October 30: It's already been leaked all over Europe (and various portions of the Internet), but finally it's official. David Bowie is hosting a songwriting contest beginning November 2, whereby contestants compete to become co-writer on a new song, titled "What's Really Happening." Participants are asked to submit three verses to go with the music and chorus which Bowie has already written. The winner will not only receive co-writer credit, but a $15,000 publishing contract compliments of international music publisher Bug Music, a trip to New York to be present when the song is recorded and a three-year subscription to Rolling Stone, along with gift certificates from Cdnow and BarnesandNoble.com (www.barnesandnoble.com). The grand prize winner will also receive a free one-year subscription to BowieNet.
Submissions can be entered by anyone worldwide with Internet access, and a list of finalists will be chosen by the public themselves via a voting system. Contest voters are also eligible to win daily prizes awarded for their participation. Bowie will pick the grand prize winner himself from the list of finalists. More information and a link to the "cybersong contest" should be available starting November 2 at BowieNet, where you will be able to hear the song and submit verses.
In other news from the press release announcing the song-writing contest, more information was given on the liveandwell.com project. A 48 page insert is planned with two pages per track meaning presumably 24 tracks in total will make their way onto the virtual CD. In addition, there will be two new tracks released each month, meaning that this will be almost a year long project. A quote from the press release says "Plans for the finished product's future accessibility to the general public are probably in the hands of BowieNet members".
October 29: Searching through online music store catalogues of upcoming releases often turns up interesting items, as evidenced by this discovery by Mikael. CDParadise.com, an online UK CD store is advertising this Rebel Rebel Video/CDV with David Bowie as the "author" for release in February 1999. No idea exactly what this is - if anyone in the UK can dig up more details (the publisher is listed as Master Vision) it would be appreciated.
October 28: Ciak Magazine devoted the front cover of their most recent magazine to the upcoming Italian-made western Il Mio West starring Bowie as a gun-toting pistolero. The only new information from the magazine story is that in one scene Bowie sings Glory Glory Hallelujah. Co-star Leonardo Pieraccioni was very complimentary of Bowie, saying "He is the kind of person you should meet every 3 months to receive the sense of absolute tranquility and peace he can give you". The magazine did publish a couple of new pictures including a shot of all three stars, Bowie, Pieraccioni and Harvey Keitel. The film is due out in Italian cinemas in mid December.
October 27: In the earlier story about the online virtual CD based on the Earthling Tour to be called liveandwell.com, the immediate question which sprang to mind was whether the fan-collaboration project would become physical reality. That is, would you be able to buy a finished copy of the CD at the end of the project and play it on your stereo, complete with fan-contributed artwork and liner notes?
I posed two questions to officials at Ultrastar
The response to both of these questions was "No decisions have been finalized...".
However, BowieNet has proven to be fairly amenable to fan suggestions, so if you feel strongly about this, it would not be such a bad idea to make your voice heard. You could start with the Open Forum Chat for UK and European members this Friday at 7 p.m. GMT (mid-afternoon in the USA)
October 27: The Mini exhibit at this year's British International Motor Show (Oct 21 - Nov 1 at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham) will feature the limited edition minis designed by David Bowie and Kate Moss. Bowie's creation is a shiny little number, festooned with mirrors (apparently one of the most expensive minis ever made because of the difficulty involved in the paint process). If anyone goes and manages to get a decent picture of it, I'd be more than happy to display it here...
October 27: According to reports of the pre-recorded VH-1 Fashion Awards show (which airs tonight at 9 p.m. EST in the USA) the most notable event was Iggy Pop's appearance in a pair of see-through plastic Tommy Hilfiger pants for his rendition of Rebel Rebel. Performing with Lenny Kravitz, Iggy was persuaded at the last moment by the VH-1 muckety-mucks to put on a white thong underneath his stylish pants rather than letting it all swing free. In any case, set your VCR (assuming you have cable).
October 26: Snap.com has awarded Teenage Wildlife their Editors' Choice Award - in their words, "recognition of its overall excellence in content, design and usefulness". While it's been a long labour of love (and sometimes hate), I'd particularly like to thank all the contributors who have given their time, effort and suggestions to make Teenage Wildlife a better place. Keep those ideas coming!
