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David Bowie Took A Lot Of Cocaine In The ’70s

Graham Wood, Getty Images

According to two musicians who worked with him, much of David Bowie‘s success in the ’70s can be attributed to cocaine. A new article makes note of the impact the drug had on the rock legend’s life and work.

The New York Post spoke to Carlos Alomar and Nile Rodgers, with the former saying, “In order for him to stay up all night and finish the tasks at hand, it was a huge factor. Its function was to keep you alert, and that’s what he was doing. It did not stop his creativity at all.”

That said, Alomar admitted that it occasionally affected their concerts. If Bowie forgot a lyric, it fell to Alomar to pick up the lead vocal until the star could find his place in the song.

Bowie, who had once been described by a British newspaper as “old vacuum-cleaner nose,” gave up drugs in the late ’70s, but by then they had already done some permanent damage. Rodgers, the Chic mastermind who produced Bowie’s smash hit 1983 album, ‘Let’s Dance,’ said, “He told me there are years of his life that he doesn’t remember. He said, ‘I know that’s me singing, I know that’s my record and my picture, but I don’t remember writing the songs, I don’t remember going into the studio.’”

According to the Post, Rodgers cited Bowie’s 1973 album ‘Pin Ups’ as one the singer can’t recall. If true, perhaps that’s proof of how much cocaine has affected him. Bowie didn’t write the material for that album; it is comprised entirely of cover songs.

This Thursday (Nov. 28), Bowie will release a career-spanning retrospective called, ‘Nothing Has Changed.’ The collection features a new song, ‘Sue (Or in a Season of Crime).’

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