In an exclusive interview with FUBAR Radio’s Tom Latchem on his Tuesday morning show, Grammy award winning producer, Steve Lillywhite, said that David Bowie “hid behind his lyrics”. Lillywhite believed that Bowie’s legacy would be as prominent as John Lennon’s, but “I think he hid behind his lyrics more. I think John was much more open with his”.
“Bowie would say ‘you make your own meaning out of my lyrics’, there was not much social conscience, social comment.”
Working at Columbia Records, in the early 2000s, allowed Lillywhite to speak to Bowie about music and their experiences. A particular meeting, between the two music legends, highlighted to Lillywhite the many disguises of Bowie that made him so iconic.
“It’s like when you have such a crush on someone, like I did on him, when you meet these people they can never quite live up to your [expectations]… because he’s just so normal. All the makeup and all that was a result of his shyness.”
This shyness may have been a factor in the silence on Bowie’s sickness. Lillywhite remarked that he did actually know that Bowie was unwell because Bowie had quit smoking and was becoming increasingly disinterested in doing anything. Lillywhite had heard unconfirmed information that Bowie had a quadruple bypass, alongside reports that he had a stent put into his heart.
Having always been enamoured by Bowie’s body of work, Lillywhite reminisced about the first time he listening to Hunky Dory at age 14 and finding it to be the “one of the most inspiring, life changing records that I’ve ever experienced”.
“Even after all these years… I could sing every bloody word.”
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