David Bowie

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Where is David Bowie?

In the early morning hours of Tuesday the 8th January, Iso/Columbia Records released a new single by David Bowie titled 'Where Are We Now?' exclusively launching in the iTunes Store in 119 countries. David Bowie's first new album in ten years and his 30th studio recording, THE NEXT DAY is also available as a pre-order on iTunes with a wide release scheduled for March. January the 8th is of course David Bowie's birthday, a timely moment for such a treasure to appear as if out of nowhere.

Throwing shadows and avoiding the industry treadmill is very David Bowie despite his extraordinary track record that includes album sales in excess of 130 million not to mention his massive contributions in the area of art, fashion, style, sexual exploration and social commentary. It goes without saying that he has sold out stadiums and broken ticket records throughout the world during this most influential of careers.

In recent years radio silence has been broken only by endless speculation, rumor and wishful thinking ....a new record...who would have ever thought it, who'd have ever dreamed it! After all David is the kind of artist who writes and performs what he wants when he wants...when he has something to say as opposed to something to sell. Today he definitely has something to say.

Produced by long term collaborator Tony Visconti, 'Where Are We Now?' was written by Bowie, and was recorded in New York. The single is accompanied by a haunting video directed by Tony Oursler which harks back to David's time in Berlin. He is seen looking in on footage of the auto repair shop beneath the apartment he lived in along with stark images of the city at the time and a lyric constantly raising the question Where Are We Now?

"The moment you know, you know you know" resonates from the new single's lyric. Now we all know...David Bowie has been in the recording studio...just when we least expected it!!


“Mars happy nation, sit on my karma...”

Tickets for the 5th Annual Bowie fan event at Surya in London on July 1st 2017, are now officially on sale.

All proceeds will once again go to TERRENCE HIGGINS TRUST. Last year, the evening raised a very impressive £11,620, which was donated to Cancer Research UK.

Tickets cost the same as last year, £25, and this price includes entry into the wristband raffle, which gives everybody an equal chance to win a very desirable signed-by-Bowie item.

Check out the FB event page for more info and to purchase tickets: http://smarturl.it/5thBNetParty

Please take proper care to follow payment instructions and stay tuned to that same event page for updates on some of the incredible auction items and raffle prizes.

We are duty-bound to point out that this is not an official promotion. However, it is the same event that Bowie would send a message to and donate signed items to every year.

FOOTNOTE: The Little Wonder theme of our montage is to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the release of the single and Earthling album.



“You asked for the latest party...”

The next leg of the record-breaking David Bowie is BCN exhibition at Museu Del Disseny De Barcelona (http://smarturl.it/DBisBarcelona), kicks off with a rather special launch party.

Exhibition Opening Party. Razzmataz 2
May 25th: Official Exhibition Opening Party at Razzmatazz 2 with live concerts and Dj sets.

Go here for more information and to purchase tickets: http://smarturl.it/LaunchPartyBCN

Read more about the exclusive limited edition red vinyl of I’m Afraid Of Americans, released exclusively at the exhibition venue only on the same day: http://smarturl.it/BarcelonaIAOA45

#DavidBowieIs #DavidBowieIsBCN #BowieIAOA #BowieVinyl


“Torn apart in the UK, In the dribble of May...”

We recently announced the release next month of two limited edition gold vinyl retail exclusive albums, The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars and Hunky Dory. (http://smarturl.it/BNet45thGold)

The albums are being released worldwide via Parlophone on June 16th 2017, the 45th anniversary of the original release of Bowie’s classic 1972 Ziggy Stardust album.

However, the UK will now get Hunky Dory three weeks earlier on May 26th.

As previously stated, both albums will only be available as a strictly limited edition one-off run in ‘bricks and mortar’ stores and their online storefronts, but will not be available from online only retailers.

#HunkyZiggyGold #BowieVinyl


“Music is sublime...”

Hot on the heels of David Bowie being celebrated as the most successful star in Record Store Day's 10-year history in the UK (http://smarturl.it/OCCBowieBestRSD), the bpi has announced today that he has also beaten the likes of Adele and Drake to be named the UK's most popular artist of 2016.

Bowie clocked up 1.65m album equivalent sales, a measurement developed by UK music industry body the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) that combines physical and digital sales of CDs and albums (along with streams), to give the overall sales popularity of an artist. This success was driven by almost 1.5m physical and digital albums sales, 510,000 tracks downloaded and 127m streamed.

