Charles Rothschild was his name, he wanted to manage
Turner and Kirwan of Wexford (my first band), his
opening gesture was to have us record this song. Larry
Kirwan and I weren’t interested in covers, and thought
it was a bad way to begin the relationship. But everyone
in the Village said that Charlie was working with Dylan,
and that we should listen to him, we didn’t. I did like the
song though and kept it. The fact that it’s still a great
song shows its power. Wikipedia says that it was written
and recorded by Pearls Before Swine, before the Elton
John song, and that Bernie Taupin got the idea from it.
I’d like to think that David Bowie would’ve liked this.
David, of course, did cast his very long shadow over this
album. I can’t help but think of him with great fondness,
and when Gerry pulled out his Bowie guitar, and started
playing this song with me, I felt like my life had come a
full circle. From the early days hearing the magical Ziggy
Stardust with its purple sound, to the very end.
In the middle there, around the album Let’s Dance, David
brought a great gift to me from out of the blue. Turner
and Kirwan of Wexford were trying desperately to get a gig in this snobby, popular club in uptown Manhattan.
The guy who booked it told us several times to get lost.
Then one day he relented and gave us a Tuesday, the
worst day in the week. When we arrived, we found out
that he had left, and that a new snobby manager had
inherited us, and not happily. When we were setting
up, the whole place seemed to regret having us, who
the hell were we? During the gig, one of our fans
shouted out “Suffragette City,”’ Larry Kirwan quipped
back “David is not here tonight.” We had about one
hundred and fifty people there, it held a thousand, they
all giggled at his reply. We used to sing that song from
Ziggy Stardust at pub gigs. After the show, the very
snotty manager approached us with two brandies and
said, “Well, David WAS here tonight, and he bought you
these two brandies. Apparently Bowie hired someone to
make a list of groups to see when he was in Manhattan,
and we were on the list! At the time he was red hot,
there couldn’t have been a greater compliment, I think
he knew it.