An Open Letter to David Bowie

Subject: An Open Letter to David Bowie
From: A musician who played on one of your early albums
Date: 28 May 2013

Dear Mr Bowie
You can’t have failed to notice that the United Kingdom, if not the world, is held in some sort of musical trance by you this year. Perhaps it is the release of your first studio album in years, at the age of 66, entitled “The Next Day”. I am pleased that although you continue to cultivate your enigmaticism and irritation with the all things to do with the media, you have penned and recorded a mighty fine album. Indeed I understand that you were so prolific in recent years that there is enough material recorded to produce a second album. I suspect you will probably continue to court the Muse and therefore are writing new songs for your next album and won’t be content with old ones.

But even though you have gone on record as saying that you will never give any interviews, and that your record producer Tony Visconti will be your mouthpiece, I really would like to ask you what you think when you look back on the interviews you gave in the past, and those who, more recently, have talked about you- those who worked with you and those who knew you. You are known as the man who slips on and off personas like T-shirts in a hot Summer- from Major Tom to Ziggy Stardust, through to the Thin White Duke and beyond- but you must admit that you have had help along the way. Be it from Andy Warhol, books you have read, influences of producers and musicians; your rise and rise has not been without assistance from others. Would you not be able to say thank you publically to some of them?
For example, Trevor Bolder, ex Spider from Mars, sadly died recently. You dispended with his services, along with the rest of the band when you dissolved the Spiders after the infamous London Hammersmith Odeon gig on 3 July 1973 without telling them. In his last interview, Trevor said he was still bewildered and a little bitter as to why you didn’t tell anyone, and they only learned the news when you told the audience at the end of the gig that they would never see Ziggy Stardust again.

Mr Bowie, of course you have your right to privacy and no longer need to seek publicity- indeed publicity is always seeking you these days. But even accepting that 75% of your fame is down to your persona, your ideas and songs, and your persistence, I do wish that you would give an interview or issue a detailed statement, acknowledging those that have supported you musically on your studio albums and on tour. Be magnanimous and bestow a little Stardust on them, even though I accept of course that they (well, most of them) were paid for their services. Listening again to all your albums, including the new one, there are some wonderful moments caught on vinyl/tape/CD where a guitar lick here, backbeat there, or vocal harmony shines out even beyond the dazzle of your own fiery firmament.

I admire and respect you and your legacy speaks for itself. I implore you to go on record and recognise, for posterity, those people who helped you to fame and justified glory, so that the debt owed them can be paid. It’s just words, after all….
Yours sincerely,

A musician who played on one of your early albums.