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‘I’m gonna kill you, Tin Man!’: Axl Rose’s knuckle-brawl with David Bowie over a girl, 1989
01.25.2019
12:49 pm
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Axl Rose and David Bowie hanging out at the China Club in Los Angeles in 1989. Photo by Gabriel Lorden.
 
Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but David Bowie’s fistfight with Guns N’ Roses vocalist Axl Rose wasn’t the first time Bowie got himself a face full of knuckles for trying to make time with somebody else’s girl. The story about Bowie’s startling eye color involves a young Ziggy getting popped in the face by his pal George Underwood when they were both fifteen after Underwood discovered Bowie was lusting after the same girl he had eyes for. But Axl and Bowie coming to blows over a girl in 1989 is the definition of random—and the strange event was discussed by G N’ R guitarist Slash in his 2007 New York Times bestseller, Slash. You see, snakes-best-friend Slash and David Bowie go way, way back. Slash’s mom Ola Hudson was a celebrated fashion designer and had been making clothing for Bowie starting around the time Bowie released his 1975 album, Young Americans. After divorcing her husband, Ola began an affair with Bowie who was married to Angie Bowie at the time. According to Slash, he even walked in on his mom and Bowie in the nude, but let’s get back to the story of Axl Rose and a not naked Bowie throwing punches at each other over a girl in 1989.


It all began at the Cathouse—the legendary heavy metal “clubhouse” owned by Taime Downe of Faster Pussycat fame and MTV VJ and host of the Headbangers Ball, Riki Rachtman. Guns had selected one of their favorite hangouts as the spot for their warm-up before opening the first of four shows for the Rolling Stones. Slash remembers Bowie attended the show with his mother Ola who was sitting with the Thin White Duke in front of the stage when Axl started to hurl nasty insults at him, causing Bowie to leave mid-way through Guns’ set. Ola didn’t understand any of it until Slash told her later on Axl was pissed at Bowie for allegedly hitting on his girlfriend Erin Everly (the daughter of Don Everly of the Everly Brothers). Now, here is where the story gets a bit murky concerning Axl and Bowie and their glammy “fistfight.”
 

Slash’s mother Ola Hudson and David Bowie.
 
In addition to the warm-up gig at the Cathouse, the band also shot footage for the video “It’s So Easy,” and this is where club co-owner Riki Rachtman (as told to Rolling Stone) recalls a very drunk David Bowie showed up to watch everything go down. The video, which didn’t see the light of day until 2018, prominently featured Everly in leather bondage gear, handcuffs, with a ball-gag in her mouth. According to Rachtman, when Axl caught wind of Bowie sizing up Everly for his next meal, he went ballistic, and the two (maybe) threw their fists in each other’s general direction. The event concluded with Axl chasing Bowie out of the Cathouse screaming “I’m gonna kill you, TIN MAN.” As much as I adore Bowie, you gotta hand it to Axl for that one. But wait! There’s more, and it involves Mick Jagger—another rock star who has had his fair share of girlfriends pilfered by Bowie. In an interview with heavy metal bible Kerrang! in 1990, journalist Mick Wall queried Rose about his alleged punch fest at the Cathouse with Bowie. While Axl doesn’t exactly confirm he got into a physical altercation with Bowie, he doesn’t exactly deny it either. In fact, the story had already made it to the ears of Mick Jagger who approached Axl along with Eric Clapton backstage during soundcheck at the LA Coliseum. Here’s Axl on the special moment Jagger and Clapton asked him if he had punched David Bowie’s perfect face:

“I was out doing a soundcheck one day when we were opening for the Rolling Stones, and Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton cornered me. I’m sittin’ on this amp and all of a sudden they’re both right there in front of me. And Jagger doesn’t really talk a lot, right? He’s just real serious about everything, and all of a sudden he’s like (adopts exaggerated Dick Van Dyke-style Cockney), “So you got in a fight with Bowie, didja?” So I told him the story real quick, and he and Clapton are going off about Bowie in their own little world, talking about things from years ago. They were saying things like when Bowie gets drunk, he turns into the “Devil from Bromley” (Bowie’s family moved to the London Borough of Bromley when he was a teenager). I mean, I’m not even in this conversation. I’m just sittin’ there. Listening to ‘em bitch like crazy about Bowie. It was funny.”

If you’ve been curious about the photo at the top of this post of Axl and Bowie looking like BFF’s out scoping for chicks, here’s the story; after the incident at the Cathouse, Bowie and Axl chatted and decided to meet up at the China Club where they smoothed things over. And while they didn’t become best pals in real life, Axl felt he shared a lot in common with Bowie, especially when it came to their “experimental” creativity and their mutual love of sex and drugs. Awww. Speaking of things that make you say “aww,” after the jump you will see photos taken at Guns’ warm-up show, the video shoot, a few taken backstage at the Rolling Stones gig, and images of Ola Hudson and Bowie back in the day. Lastly, you can also check out the NSFW video for “It’s So Easy,” in all its sleazy glory—if you’re into that kind of thing. (PS: You are).
 
Continues over…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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01.25.2019
12:49 pm
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Little Ziggy: Photographs of a young David Bowie
12.19.2018
12:39 pm
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01ddkid.jpg
 
According to his parents David Bowie was a smart kid. He was rolling paper into a typewriter and tapping keys writing gobble-de-gook lines and even using a phone—the old-fashioned rotary kind—by the time he was three. His parents thought he was special, just like every parent does, but they were right. They never talked to him as child, no baby talk, no goo-goo, ga-ga, they treated him as a mini-adult because they thought him smart, intelligent, someone who had chutzpah, someone who just might do something. Not that his teachers thought the same. He was an average student who could always do better. One former school friend (Trevor Blythe) said of him:

‘He was a very bright guy, but he never applied himself. He was fairly good at art, but overall he tended to wander through. He was a butterfly. I was old-fashioned and could knuckle down and do the job. He was the opposite to that. There was a creative spirit, but no-one could’ve guessed where it was headed.’

