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‘She asked for my love and I gave her a dangerous mind’: Goodbye David Bowie from Dangerous Minds
01.11.2016
03:58 pm

Topics:
Art
Heroes
Music
R.I.P.

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David Bowie playing at Rodney Bingenheimer’s club in Los Angeles, 1970. Courtesy of Getty Images. Buy a print of this photograph at Photos.com.

As—ahem—some of our readers may have noticed over the years, the late David Bowie has always been our patron saint here at Dangerous Minds. You might say he was our spirit animal. Below, three of our writers pay tribute to the Thin White Duke and contemplate a world without David Bowie in it…

***

Christopher Bickel: Let’s be honest. At Dangerous Minds there are certain subjects that we have covered rather extensively. We’ve taken our share of good-natured ribbing over that fact that we jock Bowie hard and often. It goes without saying that the writers here are going to have something to say on this day when we celebrate the career and legacy of one of the true giants of the rock and roll era.

No celebrity death has emotionally affected me to this degree. We haven’t had a musician pass who was so universally loved for their talent and influence since the assassination of John Lennon. Michael Jackson, maybe, but his legacy was so tainted by the time of his death. Bowie’s life and artistic output remained inspiring up until the very end. Last November when the video for “Blackstar” dropped, I remarked that it was a “masterpiece.” Little did I know, then, that it was Bowie’s “parting gift” to us all. Certainly he knew.

I loved Bowie from the first time I heard him—which was “Rebel Rebel” on the radio. But as a kid, I thought the words I was hearing were “Grandma, Grandma—who tore your dress?” I remember at the time thinking “it’s really rude of this singer to call his grandmother a ‘tramp’”—but also kind of cool. I was wrong about the words I was hearing, but I wasn’t wrong about loving the music.  The man never put out a bad record. Sure, there’s varying degrees of quality in his catalog, but I challenge anyone to name a single Bowie record that “flat out sucks.” You can’t.

It’s hard to pin down a favorite. I called it as Low for years, but I’ve eventually settled on Scary Monsters as my top pick. New Wave Bowie is my guy. Bowie knew how to pick a backing band, and Fripp just kills it on that record. Reeves Gabrels later picked up that torch and THIS VIDEO from 2006 of “Scary Monsters” is absolutely scorching—and is as good as any Bowie performance from any point in his career. That’s the thing: Bowie remained relevant and exciting as both a writer and performer all the way until the very end. There will never be another. 

***
 

 
Martin Schneider: What is there to say? One mark of an artist’s power is a general inability on the audience’s part to imagine our world in their absence; we’re all experiencing that weird pang right now, big time. No rock star was more forward-looking or incorporated so many different cultural streams; it shouldn’t be surprising that his influence and resonance have only increased over the years. He was a cultural vampire, in the best sense; he took from everybody and he never aged.

As a teen, I found Bowie incredibly intriguing but also a bit chilly (Pink Floyd was easier); it took me a long time to warm up to him. Of course I did, finally—he’s inescapable, after all. As I get older he strikes me as the very best, the most mature and the most complex, that a rock star can realistically be.

So long, Star Man.

***
 

 
Richard Metzger: I first heard of David Bowie when I very first started listening to pop music. My interest in Bowie was probably what got me interested in music to begin with. I was eight and it was early 1974. A local AM radio station played “Space Oddity” at 11pm one night and I happened to be be up late listening and had my young mind totally blown into a million pieces. That song entered my consciousness and exploded there, rearranging my outlook on the world like nothing had before and like nothing has ever since, I can promise you. It was, for me personally, probably the Ur-epiphany of my entire life. But I didn’t catch the name of the singer or the song. The next night, at the exactly same time, the DJ played it again, and then the following night he spun it again. This time I was ready. I taped it with my $30 Sears cassette recorder, the mic held up to the clock radio’s speaker. Soon afterwards I had the 45rpm record and soon after that—a matter of just days—I had the ultra-heavy single only version of “Rebel, Rebel” (a record cut so loud that it threatened to blow out your speakers, as anyone reading this who owned it can attest to). My parents were okay with buying me a 99 cent single from time to time, but an LP (which might’ve cost about $4.98 then) was out of the question and I needed to have everything David Bowie-related. Immediately if not sooner.

So I did yard work and gardening around the neighborhood—weed-pulling to be exact, I was too young for pushing a lawn mower around—to be able to afford first Diamond Dogs, then in fairly rapid succession Aladdin Sane, Pin-Ups, The Man Who Sold the Word, David Live, Young Americans, etc. (Oddly enough, it would be Ziggy Stardust that I acquired last and it remains my least favorite of the pre-ChangesOneBowie catalog.)

