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John Hutchinson: Bowie & Hutch

Album Review

The Yorkshire lad who passed through three Bowie bands.

John "Hutch" Hutchinson is ideally placed when it comes to charting the false starts and eventual rise of David Bowie. It's a journey that begins in 1966, gigging with The Buzz before family commitments force him to head home for Scarborough.

Hutch returns to London two years later though, as part of Bowie’s artsy trio Feathers, after which they trim to a duo and start playing folk clubs as “England’s answer to Simon & Garfunkel.” Needless to say, it never worked out. 

What emerges through this prosaic account is two opposing attitudes – Hutch the pragmatist, shadowed by the inevitability of the day job; Bowie the battler, determined to be a success whatever the price. When they hook up for a third time, on 1973’s Aladdin Sane, Bowie is now the brightest star on the planet. 

Hutch does a fair job of detailing the madness of the road, be it casual sex, knocking back Bloody Marys with Mick Ronson or nearly tripping over an unconscious Iggy Pop on the roof of the Hyatt. One candid encounter even has him swapping notes with Bowie over the right way to apply “social complaint” cream. The one constant, though, is Hutch’s enduring affection for his onetime cohort.

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