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At this time other well-known rock musicians also made inflammatory statements, including David Bowie, who expressed support for fascism and admiration for Adolf Hitler in interviews with Playboy, NME and a Swedish publication. Bowie was quoted as saying: "I think Britain could benefit from a fascist leader. After all, fascism is really nationalism ... I believe very strongly in fascism, people have always responded with greater efficiency under a regimental leadership." He was also quoted as saying: "Adolf Hitler was one of the first rock stars" and "You've got to have an extreme right front come up and sweep everything off its feet and tidy everything up." Bowie caused further controversy by allegedly making a Nazi salute while riding in a convertible, although he has always strongly denied this, insisting that a photographer simply caught him in the middle of waving. He later expressed regret and shame for these statements, blaming them on a combination of an obsession with occultism and Friedrich Nietzsche, as well as his excessive drug use at the time. He said: "I have made my two or three glib, theatrical observations on English society and the only thing I can now counter with is to state that I am NOT a fascist." By the 1980s, Bowie's public statements and imagery in his art had shifted towards anti-racism and anti-fascism. In an interview with MTV anchor Mark Goodman in 1983, Bowie aggressively criticised the channel for not providing enough coverage of Black musicians. Bowie described his videos for "China Girl" and "Let's Dance" as "simple" statements against racism, and his album Tin Machine as taking a more direct stance against fascism and neo-Nazism.
"The only thing that was ever permanent in my life was my Genesis collection. When things got weird at home and the alcohol cycle was in full rotation, I could return to that little piece of upper class England where Peter Gabriel and his boys were playing croquet on the lawn, eating cucumber sandwiches and deciding which one of their country cottages they would visit next. Still to this day, old Peter can soothe my anxiety faster than Eckhart Tolle... My Genesis albums were my security."
It Bites released three studio albums, The Big Lad in the Windmill (1986), Once Around the World (1988) and Eat Me in St Louis (1989). It Bites' biggest hit single was "Calling All The Heroes" in 1986, which reached No. 6 in the UK Singles Chart. It Bites split up in 1990 in Los Angeles on the eve of recording their fourth studio album. Commenting on the breakup, Dunnery said: "the band had come to the end. It was a natural process. We fell out over a few things, there wasn't one big issue or problem, it was daft little things. We had just drifted apart. It wasn't anyone's fault, but we split." Following Dunnery's departure, It Bites briefly continued with a new frontman (Lee Knott) and a succession of new names (including Navajo Kiss and Sister Sarah) but split up after failing to sign a new recording deal. A post-breakup It Bites live album (drawn mainly from 1989 concerts) called "Thank You and Goodnight," was released in 1991.
Following the 1990 break-up of It Bites, Dunnery moved to Los Angeles, indulging what he later acknowledged to be a disastrously hedonistic lifestyle. During this period he recorded his first solo album, Welcome to the Wild Country, which was released on Virgin Records in 1991 and produced by David Hentschel. The record enjoyed little success and was released only in Japan. He regained the rights in 2001, re-issuing it on Aquarian Nation Records. He has since described Welcome to the Wild Country as "having been recorded at a time when I didn't know who I was". Towards the end of his time in Los Angeles, Dunnery addressed his drugs and alcohol problems and cleaned up his lifestyle. He has subsequently been open about his problems with alcohol addiction and drug abuse during this period.
In 1993 Dunnery returned to the UK and joined Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant's live band, performing on several tracks on Plant's 1993 album Fate of Nations and on the accompanying world tour.
Dunnery then released Fearless on Atlantic Records in 1994, promoting the album with his first solo tour of the UK. The Glasgow date of the tour was recorded for a live album, One Night in Sauchiehall Street, released in 1995.
Dunnery's next album, Let's Go Do What Happens, was released in 1998 on Razor and Tie Records, initially only in the United States. During this period, Dunnery also played on Lauryn Hill's 1998 debut album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, and Carlos Santana's 1999 album Supernatural.
In 2000, inspired by watching a televised Shakti concert, Dunnery later admitted he "realised there was still a musician in me, and that I had to be as true to that side of my character as I was being to the other sides." He decided to re-engage with the music business by returning to the UK for the first time in five years to play a few concerts, and by creating his own internet-based record label, Aquarian Nation, with the intention of releasing his future albums as well as albums by other artists.
