Spiders From Mars’ drummer slams Lady Gaga’s David Bowie GRAMMYs tribute

Woody Woodmansey: 'It wasn't going to represent anything good about him'

David Bowie‘s former drummer from Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders From Mars has hit out at Lady Gaga‘s tribute to the late ‘Starman’ icon at the GRAMMY Awards,  slamming it as ‘tacky’.

The ‘Joanne’ and ‘Perfect Illusion’ star performed a tribute performance in honour of Bowie at this year’s GRAMMY Awards. Joined by Nile Rodgers, she ran through a medley of hits by the Thin White Duke – before his son, acclaimed director Duncan Jones, slammed it as ‘overexcited, irrational and mentally confused’.

Mick ‘Woody’ Woodmansey played with Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars from 1970-1973. Now, he too has shared his thoughts on the performance. Having spent recent years touring a tribute show to Bowie’s ‘The Man Who Sold The World’ and other classics with producer Tony Visconti, in a show approved by the late ‘Blackstar’ icon, he also revealed that and Visconti turned down the opportunity to appear with Gaga.


“We were actually asked to do that, we were on tour at the time, they asked Tony and myself would we do it, and we looked at it and it was going to be like 14 or 15 songs in the space of four minutes, and we just went ‘no, fuck off”, that’s stupid, that’s not going to represent anything good about him,'” Woodmansey told NME. “I haven’t seen many things that do represent it properly. It’s nice that many want to do that, it’s a great thing, but quality wise, there hasn’t been many.”

He added: “It was just, ‘why are you doing it?’ If there’s a genuine heartfelt thing that you wanna do out of respect, then you’d probably pull it off, but if there’s any other reason, it just gets tacky, and obviously you can’t stop that, they have a right to do it as they want to do it, but it doesn’t help a lot, it doesn’t do a lot.”


Gaga later responded to the criticism from Duncan Jones, telling NME: “It did hurt. But what are you going to do? I can’t… it’s his father, you know. Whatever he was feeling in that moment I have compassion and love for him. But yes, of course it hurt. I still have to trust and believe in myself as a Bowie fan. I’m not his family, and the thing is, that’s his father. His father is not David Bowie, his father is David Jones.

“I’m sure that was difficult to watch and of course, I called many people on David’s team before I even begun doing that project and it’s unfortunate, what can I say? But God bless of him, you know?”

On 3 November, Woody releases his new memoir about the period, Spiders From Mars: My Life With David Bowie. He told NME about the moment that ‘changed everything’ with Ziggy Stardust – speaking of the first time he ever heard ‘Life On Mars’.


This month has also seen David Bowie’s favourite vinyl records revealed – featuring the likes of The Velvet Underground, Syd Barratt, Little Richard, Steve Reich and many more.

READ MORE: David Bowie’s 40 Greatest Songs – As Decided By NME And Friends

Bowie passed away in January at the age of 69.

A new ‘best of’ compilation ‘Bowie Legacy’ is set for release on November 11. It has been reported that David Bowie planned “a long list of musical releases” before he died, with the upcoming release of the ‘Lazarus’ musical soundtrack to feature his final ever recordings and unheard songs.


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