July 30: A couple of news items in the past week, including this one from the Washington Post report on the saga of the domain name bowienet.com, which is currently owned by a Mr Bill Bowie who runs a harness horse racing page at the current www.bowienet.com. Bill reports that he has not been approached about the possible purchase of bowienet.com, but he would be willing to entertain offers from the more famous Bowie. Note that domain names are a valuable commodity. Compaq has reportedly offered $3.3 million dollars to the owner of the www.altavista.com domain name for the Altavista search engine. The Bowie camp does own the www.bowienet.net domain, but confusion between bowienet.net and bowienet.com is likely. (Ed: There is also a large brand-name awareness of www.davidbowie.com having been printed on CDs and promotional material for a while now, so it would not make a lot of sense to change the domain name)
July 28: Bowie was spotted in a number of airports and airplanes over the weekend as he made a trip across the US from Bermuda. One correspondent even sat next to Bowie in first class on one of the flights. However, the funniest story came from a correspondent's coworker who was stopped over in the Bermuda airport for several hours:
"During her wait, she noticed a guy sitting directly opposite from her. Several "young girls" (as she describes them - she's a very youthful 50 years old herself) approached this guy and were quite excited to meet him. She stared at this guy for several minutes before recognizing him as David Bowie.
He was entirely alone - no visible bodyguard or security, no companions, no Iman. He was wearing Timberland-style shoes, a full (yet very closely trimmed) beard (no goatee), chinos, and a light sweater.
Now, here' s the capper - there was another guy sitting right near them. He was a bit older and didn't appear to know who Bowie was. After a couple of hours, he gets up and says, "I'd love to get a cup of coffee but I'm alone and I don't want to leave all my bags." So David Bowie says, "Oh, it's OK, I'll watch them," and he watched all this guy's stuff until he came back."
In addition, CDNow is running its 4th anniversary sale which takes 30% off the list price of all available CDs.
The recent issue of Attitude magazine has a full-page article about Siouxsie Sioux, which mentions a duet with David Bowie (something which has been rumoured here for many months).
It's getting close to last call for the Vancouver Bowie Fan Gathering.
Dave Priest has officially relaunched his Subterraneans web site, which compiles rare recordings and oddities from the early Bowie years through the mid 70s.
The BowieNews newsletter now has its own web site for signing up and viewing past issues.
July 23: According to a report on BBC Radio One's web site, Bowie revealed today in an interview with the radio station that he is working on a full length motion picture based on the character of Ziggy Stardust (Ed: not the D.A. Pennebaker release). Bowie cast his idea for the film as being in competition with the glam-rock film Velvet Goldmine, giving that as the reason why he didn't authorise the release of his songs for the Velvet Goldmine project:
"My feeling about it is that it was based fairly substantially on ‘Ziggy Stardust’ and as I intend doing my own version of it, I'’d rather not work with a competitive film. It'’s been a project that I'’ve worked on for the last two years and hopefully it'’ll see the light of day before too long."
Bowie also revealed in the interview that he plans to unveil unreleased material written at the time of Ziggy Stardust for the soundtrack to the film.
"It'’s just a question of finishing off what might be a 90 second or a 2 minute piece, taking it obviously the way it wanted to go and finishing it off and keeping the sound of the material in the period."
Astute readers will remember that last month there were rumours of Bowie getting costumes from early in his career refitted for a "stage retrospective". And there were many rumours last year out of the UK that Bowie was preparing to reincarnate his Ziggy character (at the time it was rumoured to be for a one-off concert). Perhaps these reports were both sourced from Bowie's announcement of his project today...
July 23: August 25 is set as the release date for the Best Of David Bowie 1974-1979 in the U.S., along with what looks like a rerelease of Best Of David Bowie 1969-1974 (changing its name officially in the U.S. from the previous EMI Limited Edition Best Of... of last year). The 1974-79 version will have the teaser advertisement for BowieNet as appeared in Canada last month.
The upcoming release list sent to music stores also has another Bowie-related item pencilled in for an October date in the U.S., but no other details.
July 23: Rykodisc's tenure as the label for much of Bowie's back catalogue has officially ended in the U.S. They are no longer available from Rykodisc's web page, nor are they available from any of the online music stores. This means that apart from Pin Ups, Diamond Dogs, David Live and Young Americans which were released by EMI in the US earlier this year, Bowie's 70's albums are no longer able to be purchased in the U.S. Of course, you may find the odd one floating around in your local store, but otherwise you'll have to wait until EMI decides to rerelease the back catalogue.
July 22: The official BowieNet press release has been issued, confirming earlier reports that those buying the full service will get a CD with two "classic" live audio and video tracks, as well as an exclusive "newly recorded audio track" (Ed: Fun?) which can only be unlocked by signing onto the Internet.
You can read the full BowieNet press release here.
