There are a few scenes you might recognise – on the harbour, at a Sydney beach, in a machine shop (this was in Guildford), in the Strand Arcade, and just down the road from the studio, literally on the road on Broadway among the traffic.
The young Aboriginal pair, Terry Roberts and Joelene King, were chosen from Sydney’s Aboriginal and Islander Dance Theatre to star in the video. Bowie said in an interview at the time that he wanted to present Australian Indigenous people in a capitalist white society and highlight the conflicts and difficulties between the two cultures. He also called out Australia for what it was – an extremely racist country.
And Bowie also filmed another clip in Sydney on the same album – China Girl.
There are scenes down around the Chinatown district in a restaurant and along Dixon Street, and again there are scenes of Sydney Harbour showing a hydrofoil (remember them?) heading towards Circular Quay, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and the Sydney Opera House, with a musician playing the double bass on the Man O’War Steps. Again, this was a song that explored racism.
You can read more about Bowie’s socio-political stance in these songs here: http://www.bowiedownunder.com/letsdancevideos/letsdancevideos.htm
And I bet you can nominate some other film clips of international artists that incorporate some great scenes of Sydney. Let us know.
Miss today’s segment? You can catch up here via the 2SER website. We are back for another great year of Sydney history segments in partnership with 2SER. Tune in 2SER Breakfast with Mitch Byatt on 107.3 every Wedensday morning at 8:20 am.