And then I saw that they were repeating “The 1980 Floor Show” on The Midnight Special. I don’t think I was ever the same again after I saw that. It was a powerful and visceral lesson in… well… something. I was too young to know exactly what it all meant, but I did know intrinsically what he—David Bowie as an iconic entity—meant. Bowie-fandom was closer to a religion than a hobby. It was a revelation, you might say.

I would scour the TV Guide hoping for a Bowie-sighting and—in lieu of a VCR—I’d tape the audio on my cassette recorder whenever he appeared on things like Soul Train, Dinah!, Cher and the Grammy Awards telecast. I listened to them so many times that 35 years later I would see them again on YouTube and I’d know each and every word. On Dinah! he invited Dr. Thelma Moss on as one of his hand-picked guests, a UCLA professor who was known for investigating the science of Kirlian photography. This was in 1976 and I would have been, at that point ten and in the 5th grade. My Bowie-fanaticism was so ingrained in me by then that I built a rudimentary Kirlian photography device after finding plans for it on microfilm in the local library!
 

 
I wrote about this in 2010, on the occasion of the publication of the coffee table book Bowie: Object.

To give you a personal (and very small) example of the multitude of ways David Bowie has influenced little old me, when I was ten years old and Bowie was the guest on Dinah Shore’s afternoon talk/variety show, he was able to invite Dr. Moss on as a guest as well. Moss demonstrated the ability of the Kirlian device—a high voltage electric field “camera”—to basically take snapshots of plant and human “auras.” Because Bowie was fascinated by this wild new science of Kirlian photography, then, hey, so was I and—this is true—I built a homemade version of the Kirlian Photographic device for a grade-school science fair.

It was made with a battery, a wood base, some wire, a metal plate and used 2” by 2” film, which was placed under the plate, and sent a jolt via the battery to expose the film. Now, granted, at that age, I wasn’t testing the “before and after” side-effects of snorting cocaine on my aura (see above) like Bowie was—-I used leaves and my thumbprint—but still, you can see clearly in this stupid example of how I, a little kid at the time, saw David Bowie as this like, larger than life cultural avatar of the newest and coolest things around.

Beyond influencing my 5th grade science fair entry, I’m pretty sure that it was David Bowie that led me directly to my interests in Andy Warhol, Iggy, Lou Reed, the Velvets, George Orwell, and even William Burroughs. My interest in most things artistic and countercultural probably began with David Bowie when I was a kid and simply fanned out from there. I honestly don’t think I would be the same person today, or would have lived the life that I have or that I would even be doing what I do professionally without his influence on not only what I was thinking or feeding my head with when I was very young, but also on the way his life and art demonstrated what was possible to aspire to.

Twelve years ago, when someone working the register at St. Mark’s Books told me that David Bowie had purchased my Disinformation book and DVD—David Bowie knew who I was???—it was one of the proudest moments of my entire life. I simply can’t believe he’s gone.

Below, David Bowie and the Spiders from Mars on the ‘Ziggy’ tour in Dunstable, June 21, 1972 doing “Song for Bob Dylan”:

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Heartfelt letters written by a young David Bowie (and some of his youngest fans)
01.11.2016
12:59 pm

Topics:
Heroes
R.I.P.

Tags:

David Bowie, RIP
 
Like everyone out there, I’m at a loss for words upon hearing of David Bowie’s passing. As Bowie’s brilliant 25th album, Blackstar is a letter of sorts to all of us, I thought sharing some of Bowie’s letters to his fans and friends, as well as a few letters from Bowie’s youngest fans would be a way of helping to celebrate the life of the great man.
 
David Bowie's letter to
David Bowie’s beautiful post-Ziggy letter to his fan Susie Maguire, April of 1974
 
David Bowie's handwritten letter to his friend, designer Natascha Korniloff, 1979
David Bowie’s handwritten letter to his friend, designer Natasha Korniloff, 1979. It reads: “Love me, say you do. Let me fly away with you, for my love is like the wind; and wild is the wind.”
 
