“I have so many stories I could tell you. I wish I had more time,” David Bowie states at the outset of his 1999 installment of VH1’s occasional series Storytellers. No kidding. At a mere eight tracks—12 on the outtakes-added DVD version—Bowie’s set feels thin. It’s too bad, since the Storytellers gimmick, in which performers explain a song’s origin before performing it, serves Bowie well. He recalls hanging out with Marc Bolan, shaving his eyebrows in frustration when Mott The Hoople declined to record “Drive In Saturday” as a follow-up to “All The Young Dudes,” and some scattered memories from the drug-addled mid-’70s. An hours-long extension of the program would be welcome. Instead, there are just a few tidbits and a few too many songs from Bowie’s then-current album Hours, a minor effort in the grand scheme of his career. Still, it makes for an engaging listen for Bowie fans, and even better viewing. Bowie is in fine form, looking casually elegant in a sweatshirt that fits him well in what might be the last of his many personas: the gentleman rock star.
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