October 25: Answering the calls of fans who were despondent at the possibility that a live album from the much-acclaimed Earthling 1997 World Tour would never be released, BowieNet has come up with the first of its kind Virtual CD project, to be called liveandwell.com. Bowienet members will become part of a collaborative effort in designing the product, by sending in artwork for the CD and jewel box, liner notes, photos, stories, video clips and pretty much anything which reflects fans' experiences from last year's tour.
Each month, new tracks from the already mixed live versions of songs from the tours will be posted so that the CD can be developed piece-by-piece. To start with, three tracks, The Hearts Filthy Lesson, I'm Deranged and I'm Afraid Of Americans have been posted (playable via RealAudio G2 or 5.0).
Although it's not clear from the initial postings on BowieNet, it seems most likely that the finished product will be made available for sale, although whether it's to everyone or just to BowieNet members is unspecified. For the moment, only BowieNet members will be able to send in submissions for the project. At the end of each week, 5 submissions will be picked randomly and will receive free Bowienet mousepads.
The current introduction and information on getting started is posted for BowieNet members on the BowieNet site, although it seems likely to move eventually to its own domain name, www.liveandwell.com - (Ed: perhaps mock homage to the reported quote by Bowie on his 1974 David Live album cover that "David Bowie is alive and well and living only in theory")
More news and information as it comes to hand...
October 23: No doubt cashing in on the expected popularity of Velvet Goldmine, a new book on the glam rock era is being readied for sale in time for Christmas.
Glam: Bowie, Bolan and the Glitter Rock Revolution
by Barney Hoskyns
Published by Pocket Books
The book is expected to be available December 1998 and is available for preorder at Amazon.com. In other book news, we've now instituted a Book of the Month recommendation at the Teenage Wildlife Bookstore. Each month we'll feature a new book with a review by erstwhile contributor Aki. Check it out!
October 22: I know this is very old news, but it was only recently bought to my attention. Norwegian painter Odd Nerdrum (Ed: link not for the easily offended) is currently having an retrospective exhibition at The Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art in Oslo, Norway. Bowie, who owns three of Nerdrum's works, has lent to the exhibition a large seven square meter canvas piece called Dawn, considered one of Nerdrum's best works. The two artists orginally met in October 1990.
October 22: Godfather of punk Iggy Pop will team up with Lenny Kravitz (both of them previous Bowie collaborators) to perform Bowie's Rebel Rebel live before the VH-1 Fashion Awards on US television. October 27th. This will be a rare live performance by Iggy and should be fun for Bowie fans to watch.
Other performers on the night include Janet Jackson, the Brian Setzer Orchestra, Madonna and the Smashing Pumpkins. Comedian Ellen DeGeneres will host.
October 19: Seems like a long ways off to be making promises and it could easily just be a misprint, but UK store CD Paradise is advertising a Bowie At The Beeb Vol. 1 in their online catalogue for delivery December 1999 (yes, 1999). It's listed as an "Indie LP", which could easily mean it's just a semi-legal bootleg that others have had floating around for a year or so. You can take a look at their listing of Bowie products on their search page.
October 19: Italian Bowie fans should mark down October 31 on their calendar as fanzine Velvet Goldmine is planning a "David Bowie Bash"
Plans are for just a get together, dance, chat and keeping in touch with fellow fans.
October 18: Further followup on the Best Of Bowie 1980-1990 mentioned as an upcoming Japanese release earlier this month. Grant reports receiving a UK record store MVC flyer listing a release for November 9th titled "The Eighties", but with no picture or other details. It looks like this one will be a reality, although no word on any US release date (where, ironically, it may well sell better than the previous two Best Of releases).
More intriguing is a sign seen in an English HMV store:
Ziggy Stardust Volume II
To be released in 1999
Watch this space!!!
Will this be the first EMI rerelease with a full bonus disc (the Volume II?)
October 17: Today marks the release of Apple's new Macintosh operating system, version 8.5. Among the best features of the new OS is a built-in Internet meta-search tool called Sherlock, which allows you to type a query in a desktop window and have it search multiple different Internet sites/search engines to find relevant web pages.
