Mick 'Woody' Woodmansey says he was ''unaware'' of David Bowie's drug use.

The 67-year-old drummer was part of Bowie's alter ego, Ziggy Stardust's backing band in the early 1970s - which consisted of Woodmansey, guitarist Mick Ronson and bass guitarist Trevor Bolder - however the rocker claims the 'Starman' hitmaker did a ''good job'' of concealing his drug addiction, because the group thought his character change was down to his ''ego''.

Speaking to The Metro newspaper, Mick said: ''To be honest, we were unaware that he was doing it. When I met up with him in 1980, he said that he tried to keep it off everyone's minds as such, and I told him he had done a good job because I never knew.

''I'd seen one guy on the road, but I'd never see this guy do anything, so I said to the tour manager, 'What does that guy do?' And he said: 'Oh he's a supplier.'

''So I thought the road crew who were mainly Americans that that's how they did it. They had to drive from one gig to another and set up overnight, so maybe they did something to keep awake. I thought he was supplying to them, but no, it was for David.

''It sounds really weird now that you wouldn't know. There was definitely a character change there through the last couple of tours, but you could put that down to ego, or it's gone to someone's head a bit, or he's a bit tired.. You could always find a reason for it.''

Woody also confessed that during the last gigs he performed with Bowie - who passed away in 2016 after battling liver cancer - the 'Life on Mars' singer's drug use was ''taking over'' and life on the road was never the same.

He added: ''By the last couple of tours unfortunately it was taking over - and it wasn't the same as the early tours where you did a good show and you had a good laugh, like a gang really, and then went clubbing or went out for a meal. 'That stopped happening.''