The sales were led by purchases of ★, which also helped drive vinyl record sales to a 25-year high. The next most-consumed Bowie recordings were his compilations Best of Bowie, Nothing Has Changed and Legacy, ahead of The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars.

In a piece by Mark Sweney in today’s Guardian (http://smarturl.it/BowieBest16Guardian), Boyd Hilton, entertainment editor at Heat magazine said this of Bowie’s sales surge following his passing last year: “Bowie suddenly got loads more airplay and the ★ album, videos and artwork were so extraordinary anyway that they captured the public’s imagination even more than a regular new Bowie album might. There has also been an undoubted resurgence in pop and rock nostalgia, you can see it in things like the increase in vinyl sales, perhaps due to the homogeneity of so much of the mainstream music scene. This has meant a perfect storm of interest in the great man and his music.”

The BPI said: “Bowie was by far the most popular recording artist last year when sales and streams of all his iconic work are taken into account. Fans young and old paid fulsome tribute to David's legacy by reacquainting themselves with his classic songs and albums or by discovering them for the first time. ★ would have featured in the year’s best-seller lists in any event, but Bowie’s passing led to a surge in sales and streams that saw it become the year’s sixth-most popular recording of 2016 across all formats and the biggest-selling title on vinyl.”

Thanks to everybody who had a part in this success, particularly to you, the fans, who created these astonishing figures.

#BowieBlackstar #Blackstar #HelenGreenArtBowie #BowieBPI #BowieOCC


“I'm stuck with a valuable friend...”

A signed collection of Geoff MacCormack’s David Bowie photographs are to be offered as part of Bonhams Entertainment Memorabilia sale on June 28th (http://smarturl.it/BonhamsGMDB), the month which marks the 50th anniversary of the release of Bowie’s debut album, David Bowie. The prints are thought to be among the last items Bowie signed.

Geoff (David’s close friend and travelling companion), shot the images whilst on a worldwide tour with the star in 1973 and while on set for the shooting of The Man Who Fell To Earth. MacCormack was a singer, percussionist, dancer and mime on the Bowie tours of 1973/74.

The journey took in New York, LA, San Francisco, Hawaii, Canada, Japan and a voyage on the Trans-Siberian express, which provides the backdrop to several of the photographs. The images show Bowie at his most relaxed and informal, a world away from the glamorous and outlandish personae he regularly adopted on stage.

Speaking of his friend, Geoff said: ‘For me, these images, which David loved, almost feel as if they belong in a family album. They capture the sense of two mates – one of whom just happened to have become a rock star – having the time of their lives.’

This carefree revelry is perfectly captured in one of the photographs, which depicts a slightly worse for wear Bowie asleep in their train berth aboard the Trans-­Siberian Express. MacCormack explained: ‘We had drunk cheap Riesling and beer with a bunch of soldiers we’d met the night before. They were friendly and inquisitive as to what life was like in the West. In the image, you can just make out the bleak Siberian landscape through the window.’

The images will be on view at Bonhams Knightsbridge saleroom, Montpelier Street, from June 25th till the sale on the 28th, accompanied by a never–before–seen film of the journey from Japan to Moscow, for the ‘May Day Parade’, shot by Bowie himself and seen through his eyes, interspersed with MacCormack’s photographs. Called: ‘The Long Way Home, a film by David Bowie’, the short will be screened exclusively at the sale preview in Knightsbridge.

For more examples of Geoff MacCormack’s work, visit his website: http://smarturl.it/GMDB

Also, check out this piece by Holly Bruce posted today over on GQ: http://smarturl.it/GQGMDB

#TheLongWayHome #GeoffMacBowie


“(Ears tell me) turn it around...”

You may have seen John Carroll and Leo Rodia’s Bowieontape Facebook page regarding that most undervalued of Bowie collector formats, the humble cassette tape. They’ve been teasing their new site on the page and at last, it’s ready to view: http://smarturl.it/BOWIEONTAPE

The cassette had fallen from favour since being usurped by the CD, but, like vinyl, it’s a format that is coming back into vogue. After all, as John and Leo point out, Tony Visconti reckons “A well-recorded chrome cassette sounds better than a compressed digital format”.

