I recently posted an alternative version of “Kooks” which will appear on the forthcoming compilation, Divine Symmetry, but I noticed that the link I used for my original 2016 commentary went down, so here is yet another alternative take on the song. Here, Bowie performs what at the time was a new song live, in the days following the birth of his son, who today is the filmmaker Duncan Jones.
I don’t have much more to add about the song itself, but I do find it interesting to hear it performed almost certainly prior to the release of Hunky Dory. The words in this version deviate from the more familiar album version, and Bowie sounds a little hesitant. Actually, he doesn’t sound hesitant, he says he’s hesitant, but he sounds fine.
Here’s what I originally wrote:
Day 184; July 15 2016
My understanding is that Bowie wrote this song for his baby son, Zowie Bowie, now known as Duncan Jones, the director of movies such as Warcraft and Moon. David Bowie seemed to write happy songs at happy moments in his life such as can be found on Black Tie, White Noise, which he wrote around the time he got married to Iman. A difference between that later work and Hunky Dory is alongside “Kooks” and “Fill your Heart” are depressing—and also much better—songs like “Quicksand” and “Life on Mars.” Album: Hunky Dory