Bowie was born David Robert Jones on a cold foggy Wednesday morning, January 8th, 1947. His old man, “John” Hayward Stenton Jones (b. 1912) was a fairly well-to-do Yorkshire man, who had inherited £4,000 (mega bucks in those days) from his parents which he quickly invested in setting-up and managing a London nightclub near King’s Cross in 1933. It seemed a fairly good investment. Jones met his first wife, a singer called Hilda Sullivan, at the club. They got married. When the club inevitably ran into financial difficulty due to a lack of experience, Jones bailed and spent the last of his inherited wealth on a joint-partnership running a seedy bar in London’s notorious Soho district. He was conned by his business partner who split with most of the cash and left Jones “holding the can.” His fall was buffered by the start of the Second World War. Jones signed-up with the Eighth Army and served the duration of the war. By 1945, his marriage to Hilda was over, but the pair didn’t divorce.

Bowie’s mother, Margaret Mary Burns (b. 1913) came from a working-class family of six ruled by a violent and brutal ex-soldier of a father. Burns was rebellious and left home at the age of fourteen. She became a nanny and had a brief relationship with a wealthy businessman. She became pregnant to this man, who quickly abandoned her, and had a son named Terrance (b. 1937). The child was given to her parents to raise. Burns took up work in a factory where she met another man and fell pregnant once more. This time she had a daughter Myra Ann (b. 1943), who was given up for adoption. Burns never saw her daughter again. After the war, Burns met Jones while she was working as a waitress/usherette. The pair lived together, as Jones was still technically married to his first wife Sullivan. In 1947, the couple’s son David was born, and the family lived in a terraced home at 40 Stansfield Road, Brixton. Eight months later, Jones was divorced and he married Burns.

Bowie was the focus of his parents’ love. His older half-brother Terry was never quite considered part of the family. However, it was Terry who first guided Bowie towards jazz, rock ‘n’ roll and the literature of the Beats.

Bowie was precocious as a child. At junior school he was known as a bit of schoolyard scrapper, but he was always considered bright, smart, and someone to watch, if only he would work just that little bit harder. But Bowie’s mind was elsewhere. He was looking for something else. This came the day he saw one of his cousins dance to Elvis Presley’s record “Hound Dog.” As he later said:

‘I had never seen [my cousin] get up and be moved so much by anything. It really impressed me, the power of the music. I started getting records immediately after that. My mother bought me Fats Domino’s “Blueberry Hill” the next day. And then I fell in love with the Little Richard band. I never heard anything that lived in such bright colours in the air. It really just painted the whole room for me.’

Bowie was nine years old when that occurred. He formed his first band the Konrads when he was fifteen. He was twenty-two when he hit the charts with “Space Oddity.”
 
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05dbkid.jpg
 
More young Bowie, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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12.19.2018
12:39 pm
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Meet the makeup artists who transformed David Bowie, Divine, Tim Curry & more into pretty things


A stunning image of David Bowie as Pierrot with makeup by Australian artist Richard Sharah.
 
There are few images in rock and roll as recognizable as David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane look. With his hair quaffed in a red mullet and a lightning bolt slashed across his face, it is hard to conceive how anyone would not be at least somewhat aware of Bowie in this context. Bowie’s constantly changing personae are, of course, some of his crowning achievements but as we all know, even the greatest artists didn’t become great without a little help from their friends. David Bowie had many incredible collaborators. Here are two which had the great honor of using his face as a canvas.

Bowie’s secret weapons in the makeup department during the 70s were Algerian-born Pierre La Roche, and legendary Australian makeup artist Richard Sharah. La Roche is the man responsible for creating Bowie’s iconic lightning bolt, and the far-out gold sphere Bowie sported on his forehead as Ziggy. Sharah gets the credit for bringing the Pierrot look used for the cover of Scary Monsters and the “Ashes to Ashes” video to life. However, both men have made other impactful contributions to the world of makeup. Let’s start with the late Richard Sharah.

Richard Sharah’s unique makeup style helped inspire the looks of the New Romantic movement. Sharah’s working relationship with designer Zandra Rhodes (who dressed Freddie Mercury and Queen during the 1970s) lasted for decades. Sharah was slightly color blind—something his fans and students believed only enhanced his artistic ability. Taking things a step further, Sharah also made his own products, therefore, creating truly singular work for his clients which in addition to Bowie included Visage’s Steve Strange and a makeup icon in his own right, Divine (pictured below).
 

Divine (Harris Glenn Milstead) in makeup done by Richard Sharah.
 
Pierre La Roche left his native Algiers and made his way to France while still in his teens, though he wouldn’t stay long. His next move was to England, where he worked for cosmetics giant Elizabeth Arden. While with EA, David Bowie would hire La Roche to do his makeup for his 1972 album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars, keeping him around to take care of business for the 1973 live concert film where Bowie retired Ziggy. Here’s more from LaRoche on Bowie’s “perfect” face:

He had the perfect face for makeup, even features, high cheekbones, and a very good mouth.

And boy, the man should know, as he spent the better part of the 1970s working on Bowie’s beloved mug. In 1971, he painted Bowie’s eyelids blue to compliment the famous turquoise suit worn in the “Life on Mars” video. In 1973 for the album Pin Ups, La Roche made both Bowie and supermodel Twiggy look gorgeously futuristic. In 1975 La Roche would work on the influential cult film, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, where he was given the opportunity to create Dr. Frank N. Furter’s diabolical, sweet transvestite face, famous tattoos, as well as other characters for the film. As history has proven, this and the other images he concocted for RHPS are indelible, as are his other contributions, which strongly influenced the look of glam rock.
 
