Pulled Apart By Horses cover Bowie for charity. Where was this when I needed it at college…
It’s been a few days since David Bowie has died and now it feels right to say a few words. I was never a fan of his music, this doesn’t mean I’m not saddened to see him pass away. I am. Its sad whenever anyone dies, especially a father and husband. Yes he helped change the world for the better. He made it acceptable to be different and walk a different path to what society says you should do. For that he will be missed, but sadly his music means little to me.
This is down to a few factors. Firstly after hearing his songs I never felt “WOW! That’s the best thing I ever heard!” or “This guys a genius!” There were a few songs I didn’t mind, but ultimately I felt ‘meh’. Another reason I was never a fan was because I went to a house party when I was 20, at that time I didn’t have an opinion one way or another, but when I went home any chance Bowie had of getting me on side was over.
It was a classic college house party. Someone’s parents were away, the drinks cabinet was open and about a dozen kids were listening to alternative and having classic college conversations “No, Freddy would so beat Jason in a fight” (The Freddy vs. Jason film had either come out or was about to) “The Dadaists were so much better than the Futurists” and so on. At about 10 people had started to drift off home, but as I was staying over I was in for the long haul. The host, after another hefty glass of Tabu had opened the music to the floor and asked what we wanted to hear. A few people went with the host to his room and brought down his CD and tape collection. As Pastichio Medley by the Smashing Pumpkins had just finished I thought we were in safe hands.
When they returned, and another glass of Tabu had been filled it looked like we were in for a Bowie heavy night. As I said at this time I had no opinion and was happy to hear anything. As the host had about a dozen albums they started at the earliest one. At first things were fine, but as the album progressed it became apparent that a few of the party guests were more into it than others and about half way through the album they called for a cease of talking. As I was smoking at the time I could escape with people for a quick chat outside. After the second Bowie album had played it became obvious that something had changed and now this wasn’t just listening to music for fun, it was something far more sinister. As it started people chatted, but they were told to be quiet, never a good sign. Then something weird happened. Out of nowhere the host produced a book and started to read from it. It was a Bowie biography. As the music carried on he, and another party guest, would randomly open the book and read a sentence that matched the music. This carried on for the duration of the album. When the third album started, the book was opened at the first page and was being read in full.
At about 1 more people left and there were four or five of us left. The picking of the albums and the reading of was being done by two people, another two thought it was so funny and clever and were all over it, me and another guest had had enough, so we slunk off to the kitchen. They had gone to the same school as me, but were a bit younger so we exhausted that topic of conversation, then we spoke about college until that was exhausted and eventually we just spoke about how little we like Bowie. Eventually the host had drunk himself asleep and the Bowie-a-thon could end. As I lay there falling asleep my last thoughts were how much I disliked Bowie and how the night had ended badly and I should have left at 12.
That was about fifteen or twenty years ago and I still don’t really like him. Yes the odd song has got through the armour, Suffragette City, I’m Afraid of Americans (Trent Reznor Remix), Hello Space Boy and a few others I’ve forgotten, but ultimately I still feel as I did when I went to sleep that night.
However if this Pulled Apart By Horses cover had been played that night, I’m sure things would have been different. It’s a fitting tribute as they have recorded one of this most famous and admired songs, and are donating the proceeds to the Teenage Cancer Trust. Their version keeps to the structure of the original, but they add more power and noise that the original. The guitars are crunchy, the bass is turned to deaf and the drums pound as they say thank you and goodbye to one of their heroes. If you like this song please follow the links so you can donate to this fantastic and worthwhile cause.