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Baker's Dozen

Jamming Good: Spiders Drummer Woody Woodmansey's Favourite Bowie Moments
Valerie Siebert , February 22nd, 2017 09:50

During the earthly sojourn of Ziggy Stardust, Woody Woodmansey laid down the rhythm for David Bowie's mercurial backing band The Spiders From Mars. Here he talks Valerie Siebert through his 13 favourite Bowie tracks, sharing personal memories of how they were made along the way.

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'Starman'
We'd finished recording the Ziggy Stardust album at that time and it went into the record company. They said: 'We can't release this. It doesn't have a single on it!' I think it was more of a thing to have a single to promote an album in those days – maybe it still is, but it's not as significant as it was then. So, we came out of the studio and in about a month he had written 'Starman' and we were back in the studio by January. It was an obvious single! I think Mick and I went out in the car after David played it for us the first time, and we were already singing it, having only heard it only once. At the time, we thought it might be a bit too poppy, a bit too commercial. It might seem strange, but we just hadn't done anything that commercial before. I always thought Bowie had that ability, that any time he felt like it, he could write a hit single. He just had that about him. I think he chose not to right through his career. If he felt like it, he would write one, and if he didn't, he wouldn't. That was just the impression of working with him. It's not a fluke to be able to write all those amazing tunes. Like with 'Starman', he didn't try a few out, he just went bang, 'Alright, I'll write one'. But if it wasn't for that song, the whole thing might not have taken off. It pulled it all together.


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