Stereophonics’ Kelly Jones recalls how David Bowie would 'heckle' him while on tour

Virgin Radio

4 Jul 2023, 08:26

Credit: Getty

Kelly Jones of Welsh rockers Stereophonics has spoken about how his band “learned a lot” from touring with iconic artist David Bowie.

Stereophonics supported Bowie on his ‘A Reality Tour' across the US in 2004. Speaking exclusively to at the Global Premiere of the digitally restored Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars: The Motion Picture last night (3rd July), Jones said: “I was a fan, growing up with older brothers and then kind of learning about the catalogue as I got a bit older.”

Fast-forward a few years, and Kelly was on the road with the great man. Talking from the red carpet at the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith, London, yesterday, he told us: “In 2004, we toured across America with him, the Stereophonics. We did his last tour, actually. And then we all ended up in the Isle of Wight Festival. We had headlined the Friday and he headlined the Sunday. So we got to know him pretty well. He was amazing, actually.”

When we asked the musician what the most surprising or unexpected thing he learned about Bowie from spending time with him, he responded: “He would heckle me on the side of the pitch in a five-a-side football match!” 

Giving further examples, the singer added: “He would read stories I'd written. He would watch soundchecks. He would just come and sit in the dressing room, sit on an ice cooler and ask how our families were. He was pretty chilled out.”

Referencing the album that Bowie was touring, 2003’s Reality, he continued: “At that point, I don't think he was playing a character. I mean, the album is called Reality so he wasn't playing anybody other than himself. So we learned a lot from watching him every night.” 

Yesterday marked 50 years to the day since David Bowie’s last performance as his famous alter-ego, Ziggy Stardust. On 10th January 2016, Bowie died in New York City, having been diagnosed with liver cancer 18 months earlier.

We also spoke to Andy Serkis about how the great artist felt like 'an imposter' while working on a film with him. Find out more here.

Eddy Temple-Morris has a Virgin Radio Movie Special to celebrate the night Ziggy Stardust was retired in front of 5,000 disbelieving fans. Eddy sits down with Spider keyboardist Mike Garson to find out what it was like on a night that will never be forgotten. Plus you can hear live music from that very gig. Listen here.

Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars: The Motion Picture’ is digitally restored (now in 4K and with 5.1 sound) with never-before-seen footage. There is another nationwide screening day on Thursday 6th July at local cinemas across the country. Check out for listings.