Thursday, February 4, 2016




(January 28, 2016 – New York, NY) - Multi-platinum selling, Grammy®-nominated hip-hop magnate Rick Ross has signed an exclusive new worldwide deal with Epic Records, it was announced today by LA Reid, Chairman and CEO, Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment.

“Rick and I have been close friends and musical collaborators for more than a decade,” said Mr. Reid, who originally signed the larger-than-life rap icon to Def Jam Recordings in 2006.  “It has been incredible to witness his growth as an artist as well as a successful business entrepreneur and master strategist.  It’s an honor to be back together and to kick off Rick’s second decade as one of hip-hop's bona-fide kings.”

"Because of the hustle, perseverance and willingness to put in the work, I’ve been blessed to see multiple Grammy nominations, 8 chart-topping studio albums, multiple business ventures and run one of the most respected music conglomerates in the game” says Ross. “L.A. Reid understands the route that we took and has witnessed our success manifest itself from the beginning! You have to respect the moves that he and the entire EPIC team have made these past few years, not just in music, but in business entirely. I'm excited to be working with L.A. Reid and Epic Records. Looking forward to another successful decade and beyond in the music business and to continuing an #EPIC career!"

With eight #1 and #2 Soundscan original studio albums, and four Grammy Award® nominations under his belt since 2006, Rick Ross was a core artist on the Def Jam roster.  His drawing power was established virtually overnight when, in an earlier digital era, his 2006 label debut, “Hustlin’” became the first mastertone ever certified RIAA platinum before the associated album had been released.  That album was his classic debut, Port Of Miami (in tribute to his hometown), the first of four Rick Ross albums to debut at #1.

His long string of signature top-charted Rap and R&B hits went on to include “The Boss” featuring T-Pain (RIAA platinum); “Here I Am” featuring Nelly and Avery Storm (RIAA gold); “Aston Martin Music” featuring Drake and Chrisette Michele (RIAA gold); “You the Boss” featuring Nicki Minaj (RIAA gold); and “The Devil Is a Lie” featuring Jay-Z (RIAA gold).

Twice featured as a Rolling Stone magazine cover artist, the “hip-hop heavyweight,” as the New York Times described him, was living up to his reputation as “the number one ghostwriter in the South,” his stock and trade since the millennium began.  Subsequent albums Trilla (2008) and Deeper Than Rap (2009) also debuted at #1 Soundscan, as did God Forgives, I Don’t (2012), which included top hits “Touch'N You” featuring Usher, “So Sophisticated” featuring Meek Mill, and fan favorite “Diced Pineapples” featuring Drake and Wale. 

Most recently, Rick Ross aka Ricky Rozay set a high-water mark when he released three consecutive full-length studio albums in less than two years, Hood Billionaire and Mastermind in 2014, and Black Market in 2015.  The latter attracted guest appearances by an elite A-list of friends, among them John Legend, Cee-Lo Green, Nas, DJ Premier, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Chris Brown, and Future.

Rick Ross is also the founder of the successful Maybach Music Group (MMG), which has released some 20 albums since he founded the label in 2009.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

DAVID BOWIE: More than just a musical tribute...


"Human After All", 
A Tribute to DAVID BOWIE


Friday, January 29, 2016

(Somerset, England) REAL VISION RECORDS is delighted to be launching JERRY T. JONES’ single “Human After All” b/w “Thursday Night 1972” in tribute to DAVID BOWIE. This moving song - written from the heart of a fan- will touch the hearts of Bowie fans everywhere. 

All proceeds from the sale of this release are going to Cancer Research in the UK.

About Jerry and “Human After All”: 

Jerry T. Jones is best known for his work with ‘80s hitmakers ONE THE JUGGLER and his current outfit GLAMWEAZEL. 

Jerry comments about his inspiration for the song: "Like millions of others across the globe, it seems to me that the world has become a little darker since the shock news of David Bowie's passing. Like many others also, I spent the following week in a sort of daze, making a pilgrimage round the mythical haunts that Bowie frequented (sadly not many remain): The Marquee.. Trident Studios.. the plaque at Heddon St... I awoke from my own moonage daydream a few days later with this tune almost fully formed – “Human After All” only touches on the emotion… but it helped."

"Human After All" -  A tribute to David Bowie 

donate to Cancer research

Real Vision Records is a new label initially to release the music of Jerry T Jones, Glamweazel and One The Juggler but with the aim of developing a roster of acts across a spectrum of genres. Further details when available Thanks for your help and support

Monday, January 25, 2016

PJ HARVEY/The Hope Six Demolition Project: Available April 15th, 2016!

The Hope Six Demolition Project

The ninth album from


Artwork and Creative Direction by Michelle Henning

The Hope Six Demolition Project draws from several journeys undertaken by Harvey, who spent time in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Washington, D.C. over a four-year period. “When I’m writing a song I visualise the entire scene. I can see the colours, I can tell the time of day, I can sense the mood, I can see the light changing, the shadows moving, everything in that picture.  Gathering information from secondary sources felt too far removed for what I was trying to write about. I wanted to smell the air, feel the soil and meet the people of the countries I was fascinated with”, says Harvey.

