David Bowie Gave Lulu a Hit and It Became One of Her Few Regrets
Scottish singer Lulu recalled the time David Bowie said they'd make a hit single together – and proved himself right.
But she also admitted that running away from Bowie in the '70s has left her wondering what might have happened if he hadn't scared her during his Young Americans era.
Lulu, known for her powerful, soulful voice, rose to fame in 1964 with her version of "Shout!" It was chosen by the Beatles as one of their favorite tracks of that year, and helped her become a household name in the U.K. during the decade.
In a new interview with The Guardian, she said: "I first met [Bowie] in a studio in the U.S. with Iggy Pop. Later, he walked over to me in the foyer of a hotel in Sheffield, invited me to his show that night and said: 'I wanna make a hit record with you.' Which is exactly what happened."
Lulu's version of "The Man Who Sold the World" reached No. 3, featuring Bowie's backing vocals. "The record company wanted me to be a little pop diva but he said: 'They don't get your voice,'" she remembered.
"I loved Hunky Dory and he looked as if he hadn't wiped his makeup off from the day before. His hair was orange, his skin was alabaster. Once we'd had something to drink we were head-to-head, nose-to-nose for the rest of the evening."
She said she might have recorded a fourth Bowie cover, along with versions of "Dodo" and "Can You Hear Me," but she couldn't be certain. "It was quite a difficult time," she explained. "He was doing Young Americans and involved in a lot of dark things. I was a little bit frightened and kinda ran.
"I don't have many regrets, but there is a part of me that thinks: 'What if the relationship would have continued?' I'm a very private person, and most people only know a piece of me, but Bowie got me."
Watch Lulu's Version of 'The Man Who Sold the World'
Lulu was asked about the night Bowie performed as Ziggy Stardust for the final time, after which she accompanied him to a hotel with Mick Jagger and Lou Reed. "They say if you can remember it you weren't having fun," she said. "And I don't remember much of it!"
"I remember Mick being happy I was working with Bowie. I'd first met him when I was 15 and we were both on Decca. The Stones would pat me on the head, like I was a little sister, which always annoyed me because I wanted to be their equal."
In 1969, Jimi Hendrix infamously abandoned the arrangements around his appearance on Lulu's TV show, breaking into a cover of Cream's "Sunshine of Your Love" and overrunning beyond the end of the live broadcast. "I was in disbelief," she recalled.
"He'd just heard that Cream had split up, so broke off his song to launch into'Sunshine of Your Love' in tribute. The floor manager's face went crimson, because in his earpiece he had the director screaming: 'What's going on?!'"
Did Lulu Take the Who Home for Tea and Biscuits With Her Parents?
"It was at least Pete [Townshend] and Roger [Daltrey]. It may even have been the whole band," Lulu explained. "It wasn't tea and biscuits. My dad was a big drinker, so he sent out for half a bottle of whisky and six cans of lager."
She added: "I still bump into Roger. Nothing can replicate the history you've got with people from when you were young."
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Gallery Credit: UCR Staff