Kate Bush explains how David Bowie had “everything”
(Credits: Far Out / Alamy / John Keogh)
Kate Bush and David Bowie truly are the queen and king of reinvention. With every new album, both artists delivered a whole new persona as they fully encapsulated the energy of their music.
It’s no wonder, then, that Bush was a huge Bowie fan. When The Rise and Fall Of Ziggy Stardust came out, it was Bowie’s first real foray into high art presentation, introducing the world to the futuristic figure of Ziggy Stardust and his pioneering, androgynous aesthetics. At the same time, in the early 1970s, a young Kate Bush was only just getting started.
Writing songs at home with her brothers, Bush would soon be introduced to Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour and have her life changed forever. In that way, Bowie and the glam rock wave he pioneered that inspired Gilmour also had a monumental impact on Bush.
She remembers the moment she first heard his music well, stating, “I was sitting in my bath, submerged in bubbles, listening to Radio Luxembourg when I heard David Bowie for the first time.” She continued, “‘There’s a starman waiting in the sky’. I thought it was such an interesting song and that he had a really unusual voice. Soon, I was to hear that track everywhere, and Bowie’s music became a part of my life.”
The singer quickly became one of her favourites, piquing her interest in the more theatrical side of music that she would come to dominate. She added, “His picture found itself on my bedroom wall next to the sacred space reserved solely for my greatest love – Elton John.”
But it was never just about Bowie’s style or visual identity. To Bush, he had everything a star could possibly want or need. She described the singer as “a fantastic songwriter with a voice to match, Bowie had everything. He was just the right amount of weird, obviously intelligent and, of course, very sexy.”
His early impact continued as she went to see him live, recalling, “I was there to see his last show as Ziggy Stardust with The Spiders From Mars. The atmosphere was just so charged that at the end, when he cried, we all cried with him.” When watching live footage of both Bowie and Bush from their early eras, the similarities are striking as ‘The Starman’ seemed to be the blueprint for the dramatic live shows Bush would put on.
In short, for Kate Bush, David Bowie was the epitome of a star. “He’s made all the right moves, each album exploring a new sound, a new way of looking at things, experimental and brave,” she praised the musician. Even admiring his work across film and TV, she loved every step he took, continuing, “Starring in The Man Who Fell To Earth made him a successful actor as well. His introduction to The Snowman animation, although brief, made the film more poignant as if the whole thing somehow belonged to him. I just loved his hilarious Extras cameo, and the quirky Tesla in The Prestige.”
Bush summarises her own thoughts best, so we’ll give her the final word on Bowie – “He is the quintessential artist, always different and ever surprising, an inspiration for us all.”