11/01/2016 Newsnight


Newsnight examines the legacy of David Bowie, airing again his interview with Jeremy Paxman and speaking to Nile Rodgers, Tom Robinson and Bernard Sumner.

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# I've got scars that can't be seen. #


One of the premier talents of 20th century music


It's only in retrospect that we can properly evaluate his musical


Does he deserve the uncritical adulation he's getting today?


We'll hear from his sometime collaborator Nile Rodgers,


along with Tom Robinson, Bernard Sumner and the curator


of the Bowie exhibition, Victoria Broackes.


And of course we'll hear plenty from the man himself.


Do you think of yourself as Bowie or David Jones,


I don't even know how to pronounce it any more,


Also tonight, there is some other news.


What the public think of tomorrow's doctors' strike.


We'll discuss the results of a Newsnight poll on the subject.


Newsnight hears of problems for the independent


to give evidence to this inquiry because we don't have confidence


in the way that our evidence is going to be handle


We don't believe it's an independent inquiry.


Sometimes on these occasions, the death of a national icon,


people will say "It was as though we knew them personally".


With David Bowie, I'd suggest it is different.


We knew him, but he was not the man next door.


The master of alter ego and adaptation through his career,


he remained elusive and enigmatic to the end.


And yet he was also familiar and ever-present.


There's been a lot of looking back today, but here is Stephen Smith


with his assessment of David Bowie and his career.


Despite all the costume changes, it's striking how unchanging Bowie


Single-minded, his own man, the star we know was remarkably


The nucleus of some of his friends, a 17-year-old David Jones has just


founded the Society for the prevention of cruelty


I think we are all fairly tolerant, but for the last two


years, we have had comments like, darling, can I carry your handbag


But does this surprise you, that you get this kind of comment?


Because we have got really rather long-haired, haven't you?


I was learning about how to play rhythm and blues,


learning how to write, finding everything that I read,


every film that I saw, every bit of theatre,


everything went into my mind as being in influence.


Bowie as his first great alter ego Ziggy


Every persona he put on was like a disguise to help him


slip across the border from pop to something bigger.


They said he was coming round the back. I have been waiting ages to


see him. Who are you so upset? He's smashing.


I thought you were doing an intro. Right. One. I was not a natural


performer. I didn't feel at ease on stage, ever. I felt really


comfortable going on stage as somebody else. And it seemed a


rational decision to keep on doing that. So I got quite be soed with


the idea of creating character after character.


# Fame # Makes man who takes things over


# Fame... # I wanted on to the instigator of new


ideas. I wanted to turn people on to new things and new perspectives.


Nothing you have seen or heard about David Bowie will prepare you for the


impact of his first dramatic performance, in The Man Who Fell to


Earth. This is another dimension of David


Bowie, one of the few true originals of our time.


Five year, that's all. I'll be back. The man who played the part of a pop


star to perfection became a screen actor. For better or worse he was


always David Bowie. He will land on his feet.


# Let's Dance # Put on your red shoes


# And dance the blues # Let's Dance


# To the song they're playing on the radio. #


I think we are out of characters now. I am just into suits and the


suit will change from tour to tour but the bloke inside is generally


much the same. Which is the real David Bowie? The lad from Brixton,


the pop megastar to coin a phrase. I will bring him on. Or the


40-year-old yuppy with the son at private school. I think it is all.


Yuppy? Get out of here! # Golden years #


He might have got rid of his post-war British teeth but not his


accent. Although he seemed to spend the last years of his life in


Manhattan, he was still one of ours. I think I have sold out to be


honest. It is difficult, to keep integrity when you are going for


that... # Little fat man who sold his soul


# # Chubby little loser. #


# Chubby little loser # National joke. #


Not thupy little loser. # Pathetic little fat man


# No-one's laughing # The clown no-one laughs at. #


Do you think of yourself ASBOey or the David Jones from south London.


Less an Les as Bowie. I don't even know how to pronounce it any more, I


have lost track. I have always thought it was Bowie. It is a


Scottish name. But no-one in Scotland pronounces it like that.


