|Contributor pen portraits by Nick Smart
Carlos Alomar played guitar on eleven Bowie studio albums between 1975 and 2003 – more than any musician other than Mike Garson (also a guest). He formed part of Bowie’s famed DAM trio backing band along with George Murray (also a guest!) and the late Dennis Davis. He has writing credits on a range of Bowie songs including ‘Fame’ (with John Lennon), ‘Never Let Me Down’ and ‘Red Money’ and has worked with Lennon, Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Scissor Sisters, Alicia Keys, and many others.
As a singer, performance artist and drag artist, Joey Arias has been performing for many years on the stages of America. ‘In 1979, he appeared alongside Klaus Nomi as a dancer and backing vocalist for Bowie’s groundbreaking Saturday Night Live performance in which the songs ‘The Man Who Sold the World’, ‘TVC 15’ and ‘Boys Keep Swinging’ were performed.
When Kevin received an invitation to record with a ‘Mr. X’ in 1985, it was, he says, a ‘marvelous surprise’ when Bowie walked in. Over a ten-year period, Kevin recorded ‘Absolute Beginners’, ‘Dancing in the Street’ and the first Tin Machine album with Bowie as well as contributing to the Outside album. He played guitar with Bowie at Live Aid, played on Iggy Pop’s album Blah Blah Blah, produced by Bowie and continues as Iggy’s band leader.
Robin Clark is a singer who performed beautiful soul vocals on the Young Americans album in 1975. Her vocals also feature prominently on the title song of the album. She is featured notably in the Cracked Actor documentary working on the complicated vocal arrangement for the song ‘Right’. She has toured and recorded with Simple Minds and worked with many legendary artists including Bruce Springsteen, Tina Turner, Bob Dylan, Beyonce, Dolly Parton, and Michael Jackson.
A classically trained pianist, Mike Garson joined the Ziggy Stardust tour in 1972, soon going on to play on the Aladdin Sane album and the accompanying 1973 tour. Mike would go on to appear on a total of eleven Bowie albums, from Pin Ups (1973) to Reality (2003) and played live with Bowie on more occasions than any other individual.
A key member of Bowie’s band over five years in the late 1970s, George Murray was the bass player in the famous DAM trio alongside Carlos Alomar and Dennis Davis. He performed on Station to Station, the iconic Berlin trilogy (Low, “Heroes” and Lodger) and Scary Monsters. George left the music industry decades ago and rarely grants interviews. Fans will be clamouring to hear his stories.
Nacho is a self-taught filmmaker from Britain. He is well-known to Bowie fans for creating, editing, and restoring Bowie videos. In 2020, Nacho produced the documentary David Bowie in New York 1980: The Elephant Man, Scary Monsters and Other Strange People. In March 2021, he released an updated version of his documentary David Bowie is The Man Who Fell to Earth which was praised by the original film’s director, Nic Roeg. It was endorsed by the official David Bowie website and commended by Bowie’s wife, Iman.
Chris O’Leary is a writer, editor and journalist based in western Massachusetts. His work has appeared in Pitchfork, Slate, Billboard, LA Review of Books, Mojo, and New York. He is the author of the Bowie website Pushing Ahead of the Dame, a song-by-song chronicle of Bowie’s work. His work on Bowie has been published in two volumes: Rebel Rebel and Ashes to Ashes.
Tim is a British record producer now based in Austin, Texas. He was producer of both albums by Bowie’s late 80s/ early 90s band Tin Machine. He has also produced and mixed for other artists including U2, Robert Plant and Tears for Fears. He plays an active part in The Recording Academy/Grammys and has been a board member in Texas since 2012 and is a national trustee.
An acknowledged expert on David Bowie, Nicholas is the author of the encyclopedic and authoritative The Complete David Bowie which is known to fans as the Bowie Bible. Also a professional actor, Nicholas’s Twitter account describes him as the only Equity member to have played Hamlet, a Dalek and an otter. He compered the inaugural World Bowie Fan Convention in 2022 and reprises his role for NYC23.
In 1996, Mark co-produced David Bowie’s Earthling album, which marked the beginning of a period in which he produced, recorded, mixed, or performed on most of Bowie’s musical output until 2003. He has played guitar, bass and keyboards with Bowie and co-produced the long-unreleased album Toy which finally had an official release in 2021. He also served as Bowie’s musical director for live performances.
Carmine played bass on the Let’s Dance, Tonight and Never Let Me Down albums and toured the world on the Serious Moonlight and Glass Spider tours in 1983 and 1987. He has worked with a host of legendary artists including Mick Jagger, Stevie Wonder, Rod Stewart, Steve Winwood, Billy Joel, and BB King.
Bowie’s 1969 album, David Bowie (Space Oddity) was produced by Tony Visconti. The partnership went on to be one the most enduring of Bowie’s career and generated at least fourteen albums culminating in Bowie’s final masterpiece Blackstar in 2016. His relationship with a backing singer was the inspiration for the classic “Heroes.” Since 2014, he has performed with the Bowie supergroup, Holy Holy. He has produced classic albums by T. Rex, Sparks, Thin Lizzy and many others.