Bowie's Cut Ups


Now that everyone is talking about David Bowie, I realize that I knew almost nothing about him.  Yes, certain of his songs were highly influential but most I couldn’t have told you were David Bowie until I heard them playing on the radio this week. 
Now there's a constellation named after him. 

From a biography on display at the library, I learned that he predicted before anyone knew about him that he would soon be a millionaire, though he did fail so hard after saying it that he almost quit music to join a Tibetan Buddhist monastery.

But the most interesting thing I've learned about Bowie is from Len who's in mourning, who told me about Bowie’s cut up method of writing lyrics, where he would cut words and phrases from magazines and newspapers and rearrange them.  

Why haven't I heard anyone but Len talking about this?  

Once, long ago I heard an interview with Bowie where he said that he hates the repetition of a tour, that the excitement for him is in the creating of a show, but once accomplished, to repeat over and over is torture.   


1 comment:

  1. He talks about it in this interview with Chris Douridas on KCRW

    He refers to how everyone wanted to be like “Bill Burrows” aka William S. Burroughs. And that’s how he came about doing “random writing”. Which eventually came to be done with a computer program a friend custom coded for him. But one time he was invited to a recording session with Dave Grohl and Frank Black but he didn’t have his computer with him. So he brought scissors just in case they asked him to write a song…which they did! —“I would cut up anything in sight into three and four word pieces. …It’s without rules.”