Mark Saunders, the legendary producer and engineer for such iconic British bands as The Cure, Depeche Mode, Yazoo, Siouxsie & The Banshees,The Mission (UK) and of course David Bowie, posted newly unearthed recordings of the late performer doing impeccable impressions of noted vocalists such as Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Iggy Pop and Tom Waits. This ad-hoc performance took place during the recording of the soundtrack for the film Absolute Beginners. Saunders, a friend of Bowie’s, had made a personal recording of these impressions and kept them under wraps for 30 years, only releasing them after Bowie’s tragic death earlier this month.
The impersonations on this YouTube posting were recorded at a later date, when Bowie came in to do the lead vocal. At the end of the session, he broke into the impersonations and I realized that these might get erased at some point, so I quickly put a cassette in and hit “record.” I wish we could hear the other side of the dialogue between Bowie and Clive and Alan, but unfortunately that wasn’t being recorded. I’m shocked and very sad at the loss of Bowie — plus I’m amazed by the vast numbers of other people who have been so greatly affected. It’s heartwarming to see all the wonderfully positive stories of people’s experiences working with him, and I feel very lucky to be one of them.