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"Fame"

The year must have been 1976. I was 13 and I liked to hang out at Mancelona Lanes, the local bowling alley. I bowled, but I also played pinball and pool, and dropped coins in the jukebox. The only song that I clearly remember playing is “Fame,” by David Bowie.

Fast-forward to 2010. Listening to James Brown’s “Hot (I Need to Be Loved, Loved, Loved),” I can help but note that the guitar riff is from Bowie’s “Fame.” Or is it? Could Bowie perhaps have borrowed it from the hardest-working man in show business?

Wikipedia to the rescue: I learn that Bowie released “Fame” in 1975. He was staying in New York at the time, and hanging out with John Lennon. One day, the two went to Electric Lady studios, covered “Across the Universe,” and then recorded “Fame.” It was inspired by the Jackson 5’s “Walk On,” and by a guitar lick by Carlos Alomar, who, curiously enough, had once played in James Brown’s band (he quit after being fined for missing a musical cue). Lennon was given co-writer credit (apparently, bemoaning fame was his idea), and he can be heard singing “fame, fame, fame,” in the background.

Brown used the riff the following year (1976) for “Hot…” There is some irony perhaps in the fact the catchy lick was by Alomar, one of his former guitarists.

Comments

I knew dat

I also remember the jukebox at the lanes. For some reason, the song I remember from it was "Call Me" by Blondie. (this would have been 4 or 5 years later)
sledding

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