BOWIE GOLDEN YEARS

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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

1977

JANUARY

FEBRUARY

8 Berlin

Bowie celebrates his 30th birthday with Iggy, Romy Haag and friends in a Berlin nightclub.

Sound and Vision (German pressing)

11 Sound and Vision / A New Career In A New Town single released from Low.

The single was a hit despite minimal RCA promotion

Rehearsals for Iggy Pop tour at UFA Studios, Berlin.

Letter to Melody Maker

I would like to correct the misconception that Iggy Pop is managed by myself. Iggy looks after his own business affairs. I would appreciate a printed correction.
- Bowie, Berlin

Click to read article

"Bowie Now: New Music For Night And Day" published in Circus magazine

Read all about the making of Low

14 Low released

 

MARCH

Iggy Pop: The Idiot UK tour

 

1 Friars Hall, Aylesbury

Supported by The Vibrators.

Bowie on keyboards and backing vocals. Bowie's appearance with Iggy was rumoured before the shows, but no one was sure until the show actually started and even then, he was out of the limelight.

After the afternoon soundcheck at the hall, Bowie, Iggy and friends were seen drinking in the Gun bar of the Bell hotel for half an hour before departing for the dressing room at the hall where they stayed for three hours before the show.

2 Newcastle City Hall

3 Manchester Apollo

4 Birmingham Hippodrome

5 Iggy checked into the Montcalm Hotel, London, while Bowie stayed with Marc Bolan.

While there, Bolan took him for lunch at Toscanini's in the Kings Road. Afterwards, they wandered down the Kings Road singing and attracting some Bowie fans who were granted an autograph and a chat.

Bowie spent four days at Marc Bolan's flat working together on devising a film. Apart from writing the script, they planned the soundtrack and to appear in glorious Technicolor themselves. Bolan later told the press:

"I hope it's going to be out in the year. All I can tell you is that it's about a future society and reflects our own feelings. We're also bringing out an album, doing a side each. What a combination it's going to be, the two greatest musical influences of the seventies joined together."

5-6 Rainbow Theatre, London

There were crowd troubles at Iggy's second London show – Bowie and group had taken the stage and some of the crowd raced to the front. Fans were ejected as the show started when scuffles with security men broke out and seats were damaged.

7 Iggy Pop's China Girl / Baby
single released (RCA). Co-written and produced by Bowie who also played on it.

   

Iggy Pop: The Idiot US/Canada tour

 

18 Iggy Pop's album The Idiot released (RCA PL 12275)
SIDE ONE
1. ‘Sister Midnight’
2. ‘Nightclubbing’
3. ‘Funtime’
4. ‘Baby’
5. ‘China Girl’
SIDE TWO
1. ‘Dum Dum Boys’
2. ‘Tiny Girls’
3. ‘Mass Production’

Bowie on keyboards, guitars and backing vocals.

Music by Bowie, lyrics by Iggy Pop.

Cover photo by Andrew Kent taken one night in Berlin.

10 Bowie, Iggy and Andrew Kent flew to New York for Iggy's US tour. On arrival, Bowie told Lisa Robinson, "I flew for the first time in five or six years. I think the airplane is really a wonderful invention."

Bowie and Iggy see the Patti Smith Group (minus Patti Smith) at the Lower Manhattan Ocean Club with friends David Johanssen and wife Cyrinda Foxe. Iggy joins the group onstage to sing 96 Tears.

13 Montreal, Le Plateau Theatre

14 Toronto Convocation Hall

16 Boston, Harvard Square Theatre

18 New York Palladium

Attended by Mick Jagger, Ron Wood, Charlie Watts and their wives.
Milton Green photo session with Iggy and Ron Wood earlier that day.

19 Philadelphia, Tower Theatre

21 Cleveland, Agora Ballroom

TV Eye, Dirt and Fun from this show appeared on TV Eye live album. Attended by then unknown group Devo who manage to slip a demo tape to Bowie, who passed it to Eno who later produced their debut album.

