Bowie 'heckled' his own guitarist

David Bowie’s guitarist Gerry Leonard recalls being heckled by his future boss at an intimate gig.

Irishman Leonard has worked with Bowie both on record and live since the early 2000s. And their relationship got off to an amusing start when the man behind Ziggy Stardust hurled light-hearted abuse at him from the crowd.

Leonard tells Roland: “David actually came down and saw my own solo thing, Spooky Ghost. We would play in a coffee house once a month, and in the end David came down to one of those little gigs with fifty people and sat in the audience.

“It really broke the ice, because first I was so nervous that he was there. You really felt like there was so much riding on it. We did this somewhat improvised thing. It was me and a bass player and I would do my looping thing - it was pretty free. I’d make some absurd comments to the audience and David was heckling me and having a good laugh. There’s a tape recording of it somewhere.”

Leonard features on Bowie’s Heathen, Reality and Next Day albums and has also worked with Suzanne Vega and Rufus Wainwright.

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.