BOWIE GOLDEN YEARS

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ARTICLES  |  TV APPEARANCES

1979

FEBRUARY

Returns to London to promote Just a Gigolo, making various radio and TV interviews.

2 Musikladen Extra repeated in Germany. The same broadcast as August 1978 (DR).

12 Afternoon Plus, ITV interview with Mavis Nicholson, mainly to promote Just a Gigolo and to discuss his career.

Thames at Six interview with Rita Carter.

A third television interview was conducted by Valerie Singleton for Tonight (BBC 1)

13 Interviewed by Jean Rook in a suite at the Dorchester for The Daily Express.

Later that day he was interviewed for Capital Radio's Your Mother Wouldn't Like It by Nicky Horne. The program included a phone-in and Bowie's favourite records. Bowie arrived at Capital's Euston Tower through the front door, having to run the gauntlet of about seventy fans. The five assigned policemen and three bodyguards were lost in the tussle of trying to get Bowie safely inside. Nicky Horne's opening remark to Bowie: 'Welcome David, glad to see you've got in without losing too much hair!'

The interview was scattered with songs chosen by Bowie and included Baby's on Fire by Brian Eno, Shapes of Things by The Yardbirds, The Batman Theme by Link Wray, China Girl by Iggy and White Light/White Heat by The Velvet Underground.

   

14 Fifteen-minute press conference held at the Cafe Royal, Regent Street. Bowie's arrival at the midday meeting was preceded in the foyer by a short photo session with Sydne Rome, the two obliging the press with a Valentine's Day kiss.

Just a Gigolo premieres at Prince Charles cinema, Leicester Square. Twenties-style dress (or black tie) was compulsory. Bowie and his date for the evening, actress Viv Lynn, however, wore kimonos. Bowie's was blue, worn with black baggy trousers and wooden clogs (Getty pic with Peter Straker).

15 Attends an early Human League concert at The Nashville Room in London. After the show he went backstage to meet the group. Bowie was particularly interested in the slide show created by Adrian Wright. He later said of the show, "They were great. It was like watching 1980!"

click to enlarge

21 Just a Gigolo soundtrack LP released.

Produced by Tim Hauser and Jacques Morali

Arranged by John Altman and Frank Barber

Original Soundtrack recording supervision by Jack Fishman. Bowie's contribution to the record was David Bowie's Revolutionary Song (Bowie, Fishman), performed by The Rebels with Bowie on guitar and vocal refrain. Released as a single in Japan (Overseas Records)

MARCH

Bowie and Tony Visconti finish mixing Lodger at Record Plant in New York.

Seen out with David Byrne at Hurrahs club.

Attends the Steve Reich / Phillip Glass show billed as 'The First Concert of the Eighties' with John Cale. Bowie and Cale join in for one number, Cale's Sabotage. Bowie (dressed in a black kimono) scratched away on a viola, the first time he had played one. Bowie later said, 'My mum would have been proud of me!'

Also sees the Roxy Music in New York, talking backstage with Bryan Ferry.

3 Bowie, Debbie Harry and Chris Stein at Hurrahs then a Ramones post-concert party at Mudds club.

30 Roxy Music Tower Theatre (Getty pic)

APRIL

7 Sees Siouxsie and the Banshees at the Rainbow, interested mainly in the Sheffield based support, The Human League.

At the time they were an experimental group working with home made synthesisers and using video projections, and had not yet evolved into the chart-topping act of 1982.

click to enlarge

10 Bowie attended a Lou Reed show in London, later joining Reed at the Chelsea Rendezvous. The evening ended in drama as Reed turned on Bowie, shouting and hitting him.

The event was witnessed and reported in Melody Maker (21 April) by Allan Jones who asked Bowie what had upset Reed. Bowie, upset and shaken, declined to answer and finally left the restaurant alone, leaving a trail of destruction (he later paid for all the damage).

It was later supposed that Bowie had suggested to Reed that he clean up his act and get off drugs.

       

23 Bowie performs Boys Keep Swinging on The Kenny Everett Video Show. Kenny Everett, in character as 'Angry of Mayfair', accosts Bowie saying, 'I fought for men like you in the war - and I never got one!'

Boys

27 Boys Keep Swinging / Fantastic Voyage single released by RCA, in UK and Europe, including a picture disc in Spain (left), but not in the US.

Highest chart position No. 7.

MAY

In Rockfield recording studios in Wales to add backing vocals to Iggy Pop's Play It Safe (written by Bowie), for the Iggy LP Soldier.

12 Interviewed for Radio One's Star Special and Rock On, discussing Fantastic Voyage, Boys Keep Swinging and Yassassin.

14 Bowie the Traveller/ Conversation with Bowie Capital Radio broadcast.

Lodger LP

Lodger back cover

18 Lodger LP released (RCA BOW LP1).

Early working titles were Despite Straight Lines and Planned Accidents.

» read more

       

Boys Keep Swinging, Look Back in Anger and DJ videos shot by David Mallett in London to promote Lodger. Bowie being pursued by fans filmed in Earls Court.