July 21: Various sources are now reporting an August release date for Best of 1974-79 in the USA. This E-Online story mentions an August 23 date, but that's a Sunday, which is obviously wrong since albums are released on Tuesdays in the U.S. However, nothing has yet shown up on the online CD store advance orders...
July 21: The UK Telegraph reported in its Sunday July 19 edition that
A bizarre Austrian artist sponsored by David Bowie and Yoko Ono is planning the culmination of his life's work next month with the slaughter of animals in front of a 2,000-strong audience. In the name of art, three bulls and six pigs will be killed, crucified and disembowelled during Hermann Nitsch's six-day Orgy Mystery Theatre at his castle near Mistelbach, Lower Austria, in early August. Up to 100 art students under Nitsch's direction will paint with animal blood and press grapes mixed with entrails with their bare feet. Bowie, who finds inspiration in Nitsch's work, is expected to be among spectators paying £350 a head.
If you're not squeamish, you can go visit the official Hermann Nitsch web site describing the event.
Information from Dave
July 21: A press release issued this morning by Worlds Inc. indicates that BowieNet will make use of Worlds three dimensional world software to let users navigate and chat to other users in a virtual three dimensional online world. Worlds will also get the right to operate a 3D merchandise store (hmmm, I hope the prices for the t-shirts are less than at the concerts ;)).
July 19: Two stories appearing in newspapers over the past days indicate that BowieNet may be the precursor to other entertainers introducing similar celebrity internet services.
First, this Infoworld story reports that Ultrastar, the management group behind BowieNet
"plans to set up similar services for other entertainers".
Second, a more humorous piece from the local San Jose Mercury News talks about BowieNet, and postulates about other possible celebrity web services (Jerry Springer Net anyone?)
July 18: CDnow is running another sale, this time 30% off all their import CDs. So, if you're looking for something like the Japanese release of Dead Man Walking or the Australian I Can't Read single at great prices (under $9), check it out.
July 17: Billboard Online had a news item yesterday following up on BowieNet. Along with the usual details, Billboard also reports that
Note: Concentric has a web page listing all of their access numbers in the U.S, which will presumably also be their points of access into BowieNet.
July 14: Hot off the wires, Bowie has been nominated for the 15th annual MTV Video Music Awards in the category of Best Male Video, for, of course, I'm Afraid Of Americans. Other nominees in the same category are Busta Rhymes, Eric Clapton, Brian McKnight and Will Smith. You can pop up a window with the full list at MTV's Web Site.
July 11: The mainstream and online press have started to latch onto the BowieNet launch, with articles appearing on MTV News, the Wall Street Journal and The Sunday Express amongst others. One which quotes the lead designer of the site, Lane Dunlop of NettMedia, is this PCWorld Today article.
Marc has just updated his Stardust Page with photos from the Loreley Festival, Tribute to Freddy Mercury and an interview on French television. Secondly, Josh has a Bowie MPEG page where he intends to put a new rare or live Bowie track in mp3 format available for download each week. This week's song is The Hearts Filthy Lesson from Bowie's 1995 David Letterman appearance.
After mentioning the US album release dates a couple of days ago, a contact with Virgin Records emailed to say that the most likely US release date of the live album was sometime in October (tentatively the 17th).
After inquiring about the Tin Machine instrumental Needles On The Beach, Dara took the initiative to get in contact with Reeves Gabrels himself and find that indeed this was cowritten by the whole band and recorded during the sessions in Sydney, Australia for the second Tin Machine album. The only recorded version of it can be found on the compilation album Beyond The Beach on Upstart Records.
July 11: Two Australian newspapers, Melbourne's The Age (July 4) and also Beat Magazine (July 8) report that Bowie will be asked to perform at a tribute concert for Michael Hutchence of INXS who committed suicide earlier this year. The Beat reports:
"INXS plan a massive tribute to Michael Hutchence, probably at Madison Square Gardens in NY, and will ask friends U2, Nick Cave, David Bowie, Elton John, Tom Jones and Aretha Franklin to sing their fave INXS ditty."The concert is expected to take place sometime late this year or early next.
July 11: Rolling Stone reports that Bowie is a shoe-in for a track on the long-delayed untitled tribute album for John Lennon. Over four years in the making, Bowie is listed as contributing Mother from Lennon's Plastic Ono Band to the album which is tentatively scheduled for Spring, 1999. (Ed: Tin Machine's cover of Working Class Hero was passed over for a version by Paula Cole :))
July 9: Andy from the firstname.lastname@example.org newsletter fame reports that the Earthling Live album is slated for a release date of September 21 (in Europe?) and will include a version of the previously rumoured track Fun, based on the drum 'n bass version of Fame denoted as Is It Any Wonder played on the Earthling Tour.