Much more make-up, after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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12.17.2018
08:36 am
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Indie rock and new wave hits reimagined as pulpy 1950s ephemera


 
There’s a fellow out there named Todd Alcott who has put together an enchanting series of prints reimagining popular songs by some of the most vital musical artists of the 1970s through the 1990s as various graphical items mostly dating from before the rock era—e.g., pulpy paperbacks, “men’s life” mags, lurid sci-fi posters, and so on. They’re quite wonderful and you can procure them for yourself in his Etsy store. Each print will run you £19.78 (about $26) for the smallest size and prices escalate from there.

One endearing thing about Alcott’s images is that they are so clearly driven by the most beloved albums in his own collection—and his taste is excellent! So he transforms multiple songs by King Crimson, PJ Harvey, Radiohead, Talking Heads, Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan, the Stones, David Bowie while also hitting a bunch of other faves (NIN, Nirvana, Fiona Apple) just the one time.

Alcott told Ayun Halliday of Open Culture that “these are the artists I love, I connect to their work on a deep level, and I try to make things that they would see and think ‘Yeah, this guy gets me.’”

My favorite thing about these pop culture mashups is Alcott’s insistence (usually) on working in as many of the song’s lyrics into the art as possible. That does admittedly make for busy compositions but usually in a way that is very true to the pulp novel conventions or whatnot.

According to his Etsy site, Alcott is also available for custom jobs should inspiration strike you! Here
 
More of these marvelous images after the jump…...
 

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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10.10.2018
08:57 am
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Big Bollocks & Rude Kids: The hilarious vulgarity of UK comic magazine Viz
07.25.2018
07:51 am
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David Bowie kicking back while having a laugh at UK comic Viz.
 
For nearly 40 years British comic Viz—sometimes referred to as Britain’s “funniest” magazine—has been putting out pages full of satire poking fun at various UK institutions and celebrities by a cast of offensive fictional characters. Illustrated ingrates such as Buster Gonad, Sid the Sexist, Terry Fuckwitt, Sweary Mary and the Rude Kid would all make regular appearances in the comic along with ridiculous profanity-laced dialog mixed with the region’s colorful slang. A few of the comic’s vulgar characters, like Sid the Sexist, The Fat Slags and Roger Mellie also made their way to television in the UK as adult-oriented cartoons. 

One of Viz’s calling cards was their craftsmanship of fake ads. Fictional (sadly) products for chastity pants for altar boys, and its companion product, “Father Begone,” a priest-repellant spray, delighted its readers. Viz was very much inspired by MAD Magazine and the images of legendary MAD illustrator and contributor, Sergio Aragonés. What made Viz stand apart from MAD was the belief you could never go low enough for a laugh. In fact, one could say Viz lowered the bar for low-brow humor lower than anyone else in the adult comic game. If you are fond of the word fuck and appreciate the art of toilet humor, then Viz is for you. If you still have any doubts regarding Viz’s wide appeal, David Bowie was apparently a big fan of the comic magazine.

If you’re already a fan of Viz, or a new one after reading this post, there are a few books which may interest you, such as Viz: Sid the Sexist—The Joy of Sexism, and one based on Viz’s Big Fat Slags. As I mentioned at the top of this post, the magazine is still publishing issues today, and back issues can also be obtained over at their official site, as well as other merchandise. I’ve posted images from Viz’s comics below—some are slightly NSFW.
 

A funny fake ad from UK magazine, Viz comics.
 

 

 
More Viz after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.25.2018
07:51 am
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John Mellencamp was once a glam rocker, covered Bowie and the Stooges in the 1970s
07.12.2018
09:32 am
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1976
 
To learn that John Mellencamp was not only in a glam rock band in the early 1970s, but also covered David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold the World,” as well as the Iggy and the Stooges’ number, “I Need Somebody”—and did so long before those songs were revered—is one of those, “Wait, what?!?” moments. It goes against everything we think we know about a conventional performer with an established image.

At the tail end of 1972, Mellencamp formed the Bowie-inspired glam group, Trash. Around this time, he wrote his first two songs: “Loser,” purportedly a tribute to Lou Reed (despite its title), and “One Way Driver,” which Mellencamp says was influenced by the Stooges. Trash never went anywhere, and a year later Mellencamp recorded a solo demo. He subsequently took the tape to New York, where he shopped it around to various record companies. Rejected by them all, he figured he’d next try Bowie’s management, so he could get turned down by his hero’s handler. Instead, Tony Defries, the man behind MainMan—an organization that had also represented Iggy and the Stooges—signed him.

Mellencamp’s first record, Chestnut Street Incident, came out in 1976 on MCA Records. He didn’t realize his name had been changed to “Johnny Cougar” until he saw a mock-up of the album cover. When Mellencamp objected, Defries told him the LP would be released that way or not at all.
 
Chestnut
 
His 1977 follow-up , The Kid Inside, was rejected by MCA, and Mellencamp was dropped. He would soon part ways with MainMan, but after he became successful in the early 1980s, Defries released The Kid Inside.
 
The Kid Inside
 
It’s unclear when “I Need Somebody” and “The Man Who Sold the World” were recorded, exactly. Neither were on the original LPs. The Stooges cover is often included as a bonus track on CD reissues of Chestnut Street Incident, while the Bowie song is usually paired with The Kid Inside (though this edition of the first album has the two). It’s very possible Mick Ronson is the guitarist on one or both of the tracks, as Bowie’s former right-hand man played on Chestnut.

When I first heard these covers, I was surprised to find that Mellencamp’s versions ain’t half bad. I was so tickled by them that I checked out his first two LPs, hoping to find other unusual, pre-fame gems, though I soon realized that I was probably wasting my time (and indeed I was).