The album was recorded last year in residency at London’s Somerset House. The exhibition, entitled ‘Recording in Progress’ saw Harvey, her band, producers Flood and John Parish, and engineers working within a purpose-built recording studio behind one-way glass, observed throughout by public audiences.
Watch this new album trailer by Seamus Murphy featuring tracks The Community of Hope and The Wheel here:

The Hope Six Demolition Project will be available on vinyl, CD and as a digital download. The full track-listing is:

1.     The Community of Hope
2.     The Ministry of Defence
3.     A Line in the Sand
4.     Chain of Keys
5.     River Anacostia
6.     Near the Memorials to Vietnam and Lincoln
7.     The Orange Monkey
8.     Medicinals
9.     The Ministry of Social Affairs
10.   The Wheel
11.   Dollar, Dollar

This new album follows the 2011 Mercury Prize winning ‘Let England Shake’.

PJ Harvey will play select festival dates across Europe this summer with her new 9-piece band:

June 4                         Primavera Sound, Barcelona, Spain
June 4-5                     We Love Green Festival, Paris, France
June 12                      Field Day, London, United Kingdom
June 17-18                Sideways Festival, Helsinki, Finland
June 20                      Zitadelle Spandau, Berlin, Germany
June 22                      INMusic, Zagreb, Croatia
June 24-26                Down The Rabbit Hole, Beuningen, The Netherlands
June 29                      Open’er Festival, Gdynia, Poland
June 29-July 2          Roskilde Festival, Denmark
July 2                          Rock Werchter, Werchter, Belgium
July 3                         Beauregard Festival, Herouville St Clair, France
July 7                         Pohoda Festival, Trenčín, Slovakia
August 11                  OYA, Oslo, Norway
August 11-13            Way Out West, Gothenburg, Sweden

Thursday, January 21, 2016




The Truth's

            The U.S. first caught wind of The Truth when I.R.S. Records released their debut album Playground in 1985. Their succulent blend of Mod, Psychedelia, Soul and Pop was a breath of fresh air compared to the dross that was filling the Top 40 at the time. With a batch of great tunes, a dynamic live show (that this writer was able to catch a few times) and more dedication than a Casey Kasem countdown, The Truth began to build up a following of believers here in the States. While it may have seemed that the band came fully-formed out of nowhere, they actually had quite a bit of history behind them before that debut.
Lead vocalist/guitarist Dennis Greaves had previously occupied the frontman position in British Blues band Nine Below Zero. When NBZ split in ’82, Greaves began piecing together his next project, The Truth. More soulful and melodic than the bluesy, energetic NBZ, Greaves settled on a line-up that included his musical partner Mick Lister on guitar and vocals, NBZ bassist Brian Bethel, Garry Wallis on drums and former Fabulous Poodles keyboardist Chris Skornia. The band became one of the most exciting live bands on the scene, injecting a huge dose of soulful Modness into a musical climate that had become stale and pretentious. Signing with Formation Records (a subsidiary of WEA), the band toured incessantly and released three singles – in both 7” and 12” formats – in ’83 and ’84. Although they were armed with a lot of great material, Formation never pressed for a full-length and The Truth finally went to I.R.S. There they released the excellent Playground, which didn’t feature any of the tracks the band had spread out over their three singles/EPs. For the next three decades, those tracks would remain trapped in vinyl purgatory and never see an official digital release anywhere in the world…until now!
A Step In The Right Direction is a three CD set that not only features all the original pre-Playground studio recordings, it also contains demos, some previously available live cuts and two CDs filled with even more live recordings that appear here for the first time. Like NBZ, The Truth were on fire when placed on a stage in front of a live audience, and these tracks prove it. The fascinating thing is that you get to hear concert renditions of many of Playground’s tracks a year or two before they unleashed the studio versions. With a few previously unreleased songs mixed in, the two live discs are solid and filled with sweaty energy. The studio tracks that fill up most of Disc One are as vibrant and fresh as they were when first released all those years ago. The simplest way to describe the band’s sound is take The Gift-era Jam without the cynicism and add the optimistic charm of JoBoxers and you may have an inkling of what they sound like. The Truth created some amazing music, and this three CD set is all the proof you need! One can only hope an expanded edition of Playground (including the few non-album cuts that exist) will eventually appear…
NOTE: After Playground, The Truth continued for two more albums with only Greaves and Lister from the original line-up. After they split in 1989, Greaves reformed Nine Below Zero and continues to tour and record. The Truth have reformed for special one-off live performances and will do so in 2016 to promote this release.
   Stephen SPAZ Schnee was able to send over a few questions to Dennis Greaves, who graciously took time out of his busy schedule to answer.

STEPHEN SPAZ SCHNEE: A Step In The Right Direction is just about to be released. How are you feeling about this project and the long journey it took to finally be released? This is the first time any of this will be released on CD to my knowledge.
DENNIS GREAVES: I’m very pleased with the box set. A lot of fans helped with the artwork by sending in some great memorabilia and pictures – Dereck D’Sousa deserves a special mention for the front cover. And yes, to have these tracks available on CD finally is a nice feeling.

SPAZ: When you went back through these early recordings by The Truth, were you surprised that you were able to compile this much material?
DENNIS: Yes, because I had forgotten about how much we had written and recorded. We were non-stop on the road and in the studio for seven years.

SPAZ: Do you think that this release might be the best representation of the band? Playground was a fantastic album on its own but these singles/EPs are just as indispensable.
DENNIS: I think both are valid. By the time we got to record Playground, we had matured as a band and we were a bit tougher and had been on the road for a couple of years. The earlier stuff was more pop with Swain and Jolly – the producers – smoothing our rough edges quite a lot.

SPAZ: Do you think that The Truth worked best as a live or studio band? Or both?
DENNIS: We nearly got it right with The Truth. NBZ never got it right in the studio but The Truth got on the radio more and we were close to having a few hits.

