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Mike Garson

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Mike Garson is an American professional pianist, most notable for his work with David Bowie, Nine Inch Nails, Billy Corgan and The Smashing Pumpkins.

Garson was originally noticed when he played on the I’m the One album by early 1970s experimental artist Annette Peacock. When Peacock was asked by a very interested David Bowie to join him on his tour she refused. Garson however did not and so began one of the most enduring relationships in rock history.

Garson gave the piano and keyboard backing on the later Ziggy Stardust tour and his unique contribution to Aladdin Sane gave the album an avant garde jazz feel with long and sometimes atonal piano solos.

He played also for Mick Ronson (guitarist and sound of the “Spiders from Mars”) on his first and last solo tour, and his first album (Slaughter on Tenth Avenue). Ironically he came to replace Ronson’s role as Bowie’s musical lieutenant on several occasions. Notably on ‘We are the dead’ from the ‘Diamond Dogs’ album, where Garson’s metronome like keyboard provides a dramatic setting for Bowie’s vocals and on the title track to ‘Young Americans’ where his jaunty piano leads the band. Garson played with Bowie on and off over the years, resurfacing on the The Buddha of Suburbia album and inspiring Bowie to experiment again. The ambitious Outside album was the result.

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