David Bowie came up with the Stones-y riff for “Rebel Rebel” in order to “piss off” Mick Jagger, says guitarist Alan Parker.
Parker performed on the track and a number of other songs on Bowie’s 1974 LP, Diamond Dogs, which also featured the Stones-influenced title track.
“He said, ‘I’ve got this riff and it’s a bit Rolling Stonesy – I just want to piss Mick off a bit’,” remembers Parker. “I spent about three-quarters of an hour to an hour with him working on the guitar riff – he had it almost there, but not quite.
“We got it there, and he said, ‘Oh, we’d better do a middle…’ So he wrote something for the middle, put that in. Then he went off and sorted some lyrics. And that was us done.”