04 July 2002
On Bowie's Low in 2002
Bono showed up with Brian Eno and Kylie Minogue for David Bowie's weekend
concert at London's Festival Hall.
The Daily Telegraph's Neil McCormick - an old school friend of Bono's and
sometime Propaganda contributor - was also there.
'Name-dropping is an obnoxious habit, I know, but sometimes it cannot be
avoided. So there I was, backstage following David Bowie's weekend concert
at the Festival Hall, chatting with Bowie, Bono and Kylie (stars whose
single names drop onto the deep-pile celebrity carpet with a deeply
satisfying, solid gold thud).
Brian Eno stopped by to compliment Bowie on his bold rendition of the Low
album, which made up the first half of his set. "It was actually quite
bizarre, sitting in the audience hearing all those sounds and arrangements
we created being so immaculately replicated by other musicians," Eno (who
produced the original album in 1977) cheerfully announced. "I rather like
the idea of making a record then sending other people out to perform it. I
think it was a wise decision not to stick to the original running order,
"We tried that in New York," Bowie admitted. "The poor buggers didn't know
what to do with themselves during side two. They were too polite to complain
but by the fourth instrumental in a row there was a steady trickle of people
heading for the bar. This time I thought it wise to break it up a little."
Bono made the point that, while the music had actually been faithfully
recreated, the context had somehow changed Low immeasurably. "Back in the
Seventies, it was something strange and alien, this harsh, cold, Teutonic
sound," he opined. "Tonight everyone was singing along. It sounded like pop
Not to Kylie, however, who admitted it still sounded pretty strange to her.
"I've never actually heard it before," she confessed. "When did it come out?
Well, I was only nine! Its not the kind of thing we were singing in the
playground in Melbourne!"