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Interview: Geoff MacCormack talks David Bowie

Ian Chaddock

BY Ian Chaddock

20th Apr 2023 Music

Interview: Geoff MacCormack talks David Bowie

David Bowie remains a household name all over the world; in this interview, his childhood friend Geoff MacCormack dives into their friendship and beyond

RD: You knew Bowie from primary school through to touring the world with him. How did he change from being a kid to one of the biggest rock stars in the world? Did you see that he had that potential as a boy?

Geoff: He was always David Jones, from childhood, to me. He became extremely ambitious to succeed in music in his late teens; it took him a long time to really get off the mark.

Interview: Geoff MacCormack talks David BowieCredit: Geoff MacCormack

RD: You bonded over music from an early age. What music did you both love and did you introduce each other to a lot of different artists and bands?

Geoff: Initially, we liked Little Richard and Elvis Presley. When we were older, I became a mod into R ‘n’ B and Jamaican Blue Beat. I introduced him to James Brown; he introduced me to Van Morrison.

RD: It seems that humour was central to your friendship. What are some of the funniest moments on the road that you remember with David?

Geoff: I remember we tried to get to see Fats Domino in Santa Fe. We knocked on his door backstage, and his minder answered, "Who is it?" ----- David Bowie said, "David." ------- "David who?" came the answer ----- "David Bowie", said David again ------ "David who?" said the minder. At that point, a few very good-looking girls knocked on the very same door and got straight in! We were so drunk we laughed all the way back to the bar.

RD: Did you realise when it was happening that these intimate and behind-the-scenes photos would be so special and would thrill fans or were you just capturing photos of you and your friend having fun together on the road?

Geoff: No, to me they were, and in many ways still are, my holiday snaps!

Interview: Geoff MacCormack talks David BowieCredit: Geoff MacCormack

RD: What are some of the photographs of David that mean the most to you and why?

Geoff: Perhaps the image of David asleep on the Trans-Siberian Express, for reasons revealed in the book.

RD: How was it different to record and tour with David? Were his approaches to recording and touring very different?

Geoff: He began to do a lot of his writing and composing in the studio, particularly on the album Station to Station. One of the images I took during that recording is of David writing lyrics on the floor at Cherokee Studios LA in 1975.

Interview: Geoff MacCormack talks David BowieCredit: Geoff MacCormack

RD: What is the wildest night on tour that you remember?

Geoff: I’d rather not say!

RD: What is one thing that people should know about David that you enjoyed about him as a lifelong friend that people don’t know or don’t talk about enough?

Geoff: He was very generous. Every birthday, without fail, both George Underwood—David’s and my other childhood friend—and I would receive a huge hamper of food, wine and other delicacies from the, upmarket, Piccadilly store Fortnum & Mason.

Interview: Geoff MacCormack talks David Bowie

David Bowie: Rock ‘n’ Roll with Me by Geoff MacCormack is out now on ACC Art Books

Banner credit: Geoff MacCormack

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