David Bowie song 'Changes' inspired Brandon Flowers to form The Killers

Flowers heard the 1972 hit on the radio and dropped out of college to pursue a career in music

Jess Denham
Monday 11 January 2016 12:37 GMT
Brandon Flowers performs on stage at Brixton Academy
Brandon Flowers performs on stage at Brixton Academy (Getty Images)

Fans of The Killers who might not be quite so au-fait with the late David Bowie's catalogue of hits, remember this. There would be no “Mr Brightside” without “Changes”.

Just a few years ago, frontman Brandon Flowers revealed that it was the “Starman” who first inspired him to pursue a musical career.

“I still remember when I heard 'Changes' for the first time,” he told The Independent for a 2011 feature on the tracks that changed songwriters' lives. “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.

“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.”

Flowers dropped out of college to follow in Bowie's footsteps and is now known as a flamboyant performer in his own right.

“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.”

Flowers admitted in 2013 that he had stolen the bassline for “All These Things That I've Done” from Bowie's “Slow Burn”, featured on 2002 album Heathen. “Enough time has probably passed now that I think he probably won't sue us!” he joked.

The Killers have also covered Bowie's “Moonage Daydream” during live performances.

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