Tag Archives | David Bowie

Why we should expect great things from David Bowie’s new musical play

Denis Flannery, University of Leeds

I’m not sure many saw David Bowie’s latest creative project coming. It was recently announced that he is involved as a writer (along with Irish playwright Enda Walsh) and composer in a new musical play, Lazarus, based on the film The Man Who Fell to Earth in which he starred in 1976.

A musical play, which is not what you expect after one of his characteristic periods out of the limelight. But if you look more carefully, such an involvement doesn’t seem strange at all – and we should expect great things.

The Man Who Fell to Earth is in turn based on a 1963 novel by Walter Tevis. Its hero, Thomas Jerome Newton, is a humanoid alien who comes to earth to obtain water for his dying planet. He starts a high-tech company to earn the billions that can enable his home world’s salvation. But politics, love, organised religion (and alcohol) destroy his plans.… Read the rest

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Nikola Tesla Meets Orson Welles

Tesla

While David Bowie’s portrayal of Nikola Tesla in The Prestige is still my favorite on-screen depiction of the famous mad scientist, this 1980 production from Yugoslavia is an ambitious attempt at bringing Tesla’s tale to the cinema, and Orson Welles’ turn as J.P. Morgan is worth the price of admission. Here’s the Wiki…

The Secret of Nikola Tesla (Serbo-Croatian: ‘Tajna Nikole Tesle’), is a 1980 Yugoslav biographical film which details events in the life of the discoverer Nikola Tesla (portrayed by Serbian actor Petar Božović). Tesla was born to ethnic Serb parents in 1856 Croatia (at the time, part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire). He arrived in New York in 1884, became an American citizen in 1891, made immense contributions to science and died in Manhattan at age 86 during World War II in 1943.[1]

This biography includes references to his amazing abilities of detailed mental visualization as well as the slowly intensifying personal habits, indulgences or eccentricities for which he became nearly as well known.Read the rest

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Defending The Indefensible: David Bowie’s Eighties Career

David-bowie-lets-danceAre you a Bowie fan? I’m a big fan, and have been since I was a little boy who stayed up late one night to watch him perform live on HBO. What tour was this? “Serious Moonlight”. Yes, I can hear you groaning.

As a dedicated Bowie fan myself, I know that you’re more likely than not to cite an album like “Low” or “Hunky Dory” as favorite. Certainly not “Let’s Dance”. You might even prefer to think that an inferior clone stood in for Bowie from 1981 to 1986 while he went back to Berlin to do more heroin and pretend he was a wizard.

That disdain is a fine example of how we condemn him for continuing the chameleon-like musical career that  made him so well known while we praise him for it, and resent his success while bemoaning the lack of “good” music on the radio. Then we’ll turn around and praise the pop sensibilities of whatever ash-choked miserablist steps out of the local college rock station toting a guitar and a properly surly attitude.… Read the rest

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William S. Burroughs Interviews David Bowie: Beat Godfather Meets Glitter Mainman

BurroughsIn 1972 counterculture legend William S. Burroughs interviewed David Bowie for Rolling Stone. Thanks to Teenage Wildlife, the resulting article by Craig Copetas is once again available. Here’s a small excerpt:

Burroughs: Only politicians lay down what they think and that is it. Take a man like Hitler, he never changed his mind.

Bowie: Nova Express really reminded me of Ziggy Stardust, which I am going to be putting into a theatrical performance. Forty scenes are in it and it would be nice if the characters and actors learned the scenes and we all shuffled them around in a hat the afternoon of the performance and just performed it as the scenes come out. I got this all from you Bill… so it would change every night.

Burroughs: That’s a very good idea, visual cut-up in a different sequence.

Bowie: I get bored very quickly and that would give it some new energy.

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Bill Wyman on David Bowie’s Golden Years: Assessing a Radical Career

I don’t know who at New York Magazine managed to persuade former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman (or is it the other Bill Wyman?) to write an essay on David Bowie, but you have my thanks. Over to Mr. Wyman:

I very rarely have felt like a rock artist,” David Bowie used to say. “I’ve got nothing to do with music.” More than 40 years on, we see now he was dissembling on both counts. But as with any great act of self-creation, there was an element of truth in the obfuscation, and the roles he was playing in addition—some species of musical-­theater provocateur, a high-art celebrity indulging in a low-art mechanism, a transgressive social poet manipulating a pop-cultural moment—seem plain. He was the first rocker to deliberately separate himself from the personae of his songs and onstage characters in a way that challenged his audience. The stardom that resulted was unlikely—he was, let us remember, a self-described gay mime.

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David Bowie’s Book Of One Hundred Archive Objects

1975 Photo by David Bowie using Kirlian Photograph Machine, Source: bowieNet.net

1975 Photo by David Bowie using Kirlian Photograph Machine, Source: bowieNet.net

David Bowie is shopping around a book of photos of 100 pieces from his archive. From bowieNet.net:

We still don’t want to give too much away just yet, suffice to say that David Bowie has been working on a book entitled Bowie: Object.

There’s no firm publishing date in place, but we can give you a little more detail.

Bowie: Object is a collection of pieces from the Bowie archive, wherein, for the first time, fans and all those interested in popular culture will have the opportunity to understand more about the Bowie creative process and his impact on modern popular music.

Bowie: Object features 100 fascinating items that give an insight into the life of one of the most unique music and fashion icons in history. The book’s pictorial content is annotated with insightful, witty and personal text written by Bowie himself.

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