A Reality Tour
(Page 4 of 14)
Following the concert in Wellington, Bowie and his band left New Zealand for Australia - the place where a further 7 Reality concerts were proposed in addition to a radio interview and two major television interviews.
as his main base for the next few days, Bowie's arrival was marked by
a press conference held at the Quay Restaurant just above the Overseas
Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay.
That evening (on the eve of the first Australian Bowie concert in 17 years), various snippets of the conference were aired across several news programs.
"I don't think people have realised how many children I have fathered," Bowie joked. "Whenever a gig comes up, I see all these kids mouthing 'dad' at me."
about his old apartment at Elizabeth Bay but said he wouldn't have time
to visit the old haunts, including The Evening Star Hotel where he spent
a few nights while recording his Tin Machine album in Sydney.
Directly after the conference, Bowie was interviewed by ABC Radio 702 Breakfast host Angela Catterns. Later that day, Bowie was interviewed for ABC televisions The 7:30 Report. Transcripts as follows.
David Bowie, welcome to ABC radio.
Thank you very much. It's good to be here.
It's been a while hasn't it? I am wondering if Australia feels the same or you are noticing changes since you have been here last 16 years ago?
I've only been here a few hours. I mean, this has become quite a complex where we are right now on the Quay. And it's a shock seeing the Queen Elizabeth because the last time I saw that, I was on it - which was only last year but they pulled it out of service because of the new one.
Did you go for a trip on it?
Yeah, I;ve taken it several times over the years. Very early in the 70s, I used to go backwards and forwards on that to America and just out of old time sake, I did it last year as well.
You must have been a young pup on board compared to some of the others.
Yeah, it was mainly old widows (laughs) looking for.....I don't know what they were looking for. I hope they found it.
I know they employ dancers. They hire men to dance with the old widows on board on that ship.
Oh dear. I never knew that.
David, you obviously have quite a fan base here. I remember it was last year that your fans actually payed to go to the Reality album launch. Do you remember that? They payed to go sit in the cinema and you were obviously hooked up by satellite.
Oh yeah, yeah. That was a real experiment to see if you could do those kind of live shows to cinemas. I think the process is so expensive I think it's a bit prohibitive at the moment. But once they work out how to reduce the price of the actual equipment to be able to show that, I think it could become fairly popular.
You obviously like to service your fans. Is that true?
Some of them (laughs). Thank you very much. Yeah, some of them are quite nice.
I think you know what I mean (laughs). So David. I am not sure if you've already discussed this but you made some great clips here.....here in Sydney.
Yeah. You know I told the folks upstairs here earlier that I actually used to have a place here on Elizabeth Bay that I do regret selling now.....because it's escalated in price beyond belief. I couldn't believe when I heard what it's worth now. It's just a little flat you know. A little apartment. Overlooking the bay, overlooking the marina. Really gorgeous. But I was just not coming here enough unfortunately. But when I was here, it was great to be able to make video. I mean it was so easy to get the work done. Everyone worked so hard. There are such visual treats here that are easy to pull into a story. I enjoyed it very much.
I wonder if it's ever bothered you that a video is as important as a song in the music industry?
Not to me really because I haven't had videos played on television in years. Or songs played on radio. I mean for artists of a certain age, you have to rely on other ways of getting your work known. So videos and radio play are two areas I have no knowledge of whatsoever. Most of what I do is about word of mouth and people enjoying coming to the shows and then going out and buying the album that they've heard these new songs from. Or people have been recommending my albums to them. So that's how it works with me and it's been very successful. I know a lot of artists of my age. I won't mention any names. But they've just literally been driven out of business. They can't work anymore and they've given up. They've gone broke because they can no longer get things played on radio. So it's kind of unfair. It's a really ageist thing in this business and it's been hard for a lot of people. People like myself and Dylan and Neil Young have been very lucky. Very lucky. Because none of us get played on radio.
You're working again with Tony Visconti who you first worked with in 1969-70. Is that right?
Oh yeah, in fact we go back to 67. That was the first work we did together.
So it must be fun having come full circle at this point?