Anyway, it’s fascinating to hear a guy we think of as a heartland rocker seriously take on Bowie and the Stooges. It’s like finding out Robert Palmer covered Hüsker Dü.

Wait, what?!?!?
 
Listen to the Cougar cover versions, after the jump…

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Posted by Bart Bealmear
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07.12.2018
09:32 am
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Kate Moss models David Bowie’s outfits
05.22.2018
01:15 pm
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Style homages to David Bowie tend to be a dicey affair, if only because Bowie himself was such a master at adopting new visual looks for himself. Bowie always seemed to follow his own radar on such matters, and his particular genius lay in concealing the effort to such a considerable extent. Attempts to mimic the same vibe necessarily come off looking labored. Having said that, when you’ve got a top model and a man who photographed one of Bowie’s own album covers involved, your chances of success are better, but even then, not assured.

Obviously, 1973 was a huge year for Bowie as an authentic groundbreaker in fashion. He spent the first half of the year touring the Ziggy Stardust material, he released Aladdin Sane—in the same stroke introducing his lightning bolt face to the world, probably his most enduring stylistic element—as well as Pinups. It was also the year he reached out to Kansai Yamamoto, who crafted some of Bowie’s most bizarre and memorable outfits, most notably the “‘Tokyo Pop’ vinyl bodysuit” and the “Asymmetric knitted bodysuit.”
 

David Bowie and Kansai Yamamoto, 1973
 
In 2003 the fashion magazine Vogue got ahold of some of Bowie’s most iconic outfits and—with Bowie’s blessing—enlisted photographer Nick Knight, the man responsible for the cover shot on Bowie’s 1993 album Black Tie White Noise, and noted supermodel Kate Moss for the assignment.

In 2016 Knight reminisced about the gig:
 

I was delighted to do it. [Moss] was the exact same size as he was, she fitted his clothes really well—more than just in terms of size. Some models would just not look right in them, you can’t imagine putting some of the clothes on Linda Evangelista or Nadja Auermann or whoever would have been on the scene at the time. So Kate had both the attitude and the physical side of it which made her perfect for it and she loved it, she was incredibly good. Her talent is bringing out the narrative that’s in the piece of clothing—that’s why she’s such a good model. She can put on that pale blue suit and suddenly bring out the same narrative that Bowie would have brought out when he wore it.

 
After the jump, Moss-as-Bowie….......
 

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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05.22.2018
01:15 pm
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When Bowie got busted: Local news reports from his & Iggy’s 1976 arrest for nearly a pound of weed
04.03.2018
09:30 am
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On March 21, 1976, David Bowie was on his “Isolar” trek around America (aka “The Thin White Duke tour”) and “Golden Years” was high on the US pop singles charts. But when the tour pulled into Rochester, NY for a concert at the War Memorial Arena his golden years could have been derailed when the singer and Iggy Pop were arrested on marijuana charges for an impressive amount of herb, about half a pound. Under the harsh Rockefeller drug laws, that could have resulted in fifteen years in prison, but ultimately resulted in nothing other than a minor inconvenience for Bowie, and one of the very best celeb mug shots of all time.

John Stewart reporting in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle of March 26 1976:

After silently walking through a crush of fans, police and reporters, English rock star David Bowie pleaded innocent to a felony drug charge yesterday in Rochester City Court. Bowie, 28, entered the Public Safety Building through the Plymouth Avenue doorway at 9:25 a.m., just five minutes before court convened, with an entourage of about seven persons, including his attorneys and the three other persons charged with him.

He was ushered into a side corridor by police and was arraigned within 10 minutes, as a crowd of about 200 police, fans and reporters looked on. Bowie and his group ignored reporters’ shouted questions and fans’ yells as he walked in — except for one teenager who got his autograph as he stepped off the escalator.

His biggest greeting was the screams of about a half-dozen suspected prostitutes awaiting arraignment in the rear of the corridor outside the courtroom.

Asked for a plea by City Court Judge Alphonse Cassetti to the charge of fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, Bowie said, “not guilty, sir.” The court used his real name — David Jones. He stood demurely in front of the bench with his attorneys. He wore a gray three-piece leisure suit and a pale brown shirt. He was holding a matching hat. His two companions were arraigned on the same charge. Bowie was represented by Rochester lawyer Anthony F. Leonardo, who also represented his companions, James J. Osterberg, 28 of Ypsilanti, Mich., and Dwain A. Vaughs, 22, of Brooklyn. Osterberg, described as a friend and Vaughs, described as a bodyguard, also pleaded innocent to the drug charge.

Osterberg also is a rock musician and performs under the name of Iggy Stooge. Bowie has produced at least one of Osterberg’s album in the past. Judge Cassetti set April 20 for he preliminary hearing for the three men. He also agreed to set the same date for the Rochester woman charged with the same offence, Chiwah Soo, 20, of 9 Owen St., who was also in the courtroom. Cassetti allowed Bowie to remain free on $2,000 bail, as well as continuing the $2,000 bond on the other three persons charged. Bowie and the other three were arrested by city vice squad detectives and state police Sunday in the Americana Rochester hotel, charged with possession of 182 grams, about half a pound, of marijuana in his room there. Bowie was in Rochester of a concert Saturday night.

 

 

Bowie’s arrangement was witnessed by his fans, some of whom had waited two hours to catch a glimpse of him. All remained quiet in the courtroom and scrambled after his arraignment to watch his exit from the building. But fans and reporters were disappointed as city uniformed and plain-clothes police slipped him out unnoticed. Using a maze of elevators and stairwells, police took Bowie and his entourage out a side exit, across the Civic Center Plaza and into Leonardo’s office on the Times Square building’s seventh floor.