The actor manager of his own life his final performance was


# # Look up here


# I'm in heaven # I've got scars that can't be seen.


# I've got drama, can't be stolen. # Every body knows my now. #


His producer said his death was no different from his life. A work of


art. The New York Times wrote


about David Bowie that he understood "Theatricality has more to do


with presence than gimmickry, and that beautifully coordinated


physical movements and well-planned music can reach an audience a lot


quicker than aimless prancing At the time, he was


barely known in the US. The Times was describing how Bowie


stood out favourably among what it called, "tinseled English rock


superstars sprouting Over the next few years,


Bowie obviously stood out more - he established his artistic


reputation over there. And 10 years later came


the album Let's Dance. It turned out to be a huge


commercial success - That was produced by Nile Rodgers,


one of the founders And a little earlier


I spoke to him. I just walked into a nightclub, with


Billy Idol one day and early one morning, about 5am, and we just


happened to notice David was sitting in the corner, all by himself,


sipping on an orange juice. I just boldly walked over and introduced


myself, because I knew that he, he lived in the same building as a lot


of the Young Americans. They were all friends I had gone to high


school with, and so I just started chatting with him, and for some


reason, we instantaneously hooked up, because our conversation went


from the Young Americans and the friend we knew, to jazz musicians


that we idolised. And David Bowie, was he, well to be as creative as


him, you have to have a vision, and you have to stick to it. Was he


difficult, did you argue, what was your personal relationship like? We


didn't argue because I stuck to the vision. Basically what happened is,


before we did, before we wrote a note of music, we went on a, I don't


know, a week long, two week long expedition, journey, if you will, of


music and rock 'n' roll iconography all round the city, round income New


York eNew York City, after that we had a good idea of the album, and


then he said to me, that he wanted me to do what I did best. I thought


that he didn't know what I did best, and I said, well, what do you think


I do best? And his said, in no uncertain terms, no uncertain term,


you make hits. I want you to make a hit. I was perplexed. Like David


Bowie wants a hit? I mean you are coming off the Scary Monsters that


is so unhit like to me in my world, so I was a little dumbfounded,


but... Who was the teacher in this relationship and who was the


student? Were you teaching him how to do hits or he was teaching you


how to be the cool rock guy? We became partner, so it was a sort of


symbiotic relationship, so this is how David made me clear, as to what


the record should sound like. He came to my apartment one day and he


was holding something behind his back. I wasn't really paying


attention to it that much, because he would knock on my door, I would


open the door and he had it behind his back. He said Nile darling, I


want my record to sound like this. And it was a picture of little


Richard addin a red suit, getting into a red Cadillac, and I knew what


he meant. I knew exactly what he meant. I knew that he didn't want a


record that went... Good golly... I knew he didn't want that, I knew


from the way that picture looked, that he wanted something that was


evergreen, that would look like the future even in the year 2050, or


whatever, makes no difference what year it was, it would be, it would


seem plausible that a band, a live band could walk in and just say, we


just made this record today, like today, if you heard Let's Dance


company 2 even though we may not have had the type of things that you


have in current music, but you could still believe that a live rock 'n'


roll band cutlet's dance if you just heard that today. It would be


believable. Let us about that. It is a notable riff, a catch in Let's


Dance. # Let's Dance. #


The first part of the riff, the staccato, that is my riff. The delay


part of it was the engineer, and I just found out from him, only a few


months ago, that that was an accident, that we just happened to


walk in the studio, while he was looking for the different delay


times to put on the different, on various instruments but he had them


all going at the same time. I heard that, coming out of the guitar, and


the t on the different, on various instruments but he had them all


going at the same time. I heard that, coming out of the guitar, and


the horn, and t on the different, on various instruments but he had them


all going at the same time. I heard that, coming out of the guitar, and


the horn, and I was like "That's he same time. I heard that, coming out


of the guitar, and the horn, and I was like "That's amazing," and he he


same time. I heard that, coming out of the guitar, and the horn, and I


was like "That's amazing," and he was like "Cool." Look. David Bowie,


I think, said after this album, this was his best selling album Let's


Dance. He said it was very difficult after that, to produce, it was


difficult to come up with the next thing, really. It wasn't that he


couldn't come up with the next thing, it is just that I think that


he expected people and this is just my guess, that he expected people


wanted him to make another big hit, but he also wanted to do it his way.


And, because if he wanted another one, you would think, he would call


me again and say Hay Nile let's do Let's Dance 2. Instead he did


something completely different and it didn't quite work commercially.


