This is not America - David Bowie & Pat Metheny Group - 1985

David Bowie & Pat Metheny Group

This is not America

David Bowie

Source: biography.com

David Bowie was born in South London on January 8, 1947. His first hit was the song "Space Oddity" in 1969. The original pop chameleon, Bowie became a science fiction character for his breakout Ziggy Stardust album. He later co-wrote "Fame" with John 

Lennon which became his first American No. 1 single. An accomplished actor, Bowie starred in The Man Who Fell to Earth in 1976. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.

Known as a musical chameleon for his ever-changing appearance and sound, David Bowie was born David Robert Jones in Brixton, South London, England, on January 8, 1947.

David showed an interest in music from an early age and began playing the saxophone at age 13. He was greatly influenced by brother Terry, who was nine years older and exposed young David to the worlds of rock music and beat literature.

But Terry had his demons, and his mental illness, which forced the family to commit him to an institution, haunted David for a good deal of his life. Terry committed suicide in 1985, a tragedy that became the focal point of Bowie's later song, "Jump They Say."

After graduating from Bromley Technical High School at 16, David started working as a commercial artist. He also continued to play music, hooking up with a number of bands and 

leading a group himself called Davy Jones and the Lower Third. Several singles came out of this period, but nothing that gave the young performer the kind of commercial traction he needed.

Out of fear of being confused with Davy Jones of The Monkees, David changed his last name to Bowie, a name that was inspired by the knife developed by the 19th century American pioneer Jim Bowie.

Eventually, Bowie went out on his own. But after recording an unsuccessful solo album, Bowie exited the music world for a temporary period. Like so much of his later life, these 

few years proved to be incredibly experimental for the young artist. For several weeks in 1967 he lived at a Buddhist monastery in Scotland, and in 1968 he started his own mime troupe called Feathers.

Around this time he also met the American-born Angela Barnett. The two married on March 20, 1970, and had one son together, Zowie, in 1971, before divorcing in 1980.

By early 1969, Bowie had returned full-time to music. He signed a deal with Mercury Records and that summer released the single "Space Oddity." Bowie later said the song came to him after seeing Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. "I went stoned out of my mind to see the movie and it really freaked me out, especially the trip passage."

The song quickly resonated with the public, sparked in large part by the BBC's use of the single during its coverage of the Apollo 11 moon landing. The song enjoyed later success in the U.S., when it was released in 1972 and climbed to No. 15 on the charts.

Bowie's next album, The Man Who Sold the World (1970), further catapulted him to stardom. The record offered up a heavier rock sound than anything Bowie had done before 

and included the song "All the Madmen," about his institutionalized brother, Terry. In addition the album also featured two hits: "Hunky Dory," a tribute to Andy Warhol, the Velvet Underground and Bob Dylan; and "Changes," which came to embody Bowie himself.

As Bowie's celebrity profile increased, so did his desire to keep fans and critics guessing. He claimed he was gay and then introduced the pop world to Ziggy Stardust, Bowie's imagining of a doomed rock star, and his backing group, The Spiders from Mars.

His 1972 album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, made him a superstar. Dressed in wild costumes that spoke of some kind of wild future, Bowie, portraying Stardust himself, signaled a new age in rock music, one that seemed to officially announce the end of the 1960s and the Woodstock era.

But just as quickly as Bowie transformed himself into Stardust, he changed again. He leveraged his celebrity and produced albums for Lou Reed and Iggy Pop. In 1973, he disbanded the Spiders, shelved Stardust and announced he was through with live shows.

Around this time he showed his affection for his early days in the English mod scene and released Pin Ups, an album filled with cover songs originally recorded by a host of popular bands, including Pretty Things and Pink Floyd.

By the mid 1970s Bowie had undergone a full-scale makeover. Gone were the outrageous costumes and garish sets. In two short years he released the albums David Live (1974) and 

Young Americans (1975). The latter album featured backing vocals by a young Luther Vandross and included the song "Fame," co-written with John Lennon, which became Bowie’s first American number one single.

In 1980 Bowie, now living in New York, released Scary Monsters, a much-lauded album that featured the single "Ashes to Ashes," a sort of updated version of his earlier "Space Oddity."

Three years later Bowie, with a new contract with RCA, recorded Let's Dance (1983), an album that contained a bevy of hits such as the title track, "Modern Love" and "China Girl," and featured the guitar work of Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Of course, Bowie's interests didn't just reside with music. His love of film helped land him the title role in The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976), and later The Elephant Man (1980).

Over the next decade, Bowie bounced back and forth between acting and music, with the latter especially suffering. Outside of a couple of modest hits, Bowie's musical career languished. The albums Tin Machine (1989) and Tin Machine II (1991) proved to be flops, 

while his much-hyped album Black Tie White Noise (1993), which Bowie described as a wedding gift to his new wife, supermodel Iman, also struggled to resonate with record buyers.

Oddly enough, the most popular Bowie creation of late has been Bowie Bonds, financial securities the artist himself backed with royalties from his pre-1990 work. Bowie issued the bonds in 1997 and earned $55 million from the sale. The rights to his back catalog were returned to him when the bonds matured in 2007.

In 2004 Bowie received a major health scare when he suffered a heart attack while onstage in Germany. He made a full recovery and went on to work with bands such as Arcade Fire and with the actress Scarlett Johansson on her album Anywhere I Lay My Head (2008), a collection of Tom Waits covers.

