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Woody Woodmansey:
On Recording Ziggy Stardust

(Greater London Radio broadcast -  10 April 1999) 

See also Ken Scott: Recording Ziggy Stardust

The following is a partial transcript from a Greater London Radio broadcast on 10 April 1999, featuring Woody Woodmansey and two other guests. The purpose of the programme was to review various pieces of music, but Peter Curran (who hosted the show) also asked Woody a question about the recording of Ziggy Stardust, which he claimed as one of his favourite albums. Many thanks to "Yassassin" for the transcript.

Peter Curran: Well, we’re also joined today by one of my heroes, Woody Woodmansey, one of the finest drummers ever to sit behind the traps. He of course played on many of David Bowie’s seminal recordings as drummer with The Spiders From Mars, also worked with Art Garfunkel, he’s done solo albums, he’s recently contributed to a book on Scientology, a large tome… You’re latest live work is with Def Leppard of all people? How’s that going?

Woody Woodmansey: That was sort of a mini-tour we put together. Trevor, the bass player who was with Bowie, and myself sort of put a band together after doing some session work on, like, a Seattle grunge band. We hadn’t played together for about ten years, and we really got off on playing together again, so he said let’s just go out and do the clubs. Anyway we did a few and then Joe Elliott phoned up and said: "Look, if you’re going out again, Phil, Colin and I want to come out and do the vocals and guitar". And we went: "What???" (laughs) You know? So we put like, I think it was about a fifteen-date tour together, just of rock clubs up and down the country. And it was wicked, it really went good. We did, like, our versions of Bowie numbers, our style – like Leppard, like Def Spiders, you know?

PC: Really? Oh dear… (background laughter) Well, anyway –

WW: (laughing) It was good – no, it was good…

PC: Well, here’s you in action in fantastically subtle mode. This is Woody Woodmansey with Bowie…

Plays "Five Years"

PC: "Five Years", from Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars. The man playing them drums was Woody Woodmansey. Do you remember the sessions from that particular song, at all?

WW: Yeah, I do. Trident Studios in London. I was just thinking – that’s not the track you want on a Saturday morning, is it, when you’ve just got up, and… (yawns) …you know? Bit of peace and quiet….

PC: We love to stir misery and heartache and guilt in the face (?) on GLR…(laughter)

WW: Well, you achieved it then… (laughter)

PC: Good… I suppose the last thing that people would expect, with such a revolutionary album like that, for the sessions to be quite sort of, you know, workmanlike and straightahead… But were they?

WW: They were actually. I mean, we did a couple of weeks rehearsing, we went in and did the whole album in two days, and then scrapped it, and then did it again in about three days and in about a week it was mixed and finished.

PC: Wow…

WW: So it was just, bang bang…. I mean, a lot of the stuff we did was one take… we never went to three, more than three. And I don’t think we hardly went to three takes. It was just, get the feel – ‘cause after that you sort of, you know what I mean, you’re thinking about… the night’s recreation or whatever… (laughter) You’re thinking about something else apart from the song, anyway….

PC: Yeah…cool. What a cool man, I think.

Mick Wall: Not like Def Leppard, they take three years to make an album, don’t they? (laughter)

WW: Yeah, but Joe’s learning….(laughter)

PC: Well, listen, we’re also joined by Neville, he’s making up the trio reviewing this week’s new records….

---This page last modified: 12 Dec 2018---

Ziggy Stardust Scarf (1973)