Of all the things the David Bowie did, apart from Let's Dance, what


did you like the most? I really am a fan of his songs, so I loved the


earlier stuff. Let me put this in context so you really get this. The


very first time I ever heard of him, I met this girl in Miami Beach, she


was a photographer at this restaurant but I went to, and she


says, they have a new beach right down the road, and I would like to


spend a night there with you, and I want to play this artist but I love.


So what did I say? Of course! So we went to this beach, took off our


clothes, and she played, Ziggy played guitar... And suffragette


city and all of that stuff. I had this most gorgeous girl, we are


lying on the beach, and David Bowie is jamming away, and it was killing


me. It was one of the most surreal, amazing moments, a hippy kind of


moment, that you could have. Thank you so much for your time.


An anecdote that tells you how musical tastes are born.


David Bowie was born in 1947, in the first wave of the baby boom,


and there's no doubt that the generation of baby boomers


who followed behind him felt his presence particularly


strongly - the Monty Python cohort, people who are now over 50.


But one of the reasons why Bowie's death has been such a big event


worldwide is, of course, that he managed to appeal


From a guest appearance on the Bing Crosby Christmas Special


in 1977, to a cameo appearance in the movie Zoolander,


Spongebob's Atlantis Square Pantis in 2007, Bowie compressed


I am joined now by a panel of baby boomers to discuss his legacy. New


order Frenchman Bernard Sumner in Salford, and here, Victoria Brooks,


who curated the V exhibition on David Bowie and the musician and DJ


Tom Robinson. Good evening to you all. Bernard, let's start with the


musical influence. Obviously there are lots of different influences in


him, but which bits did influence you or didn't? The first time I ever


heard him, I was 13, and I was here in Salford, but in North Salford,


and I was hanging around the streets with a group of my friends, and


someone opened the door to a house, and out came Space Oddity. I was


only 13 and not really into music at that stage, the Latics Aryans was


part of my musical awakening -- but that experience was part of my


musical awakening. To hear something like that coming out of a house


playing on the radio was surreal. Then later on, it was the Glam rock


years, and Ziggy Stardust and all of that, but what really made an


impression on me was Heroes, because the band we started, Joy Division,


started in 1977, and that came out in 1977. The B-sides were


instrumental and had an austere sound that suited and what kind of a


soundtrack to the city we lived in, Manchester, which was


post-industrial chaos. No one had jobs, it seemed to rain all the


time. But that music was a perfect soundtrack to this city. And then of


course you had the other sides of the records, songs like Sound and


Vision, and that, along with Heroes are my two all-time favourite David


Bowie records. So we have heard a bit about the music. Let me bring


the others in for a moment. Looking slightly beyond the music, culture.