SPAZ: Going back to the beginning, Nine Below Zero was heading in a more melodic and less bluesy direction by the time they split. Did The Truth form because of that split or did Nine Below Zero split in order to make way for The Truth?
DENNIS: I had fallen in love with the Hammond organ on NBZ’s Third Degree and got more into Soul and Motown. NBZ should have taken a break. A&M wanted us to make a 4th album and for NBZ to continue, but our management had different ideas. So NBZ split in April ‘82 and I had put The Truth together by the Summer of ‘82.

SPAZ: When you formed the band, did you have an initial idea of how you wanted it to sound, or did your style form organically as you began working with the band?
DENNIS: I had the concept of two guitars and Hammond organ – a mix of the J Geils Band and the Motown sound.

SPAZ: Did your NBZ fans take to The Truth immediately or did you have to rebuild a new audience from the ground up?
DENNIS: Not a lot of NBZ fans bought into The Truth so from the ground up, we built a new audience with loads of gigs. There is, of course, some crossover but I’m too close.

SPAZ: How did you end up recruiting the members of The Truth?
DENNIS: I love this part. I put an ad in the Melody Maker for musicians for my new band. So, all the band came from that add except Gary Wallis, whose mum told me to have him in the band whilst we were down East Street Market one day. Gary lived down East Street. When she heard I was looking for a drummer for my new band, she said, “My son’s really good.”

SPAZ: You released a few singles and a live EP before your first official album. Were there initial plans to release an album around the time of these first few singles?
DENNIS: Warner Brothers put all their efforts into Howard Jones and were not into us – especially Rob Dickens – so we never got to make an album. We had to go with Steve Thannet at I.R.S. for that.

SPAZ: Back during the Playground tour, you were performing ‘new’ material that never saw the light of day including a track called “Only The Best Will Do.” Is there a chance that we may see another Truth archive release that may feature that song? Or does this include most of the existing unreleased material?
DENNIS: I hope that turns up as well as a track we wrote called “Dear Sir.”

SPAZ: Any chance of an album of new material by The Truth? Or are you too busy with Nine Below Zero?
DENNIS: We have no plans at the moment.

SPAZ: What’s next for Dennis Greaves, The Truth and NBZ?
DENNIS: I’m just finishing a new NBZ album, booking an Autumn tour, going out on a few gigs with The Truth and I have this fantastic box set to promote. Life is good.

SPAZ: What are you currently spinning on your CD and/or turntable in your spare time?
DENNIS: Andy Williams, Spooky Tooth, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, Jimmie Vaughn, Howlin’ Wolf and my son’s Spotify playlist.

Thanks to Dennis Greaves
Special thanks to Matthew Ingham and Nick Kominitsky




Here's a post I wrote about Dennis Greaves almost exactly six years ago!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


Brother Glasgow:

An EXCLUSIVE interview 



Alan Cumming is truly a man for all seasons. Depending on whom you ask, this award-winning performer is best known as either a versatile actor (The Good Wife, Spy Kids, Goldeneye, The Smurfs, etc.) or an exceptional entertainer and vocalist (Cabaret, Bent, Macbeth on Broadway). If being beloved on stage and screen wasn’t enough, Cumming is also an author (Tommy’s Tale, Not My Father’s Son: A Memoir), a television host, a recording artist, and an activist. For a man barely into his 50s, he has achieved so much since he made his film debut three decades ago. The list of awards he has been nominated for is staggering. However, the fact that he has won a significant amount of those awards – including a Tony – is a testament to his talents. While Hollywood A-listers try their hardest to remind us of their diversity, Cumming calmly proves it in his career choices and dedication to his craft.
One of Alan’s greatest loves is music. Sad, sappy music. Music that touches the heart and brings the tears out to play. You know. That very same type of music you pretend not to like in front of your friends and co-workers yet you sob uncontrollably when you listen to it alone?! Thankfully, Cumming doesn’t hide his guilty pleasures – in fact, just the opposite. On Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs – Live At The Café Carlyle, he performs some of his favorites in a brand new recording of his critically-acclaimed live show. Backed by three musicians – Lance Horne on piano, Eleanor Norton on cello and Chris Jego on drums – Alan offers up an array of songs that have deep meaningful connection to his life. From Annie Lennox’s “Why” and Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb” to Elaine Stritch’s “Ladies Who Lunch” (from Company) and Rufus Wainwright’s “Dinner At Eight.” Cumming doesn’t just perform these songs – he gently caresses and molds them into something even more intimate. His version of Keane’s “Somewhere Only We Know” is as warm and heart-felt as you’re ever going to hear. Sings Sappy Songs is successful on so many levels, yet it is the emotion in every performance that brings it all together. If there was a Grammy Award for sincerity and passion, then Alan would have yet another trophy to add to his collection.
Stephen SPAZ Schnee was able to chat with Alan Cumming about Sings Sappy Songs and more…