David Bowie's famous letter to a fourteen-year-old fan, 1967
A higher resolution image of the letter can be seen here
 
Davie Bowie's letter from 1970 to Bob Grace of Chrysalis Music, the man who signed the then 24-year-old to a five-year record contract
Davie Bowie’s letter from 1970 to Bob Grace of Chrysalis Music, the man who signed the then 24-year-old to a five-year record contract
 
Some fun fan letters, after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
‘Pierrot in Turquoise’: David Bowie’s little-known first theatrical appearance, 1968
01.11.2016
10:32 am

Topics:
Heroes
Music
R.I.P.
Television

Tags:

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It had to come, it always does and usually when we least expect it. So, it was this morning when news broke of David Bowie’s untimely demise. Even the presenters on television seemed stunned, slightly disbelieving at the words they mouthed off teleprompters. It was unreal—sitting eating breakfast around seven in the morning, still in dressing gown, the world dark outside, when suddenly I heard the news that someone who had been a constant in my life—like a parent or a friend—was gone.

Odd how someone I never met, never knew, only listened to and watched could cause such a sense of inestimable loss.

The release of his albums The Next Day in 2013 and Blackstar ★ last week was further proof that Bowie was beyond mortal and would somehow continue onwards creating his magical works of brilliance. But perhaps, we should have listened more closely to the words he sang:

Look up here, I’m in heaven.
I’ve got scars that can’t be seen.
I’ve got drama, can’t be stolen,
Everybody knows me now…

Oh I’ll be free.
Just like that bluebird.
Oh I’ll be free.
Ain’t that just like me.

 
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Though he had just celebrated his 69th birthday, “David Bowie” was really born fifty years ago when he changed his surname from Jones to Bowie. The name change allowed the young 20-year-old to become someone else—something far more interesting than just another aspiring singer and musician hungry for fame. He became whatever ever he wanted to be—a kind of “Everyman” as he later described himself:

I’m Pierrot. I’m Everyman. What I’m doing is theatre, and only theatre. What you see on stage isn’t sinister. It’s pure clown. I’m using myself as a canvas and trying to paint the truth of our time

Theater was always important to Bowie. In December his drama Lazarus co-authored with Enda Walsh “a two-hour meditation on grief and lost hope” was being hailed as a “wild, fantastical, eye-popping” masterpiece. This wasn’t Bowie’s first venture into theater and writing a musical score—his first came in 1967, when Bowie collaborated with the maverick performer, choreographer and director Lindsay Kemp.

It was on 28 December 1967 that David Bowie made his theatrical debut at the Oxford New Theater. He was appearing as Cloud in Lindsay Kemp’s mime Pierrot in Turquoise (aka The Looking Glass Murders). Bowie wrote and performed the songs, while Kemp played Pierrot, with Jack Birkett as Harlequin, and Annie Stainer as Columbine.

The production was in rehearsal when it opened at the New Theater—which may explain why the Oxford Mail described the show as “something of a pot-pourri.” The reviewer did however praise Bowie’s musical contribution:

David Bowie has composed some haunting songs, which he sings in a superb, dreamlike voice. But beguilingly as he plays Cloud, and vigorously as Jack Birkett mimes Harlequin, the pantomime isn’t a completely satisfactory framework for some of the items from his repertoire that Mr Kemp, who plays Pierrot, chooses to present….

...No doubt these are shortcomings Mr. Kemp will attend to before he presents Pierrot in Turquoise at the Prague Festival at the invitation of Marceau and Fialka next summer. No mean honour for an English mime troupe.

The production told the story of Pierrot’s fateful attempts to win the love of Columbine. As we know, the path of true love never runs smooth, and Columbine falls for Harlequin, and is then killed by Pierrot.

After a few tweaks Pierrot in Turquoise opened at the Rosehill Theater, Whitehaven, before going on to the Mercury Theater and Intimate Theater London in March 1968.
 
pierrotcloud1.jpg
 
Bowie’s career throughout the sixties fits Thomas Edison’s adage “Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.” He worked hard and continually toured the length and breadth of Britain under various guises: The Konrads, The Hookers, Davie Jones and The King Bees, The Manish Boys, the Blues influenced Davie Jones and The Lower Third, Davie Jones and The Buzz, and The Riot Squad, a band described as:

The Complete Musical Entertainers covering Pop, Tableaux, Burlesque and Parody

Even at this early stage Bowie was shedding musical styles quicker than he changed his haircut—from beat thru blues to music hall and pop. With hindsight it is possible to see where his career was going but by 1967 the teenager’s recording career had come to a halt after he released the unsuccessful novelty song “The Laughing Gnome.” Bowie didn’t release a record for another two years.

It was during this time that Bowie fell under the influence of mime artist and performer Lindsay Kemp, who helped Bowie channel his unique talent towards “Space Oddity” and later Ziggy Stardust. As Kemp later told journalist Mick Brown for Crawdaddy in 1974:

“I taught David to free his body,” says Kemp, smiling wickedly.

