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(Credit: Press / Danny Clinch)

Music

The David Bowie song that inspired Brandon Flowers to form The Killers

Every artist has a series of albums which defined their early life and made them want to pursue a career as a musician. Brandon Flowers from The Killers is no different, and he credits David Bowie for being the reason why he’s where he is today.

Bowie wasn’t an artist that Flowers grew up listening to as a child, and it wasn’t until his late teenage years that he first stumbled upon the work of the extravagant Englishman. It was a life-changing moment when he was driving, and a Bowie track played out on the radio, which transfixed him.

From that moment on, several memorable junctures in his career have been directly influenced by Bowie, including The Killers’ track ‘All These Things That I’ve Done’. Flowers admitted in 2013: “We also took the bassline from a David Bowie song called ‘Slow Burn’, from Heathen, although enough time has probably passed now that I think he probably won’t sue us!” 

Furthermore, Flowers has also previously revealed that he sought inspiration from Bowie’s delivery on ‘Queen Bitch’ while recording the vocals on ‘Mr. Brightside’, a track which later became his group’s signature song.

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The impact of Bowie on his career has been immeasurable, but intriguingly, it all began with a chance introduction to the singer. In a 2011 interview with The Independent, Flowers revealed: “I still remember when I heard ‘Changes’ for the first time. I thought it was Bob Dylan because of the way he sings the verses. I found out it was Bowie and it was from this album called Hunky Dory.”

He continued: “It’s the most important record to me, ever. I appreciate that he’s still able to write songs, because even when there’s a rough album, there will always be that one song on there that grabs you. But Hunky Dory is the pinnacle – there’s not one song I skip past”.

“I was driving and I heard him on the radio and it changed everything,” he said of the moment his life took a different turn. “I took two classes in college before I realized that I just couldn’t do it. I just left the last one and I heard ‘Changes’ on the radio.”

Bowie transformed Flowers’ life in a moment, and nothing has been the same since. Shortly after his discovery, he sought to form a band, The Killers were born, and they then became one of the most successful rock bands of their generation, which can be traced back to an eye-opening car journey.

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