The exhibition was obviously more than just David Bowie records


playing. We did have music throughout the show, and I think our


first thought when we first came to be working on a show was that Sound


and Vision had to be at the very heart of the exhibition, and the


artefacts were around that story. But of course what made him so


interesting from our perspective, because we are about art, design and


performance, is that he draws his influences from such a wide range of


places. So he is eclectic. Hugely eclectic across time and genre and


everything you can imagine. And he did act, he did art. Would we be


talking about him as an artist or an actor if he wasn't David Bowie of


Space Oddity? Interesting. We had some very early recordings of


interviews that he gave in the 1960s, and he definitely wasn't


certain about whether he was going to be a singer, but he was going to


be a performer of some kind. He auditioned for various musicals, he


auditioned for Hair, for example, he didn't get in but his girlfriend


did. His other things were great as well, he was highly acclaimed in


something like the Elephant Man. But video was crucial as well as sound


in the exhibition. And let's rob on it one more step. Tom Robinson,


1977, this was androgynous rock, this was quite something. I couldn't


possibly have done that if it hadn't been fit David Bowie before. He and


his music made such an impact on me in my early 20s in 1972 that I just


saw to myself that if I ever had a chance to do the same for other what


he had done for me in terms of changing my life seen, that I had


choices, that it was possible to have a happy life if you were


attracted to the same sex, that message was not there before because


in the 60s, men went to prison if they were gay, so there was not one


role model. David Bowie was the first person who came along and said


it was cool. He was a bit more ahead of his time than you were crediting,


because it was gender bending as well as sexuality. It was the full


panoply, LGBT and beyond. A wide variety of people who felt that they


didn't fit in with the straitjacket of society, even in the supposedly


swinging 60s we still had that. But they suddenly relies did this person


that he was the possibility of a wider world. But it wouldn't have


meant a thing of the music hadn't have been astonishing. So why did


David Bowie stick out among Glam rock artists. There were others,


Marc Boland is the most notable. But he shone above most of the others


who tried it. Because he transitioned through it. Mark Bolan


was good, too, my first record was by him. The David Bowie went on to


do so many other things than Glam rock. Glam Rock was a mixed bag,


there were some bad things in it, but right until he has just died,


you stay the distance and made fantastic records from the day he


started. Not every single one, but he made a lot of brilliant records.


Is there anything after 1990 that sticks out? Obviously his career


wasn't the same after 1990. I liked title The Next Day. It is strange,


because the band I started, Joy Division, we started off


introspective and austere, very intense, and David Bowie was very


open and forward and outward. And we have become like that now, and he


has become like we were when we started out. It is usually the other


way around. Is there only other artist who you could have an


exhibition around in the way you did around David Bowie? What is it take


to be like that? I think there is no other artist like him. There are


other artist we could have an exhibition around because we were


doing -- we would do a different story, but the way that he took


ideas from everything to Dada, surrealism, George Orwell, I don't


think there is an artist who has the breadth of influences and the reach


that he had, because he managed to be a cult performer at the same time


as being massively popular, and I think that is very own usual


position. Tom, it feels like his period was the period where music


was a great shaping force. Yes, it was the great bush telegraph through


which culture was transmitted, because we didn't have an Internet.


Pop songs gave us that kind of information, and even into the


hip-hop era that has been true, but the Internet has changed a lot. Was


it inevitable that he would lead this alternative life up until the


1990s, and then settle down, he lived in New York? It isn't just


that he lived an alternative life. He blazed a trail for other people,


and he went through the mill, and he suffered in his career in America


because of some of his excesses on this side of the pond, never achieve


the stature that he secretly always wanted. And I think he earned the


right down a quiet retirement and to have the last 20 years of his life


where he had his privacy and could do whatever he wanted, and fair play


to him. We have to leave it there, thank you very much indeed.


Before we move on to other things, let's just spend a minute listening


Back in 2000, turn of the millennium, he spoke


This exchange on the internet is particularly interesting.


You don't think that some of the claims being made for it


When the telephone was invented, people made amazing claims for it.


The president at the time, when it was first invented,


He said he foresaw the day in the future when every town


I don't think we've even seen the tip of the iceberg.


I think the potential of what the internet is going to do


to society, both good and bad, is unimaginable.


I think we're actually on the cusp of something


It's just a tool, though, isn't it?


It's simply a different delivery system, though.


Yeah, I'm actually talking about the actual context


and the state of content is going to be so different


to anything we can really envisage at the moment,


where the interplay between the user and the provider will be


so in simpatico, it is going to crush our ideas of what mediums


Jeremy Edwards just playing devils advocate!


And you can watch the full 16 minutes of Jeremy's encounter


with David Bowie on the Newsnight YouTube channel and Facebook page.


Tomorrow, the NHS faces a day of disruption -


Now you know what the junior doctors think of Jeremy Hunt,


but do you know what the public think of the junior doctors?


Well, we've been trying to find an answer to that question,


so we commissioned a poll with Health Service Journal


On the eve of the first doctors' strike in 40 years,


we have stuck a polling thermometer under the tongue of the English


When asked, "Would you support or oppose junior doctors striking


if they still provided emergency care?", 66%


For the first two planned strikes, the doctors say they will still


provide emergency cover, but for the third planned strike say


In these circumstances, support drops to 44%,


but still ahead of those opposed to the action,


The final question we asked was about why the doctors


The politicians are offering their diagnoses.


In today's Telegraph, the Mayor of London,


"It strikes me at least some of these people


are more interested in politics than their patients.


The BMA leadership is in the grip of advanced Corbynitis."


But that attitude wasn't reflected in our sample.


Only 8% thought the strike had a political cause.


