Saturday, January 16, 2016

Howard Kaylan on David Bowie, screenwriter (the Funhouse interview)

Yrs truly has been working on several blog posts at once and would like to get at least two of them up in the next week (I know, I know... good luck!). One is completely written but was suddenly made “less dated” by the other, which is my tribute to David Bowie, replete with rare clips, odd memories, and a serious (but short!) discussion of some of his obsessions.

In line with the latter, I wanted to present another fascinating chunk from my interview with Howard Kaylan, of the Turtles and Flo & Eddie (he was “Eddie”; Mark Volman was “Flo”). Howard and his partner knew everyone worth knowing in the late Sixties and early Seventies rock scene. This would include Bowie, from his Ziggy incarnation through all of his Seventies personas.

The pair conducted a good interview with David after the release of Heroes for Canadian TV. Part of it can be found here. They interviewed David initially on their “Flo and Eddie by the Fireside” radio show in L.A. and I fondly remember them catching up with him when they were DJ-ing on K-rock in NYC (the playlist was horrible, but they were wonderful hosts).

In any case, Howard brought up Bowie in terms of his work with Tin Machine (we had just been discussing Soupy Sales, whose sons Hunt and Tony were half of that band). He went on to discuss the screenplay that never was – Bowie's idea for a drama (or a thriller, he never made clear which) that would be set on a cruise ship. It sounds like it might've made an interesting concept for an anthology series or a series of cable movies – the “Passenger” character sounds like an update of the old “Whistler” character from old-time radio (who told us stories he beheld but never took part in).

According to Howard's autobiography, Shell Shocked (written with Jeff Tamarkin), this project began around the time Howard and Mark were recording their album Moving Targets, which was released in 1976.

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