David Bowie – VH1 Storytellers

1999 TV show offers priceless insights and powerful renditions

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One can’t imagine many stars of his stature spinning self-deprecating anecdotes, but the VH1 Storytellers song-and-chat format was made for David Bowie’s uniquely thespian charm. Here he recalls seeking a toilet, dressed in full Ziggy regalia, and protesting to the promoter, “My dear man, I can’t piss in the sink.” The promoter grumbled, “Son, if it’s good enough for Shirley Bassey, it’s good enough for you.”

He also mentions drunkenly shaving his eyebrows off when Mott The Hoople rejected “Drive In Saturday” (“that taught them a lesson”). He also reveals his vote for “the worst two lines I’ve ever written.” Yet when the music kicks in he’s suddenly the airborne trouper again, offering brilliant versions of “Life On Mars?”, “China Girl” and “my cry for help” “Word On A Wing”. The accompanying DVD adds a teased-out “Always Crashing In The Same Car”.

CHRIS ROBERTS

For more album reviews, click here for the UNCUT music archive

Pic credit: PA Photos

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