Only about 30 fans were on had to yell goodbye as Bowe and his friends left from Leonardo’s office at 12.30pm. Bowie, for the first time, waved to the crowd as his limousine pulled out from a parking space on West Broad Street, made a U-turn and headed for the expressway and the drive back to New York City. The blue-and-black Lincoln Continental limousine had been ticketed for overtime parking, but a plainclothes policeman took the ticket, and put it in his pocket.

Bowie had remained silent throughout the morning but granted a five-minute interview to newspaper reporters in Leonardo’s office. Leonardo, however, wouldn’t allow any questions directly concerning the arrest, saying it was the first criminal charge he’d ever faced. He complimented city police, though, for the protection they provided him yesterday.

“They (city police) were very courteous and very gentle,” Bowie said. “They’ve been just super.” Quiet and reserved, Bowie answered most of the reporters’ questions with short answers, shaking hands with them when they entered and left. Asked if the arrest would sour him on returning to Rochester, Bowie said “certainly not, absolutely not.” He also said he was “very flattered” by the fans who turned out for this arraignment. “I felt very honored,” he said.

Bowie and his entourage arrived in Rochester about 4am after performing a concert in the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island Wednesday night, Leonardo said, he will appear tonight at Madison Square Garden, his final concert of his America tour, Pat Gibbons, said.

More after the jump…

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Posted by Richard Metzger
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04.03.2018
09:30 am
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The Goblin King LIVES!: Impressive life-sized bust of David Bowie as Jareth from ‘Labyrinth’
03.27.2018
09:26 am
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A bust of David Bowie in character as Jareth the Goblin King from the 1986 film ‘Labyrinth.’
 
The artist responsible for this remarkable life-like bust of David Bowie in character for his role as Jareth, the baby-stealing Goblin King who rules Goblin City in Labyrinth, is Alejandra Montiel—a talented young special effects artist and sculptor based in Vigo, Spain. I mean, even on my best day, no way does my lip gloss look as good as it does on his bust of Jareth and I am a real person. However, since this is a realistic bust of David Bowie as Jareth, I never had a chance to win this lip gloss game—because nobody beats Bowie when it comes to giving good (or in the case of Bowie, great) face.

To achieve the “is that thing alive?” glow, Montiel used an airbrush to paint the bust and resin for Bowie’s famous eyes—one blue and one black. If you’ve never heard the story about his eyes, here’s the gist: In 1962 Bowie’s buddy George Underwood (a one-time member of the King Bees, who did the drawings for the Space Oddity/Man of Words/Man of Music back cover, and the cover art for Hunky Dory and Ziggy Stardust, too) popped the Thin White Duke in the eye after finding out he was lusting for a girl he had set his sights set on. The fistfight led to Bowie’s post-punch diagnosis of anisocoria—a condition that causes one pupil to be larger than the other. In Bowie’s case, he was left with a permanently expanded left pupil which made it appear black in color.

Montiel’s excellent sculpture of Jareth will set you back $1,083.77 (USD), plus $104.55 shipping. It should be noted that it does not come with Jareth’s crystal ball and the white shirt pictured in the photo from Montiel’s Etsy shop may be slightly different than the one wrapped around the armless bust. If the bust’s pricetag is a bit out of your range, Montiel also makes a sweet sculpture of The Worm from Labyrinth that is nicely priced at $70.59. I’ve posted images of the Jareth sculpture and The Worm below.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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03.27.2018
09:26 am
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David Bowie talks Burroughs, Iggy and Ziggy, 1982-83
03.16.2018
08:15 am
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David Bowie
 
What we have for you here are two early ‘80s interviews with David Bowie for the New Zealand TV show, Radio with Pictures. Though the conversations occurred only twelve or so months apart, oh, what a difference a year makes.

The music program Radio with Pictures premiered in 1976 and was a Sunday night TV staple in New Zealand for over a decade. Bowie was interviewed for both segments by Brent Hansen, the producer/director of Radio with Pictures. Hansen was later hired by MTV and went on to be the president of the network’s European division.

In 1982, Bowie was in New Zealand acting in Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, and the interview was conducted at the Auckland Railway Station during a break in filming. A number of topics are addressed, including the prospect of re-recording some of the tunes he and Iggy Pop wrote for Iggy’s solo albums, The Idiot and Lust For Life. Bowie would subsequently do just that, the first of those being “China Girl”. He also reveals that his iconic “Ashes to Ashes” video was influenced by master of film surrealism, Luis Buñuel, and that the cut-up technique, a method he would occasionally employ when writing lyrics, was introduced to him by William Burroughs. Bowie appears relaxed throughout, but there is one question he takes very seriously—it concerns the first record he ever bought.
 


If the play button isn’t visible, hover your cursor over the image.

Bowie’s 1983 Radio with Pictures interview transpired under significantly different circumstances. In the 1982 piece, he had talked about how he was looking forward to recording his next LP, which would turn out to be Let’s Dance. Bowie had been very famous for some time, but the worldwide success of the album turned him into a global superstar. The November 1983 chat took place during the tail end of his Serious Moonlight Tour, which began the previous May. On the Oceanian leg of the world trek, Bowie played two big shows in New Zealand. The first was held on November 24th at Athletic Park in Wellington, which drew over 40,000 fans. Two days later, the turnout at Western Springs stadium was double that, with approximately 80,000 people in attendance. It was not only the biggest single show of the entire tour, but was cited by the 1984 Guinness Book of Records as “the largest crowd gathering per head of population anywhere in the world.”
 
Ticket
 
For an article that appeared in the March 1997 issue of Live! magazine, Bowie gave a glimpse into what his mindset was like during the Serious Moonlight Tour.

