Dennis Davis, David Bowie’s drummer, has died

He had been suffering from cancer

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Dennis Davis, best known for his work with David Bowie, has died.

Davis started playing drums for Bowie in 1974. He also played on Bowie’s 1976 and 1978 world tours as well as Bowie’s final tour in 2003.

In the studio, he played drums on six of Bowie’s albums – Young Americans, Station To Station, Low, “Heroes”, Lodger and Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps).


He also played on Iggy Pop‘s album, The Idiot.

Outside of his work with Bowie, he was a regular member of Roy Ayers band playing on 10 albums between 1973 and 2004.

Davis also played with Stevie Wonder, including the album Stevie Wonder’s Journey Through “The Secret Life of Plants”.


The news of Davis’ death was broken by Tony Visconti on his Facebook page.

Visconti wrote, “Dennis Davis has passed away. He was one of the most creative drummers I have ever worked with. He came into David Bowie’s life when we recorded some extra tracks for Young Americans and stayed with us through Scary Monsters and beyond. He was a disciplined jazz drummer who tore into Rock with a Jazz sensibility. Listen to the drum breaks on Black Out from the Heroes album. He had a conga drum as part of his set up and he made it sound like two musicians were playing drums and congas. By Scary Monsters he was playing parts that were unthinkable but they fit in so perfectly. His sense of humor was wonderful. As an ex member of the US Air Force he told us stories of seeing a crashed UFO first hand by accidentally walking through an unauthorized hanger. There will never be another drummer, human being and friend like Dennis, a magical man.”

According to Bowie fansite Wonderland, Davis “passed away after a long battle with illness”.

In March, it was reported that Davis was in a hospice, having been diagnosed with lung cancer.

The May 2016 issue of Uncut is now on sale in the UK – featuring our cover story on PJ Harvey’s new album, Brian Wilson, The National’s all-star Grateful Dead tribute, Jack White and T Bone Burnett’s American Epic, Cate Le Bon, Donovan, Jean-Michel Jarre, Cheap Trick, Graham Nash, Heartworn Highways, Sturgill Simpson and more plus 40 pages of reviews and our free 15-track CD

Uncut: the spiritual home of great rock music.


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