"He's been my idol since I was a kid"
Scott Walker‘s death was confirmed this morning, when his record label hailed the 76-year-old as “a solo artist, producer and composer of uncompromising originality.”
Now in honour of Walker’s hugely influential legacy, fans are sharing a touching clip from a 50th birthday special for David Bowie on BBC Radio One in 1997, in which he was played a personalised message from “his idol”.
“Hi David, this is Scott Walker,” said Walker in the message. “I’m coming to you via a very crappy handheld tape machine, so I hope it’s alright. I’m going to be a devil today and not ask you any questions. I’m certain that among the many messages, there will be those about how you embrace the new, and how you’ve freed so many artists – and this is of course true.
“Like everyone else, I’d like to thank you for all the years and especially your generosity of spirit when it comes to other artists. I’ve been the beneficiary on more than one occasion, let me tell you.”
He added: “So have a wonderful birthday. By the way, mine’s the day after yours; so I’ll have a drink to you on the other side of midnight.”
Clearly touched as his voice begins to crack, Bowie then responded: “That’s amazing. I see God in the window. He really got to me there, I’m afraid. I think he’s probably been my idol since I was a kid. That’s really moved me. I want a copy of that! Thank you very much.”
Walker was huge influence countless other artists, including the the likes of Radiohead, Arctic Monkeys, Nick Cave, Jarvis Cocker, The Divine Comedy and many more.
Paying tribute on Twitter, Thom Yorke wrote: “So very sad to hear that Scott Walker has passed away, he was a huge influence on Radiohead and myself, showing me how i could use my voice and words. Met him once at Meltdown, such a kind gentle outsider. He will be very missed.”