I remember looking out over these waves of people and thinking, ‘I wonder how many Velvet Underground albums these people have in their record collections?’ I suddenly felt very apart from my audience. And it was depressing, because I didn’t know what they wanted.

 
Bowie and Alomar
Bowie and Carlos Alomar, 1983.

The 1983 discussion was taped on November 26th, before the Auckland gig. Though Bowie is largely cordial, he gets a bit testy at one point, and his overall demeanor is noticeably different when compared with the 1982 exchange. He looks tired, which is totally understandable. He answers the first question by declaring that he’s “never enjoyed a tour as much as this one.” Other subjects covered include the impending release of the Ziggy Stardust motion picture, a film he says is “very funny,” and his desire to make another record with Iggy (Bowie would co-produce Pop’s next record, Blah- Blah-Blah, co-writing six of its songs with Iggy).

More after the jump…

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Posted by Bart Bealmear
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03.16.2018
08:15 am
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David Bowie, Dion Fortune, and the occult history of soymilk
03.01.2018
09:52 am
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During the mid-Seventies, when David Bowie subsisted on a diet of cow’s milk and cocaine, one of his favorite books was Dion Fortune’s Psychic Self-Defense. It’s an instruction manual by a major-league Golden Dawn magician for diagnosing and guarding against attacks by other sorcerers.

Marc Spitz’s biography points out how one part of Bowie’s coke-and-milk diet violated a basic tenet of Dion Fortune’s program (“Keep away from drugs”), but the magician probably would have nixed the other staple, too. She didn’t invent soymilk, but she played an important role in its history as an advocate and experimenter. During World War I, while working in a laboratory for the Food Production Department of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fortune apparently discovered a means of making soymilk, as well as a method of turning it into soy cheese. In 1925, writing under her birth name, Violet Mary Firth, she published a book on the subject, The Soya Bean: An Appeal to Humanitarians.
 

David Bowie, 1969 (Photo by Brian Ward)
 
While I haven’t gotten my hands on a copy yet, a volume called History of Soymilk and Other-Non Dairy Milks (1226-2013) reproduces the table of contents and some of the foreword. Part I considers the ethical reasons to avoid animal products (chapter three: “Milk Is Not A Humane Food”), and Part II describes the wondrous properties of the soybean. She argues that commercial solutions to the problem of animal exploitation are more effective than “individual abstention from flesh-food.” The foreword begins:

The manufacture of a vegetable milk from the soya bean is a matter in which I was much interested during the war, and I think I may claim to be the first person, in this country at any rate, who succeeded in making a cheese from vegetable casein.

In Sane Occultism, however, Dion Fortune cautions against making “a religion” out of vegetarianism and says the practice is not for everyone, so maybe she would have just advised Bowie to lay off the yayo and put a few more sandwiches in his diet. Below, the Thin White Duke guzzles lowfat milk from the carton in a scene from Cracked Actor. (Maybe someday John Oswald will get around to making a Plunderphonics version called Lactose Cracker.)
 

Posted by Oliver Hall
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03.01.2018
09:52 am
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Provocative portraits of Syd Barrett, Johnny Cash, David Bowie & more by comic book hero Lee Bermejo
01.25.2018
09:28 am
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A portrait of the late Amy Winehouse by Lee Bermejo. The illustration was done for Italian magazine XL and their column called ‘Dark Side.’
 
If you are a fan of comic books, artist Lee Bermejo‘s name is probably familiar to you. His work has been widely featured in modern adaptations of classic superhero comics such as Superman and Batman published during the 2000s and beyond for DC. Bermejo has many respectable accomplishments in his pencil box including an IGN Comics Award for his 2008 graphic novel Joker which also spent some time on the New York Times best-sellers list.

In 2013 the mostly self-taught artist was recruited by Italian magazine XL to do some illustration work for them. The concept, according to Bermejo, was to create images of famous musicians with superhero attributes. The column written by Ezio Guaitamacchi was called Dark Side in which Guaitamacci would detail the too-soon deaths of famous musicians, including many members of the so-called “27 Club” such as Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Amy Winehouse (pictured at the top of this post). Bermejo’s images are profound as they often depict his famous subjects in physical states not unlike the circumstances of their actual deaths. In addition to his poignant portraits for XL, Bermejo also did imaginative portraits of other music legends still with us such as Black Sabbath and Axl Rose of Guns N’ Roses. I find it morbidly amusing Bermejo chose to illustrate Axl lying in a coffin wide awake with two pistols, adjacent to a skull with a top hat which presumably once belonged to his pal Slash—who, by the way, is still very much alive.

I’ve posted Bermejo’s illustrations for XL as well as a few others below. Some are slightly NSFW.
 

John Lennon for XL.
 

Johnny Cash for XL.
 

Syd Barrett for XL.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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01.25.2018
09:28 am
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Outsider Art: Stunning pics of Bowie & Eno visiting mental patients in Austria, 1994
01.19.2018
09:41 am
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In 1994 the well-known artistic impresario André Heller invited his chums David Bowie and Brian Eno to his native Austria in order to spend a day in the town of Klosterneuburg, on the northern edge of Vienna, to visit the Maria Gugging Psychiatric Clinic (universally known as “Gugging”). The visit to the clinic formed one of the primary inspirations for one of Bowie’s longest and most challenging albums, Outside.

Fortunately for us, Heller also invited his friend, Austrian photographer Christine de Grancy, along. De Grancy took plentiful photos of the encounter but quite astonishingly, she desisted from even developing the negatives until about a year ago, on the occasion of Heller’s 70th birthday. Forty-four splendid photographs of that intriguing day are currently on display in the Crone Galerie in Vienna.

