Bowie: BBC’s Dancing In The Street

I love the BBC series called “Dancing In The Street“. In the above clips, you’ll see both David Bowie, Mick Ronson, Wayne County, and Lou Reed, plus the non-forgettable David Johansen from the perennially underestimated New York Dolls. No bitchiness regarding Visconti in that video, needless to say…

From the recent book on Bowie that I’m reading:

HUGH THOMSON (WRITER, DIRECTOR): In 1993 the BBC decided they were going to try and do the whole history of rock and roll over ten hours of television—Dancing in the Street—and spend a lot of money: five million quid, which in the early ’90s was a lot of money, so they really planned it very carefully. For complicated reasons I ended up both producing the series and directing quite a few of the programs, so it became sort of my baby. I found myself in the position of going around and interviewing all the musicians, including Bowie. There was very much of a sense that to get this to work you had to get big names, and people would only agree to be interviewed if they knew that certain other people had been interviewed. We knew if we had Bowie then everyone else would follow. For the interview we ended up building him this very elaborate set that was modeled on the room at the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey, a sort of mock Georgian room, very strange and unsettling. Having already talked to several other musicians for the series, I knew that Bowie did engage with you as though it was a genuine conversation. Charm can be a shallow commodity, but Bowie had that charm of genuine interest and engagement. He was a listener. During the interview he talked a lot about the anonymity of the suburbs, and about being able to then become whoever you wanted when you escaped them. He was an incredibly sophisticated and worldly and cosmopolitan person but quite often he reminded me of a smart sixth-form kid, the one who’s masking his insecurities with a lot of knowing references. He was also surprisingly bitchy, particularly bitchy about Tony Visconti.

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