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Sunday, October 30, 2022

"All the young dudes carry the news": David Bowie and Neil Young

David Bowie: Berlin, 2002

From our TW post back in 2011, here's an absolute mesmerizingly amazing cover by David Bowie of Neil Young's song "I've Been Waiting For You", live in concert in Berlin, 2002 on YouTube.

On the 2002 album Heathen Bowie covers Young's song "I've Been Waiting For You". Incidentally, the riotous guitar treatment is by Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters and former Nirvana drummer.

David Bowie -- the Man Who Fell To Earth -- wrote "Kooks" after listening to Neil Young's "After The Goldrush".  Bowie performed Kooks at a BBC session on 3 June 1971 - three days after his son Zowie's birth.

"I'd been listening to a Neil Young album and they phoned through and said that my wife had a baby on Sunday morning, and I wrote this one about the baby," he told the studio audience [].
In an article on David Bowie in The Kansas City Star By TIMOTHY FINN (May. 09, 2004) on artistic relevance, musical innovation and why he is still a rebel:
    Bowie: "When things go bad, I've always looked to my peers and, in a way, my musical mentors to see what they've done in similar situations. Neil Young and Bob Dylan have done similar things: They have both made a few disastrous albums, but they always end up coming back to the point of what they started in the first place. You've got to go back to what you were doing when you were rooting around with experimentation, ideas that are going to work for me, not my audience."

From Powell's Books , David Bowie on Neil Young:
    Bowie: "There's youthful redemption in everything he [Neil Young] does, a joyfulness about being an independent thinker in America.'

More on other musicians covering Neil Young songs

David Bowie ‘Heroes’: Bridge School Benefit Concert 1996

Here's a video of David Bowie's acoustic ‘Heroes’ at Bridge School Benefit Concert in 1996 (concert review).

David Bowie ‘Heroes’: Bridge School Benefit Concert 1996

Pegi Young posted in 2016 on her Facebook account (thanks Far Out Magazine!):

“My first impression of David Bowie as he walked through the front door of our home for the annual BBQ fiesta that traditionally kicks off the Bridge School Benefit Concert weekend was how slight he was. His music and his persona were so large that I was struck by the contrast.

As I approached him and his band to welcome them to our home and to thank them for coming to play for our kids, the next thing that stays in my memory is what an absolute gentleman he was. He was an enormously talented yet humble man who was content to just hang out with the kids and other guests who were attending that night’s party.

I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet him, to welcome him into my home and to have him grace the stage over that weekend in 1996 to offer his unique and innovative talent for our organization.

He was an original in every senses of the word. On behalf of all of us who have been associated with Bridge School, I offer our sincere and heartfelt sympathies and wishes for peace to his many close and dear loved ones.

Love and light.

More on David Bowie and Neil Young @ David Bowie [1947 - 2016] Covers Neil Young's "I've Been Waiting For You", Berlin, 2002.

The Great Bridge Pumpkin
29th Annual Bridge School Benefit Concerts
Photo by thrasher

More on The History of 30 Years of Bridge School Benefit Concerts.

A post script ...

"The Man who Fell to Earth" (1976) D: Nicolas Roeg

The Bridge School Concerts
25th Anniversary Edition

**100% of Proceeds to Benefit Bridge School***

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At 10/30/2022 06:35:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

Here is a previous Comment of the Moment by Ian (The Metamorphic Rocker):

I was recently watching the film "The Man who Fell to Earth" (1976), which stars Bowie as an alien undercover on earth as a businessman trying to get water back to his home planet where his people are dying from a drought.

Toward the end of the movie, Bowie's character releases an album titled "The Visitor", hoping the wife he left behind on another planet will one day hear his music "on the radio". Gave my a smile, to say the least.

"Like visitors from space, it's hard to find a place to blend in and go unrecognized." And the late Nicolas Roeg, who directed he Bowie movie, had an idiosyncratic visual style--much of it based on non-linear and associative thinking-inspired editing--that chimes well with Neil's description of "war inside pictures in my brain". Sequences of the film involve Bowie's character watching banks of TVs tuned to different channels--does this remind you of anyone?--while imploring all the people on the screens to get out of his head and leave him alone. It seems Newton, Bowie's character, has some form of alien telepathy that acts like a psychic Midas Touch throughout the movie, putting him into mental contact with people to whom he has only tangential connections.

Roeg's use of montage and fragmented inter-cutting, in turn, become an expression of this fractured and overwhelmed mental state. Imagine being directly, intimately, vividly hooked into every person, every bit of data the outside world throws at you on a daily basis. That's "The Man who Fell to Earth" and also, I would argue, what NY and other artists probably feel like at times. "How you change, how you change, and how you rearrange, everything that touches me." But I digress.

