Friday, September 14, 2007
The Making Of Young Lions (part three)
throughout the making of young lions I continued to prepare for the upcoming bowie tour in my role as "music director" by arranging the material. david had given me a list of 35 songs from throughout his career, a kind of "greatest hits" list. they varied in style and content from orchestral pieces like space oddity to modern soul music like young americans. the band for the tour was to be my trio plus a turkish bassist david had chosen, Erdal Kizilcay. the instrumentation needed to portray such a varied catalog was far beyond the abilities of a 4-piece band, so I worked with keyboardist Rick Fox to do as much "sampling" as possible.*
most mornings before going into the studio to continue the making of young lions rick and I would talk through bowie songs over the phone (rick lived in cincinnati). I kept what I felt were the signature components of each song and filled in the arrangements as best I could with the attitude of a 4-piece rock band. still, this required more and more "sampling" from rick. we kept ordering more Roland samplers.
at last in early January, 1990 the Sound and Vision World Tour rehearsals began in New York City during which time I completed the young lions record and handed it over to Atlantic Records. in retrospect it has five of my personal favorites: I am what I am, young lions, phone call from the moon, gunman, and men in helicopters.
for the first and only time in my solo career out of necessity I allowed the artwork to be done without my input. usually I am completely involved in the artwork. it has become yet another output for creativity and personal expression. the artwork for young lions was done by the in-house art department of Atlantic. I supplied a photo of myself at age 5 (on my way to sunday school) and left the rest to them.
I am happy with young lions even though some of the material would have been different under less time constraints. in general, I'm not an artist who looks back at a record and wishes I had done something else. in fact, it was a great experience to see what magic could be pulled out of the hat on such short notice.
*during the bowie concerts rick fox sometimes had little to do except to start a sampler and let it play. the band was nearly hidden in the very back of the large 60-foot metal stage. once while playing in a stadium in front of about 30,000 people I looked back at rick. he had started the sampler and evidently had no keyboard parts to play. so there he sat, casually eating a sandwich!