STEPHEN SPAZ SCHNEE: I love the whole concept of Sings Sappy Songs. I’m a huge fan of “sappy” songs...
ALAN CUMMING: Good. Me, too.
SPAZ: How are you feeling about the whole concept and the journey you’ve taken to create it?
ALAN: It’s really an interesting sort of journey. It’s something much bigger than what I thought it was going to be, because I realized that a lot has to do with me challenging people to connect with songs that they might have preconceived negative notions about, or preconceived notions of how they should react, too. And actually I’m saying to them, “I connect with these songs and I’ve told you you’re coming to a show called Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs so you know that much.” When I was doing Cabaret on Broadway last year, my dressing room became Club Cumming – I would D.J. and I’d put songs on that people would dance and let loose, just have a great time. They’d go, “Who is this, who is this?” And I would always say, “I’m not going to tell you,” because I realized that if I just challenge them to just enjoy it and not make a mental block for themselves then they would. But of course, a lot of the time, at the end of the song, I would say, “Well that was blah, blah.” There’s one song with Jessica Simpson – a good undervalued member of the American musical pantheon – and they’d all go, “Whaaat? Jessica Simpson?” I said, “But you loved it didn’t you? You’re having a great time dancing away to it and wasn’t that an incredible arrangement and everything?” And so, I find that with the Sappy Songs show is that you can see people actually listen to it in a different way probably from how they have been conditioned to listening to it. And so that notion of asking people to look at things and connect with things in a different way has been a much bigger deal than I had imagined.

SPAZ: The songs really do take on a new persona on this album. I especially connected with “Somewhere Only We Know.”
ALAN: Oh yeah, beautiful song. I love that song.
SPAZ: However, when I saw that you were going to do “The Climb,” I was thinking, “Oh not ‘The Climb’! Not ‘The Climb’!”
ALAN: Yeah, exactly. (Chuckles)
SPAZ: But then, it’s all about interpretation. It’s all about mood. And it’s all about connection to the audience.
ALAN: Absolutely. And I sing it genuinely and authentically from my heart, and I think that’s what I wanted to do. It’s interesting because the album comes out on the day that I play Carnegie Hall, and it’s going to be nearly three thousand people in the audience, hopefully, and I’ve been talking with the promotor and everything, and I don’t want the sound to be any different. I don’t want us to lose that intimate thing. It’s still going to be a piano, cello, and drums. I think that’s partly because sometimes the meaning and beauty of songs can kind of get lost in a big production. You don’t really hear them. You just hear a kind of a style. You know there are some great songs out there, but they may be done in a way that you just kind of don’t hear them.

SPAZ: Do you approach these songs as a lover of music or as a performer?
ALAN: I think I approach them as just something that I had a gut feeling I could sing them and they would resonate with people in the way they resonate with me. I’m just reinterpreting these songs in a more genuine way, I think. I think that’s what people connect to in a more authentic way. The other thing I do is I kind of link them in my lead up to them. I think that in a concert like this you always have to believe in some way that everything I’m saying has some connection to me as a person, and I really like that as well. So, you’re allowing people to think that they’re seeing more of you in each song, and they are. You know, I wouldn’t sing a song if I didn’t feel I could understand it and had something to say.

SPAZ: Each track you perform on Sings Sappy Songs holds a certain memory for you. Are you able to separate yourself from that memory while you’re performing or are you taken back to that moment each time you sing it?
ALAN: There’s kind of like Pavlovian responses to them. I’m completely taken in to that moment. Even in rehearsals, I get all weepy sometimes. I love that about it – I completely feel I’m back in the center of the song again. And also, the stories I tell in between the songs, they usually lead up to them. Like, I talk about my grandfather where I sing “Goodnight Saigon.” I talk about my father before I sing “Dinner at Eight.” I talk about a former lover before I sing “Complicated,” and I set things up with the audience. I’ll say, “I’d like to sing a song about my father,” and I talk a little about my father and then I sing this song that’s a very intense, sad song. It gets me into the mood of it too.

SPAZ: Was there a longer list of songs or are these the ones that really spoke to you – or sang to you, so to speak – and demanded themselves to be part of this show?
ALAN: Well, there was a longer list. I knew I was going to do a new show for a long time and so I spent a lot of time listening to all this music and keeping a file on the computer of songs that I would like to perform. There were other songs that I loved to sing – I loved everyone’s reaction to them when I would play them at Club Cumming – but there was no point in me singing them. I didn’t add anything to them so I dropped them. And with these songs, everything is as it should be. Everything finds its right place and I think it’s really great – it really works as a journey as well for an evening.

SPAZ: Looking back a little bit, what came first: your love of music or your love of performing and entertaining? Or did it all come at once?
ALAN: I think it was all at once. I was actually in Scotland last weekend filming this thing for Visit Scotland. My mom was there, and she always tells a story about when I was a little boy, saying I wanted to be a Pop Star and everything. I said, “Mom, every little child says they want to be a Pop Star.” And she goes, “I know Alan, but you meant it.” (Laughs) I do a lot of different things, but really they’re all the same thing – connecting with people and telling a story whether that’s singing, acting, writing, or directing. I feel that’s really what I wanted to do and that’s why I’m doing this job. I love the feeling of actually connecting with people, and you get that in such an amazing direct way when it’s just you in a room with people in it and you’re singing songs. There’s nothing like it. Really, it’s amazing.

SPAZ: Have you ever wanted to set aside the acting and just focus on music for a little while? Or are you pleased with the balance you’ve had?
ALAN: Right now, I really like it. Since I did the new Sappy Songs show at Café Carlyle I’ve been touring weekends and things like that. I’ve been going all over the country and next week I’m going to Australia for three weeks to do concerts there. That’s also because I’m doing The Good Wife and I’m doing the concerts around it. But if I weren’t doing that, I might have liked to plan a regular tour where I do performances during the week and not just a weekend. But…I actually like the way it’s spaced out like this, and I feel like when I go to do a concert, it’s an event for me, as well. To me it’s special, and I love just kind of zooming in, meeting people at the theater, doing the show, going out on the town, and having a really great time. It’s special for me, and I like it this way. I’m sure it would be special the other way too, but I think it would be more of a chore, more of a job.

