Amid the tidal wave of tributes and remembrances David Bowie fans have shared since his death earlier this month, one highlighting the music legend's little known talent for impersonations is delighting his devotees anew.
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The audio, captured in 1985, features a lighthearted Bowie impersonating a host of peers, from Bruce Springsteen and Iggy Pop to Tom Waits and Lou Reed.
At the time, producer Mark Saunders was moving up the ranks as a recording engineer when he was enlisted to work on the soundtrack to Absolute Beginners, a movie Bowie was starring in and writing music for.
He recalls Bowie during the sessions at Westside Studios in London as a talented and exacting artist who was respectful and professional with the musicians and crew.
He recollected one memorable day when they halted work early because — surprise! — Mick Jagger was about to pop in for a three-hour session to record a cover of Dancing in the Streets with Bowie for the upcoming Live Aid (after which the pair would depart to hastily film a music video that same night).
At the end of another session, Bowie began to break into impersonations and, realizing these quirky outtakes might get erased, Saunders quickly popped in a cassette and hit record.
"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," Saunders wrote in an essay accompanying the audio, published this week by online music and film site The Talkhouse.
"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."