The DAM trio (Dennis Davis, Carlos Alomar, and George Murray) who comprised Bowie’s rhythm section and had an immeasurable influence on his sound from Station to Station to Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) was born from Alomar’s friendship with Davis and Davis’s with George Murray. Read Alomar’s account on his blog, written the day Dennis died, ending with Carlos signing off to call George Murray. Carlos had kept up with Dennis during his illness.
Now onto the day Dennis’s son Hikaru visited Alomar for his Tracing My Dad series of videos.
It’s Professor Alomar now; he is professor of Music and Technology at Stevens Institute at its Sounds Synthesis Research Center.
Alomar emphasizes how much fun Davis was to be around, and how funny a guy he was. It is so hard for children when for much of their childhood their parent is unwell. Lexie, Bowie’s daughter, and Hikaru must have a lot in common. Bowie’s heart attack happened before she would have had time to know him as a vibrant and healthy man. Even if he were not overtly suffering, each check-up would have been anticipated with dread. And then, he was very, very sick. Carlos lost them both, Bowie and Davis, to cancer, three months apart.
Courageous, confident, and brimming with creativity: that is the Dennis Carlos remembers.
And what did he and Dennis do most together? Play. I’m reminded of a YES line in “Ritual”: We love when we play. Is it just a notch above I enjoy playing? Or is it much deeper? This is how we show love: We play. And that is why it’s the verb that goes with music. Both are what make us human.
Play, and do no harm. That is the advice of Carlos Alomar.
Special thanks to Hikaru Davis for use of his picture.