The Dandy Warhols on once being named David Bowie’s favourite band

Aprilia Rine

The Dandy Warhols on once being named David Bowie’s favourite band

The Dandy Warhols have reflected on what it was like to be named as one of David Bowie’s favourite bands.

The moment arose during a new discussion with the group’s frontman Courtney Taylor-Taylor, when he sat down for the latest instalment of NME’s Does Rock ‘N’ Roll Kill Braincells?! series.

During the conversation, the singer-songwriter was quizzed about the band’s history, and opened up topics including his time on the road, Dig! documentary with the Brian Jonestown Massacre and his 2009 graphic novel One Model Nation.

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At one point in the interview, Taylor-Taylor was asked if he could recall which two bands The Dandy Warhols played between during the 2000 edition of Glastonbury.

“Bush went on before us, then I have no idea because when I started walking offstage, David Bowie and his band – who had been watching us at the side – came towards us like a wave of black Gucci jackets and teeth,” he answered.

The correct answer turned out to be Saint Etienne and Muse, however, the conversation did lead to the singer recalling his working relationship with David Bowie – in particular, being named as one of the artist’s favourite bands.

“I have no idea what happened that day. Hours are gone from my memory. We were invited to watch David Bowie’s headline set at the side of the stage,” he explained.

Courtney Taylor-Taylor of The Dandy Warhols perform at Sidney Myer Music Bowl on September 16, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Naomi Rahim/WireImage/Getty Images)

“Zia [McCabe, Dandy Warhols’ keyboardist/bassist] started blowing bubbles over David’s stage, and somebody launched into a flaming bitch-fest at her: ‘WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING?! THIS IS GOING LIVE ON TV TO MILLIONS OF PEOPLE!’. Zia put them away, then after the next song, that person frantically came up to us and went: ‘DAVID LOVES THE BUBBLES! WE NEED MORE BUBBLES!’.”

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“Whenever David was in New York, he would come to our shows and he and Philip Glass owned a studio in Midtown that he’d let us use for free – that’s where we did our fourth album ‘Welcome to the Monkey House’, and we worked together with him on that. Above the telephone line, if you pulled one of Philip Glass’ platinum records to one side, the number of the Beastie Boys’ pot dealer was there – David caught us calling him one day and thought that was so cool,” he added.

“We toured extensively with him and it was fun being friends with. He was like a wizard, but was reluctant to give advice. When we found out we were David Bowie’s favourite band, it was like god came down to me and said: ‘Courtney, I meant to tell you, you were right the whole time. All that shit you went through in high school – they were wrong and you were right’.

He concluded, saying: “Bowie was also great at pool. I remember him once walking into a bar with me and my friends, racking up the balls. He ran the pool table while we stood with our mouths agape!”

The two worked together after Glastonbury too, when The Dandy Warhols joined Bowie as support during his ‘A Reality Tour’, and also as one of the special guests when the ‘Lets Dance’ singer invited them to his curation of Meltdown in 2002.

David Bowie (1947-2016) performs live on stage during the first night of his Serious Moonlight World Tour at the Vorst Forest Nationaal in Brussels, Belgium on 18th May 1983.
David Bowie (1947-2016) performs live on stage during the first night of his Serious Moonlight World Tour at the Vorst Forest Nationaal in Brussels, Belgium on 18th May 1983. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)

Taylor-Taylor also spoke about his relationship with Bowie back in 2020, when he took part in an interview with Sungenre. “With David… I just never knew really what he was talking about. He would be trying to make kind of jokes,” he recalled. “It’s like a weird uncle when you’re 12 and your uncle is trying to relate to you and you just kind of want them to go away because you don’t understand what they’re talking about. That is to be 100 per cent honest what it felt like hanging out with David Bowie for me.”

Back in 2016, he also told OPB about the time they shared a stage with the rock icon.

“We walked out and the crowd went, ‘Haaa.’ [Bowie] said, ‘The only other time in my career I’ve allowed another band to come on my stage was 30 years ago…and that person was Lou Reed.’ And everyone goes, ‘Haaa,’ even louder.

“He said, ‘A month ago, when I asked Courtney what song he wanted to do, he chose the same song I chose 30 years ago with Lou Reed. Ladies and gentlemen, ‘White Light, White Heat.’’ Everyone went bananas.”

The Dandy Warhols’ new album ‘Rockmaker’ is released via Sunset Blvd. on March 15.

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