Mike Garson Shares David Bowie’s Biggest Career Regret

As Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars celebrates its 50th anniversary, Pianist Mike Garson recently sat down with Classic Rock to reflect on his memories with David Bowie, while listing his favourite Bowie songs and shared the rocker ‘biggest’ career regret.

One of the songs on the list was ‘Sweet Thing/Candidate’ from ‘Diamond Dogs’ (1974). When it was pointed out that ‘The Diamond Dogs’ tour was never filmed properly, Garson said:

“David told me it was one of his big regrets, that it wasn’t filmed properly. He always said that was the one that had the best theatrics.”

Mike also explained that a different approach should have been taken towards the show, because of the scale of the logistics:

“It was like a Broadway show every night, except we would play in the same place for two days then they would have to break down the set and take it to the next place and set it all up again. You can’t do that with a show that’s so humungous. We should have played in one place and have people come to us, like a month at Carnegie Hall.”

The pianist also remarked that he had room for creativity while he was working with David on ‘Diamond Dogs’:

“There was Tony Newman on drums and Herbie Flowers on bass, but it was essentially me and David. He played the guitar parts. We were co-creating together on that album. And the freedom he gave me – anything I played, he loved.”

When he was asked how it was to work with Bowie on a musical level, Mike replied:

“In that area, egoless. [Laughs] There might have been other areas where that didn’t pertain, but he was so open to ideas. He didn’t consider me some hired piano player, he considered me part of his creations.”

You can watch one of the live performances of ‘Sweet Thing/Candidate’ from 1974 below.