Queen Bitch – David Bowie

A second cut from Hunky Dory. For two or three simple reasons. Firstly it’s often referred to as a tribute song (calm down Tenacious D) as in the album has three tributes to icons of the 1960’s counter culture among it’s track list. Some stand out more than others. The one for Bob Dylan is easy to spot. It’s called Song For Bob Dylan. There’s one for Andy Warhol (as in Holes… War…Holes) handily titled Andy Warhol. Kooks is for Duncan (Bowie’s newborn baby) but he was hardly an icon of the 60’s being born in 1970. Nope, the third tribute is Queen Bitch. The track is writ down in the rock and roll history books as a tribute to Lou Reed and his Velvet Underground. I like Lou Reed she said putting her tongue in my ear,

Secondly it’s been on SFTD before. But as a cover version. During Bowie Covers Week we had several of The Thin White Dukes greatest tunes done by others. In this case it was a proto-grunge boot camp band with a CCR inspired moniker Green River. Given the finality of things right now it feels only right & proper to have the original version on the list. I those early days of the blog I couldn’t resist a band that had members of Mudhoney and Pearl Jam in before they were famous recording a David Bowie Song about The Velvet Underground in a band named after a Creedence Clearwater Revival song. It’s too rich. Fertile ground. Lay the green vinyl seven inch of Together We’ll Never B-Side facing the sun in your record collection and watch the off shoots grow.

One final reason for the inclusion of Queen Bitch on the list a second time is the definition of a genre still in it’s embryonic stages. This is sleaze rock like many a multi-million selling band would base entire discographies on.

The third reason is one people often miss when they’re talking about how much they love that era of Bowie. Mick Ronson. I’m not pretending he’s not recognised as genius. He is. A dirty rock and rollers guitarist. Mick Ronson played the songs that turned all the punks, headbangers and grungers to face them. Bowie is loved in all genres of pop music. He is adored in the heavy lifers section alongside Mick and The Spiders From Mars. Of course at this stage they were not yet The Spiders. They were playing at being Lou, Mo, Doug, Sterling and the rest. “Flippity floppity hats” and all. You can still hear their rock and roll dreams on Hunky Dory. They’ve got bigger things still to come. For now though. It’s play.

There were bands in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s who could rinse 4 or 5 albums out of the core ingredients of Queen Bitch. They could become poster boys (or girls) and household names and they would be great bands (I’m not knocking it) while everything they did was taken directly from this very song as a bountiful oasis.

5 thoughts on “Queen Bitch – David Bowie

  1. I love this album and this song. I can’t help it, but every time I hear this I think of, “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” scenes where it plays. Mick Ronson is such a hottie, besides being a damfine guitarist. I love David and Lou video. How thrilled both of them must have been, like a dream too beautiful to be real ❤

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