Recording: The Jean Genie, John I’m Only Dancing

David Bowie and the Spiders From Mars finished recording ‘The Jean Genie’ on 7 October 1972.

The overdub session took place in RCA Studios in Chicago. The backing track had been recorded the previous day in New York.

It took about a day to get the basic track down plus some overdubs, then a few more overdubs the next day. It’s a great song, simple but full of energy with that huge guitar riff of Mick’s, held in check by me and Trevor. I love the famous fuck-up in it where Trevor goes to the chorus too early. He pointed it out to Bowie at the time and Bowie said, ‘Leave it in, I like it.’ When we played that song live, Bowie told Trev to repeat the mistake. It was mixed in RCA Nashville, Studio B, and was to be our next single.
Woody Woodmansey
Spider From Mars: My Life With Bowie

Also recorded during this session was an unreleased version of Bowie’s recent single ‘John, I’m Only Dancing’, intended for Bowie’s sixth album.

Last updated: 4 May 2023
Recording: The Jean Genie
Live: Auditorium Theatre, Chicago
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