22 Cleveland, Agora Ballroom

27 Chicago, Riviera Theatre

28 Chicago, Illinois

I Wanna Be Your Dog from this show appeared on TV Eye live album.

29 Pittsburgh, Leona Theatre

30 Columbus

 

APRIL

1 Milwaukee, Oriental Theatre

4 Portland, Paramount Theatre

5 Seattle, Paramount Theatre

7 Vancouver Gardens

13 San Francisco, Berkeley Theatre

 

15 Bowie and Iggy were interviewed on daytime talk show Dinah! and performed Sister Midnight and Funtime.

DINAH: How did you meet?

IGGY: In a bar in New York. We scored. We were both unrecognised. We had a lot in common.

DINAH: David, what about recording?

BOWIE: In the studio, Jimmy would make up lyrics on the spot and keep everything he did, and occasionally change a line after he recorded it. I'd never seen anyone able to make up lyrics just out of the head, to a track.

He'll hate me for this, but, it's more like the beatnik era.

 

15 Los Angeles, Santa Monica Civic Auditorium

Bowie celebrates the end (for him) of the tour with a night on the tiles with Mick Jagger.

Bowie and Iggy flew to Japan to promote Low and The Idiot, staying at the Hotel New Otani in Tokyo. While in Japan, Bowie and Iggy had a photo session with Masayoshi Sukita which provided the covers of Be My Wife, the "Heroes" album and singles. A photo from Iggy's session was used on his Party album.

 

MAY

6 China Girl / Baby single released in UK (RCA PB 9093)

Sister Midnight / Baby single released in US (RCA 10989) and Australia (RCA 102923)

Bowie interviewed over the phone by Anthony O’Grady for RAM magazine.

BOWIE: I’m coming over to Australia next year… in the spring. Been going to festivals… I’m very tired actually. I need a holiday after my holiday. Japan’s a very energetic country, lots of traffic jams… takes all your energy to get through them.

O’GRADY: You’ve lost your fear of flying?

BOWIE: Fear of flying… fear of elevators… fear is not a word in my vocabulary anymore. I am a man of great inner strength and courage these days. The flying bit ended actually, when I had to get to America and there were no ships, so I had to, excuse the expression, take the plunge.

Returning to Europe, Bowie and Iggy had a stopover in Hong Kong and ran into John and Sean Lennon who were on their way to Japan.

 

JUNE

8-12, 14 Bowie and Iggy recording Lust for Life at Hansa. Iggy took a more dominant role than when they recorded The Idiot the previous year. "The band and David would leave the studio to go to sleep, but not me."

Bowie came up with the staccato riff of Lust For Life on a ukelele watching TV, inspired by the morse code pattern of the Allied Forces Network theme.

Encouraged to contribute ideas for the album, guitarist Ricky Gardiner proposed a chord sequence which had come to him while out for a walk. Iggy came back the next day with lyrics for it - The Passenger.

Be My Wife / Speed Of Life
single released in US (RCA PB-11017)

 

With Lust For Life finished, Bowie and Iggy travelled to Paris for promotion of Low and The Idiot, staying at the Plaza Athénée Hotel in the Avenue Montaigne with his PR Barbara de Witt.

Iggy stayed at the Tremoille Hotel near the Plaza. While in Paris, Bowie did several photo sessions with Sygma photographers Christian Simonpietri and Philippe Auliac.He also visited the workshop of
Hungarian French artist Victor Vasarely at Annet-sur-Marne.

17 Be My Wife / Speed Of Life single released in UK (RCA PB-1017)

27 Bowie interviewed on French TV by Yves Mourousi (TF1 Actualités) and Danielle Gilbert (Midi Premiere)

28 Be My Wife promo video shot in Paris, directed by Stanley Dorfman.

 

JULY

6 Bowie attended the French premiere of The Man Who Fell to Earth at the Gaumont Champs-Elysées with actress Sydne Rome.

He was caught in a throng of admirers, with a fan pulling at his scarf. Bowie let go to avoid being strangled, then fended off an attempt to steal his wallet, injuring his thumb.

