Tired Of My Life

Tired of My Life.

No one’s sure when exactly this dreary thing was recorded—the best guess (by Nicholas Pegg, the most reliable of Bowie chroniclers) is that it was taped around the time of The Man Who Sold The World, ca. May 1970, at Bowie’s residence in Haddon Hall. The song’s a return to the folkie ruminations of Space Oddity, now with a more pronounced Crosby, Stills & Nash influence (especially in the bridge). Mick Ronson likely sings harmony.

Bowie left it in the bottom drawer for a decade, then dragged it out and tarted it up (recycling a few lines and the vocal melody) for a much better song on Scary Monsters, “It’s No Game.”

Top: Harold Chapman, “Glasgow, the Gorbals,” (slum neighborhood cleared in 1970).

3 Responses to Tired Of My Life

  1. I was very surprised to find this a good decade older than ‘It’s No Game’ – surprised especially to find lines like “pull the blinds on yesterday …” and “put a bullet in my brain …” etc which I felt comfortable believing were post-meeting-Burroughs hyperreal images of the late 70s. And yet ‘It’s No Game’ is undeniably stronger and was the better time for it to be released, but he was writing it in ‘seed’ so much earlier.

    It is engaging to study the development of Bowie’s ‘lyrictry’ during the period when he was still within echo of his own ‘Uncle Arthur’-type pieces …

  2. WRGerman says:

    Bowie’s secret motto (according to Iggy Pop) was ‘never throw ideas away.’ This is a perfect example, as is “Scary Monsters”, which he gifted to Iggy in ’74 as “Running Scared”, only for it to remain incomplete until 1980.
    Perhaps it is also an indication that DB resorted to raiding his stockpile of incomplete tunes because he simply wasn’t coming up with any new tunes to work with, a situation that became quite apparent with Let’s Dance and Tonight.

  3. WRGerman says:

    BTW, apologies for repeating the Iggy story from an earlier comment. It’s also a problem for my own writing, which is why it pays for me to shell out for a top-notch editor.

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