The BOWIEONTAPE site joins several other collector sites covering the other formats available to the collector, more of which, next week.

Meanwhile, here's a bit from the boys...

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In late 2016 we talked about the lack of information from the usual Bowie sites concerning cassettes, in general we thought it was a shame to snub cassettes as they have played a very big part in creating the Bowie audio legacy. For many years it was the number one choice for many a penniless youngster! So in late October (2016) we decided to take the matter into our own hands and create a site for everybody, from the casual fan to the digital only downloader and the hard core collector of everything, with one main theme in mind: DAVID BOWIE ON TAPE.

We have spent many hours making this project possible, we really hope you enjoy it and find it useful. We will try our best to keep it updated and always relevant.

John Carroll & Leo Rodia

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So go have a poke around and get involved. If you’re having trouble navigating, check out the help section: http://smarturl.it/BOWIEONTAPE



“Takes me right back...when you were young...”

As we look ahead to the 50th anniversary of the debut David Bowie album, the man responsible for the images that graced the cover has a book of the sessions released via Iconic Images and ACC Publishing Groupon July 14th.

Here’s an exclusive edited excerpt from Bowie Unseen. Take it away Gerald...

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“My brother, Derek, known as ‘Dek’, was a musician. He always had his bass guitar with him and played gigs up until he passed away in 2008. But in the 1960s, we were all just starting out with our lives. Dek would often use my place to stay before or after gigs. He would often bring by a fellow musician into our home. No one knew that one of the musicians would turn out to be David Bowie.”

“They were a good bunch of lads. David, especially, seemed very serious about what he was doing, he seemed trustworthy. He and my brother would often be in the kitchen writing. He used to play with the children, games of Monopoly or teaching them how to play the penny whistle*. David was great with the kids, very pleasant, always polite.”

“I had a studio in town, down near Oxford Street, and Dek and his musician friends would come up from time to time. I remember once I was walking either to or from the studio and I heard somebody shout my name from across the street. I looked up and it was David! He had this great big leather coat on, all the way to his ankles.”

When it came time for the young singer to release his first album, he turned to Fearnley for a series of portraits to be used for publicity. “I don’t remember why I took those photos, probably because I was the only one he knew with a studio and camera. I was as much of a professional photographer as he probably knew back then.”

The portraits Gerald Fearnley took of the young musician certainly portray a controlled studio atmosphere. The young Bowie would foreshadow future characters and future directions, as he painted clown-like teardrops on his face. The poses he would strike in Fearnley’s studio would also give insight into his study of the art of mime. At that time, he was enrolled in classes at the Dance Centre in Covent Garden, taught by Lindsay Kemp. Kemp’s classes focused on improvisation, mime, and avant-garde theatre. Viewing the complete series of images today, 50 years after Gerald worked with Bowie, they show the artist at the very beginnings of understanding how to create striking images, the art of posing—useful techniques that would serve the future icon well.

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* One of the tunes David taught Gerald’s children on the penny whistle was the theme song from the television show, The Killing Stones. That tune was actually Tom Hark by Elias And His Zig-Zag Jive Flutes: http://smarturl.it/TomHarkYT

Bowie Unseen - Portraits of an Artist as a Young Man by Gerald Fearnley
Hardcover: 80 pages
Publisher: ACC Art Books (14 July 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1851498648
ISBN-13: 978-1851498642

#UnseenBowie #BowieFearnley


“I’d like to blow on your horn...”

A wonderful picture of Davy Jones playing his white Grafton saxophone with the first line-up of The Kon-rads has surfaced.

The young Jones (later to become a solo singer in his own right under the name of David Bowie), is pictured next to George Underwood (later to become a solo singer in his own right under the name of Calvin James), who took vocal duties on this occasion.

In his early teens Bowie became keen on the jazz of John Coltrane. For Christmas 1961 his father bought him this white acrylic Grafton alto sax. It used new plastics technology, and cost £55, about half the cost of a brass instrument.

Bowie later told the BBC that he asked his father to lend him money to buy himself a saxophone. His father bought him the saxophone but made David agree to pay him back with the money he made from his part time job.

The picture is up for auction over at The Saleroom (LOT 61) where you can view a larger version: http://smarturl.it/KonradsGardenPic

#TheKonrads #BowieSax

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