During 2002, Dunnery played on and produced several albums released on Aquarian Nation. The first of these releases was Chris Difford's I Didn't Get Where I Am, with whom Dunnery also toured to promote the album. This was followed by John & Wayne's debut Nearly Killed Keith, and Songs From the Mission of Hope, the debut album by Stephen Harris.
In 2005, Dunnery released The Gulley Flats Boys, a more sedate and acoustic album than its predecessor, featuring next to no drum or percussion parts and sparse use of electric guitar. It was recorded by Dunnery with piano/keyboard player David Sancious and Dorie Jackson on backing vocals.
In 2010, Dunnery released an "official video bootleg" DVD from the 2001 Man tour, titled In The Garden of Mystic Lovers, and produced and played on Snowman Melting, the first solo album by James Sonefeld of Hootie and the Blowfish.
In 2008, Dunnery rejoined The Syn as part of a new line-up also featuring Nardelli and keyboard player Tom Brislin. Joined by Dorie Jackson, bass player Jamie Bishop and (as well as by two members of American progressive rock band Echolyn, guitarist Brett Kull and drummer Paul Ramsey) the band recorded a new album, Big Sky, released early 2009, which was voted the best progressive rock album of 2009 at USA Progressive Music website. Although he didn't play on the Syn's "Reason and Ritual" single of October 2008, Dunnery was in the band for the US tour scheduled for spring 2009. Unfortunately, the tour was cancelled after six dates following Nardelli's return to the UK to pursue separate interests, with the band breaking up acrimoniously as a result after a final performance at Rosfest on 1 May 2009, recorded and eventually released as The Syn Live Rosfest in 2015. Brett Kull would dismiss the project as having "bad organization, bad mojo, bad energy."
Despite the Syn debacle, all members of the line-up (bar Nardelli) would continue to work with Dunnery. Kull, Brislin, Ramsey, Bishop and Jackson all appeared on Dunnery's next album There's a Whole New World Out There (released on 3 October 2009) as part of his new group The New Progressives. Consisting of reworkings of It Bites and solo songs from across Dunnery's career (plus covers of songs by Robert Plant, Genesis, David Sylvian and Joy Division) the album also featured guest appearances from guitarists Phil Campbell (Motorhead), Simon Rogers (Also Eden) and Luke Machin (Maschine, The Tangent), flute player Theo Travis (Soft Machine, Gong, The Tangent) and - perhaps most surprisingly - Dunnery's own replacement in It Bites, John Mitchell. The New Progressives toured the UK, American and Australia to promote the record, with various guests (from both on and off the record) appearing when available.
On 12 August 2011, Dunnery released the contemporary R'n'B-influenced Made in Space. He supported the album with a tour of the UK, which featured himself and Dorie Jackson. He also announced that he would be recorded a cover version of Peter Gabriel's The Rhythm of the Heat as part of Sonic Elements, a new "fantasy rock" band put together by Dave Kerzner.
From late 2012 to autumn 2013, Dunnery recorded Frankenstein Monster, a covers album featuring songs from his brother's former band Necromandus. Regarding the album, Dunnery commented: "I must say that this has been one hell of a journey both emotionally and musically. I learned so much about my brother during the making of this album and so much about myself ... Listening back now as it comes into focus I am very pleased and proud of the results. We have kept very close to the originals, sometimes exact and where it need a little more musicality or space we were smart enough to add our own parts without ruining the song. I know exactly what Baz would have liked so I only added things I know he would have liked.
In late 2013, Dunnery put together The Sensational Francis Dunnery Electric Band, which toured both Necromandus songs and songs from the Francis Dunnery back catalogue. The band also featured on Dunnery's 2016 release Vampires, an album of re-recorded It Bites songs.
In February 2016, Dunnery released Vampires, the follow-up to There's a Whole New World Out There. Like its predecessor, it featured reworkings of old It Bites material with the smoother instrumentation which Dunnery now favoured. The album was also released as an instrumental-only version.
In November 2021, Dunnery released his first album of fully original material for eleven years. The Big Purple Castle was a download-only triple album with songs reflecting on Dunnery's past, his life in the music industry and his current philosophies. 153554b96e