SPAZ: I noticed that you don’t hide your Scottish accent when you’re singing in this show. Is that a conscious thing for you?
ALAN: Absolutely. This has been a long time for me to do a show like this – 2009 was the first time I ever did a concert on my own – a concert as me. I’ve wanted to for a long, long time. I used to do standup comedy with another guy and we sang songs. We were in character. I loved that. I loved how raw that was just standing on a stage and just looking at people and then talking to them. So in a way I’m doing standup comedy again, but it’s in the middle of the song. So, it’s a similar thing, but I’m doing it as me. A long, long, long time ago when I would see people that I admired and liked, I’d always wonder why, if they were really trying to be as authentic and true and make you feel things through singing a song why they were putting on a funny American accent when they sang. I could never understand that. And then I remember the very first job I had in theater, Macbeth, and one night I was coming into the theater and in the back there were these geeky boys with specs on, tuning up their guitar or something. “Who are those geeks?” And they were The Proclaimers and they were just starting out their career doing a gig in the bar of this theater. I saw them later and very soon after that they were a sensation in Scotland. They were the first people ever that really used their own and they’ve got quite thick accents. And I loved them for that. I loved the passion and how unusual it was. It made me feel like, “Why do we do this? Why do we put on this funny accent when it’s not our own?” I think it’s just that Pop or Rock music is predominately an American medium and so people are conditioned to think they have to do an American accent to make it sound proper.
SPAZ: Exactly.
ALAN: And I disagree. I think that actually the more authentic and honest and true and the more you connect with people is by sounding like yourself. I don’t think I could do it any other way.
SPAZ: Your listener will be able to connect more with you because of the fact that you are true to who you are.
ALAN: Absolutely. That’s exactly it.

SPAZ: I was recently listening to your 2009 album, I Bought A Blue Care Today, and I don’t like to make comparisons but it reminded me of an old David Essex record.
ALAN: Oh, I take that as a huge compliment. Thank you. I love David Essex.
SPAZ: Yeah, especially since I believe that both of you are coming from the same place musically.
ALAN: Yes, I think so. He sounded like himself.

SPAZ: What are you currently spinning, musically?
ALAN: Well, actually, it’s quite interesting, John Kander of Kander & Ebb has just released all of these demos and things that he and Fred Ebb made when they were doing all of their composing. And also just some other songs that he has written over the years that he’s recorded, they’ve recorded together. It’s absolutely fascinating because you hear these embryos of songs that you’re going to love later. It’s just beautiful to hear people who are being authentic and real. Then Natalie Merchant, an old friend, sent me her Paradise Is There: The New Tigerlily Recordings. So I’ve got that in my iPod right now. The other night, someone asked if I could put my music on. I had forgotten but I had like eight different remixes of Ellie Goulding’s song, “Love Me Like You Do” and they came on one after another. And everyone was kind of, “This is a really long mix!” I’m slightly obsessed about that song right now.

Thanks to Alan Cumming

Special thanks to Michael Croiter, Dana House and Nick Kominitsky




Monday, January 18, 2016

DAVID BOWIE: The Next Week - A Tribute

DAVID BOWIE: The Next Week…

David Bowie left this planet on January 10, 2016.
Even though time has moved on, it still seems strange to refer to him in past tense. Especially since David Bowie was always a few steps ahead of us… always in the future. And he still is.
What is great about David Bowie is the influence he had on so many artists. The Rock ‘n’ Roll landscape would be vastly different today had he not come along. Thankfully, he never stayed in one place for too long – by the time everyone caught up to him, he had already moved forward. He was unpredictable, talented and meant so much to so many people.
His music inspired those who heard it. His music brought joy and hope. David Bowie mattered. In fact, he still matters and will always matter. We need more artists like David Bowie. Sadly, we lost the only one.
So, celebrate his memory however you see fit. But always remember that what he left behind is still here for us – and let it always inspire you.
We at Discussions Magazine sent out an invitation to musicians and music fans to share their memories of David Bowie. Reading these, there’s no doubt that Bowie left his mark. That is the power of music… and the power of David Bowie.
I’ve compiled these statements together without editing because I felt it was important to allow the writers to express themselves in their own words and in their own ways. Many of these fine people are musicians, but I didn’t want to exclude music fans from sharing their thoughts. I am first and foremost a music fan and I believe that everyone matters, whether you sit in your room and listen or stand on the stage and play. 

Peace, love and David Bowie
Stephen SPAZ Schnee

“In the summer of 2002 some of the team at Super D (music distributor) was invited to the Area2 Fest at Irvine Meadows. Once we all got there we were taking backstage to meet David Bowie!! I remember thinking to myself, "Holy S, this is really going to happen, I'm about to meet one of my all-time favorite artists!" I suddenly became totally nervous! For the first time ever I was star struck! LOL! I remember my knees were shaking and I totally stumbled all over my words when I was introduced to him. I even had to ask my wife to have him sign my Ziggy Stardust cover for me!! I do have to say he was as cool as cool can be, took the time to talk to everyone, was not in a hurry, he had a smoke and hung out talking to us and even took a picture or two. He was a true class act...
Driving home tonight I put on Blackstar ... what a beautiful, haunting, dark, avant-garde jazzy at times, brilliant gift he left us. I'm saddened but feel blessed at the same time. RIP David Bowie.”
- Anthony Balboa (music industry veteran)


