Monday, January 28, 2013

David Bowie & Pat Metheny Group: This Is Not America

Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to watch the motion picture “The Falcon and the Snowman.” I don’t know why I missed this movie in 1985, as I typically saw every release that hit the big screen at that time. I had read about the story of Christopher Boyce and Daulton Lee selling governmental secrets to the Soviets but had never followed through with seeing the movie.

As for the movie's theme, I had always liked this collaboration between the Pat Metheny Group and David Bowie. The music was composed by guitarist Pat Metheny and keyboardist Lyle Mays. Bowie supplied the lyrics. Bassist Steve Rodby and drummer Paul Wertico also appeared on the cut. In addition, a Linn drum machine was overdubbed to the track.

The title comes from a point in the movie where Lee is arrested by Mexican police on trumped up charges of murder. Lee argues with the police, “but I’m an American.” To which the police sergeant responds, “This is not America.”

I remember programming the single on WOAY-FM, but sadly it did not perform well – in fact, despite its title, it did not do well in America by only peaking at #32. It was a Top 10 single in Brazil, Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, and Italy. It peaked in the Top 20 in the UK and Canada. Sha la la la la.

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