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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.


'Moonage Daydream'
A dirty sexy rock & roll track from the future: that was my concept of it when I first heard it. At the time when he wrote it, it sounded pretty far out from anything he had written before. So, the challenge was finding an approach that would fit with the other songs we'd be doing. He'd write on a 12-string guitar mainly, so it always had a little bit of a folky element to it. It would sound like it came from a folk singer, but we knew it wasn't going to come out like a folk song so we would have to figure out how to break it down into a rock & roll context. Those are the things that would go through our heads as a band, and that one was, lyrically, summing up the whole Ziggy thing. You know: 'I'm an alien' and just the atmosphere around it. And when Mick Ronson did his solo on it, that was a new kind of solo. I think he used an echoplex thing, where it sort of went round on a tape machine and kept going and going and then he played on top of it – and it was pretty freaky! Pretty far out to play along with! The whole thing sounded as big as the universe while you were playing, but you had to keep grounded, keep that solid beat going and not be affected. Then when we heard it back it was like 'wow!' It went to the stars, but we still had our feet on the ground.