The story of Gugging as an enlightened place of artistic healing has dark roots. During World War II, Gugging was the site of the Nazi-sanctioned murder of hundreds of mentally deficient patients. In the late 1950s, a psychiatrist named Leo Navratil chose Gugging to be the site of his project involving the exposure of the artistic process to mental patients as a form of therapy. Rather than hide the patients or shut them down with medication, Navratil felt that the artistic process might yield beneficial effects on even schizophrenic patients. Over time, he did discover that some of his patients had authentic artistic talent, and Gugging became linked with the artistic movement started by Jean Dubuffet known as Art Brut, which in the U.S. we would be more likely to call “outsider art.”

It is likely an oversimplification to say that David Bowie’s interest in the treatment of schizophrenics derived from the fact that his stepbrother, Terry Burns, suffered from schizophrenia; sadly, Burns committed suicide in early 1985 by permitting himself to be run over by a train at the Coulsdon South train station near London. Many have concluded that Bowie’s early song “The Bewlay Brothers” is a meditation on his half-brother. Eight years after Burns’ death, on Black Tie White Noise, Bowie released “Jump They Say,” which was an even more explicit treatment of the subject: Bowie told the NME that the song was “semi-based on my impression of my stepbrother.” (It’s interesting, isn’t it, that with the term “stepbrother,” Bowie semi-consciously places Burns in the category of “not a blood relation.”) “Jump They Say” was Bowie’s last top 10 single in the UK until 2010, when he scored with “Where Are We Now?

One of the motives Heller had in inviting Bowie to Gugging was to remind him that the treatment of schizophrenics can employ different methods—and yield different outcomes. It’s beyond plausible that Bowie may have felt an exceptional connection to the goings-on at the Gugging clinic.
 

 
The date of the visit was September 8, 1994. I was actually a resident of Vienna at the time. He wasn’t on tour, so there wasn’t a concert for me to attend. Pech gehabt. Bowie and Eno interacted with the patients—and some sort of Jause, the Austrian term for a convivial afternoon snack, was served.

Bowie and Eno spent three hours at Gugging, and de Grancy didn’t even take out her camera until an hour had passed, preferring instead to take the temperature of the moment. De Grancy’s hesitancy in this regard demonstrates something that is quite unusual, which is that these pictures show a Bowie that is about as private as you are likely to find anywhere. Bowie was present not as a rock star but in his role as a working artist and a private individual—an individual who nine years earlier had lost a close relative to schizophrenia. Bowie was consumed with observing the inmates, none of whom, recall, had the slightest notion of who David Bowie was. (We are permitted the fleeting thought that Bowie found this odd anonymity refreshing.)

The 1994 visit was not the first time that Bowie and Eno had been to the clinic. In 1995, the Independent on Sunday ran an interview with the two musicians conducted by Tim de Lisle, in which the two men discussed a visit to Gugging that had taken place while they were cavorting about in Berlin in the late 1970s:
 

“Didn’t we go originally way back in the late Seventies?” Bowie says. “To see l’art brut while we were mixing albums?”

“Yes, well, we probably did,” says Eno.

Needing an ashtray, Bowie slips the cellophane off one of the waiting packets and taps his ash into it. Eno, silently, finds the ashtray.

I ask what the outsider pictures were like. Bowie sighs, as if the question is unanswerable.

-snip-

“What I derived from Gugging the first time,” Bowie goes on, “was the sense that none of them knew they were artists. It’s compelling and sometimes quite frightening to see this honesty. There’s no awareness of embarrassment.”

Eno, who has been murmuring assent, says: “It’s very interesting to see people who are not taking part in any of the ideological arguments. Who are neither for nor against Cubism, or anything. It’s like you could suddenly meet people who didn’t care whether there was a God.”

 
At any rate, a year after that lovely afternoon in Klosterneuburg, Bowie released Outside, which is technically titled 1. Outside. The album represented Bowie’s reunion with Eno, who had been so instrumental in the creation of Bowie’s Berlin masterpieces. The album takes the form of a fractured narrative, which the unwieldy subtitle of the album refers to as “The Diary of Nathan Adler or the Art-Ritual Murder of Baby Grace Blue—A Non-Linear Gothic Drama Hyper-Cycle.” (Exhale.) The album deals with “art crimes” and “concept muggings” investigated by the “Arts Protectorate of London,” and features characters named Leon Blank, Algeria Touchshriek, and the notorious art terrorist Ramona A. Stone.

At the press conference to introduce the album (see below), Bowie credited his visit to Gugging as forming “one of the atmospheres for the album.” Here’s the full quote:
 

Gugging was an incredible experience. ... A mututal friend of Brian Eno’s and myself, André Heller, who’s an artist and something of an entrepreneur, suggested we might like to do some work there or with the inmates or—somehow, he wanted us to go and see Gugging and see what’s going on. And what it is, it’s a hospital where 100 percent of the inmates are involved in the visual arts. ... So many inmates in hospitals in and around Austria showed a proclivity for the visual arts that they thought it might be a good idea to give them their own wing where they could sort of examine and create things, and this is the, this is really the foudnation of what’s subsequently become called ‘outsider art.’ And we went and talked to the patients there and looked at what they were doing. It reminded me a lot, of course, of a museum in Switzerland called L’art Brut, which is in Lausanne, that was started by Dubuffet, a similar source of ideas, I think. And I just like the sense of exploration and the lack of self-judgment about what the artists were doing, and it became one of the atmospheres for the album. I enjoyed it very much.

 
Much more after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Martin Schneider
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01.19.2018
09:41 am
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Mark Mothersbaugh says that tapes of DEVO jamming with David Bowie and Brian Eno have surfaced
12.06.2017
09:45 am
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Note: There has been some confusion about what happened at Sonos this week. After running this story, we were given reason to doubt that Mothersbaugh ever made these remarks. It turns out that he did say them—at a press preview of the Sonos event that took place one night earlier than the public event. Apologies to Daniel Maurer of Bedford and Bowery for casting his reportage in a negative light. The good news is that Mothersbaugh’s tapes appear to exist! Yay!