The release date doesn't quite match up with the expected official unveiling of BowieNet which is due in August in the U.S., and it would be expected that there'll be a CD release to accompany the launch to get the enhanced CDs etc into people's hands. To lend credence to this theory, Dave sent me information that his local music store just received information that there are two Bowie releases pencilled in for the end of August in the U.S, titled simply Best of David Bowie 1 and Best of David Bowie 2. Are these the remnants of what was reported earlier in the year as a rerelease of ChangesOneBowie and ChangesTwoBowie (which at the time were reported to be BowieNet enhanced CD releases)?
More information as it comes to hand...
July 9: The Marilyn Manson website Dead To The World has obtained a copy of the upcoming Golden Years cover, and thoughtfully digitized it into RealAudio format so the rest of the world can hear it :). You'll need to click through to the Dead To The World home page and then follow the link from there to the Golden Years version.
July 8: Robin writes from Canada to ask viewers to write into History Television (www.historytelevision.ca) to request that they add the Cracked Actor documentary to their upcoming schedule of music documentaries called "POP".
At the premiere of Whatever, it turned out that Bowie's Janine made a more prominent appearance in the movie than expected. It runs for approximately two minutes as background music during a party scene.
Finally, a reader from the Isle of Man (where Everybody Loves Sunshine was filmed), writes in with his brief account of some scenes he saw being shot during the filming:
"I saw a shooting of one of Bowie's gang, a fight/arguement at a bank, a night set were Bowie was sorting out what to do next after a shooting, a drive though at an underground car park, a cafe set (in the style of pulp fiction). Rumours say that Bowie did the film as a favour to Goldie and he liked the script, so he was paid no fee, just his expenses. "
July 7: In addition to VH-1's Legends of Rock, John sends in a rumour making the rounds that MTV is also planning a similar short biographical feature as part of its "BIOrhythms" production where they showcase a particular musician. The tentative plans are for the show to be filmed in September or October. John has a Bowie web page called Aladdin Sane.
July 7: Pat Hewitt wrote an alternate review of the ICA Ziggy reenactment, which you can read here.
July 6: Wall Of Sound is reporting an August 4th release date for the soundtrack Dead Man On Campus which will contain the long-awaited (?) Marilyn Manson cover of Golden Years noted in these pages back in January. From the sound of the publicity, they're hyping the Manson cover up, and it may end up being released as a single (you'll probably hear it on alt-rock stations a lot).
The ICA reenactment continues tonight (in fact, as this is written) in London. Dave Priest sent in his thoughts on last night's show:
A Rock 'N' Roll Suicide - Ziggy at The ICA.
Well we've just got home from the first nights performance of 'A Rock 'n' Roll Suicide' and I must say that I was shocked!! You couldn't fault the music, the band were tight, very well rehearsed and played their parts very well. Ziggy (played by Steve Harvey) is probably a really nice guy but a Ziggy he ain't. The performance was weak, the vocals were poor and Ziggy moved around on stage like a wooden puppet. We made a hasty exit to the bar after four numbers and returned in time for the mime sequence towards the end of "Width Of A Circle" (which wasn't bad!). I couldn't help but smile when I saw the strips of plastic covering Ziggy's eye brows ... making him look like something out of Star Trek!
The costumes were something else!!!! The woodland creature suit was a red shiney PVC thing that looked like something out of an Anne Summers catalogue!!!!
I'm sorry but it just didn't work and the highlight of the evening for us was chatting to Boy George .... a really geniune guy!!
July 2: Savage Records, the record company which released Black Tie White Noise in the U.S. has had its $65 million lawsuit against Bowie dismissed without comment by the New York State Court of Appeals.
Savage contended it lost more than $1 million on Black Tie White Noise and had a contract to pay Bowie $3.4 million for his next three albums. Bowie's lawyers allegedly negotiated a termination of the contract after the album didn't sell well. Savage subsequently filed for bankruptcy and sued Bowie and BMG alleging conspiracy and fraud.
You can read the MTV News report.
Thanks to Bonster who provided the heads-up on this item!
July 1: A rumour circulated earlier this year that Bowie would be involved in some way with the Rugrats Movie, a Nickelodeon production based on the children's animated TV series. Now two other sources have reaffirmed the rumour:
July 1: The first major story on BowieNet appeared yesterday; not that surprisingly, it appeared on CNet's News.com site, which is dedicated to events in the computer industry rather than the music industry. The story makes reference to this being the first instance of a special interest providing "branded Net access, an email address, and all the services of a full portal site, as well as specialized content".
For those who have been following the Internet business world, the hot market over the past year has been the so-called portal site, such as Yahoo, Excite, Infoseek and Lycos. BowieNet seems to take this to a new level as it is not only a portal, but also has the benefit of specialised content which will bring the customer's activities back to revolve around the BowieNet portal, rather than just acting as a stopping point on the way through to other sites.
A ZDNet Anchordesk story talks about the significance of this new type of development (but doesn't mention BowieNet), and terms the new type of portal a hub.
Information from Bonster, Dara