The record was titled Never let me Down, but apparently David Bowie felt he had let himself down when he recorded it, or perhaps his audience. Either way, within a five-year plan the artist left, outlining projects he wanted to be accomplished or completed after his death, were instructions for re-recording this 1987 album. He specifically requested a pair of modern guitar icons, Reeves Gabrels and David Torn be on the project. The finished version is included in 11-CD, 15-record box set calledLoving The Alien (Warner Music/Parlophone), released October 12.
Guitar Moderne sat down with Gabrels in Nashville, and spoke to Torn by phone in his Bearsville home to get their recollections of working on this major reimagining. As always, the two were candid and wide ranging, so dig in.
In May of 2014 I conducted an extensive interview with David Torn in Brooklyn. I finally got it transcribed and posted in January of 2015. People have since wondered what happened to Part II.
In June of 2015, I went to the Baltimore/Washington DC area to catch two shows of David’s 2015 solo tour. On a day off between shows we met in his Baltimore hotel room for another marathon interview. I finally had it transcribed in September of 2015. Reading the transcription, I felt honored that David was comfortable enough to be extremely candid about many aspects of his life and career, but I worried that he might regret some of his more intimate revelations and opinions. Over the next year and a half I tried to figure out a way to let him edit out anything that made him uncomfortable, but a busy schedule seemed to preclude this. Ultimately, I used my own judgment in deciding what to remove and what to leave in. The result includes great stories, information about his process, gear, and the health issues that he has made public—plus a bonanza of newly posted video, including some of him playing with talented his son Elijah B. Enjoy.