64% thought it was about work issues, such as long hours,


So, at the moment, the English public seems to be behind


the doctors, though that of course could shift,


as the impact of the strike becomes clearer.


Joining me to discuss whether to strike or not


is the Conservative MP and head of the Health Select Committee Sarah


Wollaston, and junior doctor Rachel Clarke,


Before we talk about the merits of the strike, the merits of the case


of the junior doctors, scale of one-to-one 00, how much sympathy do


you have with their argument? I o do have a great deal of sympathy but we


need to be careful about the stress on union doctors and the long hours


they work, what has been achieved so far, there has been significant


compromise on some of this, particularly round the issue of


whether we would see a slide back in to the dangerously long hours my


generation of doctors used to work. Having the retention of financial


penalties was important. But you are against the strike. I just don't


feel it is right for junior doctors to go on strike. I imagine it


pleases you that the public, basically in our poll, support the


junior doctor, particularly if you are not damaging emergency cover. It


pleases me, it is no surprise at all. I think the public trust


doctors for a reason. We go into medicine because our one reason is


to look after them. What about on your third strike you are prancing


to withdraw emergency cover, aren't you. There will be emergency cover


from consultants and nurse, but why given what the public think don't


you say make the third strike the same as the other two, where we


don't withdraw emergency cover? I think, I can't answer that from a


BMA perspective. I am just an ordinary grass roots doctor, but


from my perspective, I think that we are clearly striking initially


tomorrow in the safest way we can, so we are making a statement, and we


hope very much that the Government will listen to that statement while


absolutely preserving our patients' safety. There is a period of time


between tomorrow's strike and the all out strike in February, and I


see that period as an opportunity for this Government to finally


recognise that in coming up with a new contract based on an entire new


set of NHS service, so the Conservative party's seven day NHS's


new activity, with no extra money whatsoever, so how is it provided?


This new activity as weekends with no extra doctors? By makes us work


harder. The public are clearly sympathetic to the strike,


basically, and you are sympathetic to the cause, so what is wrong with


the strike? Because first of all I don't think I will achieve anything.


I think it will harm patients and I don't think that is right either for


patients or doctors, I think particularly when they do move, if


that does happen, to withdrawing emergency cover, I think there will


be significantly greater harms for patients and I think that will risk


undermining that very important bond of trust, because as we have heard,


there are the most trusted profission, I think there are grave


dangers that will be undermined. Let me put this to you, we asked the


public whether they thought it was a strike about pay or patient safety.


I think you think it is about patient safety don't you Rachel the


public thought it was about pay, probably. Yes, again that is not a


surprise, the Conservative Party, the Government have been furiously


spinning this, as a pay dispute. And from my perspective that is


categorically not why I am striking tomorrow. My vows as a doctor, I


take very very seriously, and I withdraw my patient care tomorrow,


for one reason, and one reason alone, and that is to protect my


patients. For me, and for all junior doctors the essence of this strike


is not pay, it is safe staffing levels. You believe that? I think


the situation has changed. What it is is about reducing the length of


working time doctors can be forced to work. It is about reducing the


number of consecutive nights they can work, the other thing is greater


safeguard foger doctors who want to report they are being forced to


Bjork hour, the financial penalties are being brought back, so I think


there are been changes. Are you saying they lying when they say it


is not about pay. I used to teach doctors before I went into politics,


I remember in 2007, the huge distress there was round the end


task as it was brought in, the way doctors applied for job, what we


have seen is a kind of, the junior doctors lead a more nomadic


lifestyle, there are many ways they work which are divot for them. In in


many respects I imagine Sarah did ludicrous kind of 90 hour shifts,


you are not doing that now? Sure with the greatest respect, Sarah,


you are now an MP, you haven't been a doctor for some time, and you


certainly haven't been a junior dock for for many years. Can I come back


on that point. I would like to answer the question if I may. I am a


junior doctor on the front line now, I know what is happening now. What I


know now is recruitment and retention of junior doctors is so


bad, that virtually every on call shift I work in my hospital, there


is a gap in the rota t and to put that in terms that the public can


understand, that means instead of carrying my crash bleep for cardiac


arrest, my emergency bleep, where I am responsible for maybe one, 200


patients who might have emergencies through the night. I get given the


bleep of another doctor who isn't there because there is a gap. I am


covering 400. This contract is going to reduce morale, and make reCruise


cruetment and retention worse and hence the safety implications. --


recruitment. To come back on the fact I used to teach doctor,


including foundation two doctors in hospital, you know, and up until


2015, I have a daughter who is a junior doctor currently spending a


year in Australia, but of course it wasn't pay and conditions that


drives many junior doctors to have that year abroad, it subpoena often


other issues to how they can co-ordinate their rotas with their


partners and so on. The argument will continue. Thank you both.


