February 28: Some serious questions have been raised over the past week about the "live" version of Fun that was posted on the BowieNet liveandwell.com site. Fun was released on HyperCD to BowieNet subscribers, and described as a drum 'n' bass version based on Fame. Readers who have bootleg tapes of the Paradiso concert (which liveandwell.com claims is the source of this song) indicate that nothing on their tape sounds like the version which is on liveandwell.com. Instead, the track which sounds most like Fame is the d 'n b track which appeared on setlists as Is It Any Wonder, and which continued to be played throughout the tour during some encores.
One reader suggested that this new version is most probably a pre-recorded track, with some crowd noise added at the beginning. Notably, there is no crowd noise fade out at the end as with most of the other liveandwell.com tracks.
Is this a hitherto unreleased Bowie track? Was it recorded during rehearsals for the tour, and then never played? Anyone with more information, please contact us.
Information from Anonymous bootleg owners
February 25: Another close encounter from the indomitable Italian Bowie fans, this time with Gail Ann Dorsey, bass player for Bowie on his last two tours, and now touring Europe with Italian star Zucchero. Grazia, Carlotta, Stefano, Paola, Rosanna and Davide (see picture below) caught up with Gail-Ann outside her dressing room before her show in Florence last Saturday night. Gail-Ann chatted about her work with David, and said she was looking for a tape of the Brit Awards so she could check out the new hairstyle everyone is talking about. While lamenting the delay in her own CD, she hopes it will be ready for release at the end of this year.
Information from Stefano
February 25: The international David Bowie fanclub will have its annual fan meeting on March 14 in De Meern (Near Utrecht), Holland. The meeting will be from 13.00 till 18.00
What to expect this year:
Place: Cultureel Centrum Azotod
De Meern (near Utrecht)
Admission: members Fl. 7,50 (you can bring 1 guest that will pay the same price)
Others Fl.12, 50
Every visitor gets a nice surprise, as far as stock lasts!
How to get there:
By car: take the A12 exit De Meern
By Bus: From station Utrecht take bus 180 to Gouda. The bus goes 11.50, 12.20, 12,50 13.20 etc.
For more information, visit The Voyeur website.
Information from Ludo
February 24: Japanese fans finally get the official release today of the I'm Afraid Of Americans CD single. Meanwhile, Everybody Loves Sunshine, the UK gangster flick starring Bowie and Goldie will be officially released in Tokyo next month, and in Osaka the following month. The movie had previously played at film festivals in Japan last year, but this will be the first general public release, albeit only in one theatre in each city! The picture at right is the Japanese advertising flyer promoting the movie. (Ed: Sources report that the US and Canadian distribution rights are also close to being finalised.)
Information from Tomoyuki and Yasuko
February 23: A new documentary film on LA scenemaker/DJ Rodney Bingenheimer is set to premiere at next year's Sundance Festival, and will include exclusive photos and audio of Bowie during his first visit to the US. Who's Rodney Bingenheimer, you may ask? He was working in Los Angeles for Mercury records when Bowie made his trip to the US in early 1971 to promote the release of The Man Who Sold The World on the Mercury label. Bingenheimer was given the task of taking Bowie around town and entertaining "this strange guy from England who wore a dress".
In an interview with Teenage Wildlife, Chris Carter, writer/producer of the film, noted that amongst the footage are photos and audio of Bowie playing acoustic versions of After All and All The Madmen while sitting cross-legged on the floor of Tom Ayres' Hollywood Hills living room. Later in the year, Bingenheimer travelled to England and was present at many of the Hunky Dory recording sessions, from which he has many personal photos of David and what would become the Spiders.
David encouraged Bingenheimer to open a club when he returned to LA, and so "Rodney's English Disco" was born. Famous for its ability to attract celebrities (Elvis Presley, Alice Cooper, Iggy Pop as well as David Bowie used to frequent the club) as well as infamous for its steady population of teenage girls in platform shoes, mini skirts, tube tops and boas, the club was the place to be seen if you were into "glitter rock" in the early 70s. After its closure in 1974, Bingenheimer went on to become a KROQ DJ, introducing Los Angeles to young startup bands who would often become legends, such as The Clash, The Sex Pistols, Adam and the Ants, Van Halen and Duran Duran.
Included in the film is an interview with Bowie shot in 1997 after the KROQ Christmas show (Ed: including the infamous mohawk!) in which Bowie reminisces about those early 70s.
