Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

3. David BowieYoung Americans

The first Bowie record I heard was Ashes To Ashes but the first I really loved was Absolute Beginners, just because of Patsy Kensit, who I was obsessed with. If he was good enough for Patsy, well, you know. She was my conduit to becoming a proper Bowie fan. Then throughout my teens and early 20s I worked my way through the older stuff. Obviously because I’m a bit of a soul-boy, I fell for Young Americans. I love it sonically, that infinite possibility you can feel on that record. And I loved that he was working with Luther Vandross. I wrote a couple of short stories, Projections I and II for an anthology after Bowie died but was never published. One was based on an imaginary conversation between Bowie and Luther, sitting in a cafe talking about themselves. It’s narrated by Luther and all about him having imposter syndrome. What’s he doing with this person? It’s written from the understanding of Bowie being this slightly otherworldly figure you could relate to without ever quite understanding. That relationship fascinated me. There was a point in the early noughties where Bowie signed to Columbia for a couple of albums. He was doing gigs and all the Bowie heads at the label were absolutely losing their shit. Everyone was clambering to go and meet him. I wasn’t really at that level so I couldn’t push my way forward over 50-year-old men who’d literally grown-up seeing Ziggy Stardust. If it had been Patsy, obviously I would’ve been front row, stepping over everyone.

Selected in other Baker’s Dozens: Elias Rønnenfelt
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