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Off The Record: David Bowie

A Music podcast
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Episodes of Off The Record

Our final episode on the life (or lives) of David Bowie begins and ends with a birthday. We start in 2013, when David reentered public life nearly a decade after his heart attack with the surprise release of “Where Are We Now," his first new so
So far we’ve discussed the making of Bowie’s landmark track “Heroes” — one of the most mythic songs in his cannon. Everything about its creation is loaded with drama. It was recorded in an old Nazi concert hall within sight of watchful East Ger
We’re taking a brief break from the story this week. (We’ll be back with our final chapter on David Bowie on Monday, May 3rd!) But today we have something very special in store: a conversation with Carlos Alomar — a funk guitar icon, and one of
Our latest chapter covered David Bowie’s creative renaissance in the ‘90s and early 2000s. The records that he made in this period are often overlooked but rank among the most experimental of his career, as he rejoined formative ‘70s collaborat
Today we’re looking at Bowie the Rock ‘n’ Roll Elder Statesman. Throughout the ‘90s, he continued to change and challenge, inspiring new generations with his work. Far be it from David to go gently into middle age. In this era, he produced late
Today’s ‘Labyrinth’ Week guest is puppeteer Steve Whitmire, who performed several characters in this beloved film — including one of the fiery figures in the “Chilly Down” dance sequence, and (my favorite) Ambrosius, the trusty dog of Sir Didym
This week on 'Off the Record,' we're playing special tribute to Jim Henson's 1986 film 'Labyrinth,' the beloved cult classic that introduced David Bowie to generations of kids. We're kicking off the festivities with conceptual designer Brian Fr
The climax of our last chapter is David Bowie’s set at Live Aid in the summer of 1985 . Our guest today was alongside him on the Live Aid stage – and in the helicopter on the nerve-wracking ride out to Wembley Stadium. His name is Thomas Dolby,
Today’s episode looks at David in the ‘80s, a time that saw him grow from a famous artist to a global superstar — a one-man brand bolstered by the fresh force of MTV. David embraced the exponential growth of mass media, and shamelessly courted
Our last two episodes followed David Bowie in the late ’70s as he recorded ‘Low’ and ‘Heroes,’ the twin pillars of his so-called Berlin Trilogy. (Sorry, ‘Lodger’ fans.) These records are an artistic triumph on nearly ever level, and contain the
Today’s episode looks at Bowie’s years in Berlin. It was a time of tremendous personal and artistic growth as the newly minted 30-year-old escaped the trappings of his showiness bubble and re-entered reality. Holed up in a nondescript apartment
Our latest chapter chronicles The Thin White Duke, David Bowie’s most infamous and unsettling character. He makes his grand entrance on the title track to Bowie’s landmark 1976 album ‘Station to Station.’ Today we’re visited by Mr. Earl Slick,
Today’s chapter is a portrait at The Thin White Duke, the manifestation of megalomania and paranoia that gripped David Bowie at his personal low. Among his most frightening creations, the icy character unveiled on the title track to 1976’s ‘Sta
Our latest chapter of ‘Off The Records’ delves into a dark era for David Bowie: the months spent in Los Angeles in 1975. Famously subsisting on a diet of cocaine, milk and red peppers, he stayed awake for days at a time, driving himself to the
At the height of his fame in the mid-'70s, David Bowie battled his deepest demons in the City of Angels. After a costly split from his management company, he found himself adrift in Hollywood, driving himself to the brink of sanity with a diet
In our latest chapter, David Bowie went from Starman to Soulman, trading high concept sci-fi tales and glam rock for the music that had enthralled him as a boy — rhythm and blues. David’s renewed love of R&B was stoked by his new girlfriend at
In August 1974, Patti Brett was among the throngs of supremely devoted David Bowie fans camped outside of Philadelphia’s Sigma Sound while the man himself toiled inside, undergoing his transformation from Starman to Soulman. Bowie was hard at w
David Bowie arrived on U.S. shores in the spring of 1974 to launch the mammoth Diamond Dogs tour, the Broadway-style production inspired by Orwell’s 1984, and his own unnerving trip behind the Iron Curtain. The show was his most elaborate ventu
We’re taking a quick a quick midseason break from our story this week; we’ll have the next chapter of Bowie’s life for you on Monday, March 8th! But today we have something extra special in store — a conversation with Mr. Ken Scott, the man who
Tony Zanetta is a crucial figure in New York’s experimental downtown drama scene of late '60s and early ‘70s. He first entered David Bowie’s orbit as a cast member of Andy Warhol's play ‘Pork’ in 1971 (co-starring with last week's guest, Cherry
The American sibling of Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane was born on the road as David Bowie embarked on his triumphant first tour of the United States. With his face bisected by his trademark lightning bolt, the character reflects an artist coming
Ziggy Stardust wouldn’t have been the same without the help of David Bowie’s new friends from the cast of Andy Warhol’s play, ‘Pork.’ The groundbreaking avant garde theatrical production shocked audiences by taking aim at pretty much every soci
At last, a starman is born. The arrival of Ziggy Stardust brought David Bowie the fame he'd been working towards for nearly a decade. Fusing innovative fashion, avant-garde theatrical flair, far out sci-fi and killer song craft, he transformed
The latest chapter of ‘Off the Record’ opens with David Bowie’s first trip to the United States in January of 1971. The arrival was a triumph for David — until he was detained by customs officials for his feminine clothes. He received a warmer
At the dawn of the decade he’d grow to dominate, David Bowie found himself in low spirits. His first taste of fame with “Space Oddity” was not so sweet, and he seemed in danger of becoming that most sorry of acts: a one hit wonder. As his music
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