David Bowie Impersonates…..

David Bowie Impersonates…..

update: 2016-01-22 I think that Bowie probably wrote these lyrics quickly for the Springsteen impersonation which is first. I have no memory of us sitting around waiting for him to rewrite so it was probably done very quickly. If so, that’s pretty impressive! . The imagery is definitely very Bruce.

RIP David Bowie. The impersonations on this YouTube posting were recorded in August ’85, when Bowie came in to do the lead vocal. At the end of the session, he broke into the impersonations and I realized that these might get erased at some point, so I quickly put a cassette in and hit “record.” I wish we could hear the other side of the dialogue but unfortunately that wasn’t being recorded.

I was lucky enough to work with Bowie in 1985 at Westside Studios in London. My bosses, producer team Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley (Madness, Dexys Midnight Runners, Elvis Costello, Bush) were producing the soundtrack for the movie Absolute Beginners, for which Bowie was acting and writing songs (it was a better soundtrack than it was a movie!) and I was graduating from assistant engineer to engineer at that time.

The day Bowie was first due to show up at Westside, we were all a bit nervous — Bowie was the biggest star client for Clive and Alan at that point in time. We kept looking out the windows, waiting for a stretch limo to show up and an entire entourage to walk in, but then a black cab showed up and out popped the unaccompanied Bowie. He walked in, announced in what seemed a more cockney voice than I remembered, “Hi, I’m David Bowie,” and shook our hands. He seemed smaller than I imagined he would be in person. A bit later I noticed that the cockney had dissipated somewhat and he also seemed to have grown more upright and taller, too. I thought, “Wow, he really is a chameleon,” and wondered if the earlier exaggerated cockney was his way of reducing his superstar status temporarily to put people at ease on first meeting him.

see my full blog about working with Bowie and the recording of ‘Dancing In The Street’ with Bowie and Mick Jagger http://www.marksaunders.com.hostbaby.com/blog/david_bowie_impersonates…./

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20 Responses

  1. highway61ru says:

    What’s is your favorite one musically? I enjoy the last one (for me it
    sounds like Neil Young) the most, he’s so sensitive there. If David
    recorded a folk acoustic album with this voice it would be a bomb.

  2. Johan Lüning says:

    The Springsteen impression sounds a bit like Iggy doing Springsteen!

  3. darevblue says:


  4. Soap Stone says:

    Thanks to all who know how to honor our great one.

  5. Jen JustJenny says:

    I love his laugh.

  6. rocknmovies says:

    Hilarious! and great.

  7. Buy and Sell Estate Agency says:

    pretty sure the one at around 3:30 is Stevie Marriot

  8. gr00ved says:

    This is my new favourite thing on the internet. Thanks so much for sharing!

  9. futurelegendfilms says:

    Fantastic! Thanks for posting.

  10. Lisa Antunes says:

    thanks this made my morning :)

  11. Muffin Man says:

    This is amazing. Why is this unlisted?

  12. Selena MaCorb says:


  13. gruffeilles frederic says:

    ecellent !!!

  14. Doug Glassman says:

    Oh my God that Anthony Newley impression is perfect.

  15. Wendy Mcgrath says:

    Great x

  16. Hugh Terry says:

    Brilliant. Bowie obviously never took life too seriously – including
    himself. An inspiration to us all! Thanks.

  17. Stacy Bakri says:

    I love this, and your blog post is fantastic. “Absolute Beginners” is one
    of my favorites of his, and I always enjoy learning about and hearing
    stories about the production process. Thank you so much.

  18. Julian Glumi says:

    …god I miss this guy so much…

  19. Bobby Trent says:


  20. Kevin Wilmott says:

    Bob dylan?????