“Even before meeting, David and I had felt the need to work together. I’d identified myself with his songs, and he’d seen my performances and identified himself with my songs. I was singing the songs of my life with my body; he was singing the songs of his life very fabulously with his voice, and we reckoned that by putting the two together the audience couldn’t help but be enthralled. In other words, one large gin is very nice, but two large gins are even nicer.”

The two large gins became Pierrot in Turquoise, which (thankfully) was filmed by Scottish Television in 1969 and then broadcast in July 1970. How a small regional TV station like STV came to film this wonderful treat is probably a tale in itself—even if one cataloguer described the production as “quite creepy.”

Watch Bowie in ‘Pierrot in Turquoise,’ after the jump….

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘I’m stepping through the door And I’m floating’: David Bowie R.I.P.
01.11.2016
02:42 am

Topics:
Current Events
Heroes
Music

Tags:


 
Crushing news. It has just been announced that David Bowie has died of cancer at the age of 69. Anyone who has followed Dangerous Minds over the years know how much we adore the man. Our hearts are broken.

From Bowie’s official Facebook page:

David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer. While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief.

 
I’ve been charmed by many of David Bowie’s appearances on screen. But this clip from British TV when he was a mere 17 is particularly wonderful. His subversive humor is already beginning to blossom as the spokesperson for The Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Longhaired Men. Sly devil.
 

 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Conspiracy Theory (or not?): Does David Bowie know there is a band called Lazarus Blackstar?
01.09.2016
11:25 am

Topics:
Amusing
Music

Tags:

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This week on Krazy Kosmic Konspiracy Koincidence Korner a look at a band that may (or may not) have influenced, inspired, etc, etc, the living legend that is Mr. David Bowie.

Yesterday, Bowie released his 25th studio album Blackstar ★, from which he’d dropped the track “Lazarus” on December 17th.

So far so good.

But did you know there’s an English heavy metal/sludge/doom band called Lazarus Blackstar?

Well, there is, and this is what they look like…
 
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And this is how they’re described on Discography:

Lazarus Blackstar
Profile: Sludge/Doom from Bradford/Liverpool

Formerly called Khang. Bryan Outlaw (Threads) quit during the process of writing Khang’s second LP because he disliked the direction the music was going in (too slow and heavy). The band recorded the album anyway without vocals. A mutual friend suggested that Paul Catten (The Sontaran Experiment), a vocalist the band admires, could use the position, so they let him hear the CD and 30 seconds into the first track he said he needed to be involved. They changed their name during the recording of the 2004 demo because the feel was much different from Khang, and Lazarus Blackstar was born. In March 2008 Mikhell replaced Paul on vocals.

Lazarus Blackstar have released three albums Revelations (2005), Funeral Voyeur (2007) and Hymns of the Curse (2012).

Mere coincidence—you might say—what’s in a name? Okay, then take a look at this video some clever clogs has put together for Lazarus Blackstar’s track “I Bleed Black” which uses that well known footage of patients at a nursing home/hospital suffering from St. Vitus Dance—which (let’s be honest) looks a lot like the movements Bowie performs in his “Blackstar” video—even right down as far as his use of a blindfold. See for yourself…
 

 
Now compare it to Bowie’s video for “Blackstar ★.”
 

 
This intriguing coincidence was noted by Bowiesongs who tweeted:
 

 

 

 
What’s going on?

H/T Mark Hagen, via Bowiesongs.

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
If you really want to feel like a total loser, then visit ‘What Did David Bowie Do at Your Age?’
01.04.2016
10:47 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:


 
Introducing his song “Alma” on his 1965 album That Was the Year That Was, Tom Lehrer, referring to the song’s subject, Alma Mahler, quipped: “It’s people like that who make you realize how little you’ve accomplished. It is a sobering thought, for example, that when Mozart was my age, he had been dead for two years.”

Fortunately, that particular comment can’t be made about David Bowie, who is still with us, and at the age of 68 (he turns 69 in four days) there’s no risk of making any jokes about his early demise.

However, some clever person has decided to create a website dedicated to shaming the paltry accomplishments of your life when compared to that of David Bowie. The site is called What Did David Bowie Do at Your Age? The way it works is, you type in your current age, and then it spits out something that Bowie was doing at that age.
 

 

Here are a few examples:

When David Bowie was 17:
He released his first ever release, “Liza Jane/Louie Louie Go Home” in June 1964, under the name of “Davie Jones with The King-Bees”.

