11th January, 2016

David Bowie: Paying tribute to a musical legend

David Bowie: Paying tribute to a musical legend

The world was left stunned today as it lost one of its most loved and respected musicians following an 18 month battle against cancer. The influence that David Bowie had on popular culture cannot be overstated. His innovation and reinvention was one of the great driving forces of modern music, fashion, art and film.

Earlier Yoko Ono penned a heartfelt tribute to the rocker she considered a good friend as well as a "father figure" to her son after John Lennon's death. "John and David respected each other," Ono wrote. "They were well matched in intellect and talent. As John and I had very few friends, we felt David was as close as family."

Bowie first met John Lennon in late 1974, during his time in New York. The pair jammed together, leading to a one-day session at Electric Lady Studios in January 1975.

It was there that the duo, along with guitarist Carlos Alomar penned "Fame", Bowie's first US number one. It was recorded during a turbulent time for the singer, who later described the song as "nasty", and fully admitted that the song was written "with a degree of malice" aimed at the Mainman management group with whom he had been working at the time.

"Fame" became Bowie's biggest hit to that point in the US. It was his first number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, as well as his first to break the top 10, but it would only reach number 17 in the UK.

Bowie would later claim that he had "absolutely no idea" that the song would do so well as a single, stating "I wouldn't know how to pick a single if it hit me in the face."

The Beatles Story is extremely privileged to be home to the very piano used by Lennon and Bowie to compose the hit record.

"I think fame itself is not a rewarding thing. The most you can say is that it gets you a seat in restaurants." - David Bowie./p>

"Fame" was the second single taken from his ninth studio album, Young Americans. The sound of which constituted a radical shift in style for the musician. The album also featured a cover version of The Beatles' song 'Across The Universe'. Lennon and Alomar performed backing vocals and guitar on the track respectively. /p>

An image of David Bowie (below) also features within our Bob Gruen photography exhibition, 'John Lennon: The New York Years 1971-1980'. It shows the singer at the Grammy Awards, New York in 1975 accompanied by John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Roberta Flack, Art Garfunkel and Paul Simon./p>

Rest in peace David./p>


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