Carter started working on the project over 5 years ago, and together with director George Hickenlooper (writer of the acclaimed Hearts of Darkness - A Filmmaker's Apocalypse), the two set out to chronicle the strange and sometimes sad story of Bingenheimer. Carter expects the film to come in at just under 2 hours length and go into a small art-house film release after its showing at the Sundance Festival 2000. There will also be a soundtrack, for which Carter is trying his hardest to include at least one of Bowie's acoustic guitar versions. Look for it next year!
Information from Chris Carter
February 22: While this story falls well within the confines of the "rumour" department, it has made one or two brief appearances over the past month on this site and in newsletters. Is the Thin White Duke in line to become the Thin White Knight with an honorary knighthood bestowed by the Queen? Would we have to refer to db as "Sir David"? The rumour, fuelled by a recent post by a UKer claiming that Bowie was being very seriously considered for a knighthood this year, is not that outlandish.
For starters, other contemporary British musicians such as Paul McCartney and Elton John have been made knights in recent years. Second, Bowie's status in the music world has been reinforced in the past year or so with publicity about his "richest musician in UK" and last year's TimeOut poll with fellow musicians voting him the most influential of the past 30 years. Finally, and perhaps the kicker, all recommendations for knighthoods go through the British Prime Minister's Office, who then decides and conveys these to the Queen. The current Prime Minister, Tony Blair, is an unabashed Bowie fan, having invited both him and Iman to dinner at Chequers last September, and would probably rubber-stamp a knighthood recommendation.
The big question though is whether Bowie would accept the honour. Knighthoods are still a symbol of the British monarchy's power and largesse, and Bowie has been lukewarm in most of his public statements on royalty.
When would we find out? Well, honours are bestowed twice a year, once in early June and once in the New Year. Perhaps Bowie will not only be the first performer in 2000, he'll also be the first knight in 2000...
February 20: You can get $10 off any order of $20 or more at CDNow until Tuesday, 23rd February simply by making your trip to CDNow via a link at Teenage Wildlife. The discount will be automatically applied to your order after you've selected your items and begun to check out. CDNow is also currently running a 30% off all import titles, so if there's something from outside the US that you've been waiting to pick up, go visit and see what takes your fancy.
February 19: Ok, this will probably be the last 20th Century Boy news item, but we now have "sound and vision" for the entire performance courtesy of Placebo's site in the UK.
Information from Frozen Rose
February 18: June was quick off the mark this morning in snapping some digital cam shots off her tv screen to give the rest of the world these first glimpses (albeit rough) at Bowie's new look on display at the Brit Awards. Hope to get more and better quality pictures over the next few days but these should give you some idea. There are many more (all from June) on the Brit Awards page.
Don and Spidey sent in 4 video captures from last night.
Information from June and Don
February 17: Bill Griffith, director of the Gisborne 2000 festival event, is quoted in this short article about Bowie's appearance which appeared in Tuesday's Wanganui Chronicle:
Bowie seeks meaning in Gisborne
British rocker David Bowie chose Gisborne to celebrate the millennium as he wanted to be part of an event that had meaning, a festival organiser said yesterday. Bowie will join legendary Kiwi band Split Enz as feature acts on the Gisborne Waterfront for a 24-hour festival on New Year's Eve. A director of the Gisborne 2000 Festival Company, Bill Griffiths, said Bowie had been approached about coming to New Zealand. "We heard that he wanted to be in the Southern Hemisphere and somewhere that was meaningful," Mr Griffiths said. "He likes our event. He can feel the emotion of the time and place." Bowie is reputed to be fascinated with the turn of the century and in 1995 released a concept album, Outside, wich recounted events set in 1999. Mr Griffiths said Bowie would stay in Gisborne for the festival, where he is expected to perform at 12:01am on New Year's Day. Split Enz, formed in the early 70s, will probably play with the final lineup it had before the group dispersed in 1984. Mr Griffiths said funding for the festival had come from shareholders and about $2 million had been invested so far. Tickets would cost between $399 and $599. They were more expensive than other rock festivals as the company would have to make improvements to the infrastructure on the site.
Ed: Canny Bowie followers will note that a New Zealand 1999 rumour had been floating around for at least 2-3 years. However, when I contacted Mr Griffiths, he was surprised to hear of that, indicating that they had only contacted Bowie about 6 months ago to see if he were interested in appearing at the event.)