You have not heard much about the Conservative Party's


bullying scandal in recent weeks, partly because the party's inquiry


into what went on and what went wrong is getting underway.


It's meant to be an independent inquiry, run by a top law firm.


For the party to put the scandal behind it,


it needs that inquiry to be credible.


However, Newsnight has learned that not all is going well.


Some important witnesses are reluctant to take part,


sceptical of the outcome, of of their evidence


Nick Hopkins has been speaking to them.


So tragic, the Prime Minister pledged an urgent investigation.


It is not something that any parent should have to go through.


What the Conservative Party must do and what it is doing and what I have


ensured is happening is that there is a proper investigation.


Over the past few days Newsnight has spoken to 14 people who count


themselves as potentially key witnesses in the Tory bullying


And nine of them have told us they will not give evidence.


All of these nine are either former members of staff at CC HQ


They say they were victims of bullying, sexual abuse,


blackmail, but none of them have confidence in this investigation.


This woman is refusing to participate in the inquiry.


She fears witness intimidation, a legal threats.


I am worried that Mark Clarke and his associates will find out


who I am, link my ID with what I have said,


and find out where I live, who I am, where I work.


And that he and his associates will come after me and try to use


force and intimidation to try to get me to retract


In November, Natasha told Newsnight Clarke bullied


The initial letter she and others received from the law firm


inviting her to be a witness did little to dispel her anxiety.


In December, Josh Hitchens discovered a complaint


he had made to the party in 2014 about bullying appeared to have been


Clifford Chance are gathering the evidence, so the witness


transcripts and everything else, they are passing them directly


to the Conservative Party Board, who will make an assessment of them,


edit them and publish a report with them compiled.


There's a lot of people I know, including myself, are unwilling


to give evidence to this inquiry because we don't have confidence


in the way that our evidence is going to be handled


We don't believe it is an independent inquiry.


That very fact there is a perception of lack of independence


and integrity in the process nullifies it, because a lot lot


and integrity in the process nullifies it, because a lot


of people who have crucial bodies of evidence aren't willing


to support that evidence, because they don't believe


And that is the problem for the Tory party.


To draw a line under this issue, to make sure that the situation


never happens again, the inquiry has to be credible.


And to be credible, all the key witnesses need to give evidence.


If they don't, then the clamour of those who say the party failed


in its duty of care to Elliott Johnson will only grow louder.


It is an investigation by a commercial firm


of solicitors who have had links with the Conservative Party


into certain aspects of the Conservative


Party behaviour along the terms of reference decided


It is not an independent investigation.


The inquiry into what happened in the


Conservative Party is according to Clifford Chance of making good


progress, and in a statement tonight, they said witnesses


would be able to insist on confidentiality.


The student vote is really important.


Elliot Johnson's family are conducting their own


inquiry into bullying within the Tory party.


They think it is the only way to get to the truth.


The Tory party says it can't say anything


There is more David Bowie coming up here on BBC Two.


Five years in the Making of an Icon the programme is called.


So we leave you with Ziggy Stardust, performing Five Years


on the Old Grey Whistle Test, 44 years ago in 1972.


# If the black hadn't pulled her off.


# I think she would have killed them.


# Fixed his stare to the wheels of a Cadillac


# A cop knelt and kissed the feet of a priest


# And a queer threw up at the sight of that.


# I think I saw you in an ice-cream parlour.


# Drinking milkshakes, cold and long.


# Smiling and waving and looking so fine.


# Don't think you knew you were in my song


Rtners and so on. The argument will continue. Thank you both.


After the spring-like mild weather we saw,


Newsnight examines the legacy of David Bowie, airing again his interview with Jeremy Paxman and speaking to Nile Rodgers, Tom Robinson and Bernard Sumner. Plus junior doctors and the Tory bullying row.

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