The Stranger

The Stranger

Another source used on a Bowie song?...

I got the Mama's and Papa's boxset earlier this year (actually January come to think of it, using a gift token my cousin generously gave me for Xmas, time flies).

Anyway one day at work, even though I hadn't listened to Bowie for ages, I had 'Station To Station' going through my mind - in particular that 'bar-room' piano (it's a bit like that old bar-room piano you hear - or at least I hear - in American films and the like).

I couldn't think why.

Then I realised.

The Mama's and Papa's 'I Call Your Name' (itself a cover, and great improvement on, a Beatles' track).

Listen to the lines:

"Don't you know I can't take it
I don't know who can",

and listen to that piano.

It's the same! Isn't it... as the piano you hear on 'Station To Station', particularly in the final bars.

And I know how this happenned.

In 1975 Bowie was filming The Man Who Fell To Earth. And he was commissioned to do the soundtrack. Or so he thought...

So when he realised that John Phillips has swiped that from under his nose, having been a bit anti hippy, he finally got around to checking out the Mama's and Papa's music.

Either subconsciously that piano 'riff'/sound got used in 'Station To Station', or alternatively, it could have even been the seed from which 'Station To Station' grew...

The Stranger.
October 2nd, 2005.