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