BY MICHAEL CUNNINGHAM VIA GQ
When Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist Michael Cunningham got a call from someone claiming to be David Bowie, he thought it was a friend pulling a prank. He didn’t know he was about to be launched into a yearlong collaboration on a musical involving space aliens, mariachi bands, and an imaginary trove of unreleased songs by Bob Dylan. Here, for the first time, is the story of their unfinished show—and what it’s like to work alongside a bona fide pop genius.
BY SAM SODOMSKY VIA PITCHFORK
The No Plan EP collects three of Bowie’s final recordings, originally found on the Lazarus soundtrack – Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for CBGB
A new video has been released for David Bowie’s “No Plan” from the official soundtrack to Lazarus.
In the eerie clip directed by Tom Hingston, a series of storefront televisions broadcast the song’s lyrics and related images while a growing crowd observes. Watch it below.
VIA VINTAGE EVERYDAY
Here are some interesting black and white photos of Lou Reed, Mick Jagger and David Bowie taken by photographer Mick Rock at the Cafe Royale after Ziggy Stardust’s last “live” performance at Hammersmith Odeon in London in 1973. All kinds of characters showed up, including Ringo Starr, Jeff Beck, Bianca Jagger and Lulu…, but David spent much of his time chatting and laughing with Lou Reed and Mick Jagger.
A few months back, I had the pleasure of sitting down at Bob Gruen‘s apartment and listening to a few of his many stories of life with the band. Funny thing is, when I was a teenager, I used to rip out these great color photos of The Sex Pistols from a large photo book in-between the shelves of the library and take them home to hang on my wall. Twenty years later, I’m sitting down with the creator of those shots. Bob is seriously one of the coolest guys I know. He has that great New York realness about him paired with a very relaxed attitude. I always feel like i just meditated while talking to him. Maybe this great quality of his contributed to the reason why many artists, like John Lennon, opened up to him and let him into their personal lives. He has an uncanny ability to catch an image of a musician in their natural state behind the scenes, just as well as the rockstar persona onstage. He captured troves of artists with his lens, including Johnny Thunders, Iggy Pop, Led Zeppelin, The Ramones, The Clash, Tina Turner, Blondie, John Lennon, Yoko Ono, The Sex Pistols, Joan Jett, etc…
BY KEITH HARRIS VIA ROLLING STONE
“We’re not 50-year-old patrons of the arts,” underground New York writer Dennis Cooper announced in the first issue of his magazine. “We’re young punks just like you.” And for 12 issues, Cooper’s zine-turned-journal was where avant-garde poetry and punk-y glamour consummated their relationship. Issue 8 of Little Caesar boasted the mag’s defining image: a full frontal black-and-white shot of Iggy Pop in his sinewy prime. The muscular definition of his upper body and his confident swagger were striking that his significant, uh, passenger might not even be the first thing you notice.
BY MATTHEW STRAUSS VIA PITCHFORK
Berlin Mayor Michael Müller has unveiled the city’s memorial to David Bowie, the Associated Press reports. It is a plaque that commemorates the time Bowie lived in the city. It is located at the building where he lived from 1976 to 1978 with Iggy Pop. See the plaque below.
Around that time, Bowie recorded his iconic Berlin Trilogy of albums: Low (1977), “Heroes” (1977), and Lodger (1979). The former two were recorded in West Berlin, while Lodger was actually recorded in Switzerland. Bowie has said that “Heroes”’ title track, in particular, was inspired by watching his producer Tony Visconti kiss his girlfriend against the Berlin Wall. The plaque quotes the song, “We can be heroes, just for one day.”
BY NAOMI FRY VIA PARIS REVIEW
Painting by Lucien Rudaux, ca. 1920–30.
In Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain’s oral history of punk, Please Kill Me, the ’70s LA groupie Sable Starr recounts the excitement she felt the first time she slept with David Bowie:
Upstairs at the Rainbow they have just like one table. Me and David were sitting there, with a couple of other people. And to have all your friends look up and see you—that was cool. That was really cool … Back in the hotel we were sitting around. I had to go to the bathroom, and David came in and he had a cigarette in his hand and a glass of wine. And he started kissing me—and I couldn’t believe it was happening to me, because there had been Roxy Music and J. Geils, but David Bowie was the first heavy. So we went to the bedroom and fucked for hours, and he was great … I became very famous and popular after that because it was established that I was cool. I had been accepted by a real rock star.
BLUR (as Blondie)
Who would have thought? David Bowie and Bono are gorgeous in drag! And Mick Jagger and Keith Richards aren’t! Most of these musicians seem like they are just dressing up in women’s clothes as a joke, or maybe for a photo shoot or because some sexy groupie begged them do it. All except for Keith Moon, who’s really getting into it.
BY EVAN MINSKER VIA PITCHFORK
During the latest episode of his BBC Radio 6 program “Iggy Confidential,” Iggy Pop spent two hours paying tribute to his late friend, David Bowie. He played songs from across Bowie’s discography. “The way I chose them was from memory,” he said of the playlist. “I took out a piece of paper and a pen and remembered what I liked at different times.” As he played different songs, Iggy discussed his memories of Bowie.
BY EVAN MINSKER VIA PITCHFORK
David Bowie was honored in the latest installment of “BBC Proms”—an annual series of orchestral concerts. It took place last night at London’s Royal Albert Hall and featured performances from John Cale, Amanda Palmer, Marc Almond, Laura Mvula, Anna Calvi, and others covering songs from across Bowie’s discography.