‘It was our wildest recording session ever. People were playing strip poker, wrestling and diving on top of each other as a heater shot out jets of fire’
Courtney Taylor-Taylor, singer, guitarist, songwriter
A car pulled up outside my flat in Portland, Oregon. Before the Dandy Warhols signed to EMI, I was a mechanic, so I knew the vehicle: a 1980-81 BMW 320i with a primer quarter panel, the ubiquitous affordable BMW. The driver was this super-cool-looking woman with bleached hair piled up with black
The guitar part came first, a ham-fisted imitation of the Rolling Stones: a classic caveman blues-rock riff to hammer on. The lyrics and the title summed up the girl – her tattoos, the car – and the way the Dandys dressed then, straight out of secondhand thrift stores. My mum called us hipsters, but “bohemian like you” sounded better than “hipster like you”.
I’ve always had recording equipment at my fingertips so was able to record the basics there and then. When we recorded it properly, I played the jungle drums in the middle but when we mixed it we chopped them over to the intro, and when they cut into Fathead’s drum fill it sounds like the same drummer.
When Bohemian was released, it was our lowest charting single. Then Vodafone put it in an advert, featuring a girl in short shorts and a bikini top at a festival. It was a great piece of film that captured the era. That advert was shown everywhere and the song just connected hugely. It was a cultural turning point. After Bohemian, the Strokes and the White Stripes emerged and suddenly everyone wanted the “new-old” sound: vintage guitars and amps with vocal harmonies.