Thursday, 27 January 2011

Ava Cherry: People from Bad Homes (album track), Dana Gillespie: Andy Warhol (a-side), Lulu: Watch that Man (b-side)

Bowie's Babes

Someone else who liked a little “musical collaboration” with the ladies was Mr Z. Stardust himself:

Hardcore David Bowie fans are probably familiar with the name Ava Cherry, but for the benefit of everyone else, Ava was Bowie’s lover in the early to mid ’70s, as well as one of his backup singers in the Astronettes during the Diamond Dogs/Young Americans Tour. 

Bowie had plans for Cherry and the other Astronettes, producing an album for the trio that was ‘new wave’ before the term existed. It also ended up being shelved for twenty years when things with their mutual management MainMan went sour.

'People From Bad Homes' is taken from sessions in 1973 with Bowie as producer, where he wrote a number of new songs for her including this one. The title was later recycled for the lyrics to Bowies song 'Fashion' in 1980.

After performing backing vocals on the track "It Ain't Easy" from David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, Dana Gillespie recorded an album produced by Bowie and Mick Ronson in 1973, called ‘Weren't Born a Man’.

Subsequent efforts have been in the blues genre, appearing with her London Blues Band. She is notable for being the original Mary Magdalene in the first London production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Jesus Christ Superstar which opened at the Palace Theatre in late 1971. 

She also appeared on the Original London Cast album which was released the following year.

This is a 1971 version of the song 'Andy Warhol' that pre- dates the version on the 'Weren't Born A Man' album.

Lulu's 1974 release of Bowie's ‘the Man Who Sold the World’ has been featured on this blog elsewhere. The b-side to this single was another Bowie composition this time from ‘Aladdin Sane’ called ‘Watch That Man’.

Lulu herself has admitted that after her marriage (to Maurice Gibb of Bee Gees fame) had ended she had an affair with David Bowie. She adored him but was disturbed by his dark hedonistic life. She knew that if she stayed with him too long, she'd be trapped in a “fog of decadence”.

“I was crazy for Bowie,” she says.
“I worked with him; he’s a very charismatic man and way ahead of his time. His look could be feminine but that didn’t stop him being a major heartthrob in the Seventies, did it, girls!”

Lulu: Watch That Man