The Man Who Sold the World (65 page)

 

*
For a more formal reaction to the problem than Bowie's, see Paul R. Ehrlich's controversial 1968 book
The Population Bomb
, which aroused widespread alarm and argument. Ehrlich predicted that overpopulation would force the rationing of water and food in the United States by the end of the seventies.

 

*
Bowie may have seen Pink Floyd's performances at London's psychedelic clubs, though their first record was not released until March 1967. His exposure to an acetate of the Velvet Underground's debut album is another probable influence, with Fearnley's organ mirroring the emblematic viola drone of John Cale.

 

*
Sprechgesang
is a style of voice projection pitched between conventional singing and recitation, first used by Schoenberg in 1912 in his pioneering atonal composition
Pierrot Lunaire
.

 

*
Bowie's character essayed an octave jump to a high E, and landed in a heap somewhere between D and E
b
.

 

*
Their major 1966 hit was “Daydream”; their first LP included a song titled “Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind.”

 

*
Elton John and Bernie Taupin reached the last six in the 1969 competition, only to lose out to “Boom-Bang-A-Bang.”

 

*
Or, in this case, to be exact, “oom-pah-pah.” Though we tend to associate the term with German folk/pop music, it refers specifically to the movement between tonic and dominant, usually performed on tuba, but here exhibited on accordion.

 

*
A quick guide: Lhasa is the Tibetan capital; a chela is a religious disciple; Tibetans create statues out of yak butter to mark religious festivals; the overself is a universal spirit beyond the everyday. Online collections of Bowie's lyrics claim the second line refers to “Botella [or, more amusingly, Bordello] lanes”; he actually sings “Potala,” the palace near Lhasa that the Dalai Lama occupied before the Chinese occupation of 1959.

 

*
It should be noted, however, that Bowie's original demo, featuring several layers of vocals, was more in keeping with Pete Townshend's blueprints for the Who from the same era.

 

*
Bowie may have been inspired to add this by Eartha Kitt's similar finale to “Apres Moi,” on
Down to Eartha
, the album that also included a song he considered for his cabaret repertoire, “The Day That the Circus Left Town.”

 

*
The single added an orchestra, and an unnecessary modulation, sounding more like a Eurovision contender than a potential pop hit.

 

*
Bowie later claimed, however, that he added the Fugs' “Dirty Old Man” to his live repertoire, alongside songs from the Mothers of Invention's
Freak Out!
LP.

 

*
More than a year later, the company refused to allow the Rolling Stones to issue an album cover portraying graffiti around a lavatory.

 

*
The word is appropriate: the melody that ended the first chorus was repeated in the middle of the “Changes” [48] refrain four years later. Note also in this song the unusual verse of structure of four 4/4 bars followed by one in 2/4: instinctive rather than studied, as ever with Bowie.

 

*
Bowie first taped the song for BBC Radio in December 1967, with no sign of the rock instrumentation that would dominate the Decca recording, and some even more painful imagery that he later excised.

 

*
Bowie's lyrics for “Love Is Always” and “Pancho” were issued in Belgium by the female singer Dee-Dee, the original co-composer of the tunes. “Pancho,” the tale of a biker whose tough exterior belies his love for his girl, was a particularly amusing offering, which required Bowie to incorporate the French endearment
chou-chou
. His lyric also echoed a phrase about highways and byways from the Hollies' 1965 single “Look Through Any Window.”

 

*
Much of the language was reminiscent of the sixties gay slang known as palare/polari, as heard regularly on the “Julian & Sandy” sketches on BBC Radio's
Round the Horne
comedy show.

 

*
The chorus melody in D was then repeated exactly in the verse, in the new key of C major.

 

*
Unless, of course, you read autobiographical resonance into the title of “DJ” [169].

 

*
In later years, Bowie would occasionally toy during rehearsals with Kitt's standard “An Old-Fashioned Girl,” which had been adopted as an anthem by her gay following.

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