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Author Topic: Is David Bowie's song "Wood Jackson" actually about Daniel Johnston?  (Read 21844 times)
Wood Jackson
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« on: October 10, 2007, 06:21:01 AM »

It has been suggested that the rare bside track by David Bowie named Wood Jackson is actually about Daniel Johnston.

Here are the lyrics (if anyone can offer an interpretation, it would be appreciated). Also the song is well worth tracking down as it's quite magnificent:

Jackson made twenty tapes in a day
To give away
A give away
And he play
The tunes they'd call creative when they're running out of names
Heaven knows he's really torn it now
But the names it hurt poor jackson stopped the haters in his way
Heaven knows he's for it
Sha-a-a-me!
Hey hey
He was never quite unsure but really sane
Wants to play
Jackson stole twenty souls in a day
To take away
A take away
He takes away
And no complaints
Heart's upon his sleeve and his blade
Wood jackson took the beating every day, given out, passed away, another way
Hey hey
Just wants to play
And how he played
The mob they bleed and tremble when they're running after life
Heaven knows he's really torn it now
The words that killed Wood jackson's friends were written on the wall
Heaven knows he's for it
Shame!
Just wants to play
It's a shame
Shame
It's a shame
Wants to play
It's a shame
It's a shame
Just wants to play


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Henry Long
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« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2007, 07:22:46 AM »

Very interesting. It's around, on Amazon and a few music sites. "Slow Burn" is the release, I suppose.
I think one could make the argument that this may well be inspired by Daniel, as Bowie certainly is a fan, but who knows?

Sound good to me, unless the real Wood Jackson steps up.

Thanks!
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sunray.jahchild
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« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2009, 09:04:51 PM »

ok, so nobody's been interested in this one for at least 120 days, but having just gotten into daniel via the movie which they just showed tonight on barcelonatv (greatest channel in universe), and being a db obsessive, just had to reply: wood jackson wrote sci-fi back in the 30s, including the classic 'batmen from mars'. daniel is obviously a major influence on the lyric. it also harks back to older db songs, such as bewley bros, all the madmen. and yes, wood jackson should have been more than a somewhat obscure b-side. looking forward to checking out more dan.
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Rob Wheeler
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« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2009, 05:49:10 AM »

Bowie has always had this tendency to leave some of his best material in the archive, but the distance between his best and the sidelined material has become quite vast in his last few albums.

I remember when the 'Thursday's Child' singles came out prior to 'hours...' the B single had a fantastic track on it called 'We shall all go to town'. I could not understand how anything off of the turgid first side pushed that track off the album.

Anyway, I think he did have Dan in mind, especially when you consider how it opens:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7zXS_zJQCg
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