THE DUDE AND THE DANDY

Ian Hunter’s Song for Bowie

By Madeline Bocaro ©

 Shortly after Bowie’s passing in 2016, Ian Hunter wrote a beautiful tribute song. It appears as a single, and on his album, Fingers Crossed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqA5aDBk2Zc

I think it’s so sweet that although Ian recorded with Bowie, and is much older than him, he wrote the song from the viewpoint of a fan during the Ziggy Stardust era. ‘Dandy’ is clearly reminiscent of Mott’s farewell ‘Saturday Gigs’, a love letter to Hoople fans upon the band’s breakup, taking us through the years of wonderful memories. ‘Dandy’ has an equally sweet guitar melody (like Ronson’s on ‘Saturday Gigs’) and a similar long ‘goodbye’ fadeaway.

Ian starts the song with his hero Bob Dylan’s line from ‘Ballad of a Thin Man’ about our very own ‘Mr. Jones’ (Bowie’s real surname). So cool that he name-checks the Spiders, and credits Ronson (as Little Lord Fauntleroy) who let the genie out of his lamp / amp.

Ian manages to incorporate Bowie’s future masterpiece ‘Heroes’ which is what he made us all feel like. I also love the mentions of ‘The Prettiest Star’ and ‘Life on Mars?’ And the Cabaret Voltaire reference is spot on!

The line makes me cry is:

Dandy – this world was black-and-white 

You showed us what it’s like 

To live inside a rainbow 

The middle eight ‘Lie lie la lie…’ refers to Bowie’s ‘Starman’ yet it has a Germanic Brecht/Weil vibe, which David would love. I wish Bowie were here to sing backing vocals on this one!

Thanks to Ian for getting it right, and for dedicating it to the fans!

DANDY – Ian Hunter

Something is happening – Mr. Jones

My brother says you’re better than

the Beatles or the Stones

From Saturday night to Sunday morning

You turned us into heroes 

Can you hear the heroes sing 

 

Dandy you are the prettiest star 

There ain’t no life on Mars – but we always there might be

 

Dandy – you opened up the door 

You left us wanting more 

And then we took the last bus home

 

Who let the genie out of the lamp?

The Little Lord Fauntleroy who let him out of his amp

From Saturday night to Sunday morning 

Well Trevor’s getting bolder 

and Woody loves the hit thing

 

Dandy – this world was black-and-white 

You showed us what it’s like 

To live inside a rainbow 

 

Dandy – you thrilled us to the core 

You left us wanting more 

And then we took the last bus home

 

Lie lie la lie  / Lie lie la lie…

 

You beat up Goliath / You had it all

The voice, the look the songs that shook

The gift of the gab and the gall

 

From Saturday night to Sunday morning 

When all we had to look forward to was

the WEEKEND

You made our lives worth living

 

Dandy – You’re still the prettiest star

There ain’t no life on Mars but we always thought there might be

Dandy you took us to the fair

With Cabaret Voltaire

And then we took the last bus home

 

Dandy – You know we waited long enough

They should put a statue up in Piccadilly Circus

 

Dandy – You blew us all away

Outta the drab and the gray

And then we caught the last bus home

The keeper of the flame

We won’t see your like again

Oh Dandy was a one-off

 

Hey look at what you’ve become

I guess I owe you one

So thanks for the memories

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