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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.


'Always Crashing In The Same Car'
I hadn't actually heard this song one before we played Carnegie Hall last year [for The Music of David Bowie concert featuring the Pixies, Debbie Harry, Cyndi Lauper and Michael Stipe]. We were the house band and had quite a few artists coming on to play, so I had to learn it. For me, it wasn't an obvious one. When I first heard it, I even thought it was a terrible song! Like it wasn't even a song! That was just my first impression of it. But it was only when I started playing it, and trying to do my own version of it, that I realised that it all fit perfectly. It was great to play live. It was just him throwing something together - it's unserious, a totally unpretentious concept, and the music just fits the lyrics so perfectly. You know, the drums are not that tight, and there are drum rolls where you think: 'Wow, that's like a beginner that's just been playing drums for six months!' But then you play it and it actually fits! It's really weird. It fits the idea of always crashing in the same car. If it had been played technically correctly it wouldn't have worked. For me, it was a good example of how everything in the backing of a song has to line up with the message of a song. I think a lot of music these days, gets into this over-produced, too-tight, no feel thing, but you can't fault it. It's correct. The dots are all in the right place, but there is no soul. Or even, there isn't a message to grab a hold of and it all falls down. It's so easy now to put something together in your bedroom on your computer that sounds like a finished record, but if you don't have those same elements there that make a good song, you may as well not bother!