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Pixies Invite David Bowie On Tour

10/30/2013
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(Radio.com) To find yourself sitting in a room with three of the Pixies — Black Francis, Joey Santiago and David Lovering —, it's akin to sitting with Shatner and Nimoy, chatting about Star Trek. It's a "wow" moment. There are lots to think about. How do you address Black Francis? Does he even call himself that anymore? "Mr. Francis" sounds weird. He records solo albums as "Frank Black." So maybe "Frank?" Or "Mr. Black?" No, too Reservoir Dogs.

In the years while the Pixies were in "retirement," one of their big influences – David Bowie – covered them. "Cactus" the highlight of his 2002 album Heathen. The band still seemed blown away by that particular honor, and Black said, "Well, after I came to and reoriented myself, I felt thrilled. I like his version!"

Despite the news that Bowie has no plans to tour for his excellent The Next Day album, Black has invited the man to go on tour. "We should do a tour with David Bowie. We can be his band. That'd be cool. We can be his backing band. We go out and do our set, he comes out to do his set with us and, you know. That'd be cool."

Bowie's influence is heard on "Andro Queen," on EP1, but Black has said that the song is inspired in part by the Platters' great doo-wop hit "The Great Pretender." It turns out that the song was also influenced by a Shatner-esque reading of Bruce Springsteen's "The River." Seriously.

"For a while I was reading song lyrics to my children instead of stories at night, in kind of a William Shatner way like that… they wanted to listen to 'The River' by Bruce Springsteen, because my daughter was really into this song. Then we started to read 'The River,' (in a Shatner-esque voice), 'Then we go down to river and into the river we die.' And 'The Great Pretender' was a big song that we were listening to a lot, so they'd go 'Daddy sing/read 'The Great Pretender." 'Oh yes, I am the Great Pretender.' And as I did this, the kids, of course they don't want it once, they want the same thing 25 times so after a while I was like the meter is really regular, really well-written, really organized, really neat. And I always loved the song, but I was even more impressed by the song that there was this formality to the language. So I decided to steal that feel and use that as a skeletal structure to insert my own words, and then, when I finished then I just added some chords to it. It doesn't sound anything like 'The Great Pretender' obviously, but I got a lot of help from that song." more on this story

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Copyright Radio.com/CBS Local - Excerpted here with permission.

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