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Molly Meldrum on David Bowie

David Bowie was a genius. He changed the face of music.

His use of sound and visuals was nothing short of revolutionary, he reinvented himself with nearly every album, something no one else was doing at the time.

Space Oddity

I fell in love with him when I heard 'Space Oddity'. That's still my favourite David Bowie song.

I was working in London in the late '60s when it was released and I got to interview David for the first time.

I remember I was dumbstruck, I couldn't string two words together when I met him.

Some would say that nothing has changed with my interviewing technique.

Countdown and Ziggy

It was fascinating watching him grow as an artist. He had something about him, even back then.

By the time Countdown started, a lot of acts were clearly inspired by him and the Ziggy Stardust character, which was like nothing we’d seen before.

I know I was, I’ve now had four dogs named Ziggy, who all owe something to Bowie.


Statue of Molly and Ziggy. Melbourne, Australia. Photo by Mirjam.

Madonna and Michael Jackson

Obviously he was incredibly influential among other musicians, like Madonna, who’d go on to constantly reinvent herself the way Bowie did.

Michael Jackson was a major David Bowie fan.

David’s wife Iman was lovely too, and Michael got her to be in his 'Remember the Time' video clip - that was partially because he admired Bowie so much I think.

Interviewing David

David was the perfect act to watch evolve with a visual medium like Countdown was - he mastered the music video right from the start.

He was always so lovely to interview, and a real intellectual - that’s obvious when you listen to the way he approached his music and videos and his entire career.

He remembered me from that first chat, and he’d always want to do our Countdown interviews in the strangest locations.

We did one on a safari in Africa, there was another one where he wanted to talk at the Watergardens in London.

I thought that would be a breeze by comparison, but it turned out to be harder to get into there than Buckingham Palace would have been.

And then while we were doing the interview they turned the sprinklers on us. But David wasn’t bothered, he just kept on talking.

One time he ripped up my questions mid-interview.

I do regret that fact that one time he wanted me to interview him on a train somewhere in the Siberia. I had something else on and I couldn’t make it work to do both, but I still wish I’d done that.

MCG 1978

I remember he played at the MCG in 1978 and it was pissing down with rain, bucketing down, but that somehow made it even more magic.

That was the concert they’d later reference in the movie Dogs in Space which starred Michael Hutchence, it was based on fans waiting out to buy Bowie tickets for that tour.

David Bowie was an incredible performer, some of the concerts he played in Australia were truly special.

Australia 1983

When he was in Australia I threw a party for him at my house in 1983.

It was around the time of 'Let’s Dance' because he was a really big star and there was a no-camera policy.

He was always a really private person.

But of course he comes in and the cameras come out and he just took it all in his stride.

David's Personality

He was an utter gentleman too.

When my house burned down in 1984 he called and told me to come and stay with him at his house in Switzerland for a few weeks until I got everything together.

And after my accident a few years ago there was the sweetest note from David when I finally woke up.

But that’s what he was like, just a really lovely man who just happened to be a musical genius as well. It’s a terrible, terrible loss but his music will keep him alive forever."

~ Molly Meldrum