Information from Coko
February 17: A quick sound bite here BBC Radio One's interview with Placebo after their duet with Bowie at the Brit Awards indicates that they're still trying to get Bowie to produce or work with them in the studio, but nothing is confirmed yet.
A Reuters news story had this to say about the performance: "David Bowie belted out the late Marc Bolan's '20th Century Boy.' Half the crowd might not have been born when the record was released 25 years ago, but the performance was electrifying."
Information from Carl
February 16: Bowie's duet with Placebo on T-Rex's 20th Century Boy at the Brit Awards is set for this evening. If UKers don't manage to sneak into the Docklands Arena tonight, you can always watch the edited version tomorrow on ITV at 8 p.m. Germans will see the show the following night, February 18 on pay-tv station Premiere at 21:55. Canadians have to wait until February 23 for MuchMusic to show the awards at 8 p.m., while Americans will get it last of all on March 6, via ABC's 11:30 p.m. showing. As always, you can look these up on the upcoming appearances page.
February 15: More information on Gisborne 2000 Millennium Concert tickets is now available. Tickets for overseas visitors are only available via package tour deals as described on the Gisborne 2000 website (the official reason being given for this policy is that accommodation is severely limited and so must be prearranged for overseas visitors). These are on sale now. Locals (and possibly Australians?) will have 10,000 tickets set aside which go on sale March 1 via Ticketek at prices of $NZ399, $NZ499 and $NZ599 (Ed: $1NZ = $US0.54). Hence, if you want to arrange your own custom itinerary, you'll have to find a local to buy a ticket for you.
There will be three main major shows during the 24 hour event. The first is the dusk ceremony seeing out the last of 1999, which will feature reunited New Zealand band Split Enz. The midnight show will feature David Bowie, and the dawn show (the first sunlight of the year 2000) is described only as "including some very special guests". For more information, including all these press releases, visit the Teenage Wildlife Gisborne 2000 page.
February 10: Take a look at this 1996 Kodak Advantix commercial. If you have a close look at the QuickTime movie, you will notice in the second scene (with a man on a rusty car taking a picture of the camera above him) that in small print it reads "Music by David Bowie"! It's not exactly Crystal Japan, but do we have a secret piece of Bowie music here?! Elmo from the Japanese site TVC15 was told by Kodak Japan that the music had no title, but that Kodak USA had asked Bowie to compose some original music for their commercial in 1995. Kodak Japan inserted the scenes of Japanese singer Kyoko Koizumi for the original US version of that TV commercial in 1996. (Ed: I never saw this commercial on US television, but if others did, I'd be interested to hear when it was).
Information from Eiichi and Ruud
February 10: Just take a look at Rossano's wall-to-wall Bowie collection, a small mecca at the top of his 17th century Florence house. With 7" singles plastered across every wall of the room, Rossano calls this his "Bowie-Room", a place for him to get away and relax from work. Perhaps one day Bowie will visit this little corner of devotion in person, but until then, you can take a look at it on the web!
Information from Rossano and Paola
February 9: The long awaited EMI reissues of Bowie's back catalogue (to replace the now defunct Rykodisc series) is expected to take place around the "middle of 1999" according to a Dutch EMI spokesman, responding to an inquiry by a Bowie fan over the weekend. The format these reissues will take is a hot topic in the Bowie-collector world. Bowie reported in one of his online journals that he had recorded interviews about each album last year that were planned for the EMI reissues, but whether they will also include additional tracks, or, as some have suggested, an entire new disc with bonus tracks is still an open question.
Since Rykodisc's license expiry last year, the retail situation has been particularly strange in the US, with first the release of some mid-price EMI/EMD reissues of Diamond Dogs and Young Americans followed by the withdrawal of these from most major online stores towards the end of 1998. At this point, it's almost impossible, for example, to buy a copy of Ziggy Stardust, which can hardly be doing anything for Bowie's royalty payments to back his 1997 bond issue. On the other hand, EMI in Europe has just announced new midprice CD reissues of Lodger and Scary Monsters together with an EMI Millennium vinyl reissue of Aladdin Sane.
However, if the reported release date of mid-1999 comes to fruition and Bowie's comments online that he really, really plans to have a new album out in the next six months, it would not be surprising to see the two events coincide with an appropriate marketing blitz. Until then, keep your fingers crossed...
