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Jeff Goldblum: David Bowie loved jazz music

The actor spoke to the Glastonbury Free Press ahead of his performance at the Somerset festival.


Jeff Goldblum (Matt Crossick/PA)

Jeff Goldblum (Matt Crossick/PA)

Jeff Goldblum (Matt Crossick/PA)

Jeff Goldblum has spoken of how he used to “muck about” playing piano and singing songs with David Bowie.

The actor and musician described Bowie, who died in 2016, as “like something from another planet”.

He spoke to the Glastonbury Free Press ahead of his appearance at the festival’s West Holts stage on Saturday.


David Bowie died in 2016 (Yui Mok/PA)

David Bowie died in 2016 (Yui Mok/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

David Bowie died in 2016 (Yui Mok/PA)

“I was filming the Robert Altman movie Nashville in 1974 and a few of us went to see David Bowie playing at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium on his Diamond Dogs tour,” Goldblum said.

“The show was amazing and David was like something from another planet.

“About 10 years later, I was filming the John Landis comedy Into The Night, where me and David both had roles and I got to know him a little more.

“A lovely, lovely guy. We used to muck about on the piano and sing songs together. He loved his jazz.”

He told the paper he had also joined Aerosmith for the encore of one of their gigs.

“They told me the chords to some song and I ended up playing along with them,” he said.

“It was my one true brush with rock ‘n’ roll.”

Goldblum, who is from Pittsburgh like his heroes Errol Garner and Ahmad Jamal – told the paper he had always wanted to be a jazz pianist.

He said he grew up listening to Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk, and went to a Thad Jones/Mel Lewis big band in Pittsburgh with his father.

In 1971, he had his first Broadway role in the musical version of The Two Gentlemen of Verona.

“I was absolutely astonished that Thad Jones was playing trumpet in the orchestra pit,” Goldblum said.

“I thought – man, I’ve made it. I’m in a show with the great Thad Jones.”

Aside from his music, Goldblum said he had just finished acting in a film called The Mountain, which is set in 1954.

“It’s a very artful, poetic movie, directed by the great Rick Alverson and also starring Hannah Gross and Udo Kier, about the underbelly of American identity,” he said.

“I play a rather controversial doctor in the Pacific Northwest who pioneered lobotomy surgery in the 40s and 50s, and who is also a cult leader.

“I’ve also been working on a 12-part series for National Geographic – The World According to Jeff Goldblum.

“It’s about explaining the complex science behind the most mundane things. And I’m doing a second album for Decca too, so it’s all go for me.”