David Bowie sees Todd Rundgren live

David Bowie saw Todd Rundgren perform at New York’s Carnegie Hall on 19 April 1974.

After the show, Bowie attended a party held by Rundgren’s record label Bearsville at the Shun Lee restaurant in midtown Manhattan.

At the party, in the small hours of the following morning, Bowie spoke to Sounds reporter Martin Kirkup about his forthcoming plans.

God, I hate New York at times, and I’ve got to spent the next two months here getting the tour ready for a June 14 start in Montreal.

I’ve a feeling this may be the last big production type of tour that I do. Will it go to England? Oh yeah, sure. Yeah, well you really want to do it again, and I do like to play.

Also, I’m putting a very good new band together. There’ll be three people from the Diamond Dogs album, Mike Garson on piano again, Herbie Flowers on bass, yeah I managed to persuade Herbie to tour with me, and I y’know he’s got to be the best bassist in the country, and there’s Tony Newman who used to drum in the old Jeff Beck Group.

I’ve also been looking for guitars, and I’ve found a really incredible black guy called Carlos – just Carlos! – and there’s another black guy I want to get to play guitar in the band. I want a really funky sound.

Ever since I got to New York I’ve been going down to the Apollo in Harlem. Most New Yorkers seem scared to go there if they’re white, but the music’s incredible. I saw the Temptations and the Spinners together on the same bill there, and next week it’s Marvin Gaye, incredible! I mean I love that kind of thing!

Have you heard Ann Peebles? Yeah, well Lennon’s right, ain’t he, best record in years. I mean that’s what I’d like to do producing Lulu, take her to Memphis and get a really good band like Willie Mitchell’s and do a whole album with her, which I will do.

Lulu’s got this terrific voice, and it’s been misdirected all this time, all these years. People laugh now, but they won’t in two years time, you see! I produced a single with her – ‘Can You Hear Me’ – and that’s more the way she’s going. She’s got a real soul voice, she can get the feel of Aretha, but it’s been so misdirected.

English singers do all this ‘Oh yeah’, ‘Alright now’ on soul songs, and it’s wrong, but when she doesn’t do that she just has the feel naturally.

I just spent most of the time in London, there and in Paris, and I did some recording at Ludolf in Holland. Jagger uses that studio a lot, and he’s done some really good songs there very recently, you’ll hear ‘It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll Music’ [sic] soon, it’s gotta be the single. Then I came here, now I’m working with Jules Fisher preparing the act for the tour.

He’s working on the staging and lighting, and he’s great. He just got an award for the lighting he did on Ulysses In Nighttown for Broadway, and he’s worked on Hair and Lenny – a really great lighting designer.

Then there’s the new album, which will be out as soon as the cover art’s OK’d by RCA. It’s a painting of me changing into a dog, right and they’re a bit worried that its cock shows. But apart from the cock, everything’s alright.

David Bowie
Sounds, 4 May 1974
Last updated: 18 May 2023
David Bowie sees ballet Rodin, Mis En Vie
UK album release: Diamond Dogs
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