A long time ago, I owned an indie music pub. B-Side lasted for ten years. We paid writers and photographers—never made a profit, but the powers that be did fund a few amazing vacations for us and others on the staff. I’d say “Hey, we want to put XXX on the cover.” The publicity person would say, “We can send you to XXX to cover XXX for a weekend.”
I worked with the various firms to expand the weekend to a week. I saved them money on the airfare, and we received a few great vacations.
I had a blast interviewing various musicians: Tori Amos, Trent Reznor (Death Valley vacation— how fitting) Peter Murphy, Love and Rockets (California vacation), the Cranberries (great Ireland vacation), Radiohead, Al Jourgensen, and, my apex, David Bowie (another California vacation).
Imagine, my little indie pub scored an interview with David Bowie during press for his “Outside” album. Talking to him was a fangirl’s dream. We talked about art, his wandering in the musical wilderness, his crass commercial phase—it was amazing. I criticized certain musical moves he had made and he agreed with me.
I’ve always been a critical bitch, and talking to Bowie blew my mind. We talked about Giotto, art murder, self-destruction—I will always treasure talking to Bowie. Seriously, I felt like I had met him at a party and realized he was seriously cool. Yeah, he was seriously cool. No ego at all.
Which is why I come here to say Bowie’s “TVC15” is the best pop song ever.
The lyrics? They are fun, but not crucial to the song. It’s the music and the riffs which are killer. The various builds, the flourishes, the bass lines, the sax lines, the piano riffs… they work behind Bowie’s lyrics to create an astonishing musical tapestry. The build is sheer majesty.
The first time I heard this song back in 1976, I was hooked. Thirty years later, I’m still hooked.
Give it a listen. And raise a toast to the master changeling—our wonderful David Bowie.