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Bowie swapped drugs for espresso and biscotti

David Bowie developed a fondness for espresso to keep him going while recording, a collaborator says

David Bowie developed a fondness for espresso to keep him going while recording, a collaborator says Photo: AAP

David Bowie swapped drugs for espresso and biscotti to get him through late-night recording sessions, guitarist Earl Slick says.

The singer, who died of cancer in January 2016, downed espresso and tucked into biscotti to keep him going through the night while recording his 2013 album The Next Day, the American guitarist said.

Slick, who was first hired by Bowie for 1974’s Diamond Dogs tour, said it marked a drastic change from the wild partying and illegal substances that had powered the pair through in the 1970s.

“During those sessions for The Next Day, we were older, obviously, and there was no dope. None. By 2012 we had long-time sobriety. It wasn’t even a part of our lives any more. But what we were doing then was hammering espresso,” Slick revealed in an extract from his new book Guitar.

The 71-year-old musician said the pair developed their habit in the early 2000s when recording in New York.

“At a great bakery that’s been there forever called Bella Ferrara, a little, old-school place, I’d pick up biscotti, which are insanely good, and bring them to the rehearsals.

“David would smash a whole box of them. He’d kill them. Along with his espresso, of course. When we got to The Next Day, on my first day I stopped at the bakery and picked up biscotti. David picked up pastries from Dean + DeLuca, and we had an espresso machine in the studio, and we just hammered the s— out of all of it.

“We had a very big control room, and we made ourselves at home and were like pigs in s—.

“In the old days, we would have done the same thing, only with different substances. We’d sit in the control room and blow our brains out and not start working till hours later. Sometimes days later.”

-AAP

Topics: David Bowie
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