Midge Ure and David Bowie

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Ultravox in their heyday. Dig the suspenders!

Ultravox in their heyday. Dig Midge’s suspenders!

Last week I had the opportunity to interview Midge Ure for hmv.com/ca.

I would have been 16 when Ultravox released their album Vienna (1981). I played the shit out of that cassette. Loved the title track (who doesn’t?), in fact dug most of the songs. I remember the spoken-word track “Mr. X” freaked me out a little.

I haven’t kept up with Ure’s output since, though he’s released a number of solo albums that have been successful critically and commercially. I’d been enjoying his most recent record, a live album of songs off his 1996 album Breathe and assorted others, in the time leading up to the interview.

This was a wide-ranging chat. Before the interview I’d been informed that Ure was fine to talk about anything, including David Bowie. Ure, who made his name in the international music scene fronting Ultravox (listen to Vienna’s title track below for a reminder of this band’s electro-Europop greatness), had been a fan as a Glaswegian teen. Later, while helping Bob Geldof organize Band Aid and Live Aid, he had the opportunity to have dinner with Bowie.

I had come across an amusing piece by Ure’s ex-wife Annabel Giles about the dinner in the Daily Mail, and had to ask Ure about it. Ure didn’t have much to say about it except “That was when we asked him to present the video. My outstanding memory is that I paid the bill. And that’s coming from a Scot! There were about 15 people there.”

Read the rest of the interview at hmv.com/ca.

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