     “There's been a lot of stories my friends have shared about actually meeting David Bowie. I never did but......I do have a story about NOT meeting him. I came of age a little late to see Bowie during the '70's, the first chance I had to see him was in 1983 on the Let's Dance tour. I was a senior in high school & for some reason me & my buddy Frank thought it would be a good idea to masquerade as children of the promoter, get ourselves a key to Bowie's hotel room & wait for our idol. Amazingly, this is exactly what we did! We dressed up, carried a briefcase to look more official (Frank's idea), got the key (!) & waited for David Bowie. For five hours!! We left a heartfelt letter & left & saw the show. I never thought that I'd be thankful to NOT meet David Bowie but thank goodness he didn't show! Not sure what we were thinking or what he would have thought. We were fanatics. Maybe, just maybe, he would have understood. Goodnight sir, yours was a most dignified life & exit.”
- Ronnie Barnett (musician, The Muffs)

“David Bowie was the ultimate chameleon; you never knew what he was going to do next, both visually and musically. His influence on our culture at large, as well as on rock and pop bands, cannot be overstated. Like Frank Sinatra, he did it his way, and the world was much better off for it. May he rest in peace.”
- David Bash (International Pop Overthrow)

“As a young teen, I was in a rock band. Our lead guitarist played a lot of Bowie songs and tried to get the rest of us to learn them. I remember our guitarist playing them and I was thinking, “what (the hell) is this”?... namely songs from The Man Who Sold the World album. Chord progressions and melodies that seemingly came from outer space. We played a lot of BTO, Eagles, Foghat, Deep Purple, Doobie Brothers (the popular top 40 stuff). The only song the rest of the band consented to (as far as a Bowie song) was “Suffragette City” (you could dance to that). Here was a man who was not afraid to wear a dress on the cover of his album, (although that cover was apparently banned at the time in the U.S.), to wear what was considered outrageous makeup, and wrote lyrics which represented his life. Years later, I learned of his brother who was in a mental institution, and the song “All the Madmen” is still heartbreaking. He did it all. Majestic performances of his concerts, pushing the envelope as an actor and (seemingly) fearless of critics. Always ahead of his time. His Reality Tour concert was incredible. A true pioneer who never stopped being creative until his last days on Earth. I hope my husband gets to meet him.”
- Laura Busch (musician, music fan)

"Ode to David.
The vigour of your slim fingers
which, with tensed tendons, 
glide over the strings and the heart.

Extraordinary ecstatic vibrations
more important than the notes, or
rather, generating notes;

movements of the soul
producing music
without passing through the mind,
vehicle of the experiences of our spirit,
a universal spirit;
Sounds which, in concentric circles,
slide deep into our bowels. 
And your voice--
a lament, a hymn,
an invocation, an elegy
of liquid honey.

You are both the dark night
and the white moon,
a primordial chant
And a future melody.”
- Caterina Ciuferri (music fan)


An excerpt from my 2015 interview with Martha Davis:
“SPAZ: You have a very unique songwriting style with interesting chord changes. Who influenced you most as a songwriter?
MARTHA: I was born in Berkeley, California and my mom loved music and had a big collection of 78s that I was mesmerized by. I remember being a little girl and sitting in front of the turntable and she’d have Igor Stravinsky’s “Rite Of Spring” and it was my favorite thing in the world. It was beautiful…but it terrified me. I just loved that. I think having Igor Stravinsky as my first impression of music may have skewed my chord progressions a little bit. (Laughs) Then I loved musicals. When I was a teenager, I got into Soul and R&B music. But then David Bowie happened and he encompassed everything I loved. Even though I sadly never hear his influence in my music, he is the reason I decided to get on stage and do this for real. I’d been playing guitar since I was eight and writing songs for myself, entertaining myself and finding solace in music – as we do – but when he came along, I thought, “Damn, that looks fun!” So let’s blame David!”
- Martha Davis (musician, The Motels)


“I have always loved him. My Mom met him & lucky me I got to see him when he started Tin Machine. I could've touched him I was so close. I always had a closeness for him. He stood out & that's what I liked.”
- Gina Dorio (music fan)

“There isn't much I can say without writing half a book about how I feel about David Bowie and how he affected my life. I think his death has affected about as many people as John Lennon's. Bowie changed the world just about as much as The Beatles did. Bowie was the first to inspire and expose a generation of Kooks, pink monkey birds, Queen Bitches and Oh! You Pretty Things. The Beatles spoke to a generation in the '60s and beyond and Bowie spoke to a generation in the '70s and beyond.
Purists can squawk all day about who was first to reach out to that audience but it really was Bowie that opened it all up. It's like arguing about who brought rock and roll to the forefront, Elvis or the many before him. Bowie broke down the last remaining walls that The Beatles and Elvis broke down. Indeed, Kurt Cobain's death affected a lot of people of his generation but remember, Kurt was a fan of Bowie. Bowie, like The Beatles, changed personas and music styles almost every album. Even up to his recent album which sounds like nobody else.
Yes, there is my old story of how I met Bowie in a hotel lobby in the summer of 1974 and got his autograph. The band that I was in at the time also had a photo taken with him wearing his casual new Thin White Duke but still meets Ziggy, look. There was no one else around in the lobby! No one knew who he was! The slide was lost a few years later and the photo is sadly long gone.
Later that evening after his show, Graham Elvis and I wandered the hotel after all of the hotel room parties that we had crashed, had ended and we met Bowie again (we were hanging with Mike Garson). We actually sat in Bowie's hotel room for 45 minutes and chatted with him for fifteen minutes or so while a small party went on around us. So surreal! Met him again briefly when he introduced Devo at Max's Kansas City to a roomful of fans and A&R honchos. My band Screams opened that show.
I know, I should write a book someday of my little rock and roll stories and encounters for anybody who might be interested.
Bowie's passing is all a shock and very sad and we should all just share Bowie memories and play, post and share Bowie music all day long. That says it all.”
- Brad Elvis (musician, The Romantics/The Handcuffs/The Elvis Brothers/Screams)


Thursday Night 1972.

