HIT CHANNEL INTERVIEW: January 2011. We had the great luck to talk with Woody Woodmansey, drummer of David Bowie and the Spiders from Mars , in the groundbreaking albums as ‘The Man Who Sold the World’, ‘Hunky Dory’, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars’ and ‘Alladin Sane’! He has also play with Art Gurfunkel, Paul McCartney and Edgar Winter. Read below the interesting things he told us..
3D, my project with my son Danny. Check out website at www.3dproject.co.uk.
You recently recorded drum tracks for a release produced by Ken Scott (producer/engineer during the classic Bowie albums, also with some artists you may heard of:The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Jeff Beck, Lou Reed, Supertramp. Not bad,though!!!).Did you enjoy it? How strange was re-recording your parts with the same drum kit after 40 years??!
It was great working with Ken again,he’s one of the few producers I’ve worked with who really knows his craft particularly on recording drums. It was very strange playing a kit I’d last played 40 years ago, the tuning we used back then meant the skins on each drum were very loose, which meant I didn’t really get from a tight skin so to play exact and and tight was hard work! Also since then my style has changed considerably along to those tracks again and getting the same emotions.
Was the period you played with David Bowie, the best in your career? Had you realized then that your music will be written in history or you treated to your music as something normal?
I’m very proud to have been a part of that period of “rock ’n’ roll history”.At the time we knew we were creating something different and special but obviously didn’t know the extent of it’s effect.
Mick as a guitarist and performer and arranger was definitely a key part and probably didn’t get the credit he deserved,he was very modest person.I think the main reason for Bowie’s success was that a lot of the necessary “boxes were ticked” which leads to success,great songs courtesy of David,a great band that knew how to play the right things for a song,great arranging,an engineer and produces,Ken Scott,who knew his stuff getting sounds and mixing and finally the ability to put a live show together that worked.
How important part in a music career is P.R? Do you think that you lacked of it, as John Paul Jones and Rick Wright?
Don’t know how to answer this one,but don’t know who Rick Wright is (ed:Rick Wright was the keyboardist of Pink Floyd. R.I.P). So PR must be important!!!!!!
Do you remember how it happened to play with Art Garfunkel? Was it easy working with him?
I was working with the keyboard player Nicky Hopkins and Art asked him to put a band together. Nicky asked me. It was hard from a technical viewpoint,a lot of tracks were Steve Gadd (ed: Steve Gadd has given us an interview in August!) parts and Art wanted it exact. Sometimes it mean playing a beat and leaving out the hi-hat or any right hand which was hard. But playing “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” to an audience of 20.000 with a 100 piece orchestra was definitely a high point. One night I got so into the orchestra and Art’s voice (which is incredible) and I forgot to bring the drums in the right point!!!
Would love to have played with Townshend, always been a big “Who” fan, too many more to mention!
What music do you hear this period? Do you think Radiohead is the best band of our days?
I have very eclectic tastes in music,from Toto and Journey to Dj Shadow, Transglobal Underground, Paul Simon to Coldplay etc, etc.
Do you miss your Trident Studios days?Do you remember any unknown/unexpected/funny trivia or fact during while recording there?
Funnily enough I’ve just been interviewed with Ken Scott for a documentary on Trident Studios! We did it in London just before Christmas. So you’ll have to wait for those stories (will announce on website when it’s out).
Have your even been in Greece? Send a message to the people who’ll read this…
No,unfortunately I’ve never been to Greecre.. To any drummers,musicians,singers etc this business is all about being true and persisting on the chosen path.
Special thanks to Mr Woody Woodmansey for his answers.