While David had been giving us the glass spider experience he had been handed a demotape with the words "listen to this" inscribed apon it. He had put it to his ear, but alas the tape made no noise.
While back in Montreux Coco the Monkey put the tape in a tape player and pressed play. Bowie was blown away, there were gale force winds blowing through the area at the time. When he made it back to his place he listened to the tape and thus came to him a cunning plan.
He gave the lead guitarist on the tape, a man by the name of Reeves Gabrels a call. Bowie suggested that they record something together, Gabrels was somewhat skeptical owing to the sneaky sound of Bowie's voice, but agreed when Bowie said he could play on his money pile for a bit.
The result of this collaboration was an eight minute reworking of 'Look Back In Anger' from Bowie's 'Lodger' LP. They went on to perform this in April at the Dominion Theatre in London, an intimate 3000 seat venue. It made Bowie nostalgic for the times when he could feel his audience, without getting arrested for indecent assault.
Bowie was also nostalgic for the times when he would be part of The King Bees, Manish Boys and Lower Third. Back then he could blame all of his mistakes on his crappy band, now that he was making lots of mistakes he had nowhere to turn to lay the blame. What he needed, he decided, were some decent human shields.
When he happened to meet Tony Sales again (Bowie and the two Sales brothers, Toney and Hunt, had toured with Iggy Pop in the seventies) he suggested that perhaps the four of them (Sales, Sales, Bowie, Gabrels) might like to get together in Montreux. Nothing special, chew the fat so to speak, kick a ball around, that kind of thing.
By the time June came around Bowie had them all in the recording studio undergoing intensive "re-programming" or "re-education". A band was being born.
The band was christened 'Gold Machine', but after a few rehearsals this was changed to 'Silver Machine', then 'Copper Machine', and finally as it dawned on them how good they were, 'Tin Machine'.
While still in Switzerland work on the first Tin Machine album began. Besides the band members Kevin Armstrong would provide rhythm guitar and Tim Palmer would produce. The feeling of the press, and what Bowie wanted to convey can be felt from the following interview :
New Musical Express - David, how can you expect to blend in when you so obviously stick out like a thumb with elepantitis? What with your profile and fame?
Gabrels - Are you talking to me?
Tony Sales - I'm not quite sure how to answer that.
NME - No I was talking to...
Hunt Sales - I did not have sexual relations with that chicken.
NME - What?
Tony Sales - David! Help!
Reeves Gabrels - We're all the same. We're not even with Bowie. We think he's crap. We don't even know who Bowie is. Why are you tormenting us like this!! I never met the man!
NME - Reeves, isn't it true that David Bowie is writing 99% of the material, the whole band is his concept, he's the lead singer, and he's calling all the shots?
Bowie - THIS INTERVIEW IS OVER!
In August David took a break to film his small part is Martin Scorsese's 'Last Temptation of Christ'. Bowie would play Pontius Pilate in the film and kill Jesus. Since there is nothing like boosting your popularity by killing Jesus.
The rest of the year was taken up with rehearsals, recording and holidays. He would spend time in Indonesia, Italy and Australia with Melissa Hurley. Melissa talks about their relationship :
'David would show me things, all sorts of things, video tapes of his concerts, his collection of gold records, his money pile (which he was very proud of), clippings of all the nice things people had said about him. He would show me his cavity, just to be secure in the knowledge that there wasn't anything up there that breached security. He was a kind and loving man, and we did it many times.'
In November Virgin released an extended version of Bowie's 'Absolute Beginners'. Which is about as inconsequential an end to a chapter you are ever likely to read in your life.
2. And the eyes of them were both opened and they knew they were both naked, and Adam said to her, 'Stand back, I don't know how big this is going to get.'