Yesterday, at an event hosted by Sonos at its Soho location in Manhattan, Mark Mothersbaugh divulged some news that has some fans of David Bowie positively salivating.

The “Song Stories” event was a tribute to Bowie, in which the lead singer of DEVO was joined by Meredith Graves of Perfect Pussy, photographer Mick Rock, Motley Crüe‘s Nikki Sixx, and moderator Rob Sheffield. The idea was that each of the four guests would tell a story about Bowie and each story would be paired with a Bowie track.

According to Daniel Maurer of the Bedford and Bowery blog, Mothersbaugh let it be known that he had recently come across some tapes of a remarkable jam session that featured members of DEVO jamming with David Bowie, Brian Eno, and Holger Czukay of Can (!). “I haven’t listened to it yet because I just found this tape,” Mothersbaugh said to the startled attendees.

The recording stems from the sessions for DEVO’s first album, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!, which was recorded at the studio of renowned Krautrock producer and musician Conny Plank near Cologne, Germany. Brian Eno produced the album with occasional assistance from Bowie, who was filming the David Hemmings movie Just a Gigolo nearby. Bowie also remixed most of the album’s tracks. Apparently all the members of DEVO participated in the jam session, except for the band’s “bassist,” who had “missed his connecting flight because he was fighting with his girlfriend on an airport pay phone.” Presumably this refers to Gerald Casale?
 

 
In 1977, the wife of Michael Aylward, the guitarist in another noted Akron band, Tin Huey, sent Bowie and Iggy Pop a tape of DEVO’s demo songs; both musicians immediately became fans of the band and expressed an interest in producing DEVO’s first album. DEVO’s first gigs in New York took place on July 8 and 9, 1977, when the band played two sets per night at Max’s Kansas City. According to Mothersbaugh at Sonos last night, Bowie “came out on stage when we played our second show at Max’s” on the first night.
 

He came out on stage and goes, “This is the band of the future, I’m going to produce them this Christmas in Tokyo!” And we’re all like, “Sounds great to us. We’re sleeping in an Econoline van out in front on Bowery tonight, on top of our equipment.”

 
As Maurer writes, “Bowie ended up taking the band out on the town, putting Mothersbaugh up in his hotel room, and introducing the Akron, Ohio innocent to sushi.”

Mothersbaugh apparently found the tape after bringing his DEVO archive back to his studio. The jam session featuring DEVO, Bowie, Eno, and Czukay isn’t the only interesting tape he found, however. Mothersbaugh also found the 24-track master tapes used for the album, accompanied by Eno’s documentation of each song’s instruments, effects, and audio settings: “There’s these tracks down below that say things like: ‘David’s vocals’ and ‘Brian’s extra synths.’ And I’m like, ‘I remember turning that stuff off when we were doing our final mixes.’”

The band’s lead singer explained the band’s reluctance to use the vocal of a pop star as massive as Bowie by reference to DEVO’s paranoia of having their distinct sound messed with after so many negative experiences with hinky industry people and unauthorized releases.

Mothersbaugh indicated that he’ll have a listen to the tapes. “I’m thinking we should see what’s on those tapes. ... I’m really curious to see what the heck they did.” He joked by saying that DEVO “might have been more successful” if they had used Bowie’s vocal tracks.

Interestingly, Bryan Rolli’s account at Billboard of the Sonos event makes no mention of Mothersbaugh’s revelations, so we’ll see what shakes out.

Here’s footage of DEVO playing Max’s Kansas City that first night, July 8, 1977:

 

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
DEVO, Blondie, Talking Heads, Klaus Nomi on ‘20/20’ segment on New Wave, 1979
John Lydon almost joined Devo in 1978? Well, I’ll be.

Posted by Martin Schneider
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12.06.2017
09:45 am
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That time David Bowie met Roger Moore & then met him again & again & again & again & again & again
10.06.2017
09:56 am
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As someone who discovered James Bond films and David Bowie right around the same time, I found the following anecdote, supplied by Dylan Jones during the press launch of his new Bowie bio, David Bowie: A Life, mighty amusing.

Jones told a reporter for the Telegraph:

“[Screenwriter and novelist Hanif] Kureishi told me this story, that when David Bowie moved to Switzerland at the end of the Seventies to escape tax and drug dealers, he didn’t know anybody there. He was in this huge house on the outskirts of Geneva - he knew nobody.

“One day, about half-past five in the afternoon, there’s a knock on the door, and there he was: ‘Hello, David.’ Roger Moore comes in, and they had a cup of tea. He stays for drinks, and then dinner, and tells lots of stories about the James Bond films. They had a fantastic time - a brilliant night.”

“But then, the next day, at 5.30… Knock, knock, it’s Roger Moore. He invites himself in again, and sits down: ‘Yeah, I’ll have a gin and tonic, David.’ He tells the same stories - but they’re slightly less entertaining the second time around.

“After two weeks [of Moore turning up] at 5.25pm - literally every day - David Bowie could be found underneath the kitchen table pretending not to be in.”

Bowie turned down the role of the villainous Max Zorin in Moore’s final outing as 007 in A View to a Kill.

Now we know why!

It was announced this week that from March 2 through July 15, 2018, the Brooklyn Museum will mark the final stop of the Bowie exhibit that was organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. More than 300 objects from the singer’s life, including 60 stage costumes and set designs from his 1974 “Diamond Dogs” tour will be on display.

Order David Bowie: A Life from Amazon.

HT to Steven Daly of Brooklyn, NY

Posted by Richard Metzger
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10.06.2017
09:56 am
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