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Music

David Bowie tribute band remove unvaccinated drummer Woody Woodmansey

Holy Holy, a David Bowie tribute band that features bassist Tony Visconti, is said to be touring without drummer Woody Woodmansey. Visconti acted as co-producer on Low and The Next Day, while Woodmansey played the drums on early Bowie records Hunky Dory and Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars. 

“It is with deep regret that I have to announce I will no longer be a part of the band Holy Holy,” Woodmansey wrote. “Due to my medical exemption regarding the C19 vaccination,” he continued. “The band do not feel safe having me involved and have replaced me in the band. Therefore, you will not be seeing me on the upcoming tour in March 2022.”

Woodmansey elaborated: “I have no negative feelings towards the band, they are doing what they believe is best for them, whilst I am doing the same. I am sad not to be part of the band and I will miss connecting with all the fans. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support over the years, especially for your messages of comfort and encouragement over the last year, they meant a lot. I am fit and healthy and doing well.”

Woodmansey and Visconti happened to be performing together in 2016 in the weeks leading up to Bowie’s death. “It was really, really hard,” the drummer recalled. “We’d been to the Highline in New York on his birthday and we hadn’t realised it was until we got there and then some of the security guards said, ‘We think David’s coming down to sing with you.’ We said it would be great if he does but we hadn’t heard anything about that. But that kind of prompted us a bit; it was his birthday. Halfway through that concert Tony said, ‘Let’s give David a ring.’ We kind of got together and called him and played a really bad version of ‘Happy Birthday’ and we got the audience to sing and held the phone up. And he said, ‘That was really nice. Tell them thank you.’ And he also said, ‘Black Star came out today.’ And they went wild.” 

The drummer continued: “He said, ‘I’m really glad you phoned me. Good luck with the tour. I’ll catch you later.’ So for us, playing all of his music, the audience, it was a real high point of the tour and then we got to Toronto and about five in the morning, my phone had been going nuts and I thought, we must have gone down well because the phone’s going mental. And then my son got through to me from England and he said, I just heard on the news that David Bowie passed away.”

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