Carlos Alomar, Robert Fripp: guitar
George Murray: bass guitar
Dennis Davis: drums, percussion
Tony Visconti: acoustic guitar
Chris Porter: vocals, handclaps
‘Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)’ is the title track of David Bowie’s 14th studio album, released in September 1980. It was also the third single released from the album.
It’s a sort of a nasty piece of Londonism. The character on that – and it is a character, it’s not at all subjective – that was objective about a few people I’ve met.
Actually he’s a criminal with a conscience, I think. Maybe it is about me, let’s see.
He talks in terms of how he corrupted a fine young mind. So it’s the corrupter talking, having his own self doubts, I think.
The David Bowie Interview promo album
The song began life as ‘Running Scared’. According to Iggy Pop, its origins went as far back as 1974.
David was not a person to waste a piece of music: Never waste an idea. I first heard his 1980 song ‘Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)’ when we were in a house on Sunset Boulevard in 1974. It was called ‘Running Scared’ at the time. He was playing it on the guitar and wanted to know if I could do something with it. I couldn’t. He kept it and worked it up.
That was another big thing I learned: Don’t throw stuff away.
Rolling Stone, 27 January 2016
The eventual title and chorus were reportedly inspired by a promotional campaign run for Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, which offered toys described as “Scary Monsters and Super Heroes”.