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David Bowie and guitarist Earl Slick began their long collaboration with a 15-minute audition 40 years ago

 
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MessagePosté le: Sam 9 Mar - 19:07 (2013)    Sujet du message: David Bowie and guitarist Earl Slick began their long collaboration with a 15-minute audition 40 years ago Répondre en citant



Guitarist Earl Slick, who began 40 years of collaboration with David Bowie
by replacing Mick Ronson on Bowie's "Diamond Dogs" tour in the early '70s,
appears on three of the 14 tracks on Bowie's "comeback" album,
"The Next Day," set for release on Tuesday.

David Carlo Photography



David Bowie and guitarist Earl Slick began their long collaboration with a 15-minute audition 40 years ago

By Chuck Yarborough, The Plain Dealer The Plain Dealer
on March 08, 2013 at 12:00 PM, updated March 08, 2013 at 3:39 PM


Meeting and going to work for David Bowie, the Sybil of rock-star multiple personalities, should not be normal.

Guess what? It wasn’t, not for his longtime go-to guitarist, Earl Slick, who appears on three of the 14 tracks on Bowie’s new comeback album, “The Next Day,” out on Tuesday.

“It was the weirdest [expletive] thing I’ve ever done in my life,” said Slick, a frequent Cleveland visitor, in a call to his upstate New York home. It was back in the early 1970s when Slick got an audition with Bowie, courtesy of his mentor, the late Michael Kamen.

“Michael had met Bowie backstage at the Joffrey Ballet,” Slick said. “Mick Ronson had just left and Bowie was looking for a guitarist. Michael brought my name up, and a week later, I got a call to go to New York.”

Slick, then just a 22-year-old unknown, showed up at the studio where Bowie and producer Tony Visconti were mixing the 1974 album that would become “Diamond Dogs.”

“David and Tony were in the control room, and I was walked in by [Bowie’s] assistant,” Slick said. “She said, ‘Here’s your amp, plug in and put your headphones on and Tony will talk to you.’¤”

That’s exactly what happened, too. Visconti told Slick he was going to play a few tracks and for him to just play along.

“I said, ‘What key is it in?’ and Tony said, ‘It doesn’t matter. Just play.’ So that’s what I did,” said Slick, laughing.

Fifteen minutes later, Bowie came into the booth and just chatted up Slick as if they’d been buddies forever. Still, Slick left the studio not knowing whether he had the gig, or whether it was going to go to one of the others the assistant told him would be auditioning.

“Thank God the phone rang the next day and it was her,” Slick said.

The partnership with Bowie has continued off and on since then, with Slick appearing on several albums and touring with the British superstar.

“We’ve got something going on,” said Slick of his chemistry with the 66-year-old singer-songwriter. “I don’t know what it is, but it works, man.”

“It’s not his music, it’s him,” said Slick, whose affection and respect for Bowie is obvious in his conversation. “He IS his music. There are no constraints with Bowie. With Bowie, we sit down and it’s a [expletive] free-for-all. We just keep throwing ideas around. Sometimes, he has this specific thing that he may want, but most of the time, it’s ‘Do your thing.’ ”

That kind of trust is rare, but Slick said it was in place from the minute that 15-minute audition began. It’s one reason why the “Diamond Dogs” tour went so well, and why Bowie continues to rely on his old friend.



David Bowie's 1974 tour featured guitarist Earl Slick, who took over for the departed Mick Ronson.

John Catto Photo



The audition wasn’t for the album, you see. It was for that tour. Ronson had already left the band, so Bowie needed someone to take his place on the road, and pronto. That worried Slick.

“We were going to be doing a lot of the older material, most of which Mick had played on,” Slick said. “We’re not the same guitar player, and I was thinking, ‘Man, I hope I don’t have to cop this guy note for note because I’m lousy at that.’ I’m STILL lousy at it. But David said, ‘Just learn the songs and play the guitar [your way].’¤”

It might just be that Bowie is as intuitive as he appears to be, and realized that despite Slick’s lack of notoriety, there was a sort of confidence in the upstart guitarist that belied his youth. The guy born Frank Madeloni in Brooklyn, N.Y., seems to get along with superstars just fine. In addition to his own solo and group projects, he’s worked with John Lennon and Yoko Ono [on Lennon’s “Double Fantasy” album], Robert Smith and Tim Curry, among others.

Bowie and Lennon were “two different birds,” said Slick, “But they’re similar in the way that they are the two easiest [expletive] artists I’ve ever worked with in my life, which is the last thing you’d expect someone to say.

“You’d expect these two guys to be perfectionists, note-picking and nit-picking. But the biggest similarities were that if it felt good, it was a take. Period.

“What others might consider a redo or a mistake didn’t even faze these guys,” said Slick.

That ease made the five days or so he spent in the studio with Bowie on this current album a breeze. And it was a lot like nothing had changed.

“This is as close as he’s gotten [to the old Bowie] in a long time,” said Slick. “It definitely has some of that flavor to it. I was grooving on it, and I’m liking this album a lot.”

Slick downplayed the relative wheeziness that seems to come through on the MP3 that’s currently being streamed prior to the album’s actual release on Tuesday.

“He’s fine,” Slick said. “His voice is really strong; that MP3 is horrible. The MP3 is so squashed. He’s in fine health. All that is based on him going dead silent after very public health problems in 2004 [when he suffered a heart attack and underwent surgery]. Fans, as fans do, they start coming up with their little rumors.”

Of course, the big question now is whether Bowie will tour based on the album.

“That’s the question of the century,” Slick said. “I could make up an answer but I just don’t know.”

But if it DID come together, you can expect Slick to be on the bus. Being elsewhere? Man, that would just be weird.

Cleveland.com


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MessagePosté le: Sam 9 Mar - 19:07 (2013)    Sujet du message: Publicité

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MessagePosté le: Sam 9 Mar - 19:19 (2013)    Sujet du message: David Bowie and guitarist Earl Slick began their long collaboration with a 15-minute audition 40 years ago Répondre en citant

J'adore ce mec...en avril 2011 il est venu à Toulouse,en tant que guitariste des New York Dolls....ils ont joué à la Dynamo....
dans l'après midi,Earl est venu boire un café à coté de la Fnac....très souriant,une vraie star...


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MessagePosté le: Aujourd’hui à 09:36 (2016)    Sujet du message: David Bowie and guitarist Earl Slick began their long collaboration with a 15-minute audition 40 years ago

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