Sydne Rome was in Paris to talk about Wally, the film Bowie was hoping to make about Expressionist Egon Schiele with director Clive Donner. They never made the film due to problems finding a suitable script.

Bowie and Sydne Rome worked together later on Just A Gigolo.

Bowie and Sydne Rome
 

Rock et Folk asked Bowie about his fascination with cities like Berlin.

DB: Berlin, because of the friction. I've written songs in all the Western capitals, and I've always got to the stage where there isn't any friction between a city and me. That became nostalgic, vaguely decadent, and I left for another city. At the moment I'm incapable of composing in Los Angeles, New York or in London or Paris. There's something missing. Berlin has the strange ability to make you write only the important things - anything else you don't mention, you remain silent, and write nothing … and in the end you produce Low.

Interviewed in Paris by Mary Blume
(Los Angeles Times):

The man in tweeds drinks beer, smokes Gitanes and has a six-year-old son who, he says, is going to be very nice.

"He’s into the process of living, not the result. [Turning 30] is the best thing that ever happened to me. Until 30 I was a dedicated artist. Now I’ve discovered privacy, I’ve lost contact. My writing’s much better, my music’s better, I’ve played more music in the last year-and-a-half than in all my life."

His next album, not yet written, will be put together in a Berlin studio with a three-week time limit.

Rock et Folk

Bowie socialised with Bianca Jagger who was in Paris to work on her film, Flesh Coloured. They took a short holiday together at the Costa Del Sol and were seen at the Marbella Club.

With Bianca Jagger
 

AUGUST

Robert Fripp, Brian Eno and Bowie at Hansa

"Heroes" recording sessions at Studio Two at Hansa By The Wall, Berlin with Tony Visconti producing. » more

Sessions moved at the end of August to Mountain Studios in Switzerland for mixing.

 

SEPTEMBER

Heroes" promotion

Bowie and Bolan on Marc TV show

At the Manchester Post House hotel Bowie and Marc Bolan wrote and rehearsed two new songs for his appearance onthe final episode of Marc - Bolan's Granada television show – Standing Next to You and Madman, later covered by Cuddly Toys.

9 Bowie recorded his appearance on Marc singing a live version of the new single "Heroes" and ending with a jam between Bowie and Bolan, Standing Next to You. Bowie returned to London by train, sharing a carriage with Eddie and The Hot Rods who were also on the show with Generation X. Tim Lott, on tour with the Rods, scored an exclusive interview with Bowie for Record Mirror.

Lust For Life

9 Iggy Pop's Lust For Life LP released (RCA). Iggy's cover portrait was taken by Andrew Kent during a BBC radio interview in March.

16 Marc Bolan killed in Barnes, southwest London, when his Mini, driven by girlfriend Gloria Jones, runs off the road into a tree.

20 Bowie attended Marc Bolan's funeral at The Chapel, Golders Green, London.

Bowie leaves Bolan's funeral

Afterwards he took a nostalgic drive past his old houses including Haddon Hall in Beckenham, where his landlord presented him with a bill for rent arrears.

11 London

Bowie recorded his segments for Bing Crosby's Merrie Olde Christmas TV special at Elstree, singing Heroes followed by a duet with Bing, Peace On Earth/ Little Drummer Boy.

Bowie duets with Bing Crosby

Bing commented, "He sings a lovely counterpoint." Broadcast November 30 (CBS).

23 RCA released "Heroes" in three languages:

Heroes (English)
Helden (German)
Héros (French)

Helden Heros Heroes/Helden Heroes/Héros

The German 12" single included 6:03 mixes of Heroes/Helden and Heroes/Héros

 

OCTOBER

Promoting Heroes in Italy

1 Interviewed in Rome by Fiorella Gentile for L'altra Domenica

Sense of Doubt on Odeon

Appearance on Odeon, featuring performances of Heroes and Sense of Doubt with Bowie on piano.

