34 Comments (since 27 Aug 2015)
Even before I was really aware of David Bowie's music, he had been implanted on my psyche when, as a very young child on a visit to see my glam-loving half sister at the height of Ziggy mania, she made up my face in the customary style (sadly, no photos)
I was conscious of Bowie's chart singles throughout the Top of the Pops 70s - and of my parents' slightly weary sighs at his appearance and antics. Once I eventually achieved enough of an interest in music to start buying 'proper' records (as opposed to novelty hits by Laurel & Hardy and The Barron Knights), two of my earliest purchases were Changes 1 & 2.
By the time he released his most mainstream LP, Let's Dance - and arguably the last decent one for a loooong time - I was properly hoovering up pop music on the radio. But my tastes remained with the current for a long time, and despite loving the back catalogue of fantastic Bowie 45s, I didn't start to explore his run of even more extraordinary 1970s LPs until nearly a decade later.
Very soon I was a fully paid up disciple of the church of Dave. Ok, I confess to this day that I've still managed to avoid sullying my delicate ears with Tonight and Never Let Me Down (yes, I've read the reviews), but hey, when there's so much good stuff to listen to out there... (Too little time, etc)
Anyway... cut to the mid 90s. I am now working for an esteemed rock music publication still in its early days, and about 3 months into my tenure there. We had a small office and an equally small team of mostly veteran rock journos, and quite apart from the turbo-charged musical education I received, it was the most enjoyable job I've ever had, working with some of the cleverest, funniest people in the magazine business.
One day, as I was standing over by the office light box with the Editor attempting to cut about 500 Led Zeppelin photos down into the two dozen we would need for a feature (I know, hard times, right?), the phone over at my desk rang. 'Please can you get that for me?' I called over to the office editorial assistant rather dismissively, not wanting to be interrupted from the marathon photo edit.
She picked up the call while we carried on with the pics. A few brief answers, some scribbling on a note pad, then she hung up. A sudden silence fell across the room. 'Who was it?' I enquired casually. 'That was David Bowie for you. He'd like you to call him back'. An even heavier silence fell across the room.
To explain properly... we were at the time about to run a feature about Mr Bowie's art, and he wanted to ask me how copies of these artworks might best be supplied to us. So yes dear reader, armed with the phone number of the Bowie residence in Switzerland, I had to pluck up the courage to sit at my desk with all and sundry listening and phone him back. Him. You know, the greatest icon in 1970s/80s (arguably all time) British music.
You'll probably not be surprised to hear that I have no specific recall of the conversation that took place, other than he was extremely friendly, easy to talk to, and my voice was possibly a bit squeaker than normal. Anyway I survived. And no, I didn't hang on to the number. They say never to meet your heroes. But I guess talking to them on the phone about a mutual professional matter just about scraped through without embarrassment on either side ...
So, why this jam in particular? Life On Mars is The Dame's (as he was fondly known in Smash Hits magazine) My Way. This memorable and emotion-laden performance was one of his final appearances (...to date). I always think that if Sinatra had also recorded My Way as a young man, we'd have had a unbelievably poignant comparison between him as the young superstar and as the icon who's lived it all in the twilight of his career. Which is what this performance - and song - does for me...
Very cool that you got to interact with one of your favorite artists. This was a very poweful version of the song. Enjoyed that much, and by that I mean the jam and the story.
thanks for this story--!
That Steve, is a premier Jam and very probably the best story I've encountered in all my time on this platform. I'd buy you a pint, if I could mail it to ya'...fabulous...
Brilliant story and jam x x
Wow....what a wonderful memory... and this song still gives me chills.
In case someone has not heard, and sorry to be repetitive:
When the party here is over, most of us are going to here: http://www.letsloop.com It is not the fine toy Jam was, but they are young and growing! Also, there is a F/B page for X jammers:
There is also this: http://bullfrogjams.tumblr.com/
See you there! LLAP!
Spread the word.
Great Artiste, great track & 'Now that's what I call an anecdote, volume 1' :)
Are you over in Loopyland? Only I can't find you with a search there.
To Loop or not to Loop, @Phyl, that is the question. No, in short. Thanks for the kind words & complements everyone, you are a really lovely bunch of people! @philipnareike @Richie3000 @kfarrndr @vomitsunami @mloup @21schizoid @MadameZia @christineb @PeteLaberge @Phyl
Aww shucks Steve, I've got a lump in me throat. Hold on, wasn't I just sucking a Werthers?....
Impeccable taste as ever @stevefawcett. And what a tale to boot. I'm devastated that you won't be migrating to LetsLoop as without you there will be something of a hole in my musical feed, but I thoroughly respect your decision. I'm sure we could do a string of Jams on the theme of substitutes/replacements/compromise etc, but there just isn't time!
Hey, never say never @Fullam. Thanks for the very generous words. My life is rather full of hard work at the moment, so I don't have the time to get my head around joining another new platform for the foreseeable ...
Hey @stevefawcett. I'm just glad to hear you have a rich life beyond hidden corners of the internet ;-) Well, for the time being at least (and to paraphrase Douglas Adams) so long and thanks for all the Jam.
Magnificent song and story...
Great version, and great story : )
Loved that story (and the last one about Steely Dan but was too slow to say). Also love this track so yay and yay some more. Loop is pretty good and lots of jammers are over there as I'm sure you know.
Many thanks for your very nice comments, @Fullam @ErnieBilko @lindatee @PartyTearsFew. I'm glad you enjoyed this rock n' roll war story. I don't have many...
I hope to see you all on Nusiki! Join the fellow TIMJers www.nusiki.com
Great story! I ruddy love Bowie. Sorry to see that you're not going to be 'Looping'.
Wow...fabulous story...fabulous Jam. It doesn't get much better :-)
Are you going to Lets loop after the closing here? I hope so http://www.letsloop.com/about.
Cheers @MackWatts, @hayleym, @marissapicone...