Boys Keep Swinging Look Back In Anger promo video DJ promo video shot in Earls Court London
   

20 Star Special two hour broadcast on Radio One with Bowie playing some of his favourite records.

27 Bowie, back in New York, is interviewed by John Avoge for WPIX.

Avant-AOR by Jon Savage published in Melody Maker.

Bowie sees The Clash at Palladium with Joey Ramone but leaves after only twenty minutes.

Bowie also sees Talking Heads at Greek Theatre and Nico at CBGB's with David Byrne.

Contributes a 'Lipogram' to a celebrity charity auction at Sotheby's for 'Save The Children'. It is a piece of card with his lip-print on it with the inscription, "The lips part like silence set for alarm - Bo. '79."

JUNE

DJ single

29 DJ / Repetition single released by RCA, the second single released from Lodger (highest chart position No. 29).

DJ / Fantastic Voyage single released in the US (RCA).

JULY

5 Interviewed by Dave Herman on New York radio.

DH: Of course, you and Eno have worked together on many projects by now …

DB: Two or three years, something like that.

DH: There probably comes a time when two people who create so much, kind of, it's like two people living together, you kind of instinctually know what the other one is thinking and there is …

DB: Fortunately, that doesn't happen with Brian and I. We're still very surprised by each other, because we don't spend very much time together when we're not in the studio, and he travels as much as I do.

So, he's been to Malaysia and I've been over there, and when we come back we've slightly changed our opinions about music and what we should be doing. So again, we've gone out of sync with each other, which is great for writing …

DH: Does that make for tense times in the studio?

DB: Smashing, yes!

DH: Anyone in particular comes to mind?

DB: Um … not really. I think we treat the whole thing as gentlemen, so it doesn't … we don't really get frayed tempers, but artistic temper sort of shows. I think the way we solve it is that one or the other will leave the studio for a couple of hours and let the other get on with it … follow everything through. We never throw an idea out of hand immediately without trying it out.

AUGUST

20 Look Back in Anger / Repetition single released in the US (RCA).

The British Phonographic Industry Ltd (BPI) make a series of raids to retrieve bootleg pressings of The Wembley Wizard Touches the Dial, an illegal recording of one of Bowie's May '76 Empire Pool concerts. The specially marked pressings were originally made by the BPI to trap the bootleggers.

31 D. A. Pennebaker's film of Bowie's retirement concert from 1973, Bowie '73, premiered and well received at the Edinburgh Film Festival. At that stage the film suffered from poor sound and still included Jeff Beck's two appearances - Round And Round and Love Me Do/Jean Genie, which were edited out of the eventual 1982 release, Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars.

SEPTEMBER

OCTOBER

NOVEMBER

18 In London to shoot videos of Alabama Song and the new acoustic version of Space Oddity with David Mallet.

Bowie on Gary Numan:

"I've seen a few of Numan's videos. To be honest, I never meant for cloning to be a part of the eighties. He's not only copied me, he's clever and he's got all my influences in too. I guess it's best of luck to him."

Films appearance for Dick Clark's Salute to the Seventies special.

BAD BOYS IN BERLIN published in Rolling Stone.

John I'm Only Dancing (Again) / Golden Years 12" single released by RCA in the US.

DECEMBER

1 Interviewed in London for Countdown (ABC Australian TV) End of the Decade special (Broadcast 16 December). Countdown's Molly Meldrum: "He insisted that the interview be conducted in London's Kew Gardens, and getting in there is like trying to get an exclusive with the Queen on the lawns of Buckingham Palace. We managed it though, after telling the attendants that we were filming a special on beautiful English gardens! David posed as an expert on plants as we paid our penny to get in the gate."

Filming for Kenny Everett's New Year's Eve show with David Mallet in Brixton.

A clip for a remixed Panic in Detroit was to be filmed near Bowie's birthplace in Stansfield Road. The video for the new version of Space Oddity was used instead.

 

 

7 John I'm Only Dancing (1972) / John I'm Only Dancing (Again) (1975) single released in UK by RCA (highest chart position No. 12). Initial release in picture sleeve and also 12-inch format.

15 Saturday Night Live appearance recorded for broadcast on 5 January 1980.

16 Good Afternoon chat show interview recorded by Flo and Eddie.

While in New York, Bowie saw the Broadway production of The Elephant Man, unaware that the part would be offered to him in a couple of months. Bowie was also introduced to the play's director, Jack Hofsiss, by mutual friend Robert Boykin, co-owner of New York Hurrahs club.

25 Christmas in New York with Joey.

 

31 Kenny Everett's New Year's Eve show broadcast featuring Bowie's new acoustic version of Space Oddity.

Australian Countdown End of the Decade Special interview broadcast.

Dick Clark's Salute to the Seventies broadcast. Bowie mimes to an abridged version of the 1969 Space Oddity, dressed as on the poster issued with The Alabama Song.


1974  1975  1976  1977  1978  1979  1980 

DAVID LIVE  |  YOUNG AMERICANS  |  STATION TO STATION  |  LOW  |  HEROES  |  LODGER  |  SCARY MONSTERS

CRACKED ACTOR  |  THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH  |  JUST A GIGOLO  |  THE ELEPHANT MAN

ARTICLES  |  TV APPEARANCES