Damon Albarn on Bobby Womack: ‘He taught me things that will never leave me’

The Blur frontman opens up on BBC Radio 4's ‘The Last Word'

Damon Albarn has talked about some of his experiences working with soul singer Bobby Womack, who died on June 27.

Speaking to Julian Worricker for BBC Radio 4’s The Last Word, the Blur singer reminisced about working with Womack in the studio. Albarn invited the ‘Across 110th Street’ singer to record a track for the Gorillaz’ 2010 album, ‘Plastic Beach’ and would later produce the 2012 album ‘The Bravest Man In The Universe’ – Womack’s first record of new material in 18 years.

“He was quite nervous about, one, working with people he’d never met before, but also just the act of getting back in the studio because he’d been really sort of sitting on a couch in LA for many years,” said Albarn.


“I didn’t really give him any kind of brief and he literally just stood there for 45 minutes just singing. Finally at the end there was a silence. I put my arm around him and he was quite cold. I thought maybe he was going to collapse.

“Some sort of inner voice said to me, ‘Go and get him a banana’. And I came back and gave him the banana and he was absolutely fine, but I had no idea he had diabetes.”

Womack passed away aged 70. He had reportedly been working with Snoop Dogg and Stevie Wonder on new material despite telling fans in 2013 he had “signs of Alzheimer’s”.

“In a strange way, I find it very hard to sort of accept that he’s not there any more. For me, he feels very present and I don’t quite understand why,” said Albarn. “He taught me things that will never leave me, and he will never leave me.”