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David Bowie Interviewed on Good Morning America (ABC-TV, 3rd September 1980)

September 3rd, 2020 | by admin
David Bowie Interviewed on Good Morning America (ABC-TV, 3rd September 1980)


Forty years ago today, Bowie popped up on the New York City-based early morning TV show, Good Morning America and gave this short interview with host Joan Lunden.

Despite what he says in the interview, at this point NYC was pretty much home for David Bowie. He’d had a loft space in Chelsea since at least December ’79, where he lived and painted.

In February ’80 Bowie returned to New York to work on the Scary Monsters material at The Power Station with Tony Visconti. But by mid-March he was travelling again; first to Japan to film the Crystal Jun Rock commercials, and then to Europe and the U.K. In London he and Visconti resumed the work on the Scary Monsters material. Also in the U.K. during that time was the shoot for the Ashes to Ashes video, and the photo sessions for the Scary Monsters cover art with Duffy and Edward Bell.

In mid-July Bowie returned to the States to start rehearsals for The Elephant Man stage play. On July 29th, The Elephant Man starring David Bowie opened for a short run at the Center of Performing Arts in Denver. Then the play moved to Chicago, opening on the 5th of August at The Blackstone Theatre. During the Chicago run, Bowie gave a short interview with Bob Sirott.

Meanwhile, Ashes to Ashes was released as a single in the U.K. on August the 8th. The following week it was the number single on the U.K. charts, Bowie’s biggest hit since Fame.

The final Elephant Man performance in Chicago was on August the 31st. And three days later, we see him back in New York City, on Good Morning America. Since late ’79, Bowie seems to have kept a low profile with the press. The appearance on Good Morning America, was the first broadcast or interview of any substance he had given all year.

Later in the day of the Good Morning America interview, rehearsals would begin with the new cast for the Broadway run of the Elephant Man at The Booth Theatre. Also going on with Bowie that week was the band rehearsals for The Tonight Show performance, which would be happening in a couple of days, on September the 5th.

The Elephant Man performances at The Booth Theatre commenced on September 23rd. The play would continue there for the next 3-months, finishing on January the 3rd, 1981.

On December the 9th, about a month before the end of the Booth Theatre Elephant Man run, Bowie’s mate John Lennon was tragically murdered on the doorstep of his building in New York City. Bowie’s plans, such as they were, for a Scary Monsters tour were scrapped. He left New York, and settled in Switzerland, recording and releasing almost nothing until Let’s Dance in 1983.

As always with these little Bowie bio’s I compile, I’m indebted to Roger Griffin’s excellent book David Bowie The Golden Years.

When the The Elephant Man opened at The Booth Theatre in New York in early October 1980, David Bowie gave quite a lot of interviews. Some of those interviews were worked up into pretty nice little Bowie TV specials. During the next few weeks and months, I’m going to try to come up with optimized versions of as many of those TV features as I can.

Thanks for watching, hope you dig it!


Video and Audio:
David Bowie • Interviewed on Good Morning America • 3rd of September 1980
Features an excerpt from the David Bowie Ashes to Ashes promo video • Directed by David Mallet and David Bowie

Always more videos to follow, so please keep your electric eye on me babe!

I don’t own the rights, and I’m not making any money out of this etc. Just a fan making videos for other fans.

Nacho, September 3rd, 2020.

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