Bowie’s Irish bandmate hopes star will tour again

An Irish guitarist has told how he became the only musician on the planet handpicked to write songs with David Bowie for his new album.

Bowie’s Irish bandmate hopes star will tour again

Gerry Leonard, from Clontarf in Dublin, was one of the musicians sworn to secrecy while working on the icon’s comeback album over the past two years.

But he was the only person to receive song writing credits alongside the Ziggy Stardust legend by co-writing two songs on the triumphant album The Next Day.

The guitarist, who has been playing with Bowie since the 90s, revealed he loves hanging out with the elusive star who stepped back from the public eye after suffering a heart attack in 2004.

“It’s great to be in that company. When you are in the room with David it’s very different. He’s great. He is [intense] but he’s also really fun. You get there and there’s plenty of talking and having fun.”

He said he is relieved to be finally able to talk about his new work with Bowie and said the superstar is very pleased with the reaction to the new material.

“I’m so happy it’s out and we can talk about it. [I’ve been talking] to him little bits. He’s very economical but he sent me an email and said he was very proud. That’s a lot from him.”

And he said the music legend could go back on tour with the band.

“He has taken the music business and stood it on its head right now. There was no promo. It was all secrecy. Who knows what he is going to do? He might do something nobody has ever done before as regards live.”

He said the band had been hoping Bowie would make a return to music ever since he suffered a heart attack in 2004 during his last tour.

“We were on stage and he didn’t feel well. He had a pain in his chest. He walked past me after four songs.

“It was a shock. We all wanted him to come back. He came back in his health. After a year I saw him and he was good but we all secretly hoped that he would go back on the tour bus but that call never came.”

He said he doesn’t know why the 70s legend stayed away from the recording studio for so long.

“I don’t know. I don’t know what he does. I think he was painting and was organising his closets. It’s all on show now in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.”

Leonard first worked with Bowie in the 1990s when he moved to New York and started playing in clubs.

“I moved to New York in 1994 and I just started working as a guitar player and started meeting people and one thing leads to another.

“I met his producer Mark Plati and he asked me if I wanted to work on a David track.

“Then I came back from a walk one day and it was David on a machine asking if I wanted to come to the studio the next day. Then he asked If I wanted to be in the band. I said ‘yeah’.”

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