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- Posted on Feb 5th 2013 4:40PM by Chris Epting
And they should know him. Beyond his Lower East Side cool and sinewy stance, all Slick did was become one of the premier guitarists of his generation. Sure, he's played with John Lennon, Robert Smith, the New York Dolls, and his own outfits Phantom, Rocker and Slick, among many others. For many of us, though, Slick's name will forever be most intertwined with David Bowie.
Originally hired by Bowie to replace the late Mick Ronson as lead guitarist in 1974 on the Diamond Dogs tour, Slick went on to star on the classic Bowie albums Young Americans and Station to Station. In 1983, Bowie brought him back for the Serious Moonlight tour as a last-minute replacement for Stevie Ray Vaughan. Most recently, he received an e-mail from the Thin White Duke inviting him to come play on his surprise upcoming album, The Next Day.
With the record set for release this March, Slicks tells us he's got one thing on his mind when it comes to Bowie: Touring.
Were you surprised when you got word from David with news of the new album?
Actually I wasn't even that surprised when I got his e-mail. I mean I'll put it this way: I never expected to do another album with David and I never expected not to do another album with David. That's just how it is with Bowie. You can't expect anything. He's a very unique artist in that has always done things his own way and I think that's the primary thing that makes them so interesting. He's always very true to himself and he never does the expected.
Was it hard to keep the secret while you were recording the album?
Not really, because with many new projects it's never a good idea to be talking too much about it. You never want to start rumors or reveal too much before things are ready. So in that respect, I mean yeah, this was more under wraps than most things, but I've never really been one to speak out of school.
So you get the e-mail and you head to the studio. How are things when you first arrive and see Bowie?
It's actually totally normal. We walk in, it's "Hey, how you doing? Have a coffee and some biscotti's," and then we are back in business. We play these great songs behind this great artist. It's like no time had gone by at all. David and I are always comfortable together and I think that's probably why it didn't feel like much time had gone by. We just have a very natural situation together.
Of course there's been no tour announcements yet but this is something you'd obviously love, right?
Are you kidding? In a heartbeat. I would love nothing more than to tour with Bowie right now and I think it would be the most exciting thing that music would experience for a long time. I'm serious. David, we have to tour [laughs].
Any thought on what the odds might be?
It's kind of like doing the record. I wouldn't be surprised if he toured and I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't tour.
Based on what you've played in the studio with Bowie before, had did this new record feel?
It's amazing. You know, there are a few things that kind of feel like Station to Station rockers, then there are some other things that might feel kind of like Diamond Dogs, but as usual it is extremely eclectic and it is uniquely Bowie, meaning that it's a whole bunch of really cool things. There is just never anything like Bowie record and I think that's why I'm so happy that at least we got to the album. As as to what happens next, will all have to wait and see. But I know I would like a tour to happen!