do you know who this is? The old guy looks at me from bottom to top and looks back to the director and said....
Old Man....... Of course i do!!!! its some cunt in a clown suit
Bowie.......... That was a huge moment for me, It put me back in my place and made me realize, yes i'm just a cunt in a clown suit. I think about that old guy all the time.
This was just one of the Stories Mr Bowie shared with me that day. I was so happy that my childhood Hero Stayed my hero as an adult.
RIP Mr Bowie..

regretfullySaid
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Re: R.I.P David Bowie

Post by regretfullySaid » Sat Jan 16, 2016 5:34 pm

:lol:
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Sibanger
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Re: R.I.P David Bowie

Post by Sibanger » Sat Jan 16, 2016 10:52 pm

:lol:

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Re: R.I.P David Bowie

Post by starving student » Thu Jan 21, 2016 2:45 am

best

tedlogan
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Re: R.I.P David Bowie

Post by tedlogan » Sat Jan 23, 2016 3:53 pm

Angstrom wrote:From my Facebook, where it appears that a good 20% of everyone I know either worked with either Bowie or Alan Rickman and has an anecdote.
Post by Michael Dignum - a friend of a friend ... On set with Bowie
One part of my job is to keep the talent close while we make small changes to lighting and camera positions. While shooting the video for David Bowie's Miracle goodnight we had a change that was gonna take 10-15 mins to complete. I decided to strike up a conversation to kill the time. Let face i was talking to my childhood hero. I asked Mr Bowie what was the biggest moment in his career. His reply was EPIC. and It went like this
David..... Well let me tell you about it. I had quite the attitude as a young pop star, its easy to get caught up in the hype. It changes you. So i was on the set of the music video Ashes to ashes, do you know the one.
Me.........Yes i do. (thinking boy if only he knew)
Bowie... So we're on the beach shooting this scene with a giant bulldozer. The camera was on a very long lens. (Camera is along way away, but the artist fills the frame) In this video i'm dressed from head to toe in a clown suit. Why not.I hear playback and the music starts. So off I go, I start singing and walking, but as soon as I do this old geezer with an old dog walk right between me and the camera.
Me.........Laugh (seeing this video in my head and what that must of been like on the set)
Bowie....Well knowing this is gonna take a while I walked past the old guy and sat next to camera in my full costume waiting for him to pass. As he is walking by camera the director said, excuse me Mr do you know who this is? The old guy looks at me from bottom to top and looks back to the director and said....
Old Man....... Of course i do!!!! its some cunt in a clown suit
Bowie.......... That was a huge moment for me, It put me back in my place and made me realize, yes i'm just a cunt in a clown suit. I think about that old guy all the time.
This was just one of the Stories Mr Bowie shared with me that day. I was so happy that my childhood Hero Stayed my hero as an adult.
RIP Mr Bowie..
ahaha...I haven't literally laughed out loud from a forum post in a long time :lol: (except that "everlasting note" advice)

good ol bowie.

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Re: R.I.P David Bowie

Post by Pitch Black » Thu Feb 25, 2016 7:25 am

A little after the fact, but if you haven't seen this... Toni Visconti spends 16 minutes breaking down the recording of Heroes. Wonderful to see all the layers and techniques. Well worth a watch if you haven't seen it.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03g18sx

mmorgan
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Re: R.I.P David Bowie

Post by mmorgan » Thu Feb 25, 2016 1:24 pm

Pitch Black wrote:A little after the fact, but if you haven't seen this... Toni Visconti spends 16 minutes breaking down the recording of Heroes. Wonderful to see all the layers and techniques. Well worth a watch if you haven't seen it.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03g18sx
Nice, thanks for the post.
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