When David Bowie was 29:
He starred in the film “The Man Who Fell to Earth” by director Nicolas Roeg.

When David Bowie was 34:
He created the hit “Under Pressure” in collaboration with Queen, which was later included in the 1982 Queen album “Hot Space”.

 
As the person running the website says, “This page is to celebrate David Bowie, and remind us to get out of our comfort zone and start doing shit.”
 
Here’s a scorching version of “Stay” on the Dinah Shore show, which happened almost precisely 40 years ago to the day. The date of the show was January 3, 1976:

 

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
All the faces of David Bowie in one animated gif
Excerpts from the secret ‘autobiography’ David Bowie gave Cameron Crowe in the mid-‘70s: EXCLUSIVE

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
David Bowie introduces classic Christmas cartoon, ‘The Snowman’
12.07.2015
03:59 pm

Topics:
Animation
Television

Tags:


 
The Snowman is an Academy Award-nominated animated short based on the wordless 1978 children’s book of the same name by beloved British author and illustrator Raymond Briggs.

In The Snowman, a lonely boy makes a frozen friend who comes alive and the pair get up to mischief in the boy’s house, trying not to awaken his sleeping parents. Then they go to meet Santa Claus. Or was it all just a dream? Over the past 30 plus years it has become a Christmas tradition in Britain in the same sense that A Charlie Brown Christmas has become one in America, with annual Yuletide broadcasts.

Although the original animation, directed by Diane Jackson for Channel 4 in 1982, featured Briggs himself introducing the cartoon, the following year a second version was aired featuring a live action introduction by none other than David Bowie, who, it is implied, was the little boy in the story, with the “proof” that it all really happened being an old scarf he pulls from a drawer. It’s amusing to consider that an entire generation was introduced to David Bowie first and foremost as the adult version of the kid in this story.

A word about the soundtrack music: It’s lyrical and utterly gorgeous, the best known work of composer and pianist Howard Blake and was recorded with his orchestra, the Sinfonia of London. I have this on CD and it’s wonderful, a classic in its own right. Blake later turned The Snowman into a long-running holiday theatrical play.

In 2012, The Snowman and the Snowdog, a sequel to the original film was broadcast by Channel 4.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Amanda Lear: 70s disco diva, fashion model, TV star and Salvador Dali’s transsexual muse
11.24.2015
02:19 pm

Topics:
Fashion
Music

Tags:


 
Model, painter, disco diva, TV personality and the absolute fiercest of the pioneering transsexuals (along with Candy Darling), Amanda Lear was born Alain Maurice Louis René Tap in Saigon, 1939. Or it could have been Paris. Or Hong Kong. The year might have been 1941, 1945 or as she now claims 1950. There is much competing information about her parents, none of it conclusive. In general, not much is known for sure about the early life of Amanda Lear and she would very much like to keep it that way. She claims to have been educated in Switzerland and she eventually made her way to Paris in 1959, taking the stage name “Peki d’Oslo,” performing as a stripper at the notorious drag bar, Le Carrousel.
 

Amanda Lear’s mid-60s model card.
 
The story goes that the gangly, yet exotic Eurasian beauty Peki had a nose job and sex change in Casablanca paid for by none other than the Surrealist master Salvador Dali, who frequented Le Carrousel, in 1963. Amanda, as she is now known, then makes her way to London to become a part of the swinging Chelsea set where she is rumored to have had a relationship with Rolling Stone Brian Jones. She models for Yves St. Laurent and Paco Rabanne and is a constant muse for the Divine Dali, but her career is held back by rumors that she was born a man or was a hermaphrodite.
 

‘For Your Pleasure’ cover
 
Roxy Music frontman Bryan Ferry saw Lear on the runway during an Ossie Clark fashion show and invited her to be the model for Roxy’s For Your Pleasure album cover, walking a black panther on a leash. They were briefly engaged and that image has become iconic. Lear also had a yearlong affair with David Bowie who serenaded her with “Sorrow” in his “1980 Floor Show” (broadcast on The Midnight Special in 1974). Bowie helped Lear launch her musical career and by the late 1970s she had become a bestselling disco singer and television personality in Europe with hits like “Follow Me,” “Queen of Chinatown” and “I Am a Photograph.”
 

