David Bowie‘s former drummer from Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders From Mars, Mick “Woody” Woodmansey, says he turned down an invitation to perform with Lady Gaga in last year’s Grammys tribute to Bowie, calling it “stupid” and “tacky.”
Woodmansey played with Bowie from 1970–1973 and spent years since touring with the Bowie tribute band Holy Holy, which also features Bowie’s frequent producer Tony Visconti, playing The Man Who Sold the World and other classics. He said both he and Visconti turned down the opportunity to appear with Gaga, who was joined by Nile Rodger to perform a medley of Bowie’s hits.
“We were actually asked to do that, we were on tour at the time, they asked Tony and myself would we do it, and we looked at it and it was going to be like 14 or 15 songs in the space of four minutes, and we just went ‘No, fuck off, that’s stupid, that’s not going to represent anything good about him,'” Woodmansey told NME. “I haven’t seen many things that do represent it properly. It’s nice that many want to do that, it’s a great thing, but quality wise, there hasn’t been many.”
He added, “It was just, ‘Why are you doing it?’ If there’s a genuine heartfelt thing that you wanna do out of respect, then you’d probably pull it off, but if there’s any other reason, it just gets tacky, and obviously you can’t stop that, they have a right to do it as they want to do it, but it doesn’t help a lot, it doesn’t do a lot.”
Woodmansey hasn’t been the only one to criticize Gaga’s performance. Bowie’s son, director Duncan Jones, slammed it as “overexcited, irrational and mentally confused,” and fans definitely weighed in with their thoughts.
Gaga replied to Jones’ comments at the time, telling NME, “It did hurt. But what are you going to do? I can’t… it’s his father, you know. Whatever he was feeling in that moment I have compassion and love for him. But yes, of course it hurt. I still have to trust and believe in myself as a Bowie fan. I’m not his family, and the thing is, that’s his father. His father is not David Bowie, his father is David Jones.
“I’m sure that was difficult to watch and of course, I called many people on David’s team before I even begun doing that project and it’s unfortunate, what can I say? But God bless of him, you know?”
Woodmansey released new memoir last week about his time playing with Bowie called Spiders From Mars: My Life With David Bowie.