Even better, Sherlock is extensible with plug-ins to support other sites. I have written a Sherlock plug-in for Teenage Wildlife which allows you to directly search the lyrics archive from the comfort of your Macintosh desktop. To use it, simply download the plug-in and drop the decompressed TeenageWildlife.src file onto your System Folder. Then open up Sherlock, click on the box next to David Bowie Song Lyrics and type in your query. (Ed: sorry, Windows users are out of luck until Microsoft decides to yet again copy this piece of Apple technology)
Mac OS 8.5 Sherlock plugin
Search lyrics from your desktop
October 16: This isn't a strictly Bowie-related story, but it's important enough to draw to the attention of Internet music afficionados. The Recording Industry Association of America has been waging a heavy publicity war in the past few weeks against MP3 format sound files. MP3 is a highly compressed audio format which is very popular on the net because it provides for CD-like quality of songs in under 4MB of space. This compares to WAV format files which are usually an order of magnitude greater in size. (Ed: Last year's Internet-only release of Telling Lies was provided in both WAV and MP3 format).
The RIAA's first salvo was against Diamond Multimedia who are on the verge of releasing a handheld MP3 player which will store up to 60 minutes of music downloaded from a user's hard drive for playback (music can be downloaded in any sequence so you can set up your preferred play sequence). RIAA claims that this device is a digital audio recording device that perpetuates the dissemination of illegally distributed music outside the reach of control among artists and record labels. Diamond countered that the Rio can only download files off a computer, and PCs are not subject to the American Home Recording Act which bans digital audio recording devices from making serial recordings using digital audio tape (DAT).
Then, news appeared yesterday that the RIAA has also been soliciting help from major artists such as Mick Jagger, Sarah McLachlan and Tool to wage a publicity campaign against pirated MP3 audio files, and has already sued a number of individuals for running sites which provide MP3 files of popular artists (even those which are MP3s of non-commercially available recordings such as live bootlegs etc). In addition, The Cure MP3 Audio Archive which hosted 750 live versions of Cure songs, was shut down three days ago after the RIAA complained to the university administrators on whose machines and networks the archive was hosted. (Ed: the RIAA apparently uses a robot searcher to find sites which have MP3 files available for download).
The RIAA's stance is particularly troublesome because it often seems to equate MP3 with piracy, which is like equating a pen and paper with plagiarism. Sure, you can use the tools to commit a crime, but it's the crime that should be prosecuted, not the tool. There'll be a lot more fights over this technology before all is said and done...
October 16: Concentric Networks and Ultrastar will be holding an Open Forum Chat this Wednesday, October 21st at 9:30 p.m. EST. The topic will be BowieNet - what you like, what you dislike, and other issues on your mind. If you're a member, go lend your participation and helpful comments.
October 13: The Songwriter's Hall Of Fame has included Bowie in their list of nominations for induction into the Hall for this year. Current members range from Keith Richards and Mick Jagger through Oscar Hammerstein. Results will be announced after December 8.
October 11: UK ragga youngster Glamma Kid is set to release his first single called Fashion 98, based, not surprisingly, on Bowie's Fashion from the 1980 album Scary Monsters. 18 years later, Glamma Kid takes the hit single and reggae-raps over the top of it along the lines of Puff Daddy's Let's Dance take off in his Been Around The World. On a discussion on the Jo Whiley show in the UK, with the general consensus being that budding musicians would do better to try and write original material rather than sampling and coopting previous hits.
Music co-ordinator Karen Rachtman expressed her feelings thus; 'I have always wanted to work with David Bowie and I finally had my chance. He delivered a song far beyond my wildest dreams and now I can't even use it. The song is beautiful.'
The song now reverts back to Bowie. Will we ever get to hear what could have been? Says Bowie 'Unfortunately, it really doesn't fit in with what I'm doing at the moment. A shame really, as it was quite sweet for what it was.'
The Rugrats soundtrack was due to come out later this month. (Ed: Perhaps at least a RealAudio version on BowieNet would be in order??)
October 8: Tonight is the world premiere of Touchstone Picture's Beloved starring Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover at the Ziegfield Theatre, New York Hilton, 141 West 54th St. Both Bowie and Iman are listed as expected guests, along with Bette Midler, Maya Angelou, Laurence Fishburne, and Michael Bolton (Ed: now's the time for that planned duet between Bolton and Bowie to take shape!). Screening is at 7 p.m., with the after-party at 10 p.m.
