A few weeks ago, we told you about the time David Bowie refused to tarnish himself by collaborating with Coldplay. In that case, his response to Chris Martin after hearing the song was perfectly simple, and came via text: “Not one of your best.” (Or, if you believe drummer Will Champion’s version: “It’s not a very good song, is it?”)
We also know he rejected offers from the Red Hot Chili Peppers to produce their albums, albeit more respectfully, and that he once sent U2’s Bono a list of reasons why he didn’t like a Broadway musical that Bono had scored.
But this latest story might take the cake. Dave Grohl and Pat Smear of the Foo Fighters recently took a tour of Bowie’s favorite L.A. hotspots for a Playboy video, and in the course of the clip, Grohl let it slip that he once asked Bowie to sing on a track he was writing for a film.
Bowie’s first response was typically ethereal:
“About two years ago, I got approached by this movie to do a song for the movie, so I thought, ‘Maybe I’ll have someone else sing. I’ll do the music and then have another vocalist.’ And then I thought, “Maybe I’ll ask and see if David would do it.’ So the next day I get an email and it said, ‘David, I watched the movie and I got to be honest, it’s not my thing.’ He said, ‘I’m not made for these times. So thanks, but I think I’m gonna sit this one out.’”
Grohl thanked him via email, at which point he got this response:
“Alright, well that’s settled then. Now, fuck off.”
Ahhh Bowie! You cannot be duplicated.
Unfortunately, the saga ends on a sad note. Grohl emailed him back to say he looked forward to seeing him perform at his next big birthday party, and Bowie responded with a line that seems to have foreshadowed his death:
‘Don’t hold your breath. ... No more birthdays, I’ve run out of them.’ But then he wrote, ‘But that was a really fun night, wasn’t it.’”
Here’s hoping the wonderful trickle of posthumous Bowie stories never stops.