The David Bowie Variations – with Mike Garson [Exclusive interview and Full Concert](3 of 4) [Listen: 25:10 minutes] – Mike Garson helps us out of our Rut
Interview Date: December 2, 2011 @2pm EDT
Special Guest: Mike Garson is an improvisational and multi-genre piano icon and one of the most respected and sought after rock sidemen in the industry. In addition to his side work, he has also had a successful solo career in both the classical and jazz worlds as well as worked with some of the most impressive people in music. But the thing Garson is most known for is the work he has done with David Bowie. Having worked with Bowie since his North American Ziggy Stardust tour back in 1972, the amazing stories and insights into Bowie's output helps to add a depth into Bowie’s art that few, if any, could touch. Through the years, Garson has helped shape some of Bowie’s most notable songs and albums including; Aladdin Sane, Pin Ups, David Live, Diamond Dogs, Young Americans, Black Tie White Noise, Outside, Buddha of Suburbia, Earthing, Hours, Heathen, and Reality. I met up with Garson when he played live at the Detroit Institute of Arts on December 2nd, 2011, during his “Bowie Variations tour” promoting his new album. In this podcast, Garson and I talk about some of the amazing people he has been trained by and played with, such as Herbie Hancock and Bill Evans, what it was like playing on Trent Reznor’s last concert, and what Garson brings to a Bowie record. But first I ask him about the reported 22 hours of recorded jam sessions for the Outside album.
Top 5 David Bowie Albums of All Time
I envy people who are looking to discover David Bowie and have never heard these last five albums. Records so original and exciting are very rare. To discover them and experience the thrill of expanding your appreciation of Bowie (and of music in general) is alone an experience profound enough to give birth to a new vinyl aficionado and spur a lifetime hobby of searching, digging, and collecting. My advice to those new Bowie fans is to take these albums on one at a time and consume them gradually. These aren’t “Jager bombs” or bottles of “Blue Nun” that you are consuming for a quick buzz, but these albums are like the finest aged Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot the world has to offer (musically speaking). Let the music gradually wash over you while the concepts and their sounds slowly take you over. I have found, like with all of the greatest music in the world, it is an acquired taste. It is only with repeated and attentive listening that records of this calibre become your favourites. Each one of these albums have a character quite separate from each other; but together, in my opinion, they make up the finest part of one of the finest musical careers in rock history. I have rated each of these Bowie albums according to my thoughts; but with the pack so close together in this race, I really had to listen to my heart and go with that.
Number 5: Heroes
Heroes – This album captures the ambiance of what it must have been like to be in Berlin circa 1977.