Saturday, September 8, 2007

Gunman (instrumental remix)

gunman (instrumental remix)
volume 3 number 20

on the evening of January 15, 1990, following a long day of rehearsal with the Sound and Vision Band for David Bowie's imminent world tour I sat on a couch in a studio in a New York City recording studio called Right Track. david and I just had completed all the vocals and harmonies for pretty pink rose, one of david's songs now earmarked for my new solo record young lions. the thrill of singing on mic with david still resonated through my psyche but at that moment I was watching another mesmerising development. david had decided to help my lyric crunch by adding his words and voice to one of my unfinished tracks.

I watched in amazement as he repeated "play it back once more, please" and in one half hour wrote the words to a song he titled gunman. he wrote them on a yellow legal pad while quietly sipping a beer. 30 minutes! that would be a world record for me.

after david had sung all the words 3 times through, we were satisfied. I asked if he would "speak" in some parts of the song. this seemed to an odd request, but he gamely went out to the microphone. at the beginning of this "speaking" take you hear david pondering what style voice to use. through the talkback mic (which only he could hear) I asked him to use his "english" voice. then I added that I thought his british speaking voice was one of the best. that's when he says, "oh gawd!". he then launches into half-hearted melodramatics. one of the nicest things about david: his self-deprecating humor.

the rest of this take has the music only. I tuned the floor tom tom up a bit and played steady eighth notes on it to which we added delay in time with the tempo. when the song ends you can hear the delay taper off. the bass sound is the same growling one I had been using for small world, I am what I am, etc. the guitars are the tricky stuff. the guitar synth of the time was the GR-50. it had the wonderful capability of playing a different sound on each string. so I added a harmony note to each string but a different note from string to string. in this way I could make up very unusual chords and patterns for the rhythm guitars. for the soloing guitars...who knows!

voice: david bowie
bass, drums, guitars: adrian

engineer: rich denhart

assistant: dan harjung

recorded at Royal Recorders in Lake Geneva, Wis.
on November 3, 1989
david's voice was recorded at Right Track Recording
in New York City, NY. on January 15, 1990
length: 4:12


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  2. I loved your concert yesterday in Mexico City. Thanks! And that children you play with are just amazing! I'm just 2 years older than Julie and have gone to all the concerts you've made in my city since the first time you came with King Crimson as a double trio.

    Good luck in Monterrey.

  3. Great story.
    I love reading this blog every day.
    I wish there were more time to see you and the band when in Chicago. It's hard to get the time in.
    This blog is the best. My friends and I are big fans. Young lions is one of my favorite records.

    Joe Horizon

  4. Adrian,

    I always loved Gunman...I think you should do it live.

  5. Mr. B,

    I must again thank you for Side Two (Scion gave it to me for $0.74!). Still in my head although I listen to it almost everyday. "Although?" Hmmm...

    Anyway, I had to check the iPod stats... 18 times played. Add to that the # of times I've listened to the actual cd, maybe 24 total. I've owned it for 21 days. :D

    I'll be the one shouting "Play Side Two!"

    Today I learned Les is one Sides One and Three. I need them now, more than ever. Love his Hun.

    Thanks again,

  6. Hello Adrian.

    I will be father!!!!
    I'll have a baby!!!
    I will have mi first child!!
    I cannot believe it, i'm very happy... this is the happiest thing that has happen to me.

    I hope you have a great tour.

    Be happy and love your woman and your children!!!!


  7. Hi Adrian!
    I´m a mexican fan who went to your concert in Monterrey.
    Was the best show in my hole life!
    The guitar playing! The Slicks!
    All yours sounds was great!
    Thanks a lot for the music and for coming to my country.
    I hope to recibe a presente i send you with your crew.(a music cd of my band Player dos)
    And thanks for signing my side tree:D
    Best regards from México.
    Paco Rul

  8. I had forgotten about this song unil I ran across it on You Tube today. Thanks for all the great music over the years. You truly are one of the greats. I'll be visiting your blog regularly.

    Jeff Curtin