Yes it really is. I mean we've got such a long history both with and without each other. We've both had great separate lives. Tony has had lots of success on the road once we weren't working together between the middle 80s and now. And we've got so many shared experiences about how rough it was at the beginning and all those usual stories of trying to create a career for oneself.
So why is that? Is it fate or something you did right?
No. I think it's because we both are very talented (laughs).
And obviously modest.
Ah, yes and modest with it. I'll tell you what, that's not the entire story because I do know a lot of talented people who have not been able to cut through. I don't know - we've had an awful lot of luck on our side too because having a talent is not the be all and end all in this particular profession. There are so many things to take into consideration. And I think both of us were just very, very lucky that our work was able to come through.
And lucky you are still alive, I understand....
That helps (laughs) .....That helps when you are trying to promote new albums.
Although, actually. It often helps to be dead. The album would seem to do a lot better if I chuck myself of say that big ship just outside this window. I think we'd see Reality go right throw the charts.
That's true. And wouldn't this interview do well too?
Oh yes. Absolutely. (laughs) Definitely.
David, I read that at your shows these days you get punters that have latched on to you at different times of your career and different stages so there is a really diverse bunch of people out there that you're looking at.
That's absolutely true. It's like a wardrobe display out there (laughs). I want that hat and those trousers. It can be extraordinary. Some cities are more into that than others. Let's see the last one that was really good in.....LA - that's where we were. The last one shows in LA and Las Vegas were insane. They were like dress up contests. It was rather wonderful.
And so you've got different kind of subcultures - haven't you? Like the glam rockers and the rock pigs and the punks....
Yeah, and then you've got the guys who are just dressed in a t-shirt and trousers and you think they must either be really into the new stuff or they know nothing about me at all (laughs).
That's really fantastic. I must say I got really tired of reading your biog and the numbers of albums and movies and clips and books and things that you've done. Are you ever just bone idle?
No. I really enjoy the work that I do......and I don't see me doing anything else. And it's a parallel importance along with my family. And I don't think I have to do anything to sustain it. I mean, if I just lived as a family guy with my wife and child at home, there would still be something that would make me write. You know, I couldn't give up writing.
Would you paint. Do you still paint?
I haven't painted in two or three years now and I think it's because music has almost eclipsed everything else. But I surely would get back into painting and sculpting. I like it.
Are you driven by experimental zeal?
I am not driven very much at all really. It comes as second nature to me to work. I am not driven to write but I just can't stop writing. I can't go near a piano or a guitar. And if I play it for a few minutes, it's only a few minutes before I start writing something. There's no break on it you know.
Well, that's a gift. You mentioned having a family are you loving having a small daughter these days?
It's wonderful. It's precious and terribly scary.
You've got a son who's over 30, yeah?
Yeah, he's over 30 and also scary (laughs).
He doesn't have kids. You're not a grandfather yet?
No. He's been very serious about his chosen profession which is film making but on the other side as director. And I think he's throwing all his energies into that. Obviously he and his girlfriend will be marrying sooner or later but they are both very career minded.
Do you miss your daughter while you're on holid....err not holidays - on tour I imagine?
I wish we were all on holiday. I mean of course I do. There is nothing worse than that nightly phone call that says 'Daddy, why aren't you here?' 'I'm working'. 'You're working too long'. You know, it breaks your heart.
When are you coming home?
You know, I think at her age it's hard to conceive that you're not actually at home. I mean 'Are you on the elevator? Are you on the stairs?'.
Are you down the road?
Yeah, it's really a tough call.
I know we've got to wrap this up. David, I read a lovely comment on the net last night. A reviewer said he could see the twinkle in your eyes from 40 rows back.
(laughs) I am so jealous of his eye sight!
(laughs) Is it still a genuine pleasure for you to perform?
Every single night. You don't go on stage until we are full of the desire to have as good a time as we possibly can and if we go on with that attitude our presumption is that the audience will also have the same night that we are going to have.....despite them.
So you sort of gee yourself up before hand?
Yeah, it's very much our show. And we do it to for our enjoyment and if we can do that then I can guarantee the audience will enjoy it too.
Beautiful. It's a delight to meet you. Thank you for your time.
It's a pleasure.
David Bowie reflects on his career
Reporter: Kerry O'Brien