'Rock and the underground wouldn't be the same without him'
David Bowie‘s drummer from Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars has opened up about the late icons true impact on the worlds of ‘rock and the underground’.
Mick ‘Woody’ Woodmansey played with Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars from 1970-1973. He released his new memoir about the period, Spiders From Mars: My Life With David Bowie and has spoken to NME about the influence on The Thin White Duke.
“Whether his ability was to pick up on what’s underground before anybody else and make it his own, and then come out and do it better than them – he probably did that more than create a new direction,” Woodmansey told NME. “He was like fucking good at it. He never compromised his own thing, and I think because he moved through so many different genres of music, and pulled most of them off, he’s probably influenced a lot of the music of today.”
Woodmansey continued: “He was really like, for me, a bit of a Renaissance man, on his own, the Beatles did that, and the opposite to them was the Stones, and Bowie kind of mixed the two up really with a bit of Dylan. He pooled a lot of good influences. You know, from Culture Club onwards to a lot of the rock bands of today, lyrically it wouldn’t be where it is without his approach to lyrics. He definitely pulled it right out of the ‘boy meets girl, girl loses girl’ – he just wrote about what he was into and what he saw. That is still there in a lot of the music that’s around, maybe not necessarily your Radio One stuff that’s tended to go back into a “Everybody’s got to sound like this”.
He added: “The songs have all got to be about this, but underneath, you know, the underground scenes, it’s still fresh and new. I think he’s still inside people that just go for it. ‘Well if I can do this and it’s quite wild’ or ‘If he can do this, then I’m sure I can do what I want to do’, and sometimes that’s all it takes to encourage somebody.”
Woodmansey also spoke to NME to reveal how he and Visctonti turned down the chance to perform with Lady Gaga for her GRAMMYs tribute show – slamming it as ‘tacky’ and claiming it ‘didn’t represent anything good about him’.
Bowie passed away in January at the age of 69. This week, the BBC announced a series of Bowie specials to mark the one year anniversary of his death, as well as sharing the haunting and beautiful isolated vocal of ‘Lazarus’.