I was living in a world that was black and white
I was looking for a spark to ignite my life
It was a Thursday night in 1972
There's a spaceman on the TV and my mind he blew
He crashed into our world, a blazing mirror ball
Creating waves of pure release, inside my head..and through it all
Flamed hair and wild guitar
Spaced out.. but not too far......
X”- Jerry T. Jones (musician, Glamweazel/One The Juggler)

 Let’s Dance was the first David Bowie record I bought. I knew “Fashion” thanks to the music video. “We are the goon squad and we’re comin' to town. Beep! Beep!” How fantastic is that? I had seen The Man Who Fell To Earth the August before at summer camp (yes, summer camp. Progressive). I was 13, going on 14. So, when the video and single for “Let’s Dance” arrived, I was ready to accept Bowie. 
The opening eight bars of rush and release was hypnotizing. The driving drums, the stacked choral harmonies and insistent horns, the shimmering stereo guitars, the bluesy stings of Stevie Ray Vaughn, the gliding bass, all under the direction of Nile Rodgers’ steady hand. At least three hooks. Above all else, there was that voice: belting, crooning, shouting, whispering, rasping, talk-singing. That voice was doing everything I hadn’t heard before in a pop song. In one single. Love, desperation, declaration. This was cool. Suddenly, David Bowie was everything cool.
One day after school, in the spring of 1983, I took the Rapid Transit to the Terminal Tower and walked a few blocks through downtown Cleveland to a narrow record shop to buy my copy of the 45. That night, I poured over it and spun it incessantly. Play-after-play, I immersed myself in every funky beat. I transcribed the lyrics, my 8th grade mind trying to grasp the poetry. Then, I watched MTV constantly in hopes of seeing the gloved and golden-haired David Bowie singing in an Australian bar and his handsome Aboriginal co-stars dancing on a remote landscape. These kids even looked like me. That meant even I could be, should be, in the court of David Bowie.
“Let’s Dance” was sonic bliss and a gateway to the glory of Bowie’s catalog. It took another 29 years before I got to perform the song in a concert setting with a brass section and it was one of my favorite moments ever on stage. His influence on me as a musician and as a fan of music is incalculable. My love for him is enormous. David Bowie’s death has been bruising; but, I am working through the glacial sadness one album at a time, like so many of you.
I still have that vintage single, by the way. When I placed that funky 45 on the turntable the other night, my wife and I immediately heeded the call, just like the beautiful bronze couple in the video. We did the ‘80s step-touch and there was serious moonlight.”
- Norman Kelsey (musician)


An Appreciation:
I cannot fathom a world without David Bowie. But here we are. I feel so lucky to have discovered him and his music at 6 years old. I can't imagine going through my teens not knowing anything about him.
To those out there who may wonder why David Bowie is so important to so many people, here's my own little breakdown.
First and foremost, the music was great. If you took away the visual aspect of any David Bowie project and were only left with the audio you were rarely, if ever, disappointed. From "Space Oddity" onward, he always managed to have the right sound at the right time. The arrangements were lush and/or gritty and perfectly suited the masterful songwriting. When I started writing and recording music of my own, I found myself revisiting Bowie's songs and wondering how one man could come up with a body of work that was so familiar and yet so different. There were nuances to his music that had never been applied to pop music previously. His knack for melody was impeccable. Hum any David Bowie song and you'll notice how swiftly he changes notes and how he shifts in and out of the major and minor scales in ways that seem downright alien.
Yes, the music was good. But there was also the image. Not the superficial, "looks cool on a tee-shirt" type of image making that dominates music culture, either. This was deeper than that. He dyed his hair an array of unnatural colours. David Bowie wore dresses. He wore makeup. He wasn't afraid to blur the lines. In 1972 David Bowie told Melody Maker magazine, and I quote, "I'm gay". This could have killed his career. Nobody in show business, let alone rock and pop music, would dare be so blunt. Even when Elton John came out in an interview a few years later, he didn't put it that plainly. However, Bowie only became more popular after these remarks. Think of what all the gay kids and misfits that got the shit beat out of them at school every day felt when they saw that quote. They suddenly had a hero. Someone they could identify with, and yet he was a rock star on top of the world.
 There was an exciting and mesmerizing quality about him and his music that encapsulated all these social taboos and displayed them in a new and appealing light. Bowie's music seemed to have the power to pluck you up from your mundane world, skyrocketing your weary mind beyond the stars and into the Martian Universe of Ziggy Stardust. How many of those misfit kids would have become a suicide statistic had they never discovered David Bowie? Of course, the man who would become the Thin White Duke was far above the labels of "gay" or "straight". He simply loved to experience life.
Later on, in the 90s, he would state that his 70s persona was "a closet heterosexual". Bowie took his cue from The Beatles and never stopped evolving. A new Bowie album meant and a new look, a new sound. He was always at least 5 steps ahead of everyone else. The way his music seems to belong to the era in which it was made while still somehow being timeless has kept him a constant. Ch-ch-changes. David Bowie was 69 when he left the Earth he had fallen to. He went out on top.”
- Jared Lekites (musician, The Lunar Laugh)