The David Bailey photograph of Lear that appeared in the infamous 1971 Dali-edited issue of French Vogue
 
Amanda Lear’s autobiography, My Life With Dali came out in 1985 and it begins when she would have been approximately 24 or 25 years of age. Almost no mention whatsoever is made of her life before arriving in London in 1965. When Dali biographer Ian Gibson confronted her on camera about the gender of her birth in his The Fame and Shame of Salvador Dali TV documentary, Lear angrily—and not at all convincingly—stonewalled him. She has always vehemently denied that she was a transsexual despite it being a well-established fact. She even posed nude for Playboy and several other men’s magazines and often sunbathed naked on beaches to dispel the rumors. All this really proved was that she had a kickin’ bod, but if you ask me, I think it’s sad that she choses to keep up this pretense. She should be rightfully celebrated for her biggest accomplishment in life—ironically, being true to herself—but apparently Amanda Lear just doesn’t see it that way.
 

Amanda Lear vehemently denies having had a sex change on German television 1977.
 
Today Amanda Lear still looks amazing—she’s practically ageless no matter what her real biological age might be—and continues to perform all over Europe. She’s sold somewhere in the vicinity of fifteen million albums and 25 million singles. She also has a thriving career as a painter and an original painting of hers can sell for $10,000 or more. She’s done stage acting and was the voice of Edna ‘E’ Mode in the Italian-dubbed version of The Incredibles. Lear was a judge on the Italian version of Dancing with the Stars.
 
“The Stud” from 1979’s ‘Sweet Revenge’ album

 
Much more of Amanda Lear, after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
In Their Own Write: Handwritten lyrics by Nick Cave, David Bowie, Joey Ramone, Kate Bush and more
11.11.2015
10:46 am

Topics:
Music
Pop Culture

Tags:

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Beat writer Alexander Trocchi was wise to the easy money to be made from selling handwritten drafts of famous works of literature. When short of cash for his drug habit, Trocchi would write out in longhand one of his novels (Young Adam, White Thighs, whichever) and sell it on to some collector as the one and only original handwritten manuscript. It kept him from finding a job or worse, from writing something new. Across London and Paris there’s probably dozens of these supposed “originals” cobbled together by Trocchi in his moment of need.

If Trocchi had lived and tried the same today, he would probably have been found out for his ruse as the market for original handwritten drafts to books, poetry and pop songs is now a mega business.

Last year, Bob Dylan’s handwritten lyrics for “Like A Rolling Stone” was sold at auction for $2 million. In 2005, John Lennon’s pen-drafted words for “All You Need is Love” made $1.25 million at auction, while in April 2015, Don Maclean’s handwritten lyric sheet for “American Pie” sold for $1,205,000.

Handwritten pop lyrics are as valuable as works of art—in fact they are works of art—as in this digital age where everything is written by keyboard, the value of such pen-scrawled texts on legal pad or hotel note paper only increase in value year on year. Though the top ten most expensive lyric sheets are about 2/3 the work of John Lennon (4) and Bob Dylan (2), there are plenty of other musicians out there who are finding their first drafts to popular songs offer them or their inheritors a comfortable pension.
 
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David Bowie’s handwritten lyrics for ‘Jean Genie’ made $29,063 at auction.
 
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Bowie: Lyric detail for ‘Jean Genie.’
 
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Ziggy jams with a ballpoint pen: David Bowie’s handwritten lyrics for ‘Ziggy Stardust.’
 
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One of Nick Cave’s many notebooks with original lyrics for ‘No Pussy Blues.’
 
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Cave’s typed lyrics for ‘Push the Sky Away.’
 
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No notebook or typewriter for Joey Ramone—the lyrics for ‘Disassembled’ were written on an old Alka Seltzer box.
 
More original pop lyrics, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
That time when David Bowie’s ex-wife tried to become a TV superhero
11.11.2015
08:37 am

Topics:
Superstar
Television

Tags:

Angie Bowie as Wonder Woman
Angie Bowie as “Wonder Woman”
 
Back in the mid-70s when David and Angie Bowie were pretty much the hottest couple around, Angie auditioned for the lead role in the ABC TV series based on the DC comic book character, Wonder Woman. The part would go to former Miss USA Lynda Carter who would star in the much loved ABC Wonder Woman television series during its nearly four-year run after its debut in 1975.

Not only did Bowie audition for Wonder Woman (using her modeling name “Jipp Jones”), she also managed to acquire the rights to create a TV series or perhaps a film based on the comic book characters Daredevil and Black Widow from none other than Stan Lee. Armed with some pretty cool photographs taken by Terry O’Neill (with actor Ben Carruthers in the Daredevil costume), Bowie was sadly unsuccessful in getting anybody interested in producing the project and, outside of O’Neill’s photos, it never saw the light of day.
 
