David Bowie – Drive-In Saturday

Like Neil Young, The Beatles, and a few others…Bowie could and would change his music direction on a dime and still be commercially successful. Personally, I liked his glam period the best but I liked all of them. He would venture into soul music, experimental music, dance music, pop music, stripped-down rock with Tin Machine, and the list goes on. 

Not only was he a great singer and musician but he was also a very good actor. He appeared in such movies as The Man Who Fell To Earth, Labyrinth, The Last Temptation of Christ, and more. 

Aladdin Sane by David Bowie (Album, Glam Rock): Reviews, Ratings, Credits,  Song list - Rate Your Music

I love this song and Bowie’s glam rock period. It hit high in the charts in the UK but was not released as a single in America or Canada. It peaked at #3 in the UK in 1973. The song was on the album Aladdin Sane which peaked at #1 in the UK, #17 on the Billboard Album Charts and #20 in Canada. Here is a review of the album from The Press Music Reviews

Bowie had written Mott The Hoople’s greatest hit All The Young Dudes and he wrote this for them as a follow-up. They rejected it so he took it for himself. He said it was influenced by the landscape between Seattle and Phoenix, Arizona on his 1972 tour. Just a few hours after he wrote it he performed it on that 72 tour. 

In the song, he referenced some famous people like Mick Jagger, Carl Jung, and Twiggy. Twiggy would later appear on the cover of his album Pin-Ups. The song has an unusual storyline… In the future, nuclear war has caused humanity to forget how to have sex and they have to relearn seduction techniques from old films.

Before he played the new song he told the audience this: This is the bit where all the people with the tape recorders have to leave, because I’m gonna do a new number and you mustn’t record it…. I’ll tell you where we wrote this. We wrote this from Phoenix down to Seattle—no, see, it’s the other way around, isn’t it—from Seattle down to Phoenix, and it was about the future, and it’s about a future where people have forgotten how to make love, so they go back onto video-films that they have kept from this century. This is after a catastrophe of some kind, and some people are living on the streets and some people are living in domes, and they borrow from one another and try to learn how to pick up the pieces. And it’s called “Drive-In Saturday.”

Drive-In Saturday

(Uh uh ah) Let me put my arms around your head
(Dom do ah) Gee, it’s hot, let’s go to bed
Don’t forget to turn on the light
Don’t laugh babe, it’ll be alright
(Dom do ah) Pour me out another phone
(Dom do ah) I’ll ring and see if your friends are home
Perhaps the strange ones in the dome
Can lend us a book we can read up alone

And try to get it on like once before
When people stared in Jagger’s eyes and scored
Like the video films we saw

His name was always buddy (got got do ah aah aah)
And he’d shrug and ask to stay
She’d sigh like twig the wonder kid (got got do ah)
And turn her face away

She’s uncertain if she likes him (got got do ah aah aah)
But she knows she really loves him
It’s a crash course for the ravers (got got do ah)
It’s a drive-in Saturday

Jung the foreman prayed at work (dom do ah)
Neither hands nor limbs would burst
It’s hard enough to keep formation with this fall out saturation

(Bah dom bah) cursing at the astronette
(Dom do ah) who stands in steel by his cabinet
He’s crashing out with Sylvian
The bureau supply for aging men
With snorting head he gazes to the shore
Once had raised a sea that raged no more
Like the video films we saw

His name was always buddy (got got do ah aah aah)
And he’d shrug and ask to stay
She’d sigh like twig the wonder kid (got got do ah)
And turn her face away

She’s uncertain if she likes him (got got do ah aah aah)
But she knows she really loves him
It’s a crash course for the ravers (got got do ah)
It’s a drive-in Saturday

His name was always buddy (got got do ah aah aah)
And he’d shrug and ask to stay
She’d sigh like twig the wonder kid (got got do ah)
And turn her face away

She’s uncertain if she likes him (got got do ah aah aah)
But she knows she really loves him
It’s a crash course for the ravers (got got do ah)
It’s a drive-in Saturday, yeah, yeah

(Drive-in Saturday)
(It’s a drive-in Saturday)
(It’s a drive-in Saturday)
(It’s a drive-in Saturday)
It’s a, it’s a, it’s a drive in Saturday (It’s a drive-in Saturday)
It’s a, it’s a, it’s a, yes sir, yes sir, yes sir, yes sir, yes sir,
Yes sir
(It’s a drive-in Saturday) dom do do do, dom do do do
(It’s a drive-in Saturday) dom do do da, dom do do da
(It’s a drive-in Saturday) yes sir
(It’s a drive-in Saturday)

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

30 thoughts on “David Bowie – Drive-In Saturday”

  1. Now here’s a song with lyrics that I REALLY like. It’s so much fun. I love all the weird futuristic-y stuff like the Astronette and pouring out a phone and Sylvian, whatever the hell that is I don’t know but it sounds really futuristic-y. And it’s all post-apocalyptic like Diamond Dogs with the nuclear fallout and everything, and all the weird characters with their weird names like on Diamond Dogs, my favorite Bowie album. And I like the retro ’50s feel of the music on it. I didn’t know that it was written for Mott the Hoople but they made a big mistake by not doing it. Especially since their next couple albums were the same kind of glam Rock as Drive-in Saturday and it would have been perfect. That really sucks that they didn’t do it.

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      1. I thought it sounded like some kind of chemical or something. I thought of Sylvain Sylvain at first, but then I figured why wouldn’t he have just spelled it like that?

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    1. Yea they probably regretted that mistake. I have to wonder why it wasn’t released in America or Canada…I guess it was thought it was too far out there…I love it though.

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      1. I don’t know. I think Jean Genie was the only U.S. single from that album. He didn’t have a top 40 hit in the states until Young Americans. And I think a re-release of Space Oddity around the same time.

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  2. Bowie was totally unique and there will never be another like him. This is a very pleasant song that I never heard before Max, and I enjoyed listening to it. Next week on December 11, 2022, the Song Lyric Sunday theme is Power Pop, and I am really hoping that you will join in with some music.

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  3. Based on just the song title, “Drive-In Saturday” didn’t ring a bell, but once I started listening to the tune, I recognized it right away – good song!

    My favorite Bowie time is his glam rock period as well, especially the “Ziggy Stardust” album. From “Aladdin Sane”, I primarily recall the glam rock gem “The Jean Genie” and the title track.

    Did you catch “Moonage Daydream”? While apparently it’s more of a collage of live and other footage rather than a more traditional narrated documentary, I still would be curious to see it.

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    1. No I didn’t catch the movie but Bailey did and loved it. I do want to see it also. I love this period…the album I like best is Hunky Dory….all of them around this time are great.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I don’t evenknow whether “Moonage Daydream” still is in theaters in my area. I might eventually catch it online.

        Next up for me this afternoon is that new Neil Young documentary “Harvest Time” about the making “Harvest” – definitely one of my favorite albums by Neil. According to one film review I saw, it’s a bit long-winded. I’ll report back. I imagine that eventually, that film is also going to live online somewhere.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. This was the period I fell in love with. I liked his songwriting and singing during this period…of course like I said I liked all of them but this one in particular. My second favorite era was the next one with the soul music.

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  4. I really don’t remember this song and I have the album. Good to know what it’s about. Amazing that he just popped it out on a road trip and then got up on stage and did it. He’s a genius and probably not of this world. I appreciate his coming to visit us and share his gifts while he was here.

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