October 6: London listings Magazine Time Out celebrated its 30th birthday by inviting industry insiders in a number of arts and entertainment areas to select their "most influential artists". Contributors to the survey included Boy George, Mick Hucknall, Johnny Marr and Robbie Williams. In the category of most influential pop star of the last 30 years, Bowie beat out The Beatles and Bob Marley to be selected #1. Said Time Out Critic Garry Mulholland:
"David Bowie irrevocably altered our culture. In terms of influence, the only new development in pop's last 30 years that he hasn't had some kind of influence on is drum 'n' bass."
Read the Wall Of Sound article.
October 5: Earlier today, we related a report from the BowieNews newsletter on the cancellation of the Earthling Live album by BMG. Evidently Teenage Wildlife news is read by more than just a few crazed fans, since we received an update and correction on the information almost immediately from The Outside Organization, Bowie's publicist in the UK. Here is their official statement on the Earthling Live situation:
"BMG have never been offered, let alone heard the 'Earthling Live' tapes. Virgin America were offered the CD as an Internet only release. They refused to go this route but wanted it for street-release. David Bowie himself stopped the street-release negotiations as he was very committed to 'Earthling Live' being an Internet release. He has now arranged with Virgin for the tracks to be made available on 'BowieNet' within the next few weeks."
Teenage Wildlife apologises for any misunderstandings engendered by our earlier report.
October 5: It's been almost a year since the Earthling Tour finished up. So what have the band members on one of Bowie's most successful tours been up to?
Reeves Gabrels, lead guitarist and Bowie collaborator now for over 10 years has been perhaps the busiest, working with many other notable musicians, amongst them The Cure, Sister Machine Gun and reportedly Erasure's Vince Clarke, while still contributing as a writer for Bowie's next studio album.
In addition, he wrote and played over six hours of music for the soundtrack to the PBS documentary The Farmer's Wife which screened recently in the U.S. And he has part of his work in a new venture with The Cure band members Robert Smith and Jason Cooper (the venture is named Cogasm after the musician's surnames) coming out tomorrow on the soundtrack to the feature film Orgazmo.
Finally, he also is featured (along with Gail-Ann Dorsey and Zachary Alford) on Jeffrey Gaine's Galore album released earlier this year. Jeffrey is a musician out of Philadelphia who used all three band-members on his album, which incidentally, also includes a slow cover of Bowie's Win on a bonus disc.
Gail-Ann Dorsey, bass guitarist on the tour also plays on the Jeffrey Gaines album. She also toured with the Suffragette Sessions tour this summer; featuring all-female vocalists and musicians.
Zachary Alford, drummer, contributed to Jeffrey Gaine's album.
October 4: In late 1995, a number of posters on the original www.davidbowie.com message board started a running Bowie fan-fiction story with contributions from all-comers. It morphed into a long-running serial which Bowie is reputed to have read and perhaps even inspired him in some of his Earthling videos.
When the old www.davidbowie.com site was shut down, this story became unavailable, but through the good will of Hel who kept the story together, it now debuts on Teenage Wildlife a chapter at a time in the fan contributed stories section. For starters, read Chapter #1 in the long-running saga. All the chapters will be added over the next few weeks.
October 2: For the last month or so, rumours have been flying around that EMI/Virgin will release another compilation album in the Best of David Bowie series to complement the existing Best of 1969-1974 and Best of 1974-1979 albums. Some record store employees have even written indicating that there is a separate Bowie Virgin release listed on their upcoming releases for next week (Ed: this seems most likely to be the Red Hot & Rhapsody Gershwin tribute album which will feature Bowie singing A Foggy Day In London Town).
However, more confirmation of another release has come to light with the following information which appears on a web page listing upcoming Japanese releases for November 26:
THE BEST OF DAVID BOWIE 1980-1990 (CD)
More information as it comes to hand on this release of the 80's hits.
October 1: Last night's inaugural chat at BowieNet saw over 130 fans ask David Bowie around 55 questions over a span of 1 3/4 hours. Facts revealed included: