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Tony Visconti on Dennis Davis, David Bowie & “Heroes” (Part 3, 77/78)

May 5th, 2019 | by admin

Tracing My Dad • Vol. 10 • Tony Visconti discusses Dennis Davis and David Bowie • Part 3 [ 77/78 ]

The HD Projects & Nacho’s Videos presents, the third in a series of four interview videos, with world-famous music producer Tony Visconti, talking about drummer Dennis Davis.

The interview took place in New York City in 2018. Tony provided a lot of information and insight into the music he and David Bowie made, and the times they shared, with Dennis Davis.

Each video focuses on a specific phase of Tony’s work with Bowie and Dennis. This one focuses on David Bowie’s 1977 album, “Heroes”, and the subsequent tour in ’78.

Famously, the material for “Heroes” was recorded in Berlin, at Hansa Studios, “by the wall”. David Bowie, Tony Visconti, Brian Eno and the band continued, and expanded on the ideas they had discovered on the previous album Low, and produced another groundbreaking masterpiece. In this video, Tony shares interesting stories and details from those sessions, and beyond.


A personal note from Hikaru Davis

I was 11 years old when I filmed this interview. I was so nervous.

But Mr. Visconti was a great interviewee. He made it so easy to talk about my Dad.
My favourite part of the interview was to know Tony’s best memory of my Dad. I usually get to hear about funny moments. All his friends tell me he was a funny man. When he was still alive, he was funny, but he was rather quiet and more shy at home.

That’s why I love to know more about my Dad when he was young. It makes me smile. Thank you for sharing my Dad’s memory with me.

I hope everyone enjoys this video, thanks for watching and supporting my project.

A note from Nacho

Personally, the “Heroes” era is a very big deal for me. “Heroes” is one of my favorite Bowie albums. And I’ve long been fascinated by the legend of Bowie, anonymous in divided Berlin, recovering from his exhaustion and depression, to become again the confident artist.

Rory McLean is one of the unsung heroes of the ’77 / ’78 Berlin Bowieverse. Rory was the assistant director of both Just a Gigolo (the ’78 movie that Bowie starred in) and of the Stage movie – the unreleased Bowie concert film, shot at Earls Court in ’78.

Rory is now a renowned writer, and he dedicated one chapter of his excellent book, “Berlin: Imagine A City”, to beautifully and vividly depicting the Berlin Bowie. That chapter ends:

“In those few months in Berlin, Bowie made his journey from addiction to independence, from celebrity paranoia to radical, unmasked messenger who told us, all the fat-skinny people, all the nobody people, that we were beautiful, that we too could be ourselves.”

I was inspired by Tony’s Hansa Studios CCTV story. Suddenly in my mind, the recording sessions for “Heroes” became something vivid. So I wanted to create with this video, a little flavor of those sessions. As per, there was little material to work with. No footage for sure, and only the few archive photos of Hansa, and the shots from the recording session, when Robert Fripp came in to lay down his guitar parts.

However, I was delighted to discover in some of the Hansa shots, the CCTV camera in the studio, and the TV display screen in the control room. And so my video took off from there.

I hope you dig it!


Dennis Davis passed away on April 6th, 2016.

Hikaru Davis is the youngest child of the late drummer. Hikaru interviews some of the great musicians and producers who have worked with his late father, as well as Dennis’s friends and family. Dennis Davis played with David Bowie, Stevie Wonder, Roy Ayers, George Benson and many others. Hikaru hopes to learn how and why his father was one of the greatest drummers, and hear inspiring stories of his father through this tribute project.

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Use of the music and footage contained in this video does not imply any copyright ownership, and no infringement of rights is intended.

#DavidBowie #Heroes #TheDAMTrio #TonyVisconti #DennisDavis #CarlosAlomar #GeorgeMurray #BrianEno #RobertFripp #Stage

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