“Saw David Bowie’s Glass Spider Tour 1987 at Anaheim Stadium. Went with BFF concert buddy Jill Sjogren Hassett. We sat on the Club Level. Peter Frampton played guitar. It was a theatrical show with 5 dancers on stage choreographed by Toni Basil
- Lynn Levick (music fan)
(Setlist provided by Lynn Levick)

“As an English musician from Manchester, I would have to say not only his great songs influenced me growing up, but also his sincerity, compassion, style, sense of humour, and chameleon-like guise. I only saw him once in concert. A true Icon.
He was very charismatic and a true Englishman. It's difficult to choose a favourite song...but some would defo include... “Space Oddity,” “All The Young Dudes,” “Starman.” If I was pushed, I would probably chose... ‘Life On Mars.’” 
- Oscar Novak (musician,


“Bowie was art and human expression in its purest form and, in this way, certainly the grandest statement ever made in the annals of popular music. He always sought new musical paths all the while revealing other facets of himself, never compromising his vision. May the Thin White Duke's spirit reverberate forever through the lattice of space and time. He was our Starman, he blew our minds.”
- Mike Paulsen (music fan)

“When people ask me what it is that I do, I have a hard time explaining it. I usually say that I am a recording artist. I think the definition of that term means something specifically special to me. There are a few greats that use the recording studio as an instrument. They use sound to paint . They aren't afraid to push the boundaries of what that could do. They are risk takers. We lost one of the world’s most unique recording artists we have ever seen. I can honestly say that I'm not a fan of all of his work but the thing I loved the most was that he didn't care. He was going to find a new way to do things. And for that I respect the hell out of him. His records will continue to be studied. Thank you David Bowie.”
- Andy Reed (musician, The Legal Matters/An American Underdog/solo)


“The Space Oddity record. One of the first records I asked my mom if I could get. Of course I bought it because of the hit. Man, aside from the fact that it was about space (which I am sure was totally cool to a lot of young men of nine), I, at that young age, got totally caught up in the drama of what happens when Ground Control loses contact with the ship and then… this incredible feeling of…loneliness.
I listened to a crapload of AM radio. I didn't have all that many experiences like that.
So. Bring it home. Put it on (the hit first).
“John, I'm Only Dancing” kinda scared me. It was also kinda sexy. Even though I didn't know what sexy was.
And that is what David Bowie is like to me.
Dramatic. Sexy. Lonely.
I mean, he changed not only his own music countless times, but, for a period in there,  he changed the way everybody else played too. And movies. And television. A goddamn Jim Henson movie.
All good work.
Always, "Bowie is GREAT in that!" "God. That thing in Extras?"
And was never anything less than interesting. AND made a batch of songs this year which HAD to have been stressful to say the least. So, I guess we can add bad ass to the list as well.
Well done, sir.
We should all aspire to such things.
Thank you.” 
- Robbie Rist (actor, musician, producer)


"I am unable to top whatever these fine people have said, so I'll let Mr. Bowie say it himself. And these are words you really need to hear first-hand. This is just a a small sample and really the main reason why we are all here mourning the loss of this magnificent artist. If you buy anything Bowie-related, let it be this. It should be retitled 'Five Years That Changed Music' but I suppose that is already implied:

DAVID BOWIE/Five Years (12CD box)

I can't possibly add anything else after that!"
- SPAZ (music fan)


“A couple of stories on Bowie
On October 28h 1995, I am sitting at home watching Game 6 of the World Series when a co-worker calls me up and asks what I am doing.
I tell him I am watching the World Series.
He asks me if I want to go and see a show.  I ask him who is playing.  He says Nine Inch Nails and David Bowie.
I tell him “Let’s go!”
I arrive at his house and we make the drive over to the Forum in Inglewood, CA.  We missed the opening band but were able to catch all of NIN’s set.  They were touring behind Downward Spiral.  Trent (Reznor) was hanging off of some lights that were above the stage overhead. Their set was amazing to say the least.
In between set changes, the stage was completely black while music played and a star pattern appeared on the back of the screens on the stage.
When the set change was done, the music stopped, the lights went up and Bowie and his band were on stage and ready to do their set. The unfortunate thing about his set to many in the audience was that he was not doing a lot of his older songs and concentrated only on his more current songs. I would say midway through the set over ½ of the crowd had already left the Forum.
I also saw Bowie in 1983 at the same venue for the Serious Moonlight tour and 1990 at Dodger Stadium for the Sound + Vision Tour with Lenny Kravitz opening.” 
- Craig Swedin (music industry veteran)


“By the time Bowie came along, I was already a die-hard rock and roll fan, so he didn't have the seismic effect on me that he had on many of my peers - as a matter of fact, it took me a few years to get past the makeup and get to the music, and that was largely due to my 1975-6 friendship with Kate McCamy, Leslie (Ozzie) Metcalfe and Meaddows Ryan, who played his albums incessantly. I never had any encounters with the man, but I was once standing at the CBGB door when he and his entourage were leaving. He was the last person of his group to exit; he stopped at the door and asked "Does the money here go to the bands?" When he was told that it did, he took out a wad of bills and paid for his entire party. I knew he was a class act from then on. The world is a bit less colorful today. Thanks for always fucking with our heads and always making it fun, Starman.”- Jahn Xavier (musician, Richard Hell & The Voidoids/The Nitecaps)