The day Damon Albarn said no to David Bowie

Damon Albarn regrets not having made an album with the late David Bowie. The leader of Blur and Gorillaz regretted during an interview saying no to the possibility of a collaboration with the White Duke. His regret for missed opportunities also includes a collaboration with Prince and another with Dr. Dre.

The Blur frontman was called into a meeting with Bowie, who died of cancer in 2016, to discuss the possibility of joining him on a record with The Kinks’ Ray Davies. But the collaboration never happened, because Bowie’s tour was too successful for him to take a break to record.

Albarnian lament

Blur, the band led by Damon Albarn, played at Tecnópolis in 2015. Photo Jorge Sánchez

“David Bowie asked Ray Davies and me to make an album with him. In fact, what we were going to do was something very serious. He called me when he was playing in Switzerland. I ran into him backstage and he said, ‘Well, we’re going to do this, but if this tour keeps going as well as it is, then I’m going to keep touring,’ “Albarn recalled.

And he added: “And that’s why there is no album. I regret that. I imagine how it could have sounded. “

But that’s not Damon’s only musical regret, as he also blames himself for failing to collaborate with the late Prince, producer Dr. Dre, and rapper Kendrick Lamar.

As he told the newspaper Scotland’s Herald, is something that does not let him sleep: “Dr. Dre, Prince and Kendrick Lamar… I missed all three. All my fault. It’s too many people to get lost. “

David Bowie, New York City, 1996. Foto Albert Watson

“Too busy”

After decades of success, the 53-year-old singer opined that the “best moment” of his career was a Blur rehearsal far and long ago, before he achieved success, because since then he has been too busy working.

Along these lines, when asked about the highlights of his career, he replied: “When we were in my parents’ garage in Colchester and we played for the first time Sing Y She’s So High“.

“I suddenly felt like I had stopped being at the local Battle of the Bands in Colchester and there was a possibility that we could fulfill our dreams, reach our true Top of the Pops, fulfill the ambition to be on TV shows. We could be a bit like The Who, “he explained.

Blur, the band led by Damon Albarn, played at Tecnópolis in 2015. Photo Jorge Sánchez

Blur, the band led by Damon Albarn, played at Tecnópolis in 2015. Photo Jorge Sánchez

And he concluded: “That is the best moment. Because since then I have really been working. I have been too busy.”

Albarn to release his new solo album The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows in November. Before that, in September, he will perform at the End Of The Road Festival, which will take place in Dorset (England) between the 2nd and 5th of that month.

A brilliant career

Almost 20 years before hearing the word “virtuality” every holy day worldwide, composer, singer and multi-instrumentalist Damon Albarn and illustrator Jamie Hewlett – both British – created the world’s first virtual band: Gorillaz.

The glittering success of Blur, a hugely popular Brit-pop mainstay and band that Albarn led through four decades, immediately put Gorillaz in the spotlight, justified by the “group’s” groundbreaking first album released in 2001.

This is the cover of the new Gorillaz album.

This is the cover of the new Gorillaz album.

The duo boasted of offering a modern and easily consumable product, but with characteristics of multiculturalism, a remarkable opening in terms of sound and style and the fundamental importance of aesthetics, embodied in the four diverse animated characters -creation of Hewlett- that make up the band.

Added to these novel features, a fine criteria for inviting guests and the choice to work with leading electronic and hip hop producers elevated Gorillaz to a privileged place on the podium of smart pop of the new millennium.

Through the years they have nuanced its total virtuality, showing itself as a solid live act. The Buenos Aires public had to wait until 2017 to be able to witness the power of the proposal on stage and the wait was worth it: that show in Tecnópolis, which dodged an insane summer storm, was of sublime finesse.