Angie Bowie as Black Widow
Angie Bowie as “Black Widow”
 
Angie Bowie (as Black Widow) and actor Ben Carruthers (as Daredevil)
Angie Bowie (as Black Widow) and actor Ben Carruthers (as Daredevil)
 
In Bowie’s autobiography from 1993, Backstage Passes: Life on the Wild Side with David Bowie, the model, actress and mother to one of The Thin White Duke’s two children, director Duncan Jones, wrote about her experience auditioning for the part of Wonder Woman back in 1974. A role she might have lost because she wasn’t wearing a bra when she arrived for her screen test:

First I showed them the photographs, which totally flabbergasted the director- things were going well so far- but then, before I went to my dressing room to don the stipulated turtleneck, some woman from the studio came up to me. “I see you’re not wearing a bra,” she said. “You have to wear one for the screen test. It’s mandatory.” I couldn’t believe it. I hadn’t worn a bra for years. “Well, if that’s what you want, okay,” I said. “But I think you’re going to have a problem finding one small enough

 
Angie Bowie as Wonder Woman
 
Bowie also writes that after shooting down a “casting couch” come-on during the audition process, she came to the realization that she was never really being considered for the role. Apparently the whole thing was a bit of a PR stunt to help promote David Bowie’s “1980 Floor Show” edition of The Midnight Special, which Bowie also detials in her autobiography. 

More photos of Angie Bowie looking hot as hell as Wonder Woman, after the jump…

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Shower curtains of Adam Ant, Wu-Tang, Nick Cave, David Bowie’s mug-shot (and everything in-between!)
11.04.2015
09:44 am

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Movies
Music
Punk

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David Bowie mug-shot shower curtain
David Bowie mug-shot shower curtain
 
One of the two driving forces behind Dangerous Minds, Tara McGinley has noted in the past that she has a “slightly unhealthy” obsession with shower curtains. Something that we share in common when it comes to coveting the wide variety of shower curtains that can usually be had for less than a hundred bucks out there on the Internets. Here are some of my current favorites.
 
Wendy O. Williams and The Plasmatics shower curtain
Wendy O. Williams and The Plasmatics shower curtain
 
Wu-Tang Clan shower curtain
Wu-Tang Clan shower curtain
 
So, if you always wanted a shower curtain featuring David Bowie’s 1976 mug-shot (when Bowie and Iggy Pop were arrested in Rochester, New York for possessing about 6.4 ounces of marijuana and pictured at the top of this post), then today is your lucky day (and I’d act fast before those pesky “cease and desist” letters cause some of these items disappear). Most of the shower curtains in this post can be found sites such as eBay, Fine Art America (where you’ll find the most of the ones I featured today), Society6, and Angry, Young and Poor.
 
Fight Club (featuring Tyler Durden) shower curtain
Fight Club’s Tyler Durden
 
Many, many more, after the jump…

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David Bowie on ‘Stage’: ‘Low’ and ‘Heroes’ live in concert, 1978
10.30.2015
05:01 pm

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Music

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One of the best Bowie bootleg videos that’s been floating around for at least 30 years is the professional recording of six numbers from his 1978 “Isolar II” tour, shot on film at the Dallas Convention Center performance of April 10th, 1978. No matter the short running time, this is one of the finest live Bowie documents we’ve got and it hails from one of his most creative and fertile periods as an artist. It’s incredible to me that neither this nor the “1980 Floor Show” (Bowie’s Midnight Special special from 1973) has ever been made available for the home DVD market. According to the YouTube uploader (and Wikipedia) this was broadcast as “David Bowie On Stage” on US TV, but I can’t recall that. When this first started making its way around the VHS tape-trading underground, it was described as something that RCA did actually produce with the notion of releasing it to the consumer market, but in 1978 this would have been too early for anyone but the earliest adopters.
 

 
Continues after the jump…

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F*ck yeah there’s a Tumblr dedicated to David Bowie as Aladdin Sane artwork
10.26.2015
10:36 am

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Art
Music

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Ceramic bust of Jesus as Aladdin Sane
Ceramic bust of Jesus as Aladdin Sane
 
Here’s a great time-killer for your Monday—an excellent Tumblr dedicated to showcasing artwork based on the cover of David Bowie’s 1973 album, Aladdin Sane.
 
Aladdin Sane balloon with wig
Aladdin Sane balloon with wig from the Fuck Yeah Aladdin Sane Tumblr
 
From knit sweater patterns (that you can actually make yourself by the way) and street art, to cookies and sculptures, the Fuck Yeah Aladdin Sane Tumblr has a pretty incredible collection of Aladdin Sane-inspired artwork and creations. I could pretty much spend an entire day looking at Bowie in his Aladdin Sane guise, couldn’t you? This makes it easier!

