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Tony Visconti says David Bowie was “terrified” of meeting John Lennon for the first time

Tony Visconti, the longtime collaborator of David Bowie, has been reflecting on significant moments in the history of the Starman, explaining how he was “terrified” of meeting former Beatle founder John Lennon for the first time.

Visconti, who was speaking during the new BBC Radio 6 Music special entitled Bowie: Dancing Out in Space, explained how he was once asked to join Bowie in a New York City hotel room in order to help break the ice during a meeting with Lennon.

According to producer Visconti, he was asked to join the pair in the hotel suite in order to “buffer the situation”. The meeting was set up by their mutual acquaintances to allow both Bowie and Lennon to get to know each other before collaborating on Bowie’s now-iconic 1975 song ‘Fame’.

“About one in the morning I knocked on the door and for about the next two hours, John Lennon and David weren’t speaking to each other,” Visconti remembered of the situation. Instead, David was sitting on the floor with an art pad and a charcoal and he was sketching things and he was completely ignoring Lennon.”

The famed producer added: “So, after about two hours of that, he [John] finally said to David, ‘Rip that pad in half and give me a few sheets. I want to draw you.’ So David said, ‘Oh, that’s a good idea’, and he finally opened up.

“So John started making caricatures of David and David started doing the same of John, and they kept swapping them and then they started laughing and that broke the ice,” Viscont concluded, before explaining that the somewhat surreal moment was the basis of what became “great friendship” in the years that followed.

For the full story, head over the BBC to listen to the Bowie: Dancing Out in Space feature.