Ziggy Stardust drummer slams Lady Gaga's David Bowie tribute

A picture Lady Gaga as David Bowie
Lady Gaga as David Bowie (Image credit: Getty)

The former drummer for David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars band has branded Lady Gaga’s Grammys tribute to the late singer “tacky.”

Mick ‘Woody’ Woodmansey performed with the band from 1970 until 1973. He says he and producer Tony Visconti, who worked together on a tribute to Bowie’s 1970 classic The Man Who Sold The World, declined the opportunity to appear with Gaga at the awards ceremony in February.

Woodmansey tells NME: “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.

“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 adds: “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.”

Last week Woodmansey released his memoir Spiders From Mars: My Life With David Bowie.

Bowie’s director son, Duncan Jones, had also previously described the show as “overexcited, irrational and mentally confused.”

Gaga later admitted she was “hurt” by the criticism from Jones – but said she understood it might have been “difficult” for him to watch as Bowie’s son.

She added: “What are you going to do? I’m not his family and that’s his father. Whatever he was feeling in that moment I have compassion and love for him. But yes, of course it hurt.

“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 him.”

Watch Gaga’s performance below.

Bowie died in January aged 69 after an 18-month battle with cancer.

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Former TeamRock news desk member Christina joined our team in late 2015, and although her time working on online rock news was fairly brief, she made a huge impact by contributing close to 1500 stories. Christina also interviewed artists including Deftones frontman Chino Moreno and worked at the Download festival. In late 2016, Christina left rock journalism to pursue a career in current affairs. In 2021, she was named Local Weekly Feature Writer of the Year at the Scottish Press Awards.