The person behind this excellent Tumblr encourages its readers to submit Aladdin Sane-related artwork, with the last entry going up about a month ago. And to all this I say “Fuck YEAH, Aladdin Sane” keep it coming.
 
Aladdin Sane 1/4 scale wax bust with cat fur by Switchum
Aladdin Sane 1/4 scale bust, wax with cat fur by Switchum
 
Aladdin Sane cookies are too pretty to eat
Aladdin Sane cookies are too glammy to eat
 
More after the jump…

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‘All the Young Dudes’: The Ballad of Mott the Hoople
10.12.2015
02:00 pm

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Music
Pop Culture
Television

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00motth000.jpg
 
Producer-cum-manager Guy Stevens brought the disparate members of Mott the Hoople together and gave them their iconic name. The name was taken from a pulp novel by Willard Manus which Stevens had read while in prison. It gave the band a certain outlaw image—a bit like Alex and his droogs in A Clockwork Orange. Stevens hoped Mott the Hoople would produce “a new kind of rock ‘n’ roll”—the bastard child of Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones. The band was finalized when Stevens replaced original lead singer Stan Tippins with songwriter/session musician Ian Hunter.

They may have looked like the heshers from your high school woodwork class (or “hod carriers in drag” as Queen’s Roger Taylor once famously quipped), but their seeming ordinariness belied the fact this was no ordinary band. Indeed, it was soon apparent there was no one to equal Mott the Hoople live or as pioneers in progressing the rock ‘n’ roll art form. Hoople inspired an army of fans, many of whom went on to form their own bands or write/work in the music industry. For example, Mick Jones of The Clash, a band Stevens later produced. But their success onstage was never equaled in record sales. Added to which, they were highly eclectic as a band—guitarist Mick Ralphs was more aligned to blues and rock, while Hunter wrote in response to Steven’s often chaotic and contradictory demands. This meant their first three albums were very, very different to each other. One rock, one dark soul-searching songs and one folk rock—all of which seemed slightly at odds to the exuberance of their stage shows. However a brilliant fourth album Brain Capers (1971) focused the group into a new direction and won them a very important fan—David Bowie—who was to bring them a much needed hit.
 
0011mottheoo1100.jpg
 
After a dispiriting gig at a converted gas station in Switzerland, where the audience just sat and gaped, Mott decided to call it a day. Returning to England, bassist Peter Overend Watts auditioned for Bowie’s band. Bowie hearing his favorite band had split offered Mott a song. His first suggestion was “Suffragette City” which was knocked back. Then “All the Young Dudes.” Ian Hunter later claimed this was the one song that made the hairs rise on the back of his neck. A song that perfectly captured what it was like to be young in the summer of 1972. Everyone knew it was going to be a hit.

World tours, hit singles and three classic albums followed, but Hoople’s success was all too short as keyboard player Verden Allen quit, then guitarist Ralphs left to form Bad Company, and eventually Hunter himself found the pressure waaaaaaaay too much and left.

Mott the Hoople became just “Mott” with Watts and drummer Dale “Buffin” Griffin being the only remaining original members—but they never had the same success. The creative magic Guy Stevens had seen in Mott’s original members was now sadly gone. A shame for they should have kept playing together for a year or two or more. But tastes change, fans grow up, and the ride still goes on somewhere else.

With contributions from virtually all of the key players, The Ballad of Mott the Hoople tells the story of one the seventies best and most loved bands from their formation to their untimely demise.
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
There’s a life-size David Bowie pillow doll
08.31.2015
11:05 am

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Amusing
Music
Pop Culture

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If you ever wanted to eat an ice cream cone sitting on David Bowie’s lap… now is your chance! Proxy Shop on Etsy makes these life-size David Bowie pillow dolls for $400 + shipping.

The Lifesize David Bowie Pillow stands 66” tall and is the ultimate gift for a David Bowie fan’s home decor.

Sit this Bowie doll onto a daybed or sofa, against a wall as a soft sculpture artwork or on the floor as a makeshift chair.

Handcrafted from high quality printed fabric that is silky soft to the touch and backed with sturdy broadcloth, this tribute to David Bowie’s famous Ziggy Stardust costume design is an utterly unique addition to any Bowie fan’s home.

These life-size decorative pillows are all handcrafted and made to order.

Now can we have a Nick Cave pillow, please?


 

 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
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