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torsdag den 29. december 2022

“Sophomoric — like the Velvets without Lou.”

Før jul bragte magasinet Far Out en artikel om Keith Richards' mange fornærmelser. Her efter jul er den blevet fulgt af en om solister og bands, David Bowie ikke brød sig om.

 “Artists David Bowie didn’t like:

Gary Numan

Let’s get it out there: David Bowie did not like Gary Numan at all. Despite Numan being a lifelong fan of Bowie, the feelings were not reciprocated. Notoriously, the older statesman had Numan kicked off The Kenny Everett Christmas Show in 1980 for what he perceived as Numan copying his act.

Speaking to NME in 2021, Numan reflected on the crushing incident. “It bothered me at the time because I was a massive fan, and he’d been such a big part of my life for so many years, so I was pretty disappointed – and the fact I got taken off the show afterwards,” he said. “But I later came to realise we all go through periods when we’re more fragile or paranoid and not sure how we fit into all of this.”

Questioned on whether he thought it was jealousy that underpinned Bowie’s actions, Numan opined: “I think there was an element of that. I never got to meet him afterwards and ask, but my feeling was at that moment, I was the current big thing in weird make-up, and I don’t think that period was the best for him. I know many people that met him and he was lovely, and I wish I’d met that version.”

In fact, David Bowie had such a problem with Gary Numan that he even took shots at him in ‘Teenage Wildlife’ from 1980’s Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps). Bowie sings: “A broken-nosed mogul are you, One of the new wave boys, Same old thing in brand new drag, Comes sweeping into view, As ugly as a teenage millionaire, Pretending it’s a whiz-kid world.”

He later said of his young disciple: “What Numan did, he did excellently but in repetition, in the same information coming over again and again, once you’ve heard one piece”.

Axl Rose

A more personal entry. During the late 1980s, when rockstars were precisely that, Bowie found himself in a physical altercation with Axl Rose, the frontman of the world’s then-biggest band, Guns N’ Roses. Guitarist Slash revealed this when writing in his eponymous memoir. He recalled Bowie and Rose fighting over the daughter of an Everly Brother, Rose’s then-girlfriend, Erin Everly.

One night in 1989, Bowie went to watch Guns N’ Roses support The Rolling Stones at The Cathouse venue. He was in attendance alongside Ola Hudson, Slash’s mother, who he had known and worked with for years. However, at one point, Rose started sneering and throwing some rather choice insults in his direction. Disgusted at Rose, Bowie stood up and left during Guns N’ Roses’ set. No one understood what had happened at the time until Slash divulged that Rose was furious at Bowie for allegedly hitting on Erin.

This occurred earlier in the day at the venue when Guns N’ Roses were shooting their video for ‘It’s So Easy’. The story goes that Bowie was drunk and playful, and as Erin was starring in the video in leather bondage gear, the temperature rose. Looking back in 1990, the owner of The Cathouse claimed that Axl caught Bowie pursuing Everly and lost it, with the two getting into a physical altercation. It concluded with Rose chasing Bowie, screaming at him, “I’m gonna kill you, TIN MAN”.

Elton John

Elton John was another notable figure that Bowie did not have time for, despite both of them – and T. Rex frontman Marc Bolan – frequenting gay clubs together when they were younger. Speaking to Rolling Stone in 1976, Bowie admitted that he called John “the Liberace, the token queen of rock”, which would no doubt hurt his target.

Later, Elton John commented: “We started out being really good friends. We used to hang out together with Marc Bolan, going to gay clubs, but I think we just drifted apart.” He added, “David and I were not the best of friends towards the end.”

The insults Bowie aimed at Elton John did not stop there. He also commented: “I consider myself responsible for a whole new school of pretensions — they know who they are. Don’t you, Elton?”

The ‘Rocket Man’ singer eventually forgave Bowie, although they never personally reconciled. He went as far as to attribute Bowie’s comments to his cocaine addiction which was reaching its worst in 1976. Speaking of David Bowie again in 2016, he said about his remarks: “I thought it was a bit snooty. He wasn’t my cup of tea. No, I wasn’t his cup of tea”.

Paul McCartney

David Bowie was nothing if not a realist. In 1996, when discussing the impact of The Beatles, he attempted to peel back the mainstream belief that the Liverpool band remain essential today. He said: “Bands like the Beatles (who) were so extremely large in terms of what they sold and the influence they had” clearly had an impact back in the 1960s, but “very little of their influence is actually felt now.”

Although he was a revisionist, Bowie still greatly respected The Beatles. In 1995, when discussing their late frontman and his ‘Fame’ collaborator, John Lennon, he said: “I just thought we’d be buddies forever and get on better and better, and all that fantasy, I know which Beatle I always liked.”

However, he did not feel the same way about Paul McCartney. In response to a question of what he thought about “contemporaries” such as The Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney, Bowie explained that whilst he liked “some of” the former’s work, he wasn’t keen on McCartney’s. He said: “I don’t like much of Paul’s. He’s a nice guy, I’ve met him a couple of times.”

The Jesus and Mary Chain

At face value, one would have expected Bowie to have been a fan of Scottish alt-rock heroes The Jesus and Mary Chain. When they broke through in 1985 with their debut Psychocandy, they were classed as genuine pioneers, making a form of noise rock blended with bubblegum pop.

However, with their second album, 1987’s Darklands, the band refined their sound, creating a more anthemic form that produced moments such as ‘April Skies’ and ‘Happy When It Rains’. Despite this more accessible sound, during an interview with Musician in August of that year, Bowie tore into the band, calling them “awful” and “sophomoric—like the Velvets without Lou.”

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