Information from Daniele, Ruud
February 5: Gail-Ann Dorsey, bass-player for Bowie on his last two tours, is set to tour with Italian pop-star Zucchero on a series of dates over the next month throughout Italy.
Date Town Venue 12-02-1999 Montichiari BS Palageorge 14-02-1999 Bolzano BZ Palaonda 15-02-1999 Treviso TV Palaverde 17-02-1999 Assago MI Filaforum 20-02-1999 Firenze FI Palasport 21-02-1999 Torino TO Palastampa 02-03-1999 Perugia PG Palaevangelisti 03-03-1999 Roma RM Palaeur 04-03-1999 Bari BA Palaflorio 06-03-1999 Pesaro PS BPA Palas 07-03-1999 Genova GE Palasport
Information from Paola
February 3: It's official! As rumoured late last year, it's now been confirmed that David Bowie has been signed to perform at the Gisborne 2000 millennium festival in New Zealand on December 31 1999 - January 1, 2000. This brief article on Television New Zealand's web site confirms the event, indicating that a reunited Split Enz will also join Bowie for the once in a 1000 years event. Thousands of millennium seekers will descend on Gisborne to be the first in the world to see the year 2000 roll in.
Update: Tickets to the 24 hour event will range in price from $399-$600 NZ dollars (about $220-$320 USD). A video message from Bowie confirming and expressing his delight at being able to play at the dawn of the new millennium was aired where db indicated he will have special guests and a few surprises (one of them being the premiere of a song he will write specifically for the dawn of the year 2000). TVNZ news reported that Bowie will take the stage at 12:01 a.m., January 1, 2000, making him the first artist to give a concert in the year 2000.
There will be 35,000 tickets sold for the event, 25,000 to be sold outside New Zealand, and 10,000 to be sold only to New Zealand residents.
More details will follow as the press releases make their way around the world.
February 3: The New York Times has a report on the ongoing controversy with regards to MP3 sound files (moves are afoot to develop a new format which would restrict copying of a digital sound file once it has been purchased or downloaded). Bowie is quoted in the article with:
"MPEGs of my music are all over the network," said the rock songwriter David Bowie. "Things that are embarrassingly cringe-making, things that I swore never would see the light of day, they're completely available."
Bowie has founded his own Internet service (www.davidbowie.com), whose members have online access to rare Bowie music and videos. He said that he was now considering making some new music available for downloading as MP3 files, but that he had a recording contract with Virgin Records, which he said was "ambivalent" about the idea.
And Bowie is ambivalent about the industry's Secure Digital Music Initiative. "I'm not sure about uniform standards," he said. "They've never appealed to me. And however much they try and move in that direction, it ain't going to work. Quirkiness and decentralization are what define the Internet, and the idea of trying to formalize it and police it is abhorrent. The Internet is so volatile and idiosyncratic that whoever tries to police it will be beaten."
Musicians might also choose to make their songs available free or cheap, build fan bases, and then make their money touring or selling merchandise. "What should we do," Bowie mused, "give the music away, and sell the T-shirts? Maybe we'll become salarymen again."
Whether the companies in the music business make their Christmas deadline or not, the digital clock is ticking. "The notion that music could be free is really something we have to contend with," Bowie said. "If not, like King Canute, we're just sitting by the sea and forbidding it to roll in."
Information from Russ
February 3: Johnny Victory from Seattle, Washington is the winner of this month's Teenage Wildlife CD giveaway. Johnny bypassed the CD selection however, and went for an Atari Teenage Riot t-shirt. Remember, you must have your profile made visible in the Fan Registry to be eligible to win the monthly giveaways!
February 2: Malcom Mclaren's latest pop managing venture is a group of four Asian females going under the name Jungk. Described as a "an addictive, exotic Mandarin blend of jungle and punk", the new venture has three song clips available for download on their web page. Judging by the bios on the performers, it sounds as though karate kicks and catwalk modelling are more important to this band than the actual music, but that never stopped the Spice Girls.
However, the most interesting blurb is at the bottom of the page, where it notes that they are planning a forthcoming version of, what else, China Girl.
Information from Christian
February 1: Artnet reports that Julian Schnabel, director of Basquiat is planning another biopic, this time of Cuban novelist Reinaldo Arenas who killed himself in 1990. Johnny Depp is reported to be cast in the leading role, and supported by Bowie and Sean Penn. Filming is expected to start in the next six months. You can read more in this Artnet article.
Information from Andy