Bowie, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, was a 2006 recipient of the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Pat Metheny Group

Source: Wikipedia

The Pat Metheny Group is a band founded in 1977. The first Pat Metheny Group release, 1978's Pat Metheny Group, featured the writing duo of Metheny and Mays, a collaboration which has spanned over 25 years and 15 albums. The recording featured the electric bass 

playing of Pastorius's protégé, Mark Egan. The second group album, American Garage (1979), was a breakout hit, reaching number 1 on the Billboard Jazz chart and crossing 

over onto the pop charts as well, largely on the strength of the up-tempo opening track "(Cross the) Heartland", which became a signature tune for the group. This early incarnation of the group included Dan Gottlieb on drums.

The group built upon its success through constant touring across the USA and Europe. The early group featured a unique sound, particularly due to Metheny's Gibson ES-175 guitar coupled to two Eventide Clockworks' Harmonizer digital delay units and Mays' Oberheim 

and Sequential Circuits Prophet 5 synthesizers and Steinway piano. Even in this early state the band played in a wide range of styles from folk to rock to experimental. Metheny later 

started working with the Roland GR-300 guitar synthesizer and the Synclavier guitar system made by New England Digital. Mays expanded his setup with the Synclavier keyboard and later with various other synthesizers.

From 1982 to 1985 the Pat Metheny Group released Offramp (1982); a live set, Travels (1983); and First Circle (1984); as well as The Falcon and the Snowman (1985), a 

soundtrack album for the movie of the same name in which they collaborated with David Bowie. A single from the soundtrack, "This Is Not America", reached number 14 in the British Top 40 in early 1985 as well as number 32 in the USA.

Offramp marked the first appearance of bassist Steve Rodby (replacing Egan) and Brazilian "guest artist" Nana Vasconcelos, whose work on percussion and wordless vocals marked the first addition of Latin music shadings to the Group's sound, a trend which continued and 

intensified on First Circle with the addition of Argentinian multi-instrumentalist Aznar, which also marked the group debut of drummer Paul Wertico (replacing Gottlieb) – both Rodby and Wertico were members of the Simon and Bard Group at the time, and had played in Simon-Bard as well, in Chicago, before joining Metheny.

This period became a peak of commercial popularity of the band, especially for the live recording Travels. First Circle would also be Metheny's last project with ECM Records; he had been a key artist for ECM, but left following conceptual disagreements with label 

founder Manfred Eicher. The next Pat Metheny Group releases would be based around a further intensification of the Brazilian rhythms first heard in the early 1980s. Additional Latin musicians appeared as guests, notably Brazilian percussion player Armando Marçal. Still 

Life (Talking) (1987) was the Group's first release on new label Geffen Records, and featured several popular tracks, followed by Letter from Home (1989), which also featured Aznar and Marçal. During this period The Steppenwolf Theater Company of Chicago 

featured an assortment of compositions by Metheny and Mays for their production of Lyle Kessler's play Orphans, where it has remained special optional music for all productions of the play around the world since.

Metheny then again delved into adventurous solo and band projects, and four years went by before the release of the next record for the next Pat Metheny Group, a live set entitled The Road to You, which featured tracks from the two Geffen studio albums amongst new 

tunes. The group integrated new instrumentation and technologies into its work, notably Mays' unique playing technique accomplished by adding midi-controlled synth sounds at command during acoustic solos via a pedal on the piano.

Mays and Metheny themselves refer to the following three Pat Metheny Group releases as the triptych: We Live Here (1995), Quartet (1996), and Imaginary Day (1997). Moving away from the Latin style which had dominated the releases of the previous 10 years, these 

albums were the most wide-ranging and least commercial Group releases, including experimentations with sequenced synthetic drums on one track, free-form improvisation on acoustic instruments, and symphonic signatures, blues and sonata schemes.

After another hiatus, the Pat Metheny Group re-emerged in 2002 with the release of Speaking of Now, another change in direction adding musicians to the band who were a 

generation younger and thus grew up with the Pat Metheny Group. The new members were drummer Antonio Sanchez from Mexico City, trumpet player Cuong Vu, and bassist, vocalist, guitarist, and percussionist Richard Bona from Cameroon.

The latest release, 2005's The Way Up, is another large concept record which consists of one 68-minute-long piece (although split into four sections solely for CD navigation), a tightly organized but not through-composed piece based on a pair of three-note kernels: The 

opening B, A#, F# and the derived B, A, F#. The reception of The Way Up was consistent, with standing ovations in each of the almost 90 concerts during the world tour of 2005. On The Way Up, harmonica player Grégoire Maret from Switzerland was introduced as a new group member, while Bona contributed only as a guest musician.

During the world tour Brazilian multi-instrumentalist Nando Lauria completed the line-up of the Pat Metheny Group. The Way Up was released through Nonesuch Records and all of Metheny's Geffen and Warner Brothers back catalogue is to be released on the label. Core 

members of the group are Metheny, Mays, and Steve Rodby (double and electric bass), who joined in 1980. Drummer Paul Wertico replaced Gottlieb in 1983 and continued to play with the group for more than 18 years, until he was replaced by Sanchez, currently[when?] also a member of The Pat Metheny Trio.

The current[when?] Pat Metheny Group members are Metheny, Mays, Rodby, Sanchez, and Vu. Other musicians that have been hired regularly for Metheny Group tours are: Mark Ledford (vocals, trumpet, guitar); David Blamires (vocals, miscellaneous instruments); 

Marçal (percussion); Aznar (vocals, guitar, percussion); and Bona (vocals, guitar, bass, and percussion). On the most recent[when?] tour to promote the record The Way Up, Grégoire 

Maret (harmonica, percussion, vocals) and Lauria (guitar, percussion, vocals) joined the Group. Pat Metheny has collected 19 Grammy Awards, and of them, as part of The Pat Metheny Group, 10 of those awards were consecutive.

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