Records half-hour show for Radio 21, 25 dedicated to an analysis of "Heroes".

       

13 Amsterdam

Pop Shop television interview with Vic Dennis (broadcast on Dutch TV 6 November).

TopPop

Performs Heroes on TopPop (Dutch TV) and is presented with a gold record.

Bowie calls The San Francisco Chronicle from Amsterdam after learning that a Bowie imposter is at large in the city.

"I have not been in San Francisco since April of 1977 and I am highly irritated by this imposter," he is quoted as saying.

Heroes promotional poster

14 "Heroes" album released (RCA PL12522)

The LP issued in Germany and France varied from the English release, using the 6:03 split mixes of Heroes/Helden and Heroes/Héros respectively.

Interview with Michel Drucker

16 Paris

Interview for French television with Michel Drucker broadcast on Le Rendez-Vous Du Dimanche (TF1).

Radio interview with Jean-Bernard Hebey, including a phone-in for Bowie's French fans (RTL).

Bowie had now taken to staying at the Plaza Athenee Hotel in the Avenue Montaigne, to avoid the crowds of fans who kept vigil outside the George V whenever they heard Bowie was in Paris.

 

19 Appearance on Top of the Pops singing "Heroes" over a specially made backing tape recorded at Good Earth Studios with Tony Visconti (bass), Ricky Gardiner (guitar) and Sean Mayes (piano)

20 At the Dorchester Hotel for interviews with music press including Melody Maker's Allan Jones.

Pic: Barry Plummer

Bowie later gave an interview for Capital Radio with Nicky Horne for Your Mother Wouldn't Like It, including a phone-in.

21 Safari visit to Kenya, staying overnight at Treetops, then travelling to Masai Mara to visit the Masai, accompanied by a local who translated for him.
(Photo by March)

In Kenya with Masai

 

NOVEMBER

Bowie at Max's

14 Bowie got up on stage at Max's Kansas City to introduce his new favourite group Devo.
(Photo by Bob Gruen)

At Mayfair House

15 Interviewed in his suite at the Mayfair House by the New York Daily News, and Sonny Fox for the Superstars Radio Network. (Released as An Evening With David Bowie)

With Monique van Vooren

Later he attended the premiere of Close Encounters Of The Third Kind with Monique van Vooren at at The Ziegfeld Theater.
(photo by Tim Boxer)

Recording narration for Peter and the Wolf

20 Bowie was best man for the wedding of his bodyguard/driver Tony Mascia's wedding held on Hudson Street, New York.

Mascia: David's a cool kid to work for, I got offered twice the money to work for Rod Stewart, but I turned it down. David's a brilliant guy, the painting, the writing. He's a very generous kid, very shy, but with me he can be himself. I'm like his father.

Iggy Pop was there, as was photographer (and Barbara De Witt’s brother) Bruce Weber.

Weber (1993): David was there – tanned, for a change – and was asked to sing by the bride and bridegroom. He, of course, obliged like the gentleman that he is and this Mafia-style wedding became a royal one with the sound of his voice.

 

25 Interviewed on 90 Minutes Live, This Hour Has 5 Decades, (CBC, Canada).

29 Interviewed by David Hartman on Good Morning America (ABC)

30 Bing Crosby’s Merrie Olde Christmas broadcast in US (CBS) Reviewers praised Bowie’s duet with Crosby as the highlight.

 

DECEMBER

Recorded the narration of Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf – a favourite of Zowie's – at RCA Studios in New York. The score was played by the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Eugene Ormandy.

Beauty and the Beast / Sense of Doubt single released in the US.

Bowie returned to Clos Des Mesanges in Switzerland to spend a rare week together with Angie. When he announced he would be spending Christmas in Berlin she took the next plane out of Geneva to spend time with friends in New York. Bowie returned to Berlin and was later joined by Zowie and his nanny.


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