There are non-linear and fragmented aspects of Neil's songwriting that don't get discussed too often, but I believe Neil has obliquely mentioned that his songs tend to jump around in time and space: After the Gold Rush and Trans Am are two, far-flung examples that come to mind. But for me, Without Rings (quoted above) and AYP?'s title song are the two that may come the closest to directly grappling with the tenuous, organically-shaped, fever-dream stimulation of a creative mind. No Hidden Path is up there as well, and in fact the entire CDII album is so idiosyncratically and quintessentially Neil (as I know his work), I'd like to write an entire post about it some time.

Thanks, thrasher, for inspiring this little stream of consciousness (for lack of better term) on my part. I guess my theme is the receptive state of the artistic or creative brain. Call it the Muse or "your brain on art"--it can be something of a drug, the dizzying (over)saturation of ideas, emotion, and sensation producing a natural high, perhaps paradoxically akin to the radical shutting off of intellectual and sensory faculties that's the aspiration of transcendental meditation. "Nothing" is just as titillating to the neural pathways as feeling/hearing/seeing everything at once, because both states represent sensory extremes that can be simultaneously frightening yet somehow enticing, sort of like how all the information on a TV screen--if you could look closely enough--breaks down into millions of tiny dots of color and noise. Nothing and everything are the same quantity viewed from different perspectives, because nothing is anything until the "pictures in our brain" pull it into focus.

~Through the keyhole in an open door.
Thanks as always Meta Rocker! It's been awhile since we saw "The Man who Fell to Earth". Probably last saw a rep cinema back in the 80's?

At 10/30/2022 06:39:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

To Meta Rockers points here on Neil as time traveler...

maybe we'll get to those themes with Bowie, Nicolas Roeg, Neil and time travel.

the men who fell to EARTH -- indeed.

At 10/30/2022 08:41:00 PM, Blogger Alan said...

Hello all. I am enjoying the new 8CD Wilco Yankee Hotel Foxtrot box set. $60! It’s like a bunch of new, different Wilco albums. It is spectacular and a must for any real Wilco fan.

@ Thrasher: I was so fortunate to be at the Bowie Bridge show performance. He earned my deep respect for his performance, and I became a fan. Prior to then I was not that interested in him, other than his song ”Man Who Sold the World.” I also was a big Stevie Ray Vaughan fan and aware of their brief history together.

I am going to buy World Record later maybe when the price drops. I have NYA to enjoy it on. The bootleg series is now dropping in price.

Believe it or not, I am repurchasing Americana due to a scratch in my 1 remaining CD. I also own the Blu ray version. At one ti e I had 3 copies of the album ( they were tied to tickets for Psychedelic Pill tour. I love that album.

I hope you are all doing well. I have been busy with new job.

Your Brother Alan in Seattle

At 10/31/2022 03:19:00 AM, Blogger Steve L said...


I agree Americana is an enjoyable album. It has some similarities with Nick Cave's Murder Ballads album (1996) which may be an interesting listen for you if you don't know it.

At 10/31/2022 03:04:00 PM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

Wow, thanks thrasher... my brain was definitely on *something* when I wrote that. Even if it was just the combined high of listening to a great NY/PotR album and watching a damn interesting movie.

I remember Bowie's cover. I just wonder which Neil and Bob albums he saw as disastrous. Some of us here at the Wheat are prone to making a case for the merits of any Neil album you can think of. Like Abner encouraging me to revisit Americana and Old Ways, or both Abner and myself being advocating for Landing on Water.

I usually feel like my takes as to "bests" and "favorites" are a little different from the majority. I like SWA more than Ragged Glory, for instance; Prairie Wind got a huge amount of praise yet I rate CDII higher. Not sure what my tastes say about me, but it's interesting that I'm consistently a little off the (supposed) consensus.

At 11/01/2022 06:17:00 AM, Blogger Glasgow Gill said...

If you listen the acoustic version of Kooks that David Bowie plays during the BBC concert (after the introduction you have quoted), Neil Young's influence is hugely apparent - much more than on the recorded version.

At 11/01/2022 12:09:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ YBAiS - cool, good luck in that new job. They let you play neil @ work??


@ Steve - look for a Nick Cave post coming soon.

@ Meta Rocker- whatever it was, maybe look into bottling for future reference?

@ Glasgow Gill - thanks for sharing that.

Is this Kooks BBC concert ?

At 11/02/2022 06:36:00 AM, Blogger Glasgow Gill said...

Yes, that's the one, thanks for sharing the link.

At 11/02/2022 09:54:00 AM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

a mighty good comment of the moment from MR. I love the lines from one of my favorite songs, Without Rings. One of the best opening lines:

"Someone's hiding out, who can't forget about, the things that people do when they're free" (sung in Ambulance Blues tone)

This line is sad, haunting, and it rumbles around in my own mind as I think about the addicts I have known.........

At 11/02/2022 11:25:00 AM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

Thanks, Abner. Insightful comments on Without Rings and Ambulance Blues as its distant cousin.

While I am no teetotaler, just want to disavow any accidental implication that it’s necessary to be “on” any particular substance to have moments of inspiration.


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