April 11, 1999
Each month, Jane magazine has a section where they relate a phone prank. In the April 1999 edition, they dedicate the prank to David Bowie, with a prank titled "If David Bowie were trying to get a record deal today, would he get signed?"
We called a few music-industry people and played them a song by the "new group" Indiscretion. Little did they know, they were listening to a David Bowie (back then, Davy Jones) recording from 1966. Before the glam, the androgyny and the stock options, there was I Want My Baby Back. We wondered if it would fly today.
Us: Do you want to hear any more?
Men's magazine music editor: "No! Make it stop! He will not get his baby back or his record contract until his voice changes. In the event that 'N Sync needs an extra member, I think the singer has a future."
Us: So if we had a Magic 8-Ball, the outlook on their music career would be 'not so good'?
Them: "I have a Magic 8-Ball on my desk, actually, and the outlook is...'My reply is no'."
Us: Tell us honestly what you think of them.
Head of a major music label's publicity department: "That was definitely not my thing at all. It shounds like it's from the '40s or '50s."
Us: They're trying to recapture that retro sound.
Them: "I see."
Us: Do they have a future?
Finally, an A&R person responds somewhat positively: "It could be a theme from a '60s James Bond movie. It sounds kind of familiar, kind of unique. I'd be interested in seeing what else they had."
There's also a picture of Bowie wearing black jeans and a funny shirt, and he's standing with a bunch of plants.