DAVID BOWIE TRIBUTE: When Hot Press met Bowie in LA

Back in 1995, Hot Press' Helena Mulkerns braved the palm trees of the Chateau Marmont in LA for an exclusive chin-wag about fame, fashion, Drag Queens, the end of the millennium, Hieronymus Bosch and, of course, his 1995 conceptual album Outside.

It is perhaps fitting to meet David Bowie within the muted confines of the most Gothic building In West Hollywood. Sweeping off the madness of Sunset Boulevard at noon, the taxi noses up into a wooded cul-de-sac, stops at the archway leading to a carved stone cloister. To get to the actual hotel entrance, you pass a series of tall windows and columns that overlook a quiet garden. The Chateau Marmont's palm trees seem magically to provide sound-proofing as well as shade from the world outside, creating an effect where, once you cross the threshold, you could almost be in another dimension.

In the tasteful surroundings of Suite 35, I await – with as blank a mind as I can muster – for David Bowie. I sit on a pine green velvet couch directly under a mammoth print of The Garden Of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch. What earthly manifestation will the man take? There have been so many. How does one greet a legendary 20th Century Rock God? One would almost be tempted to say “Hi, Elvis!” for the laugh. Suddenly, he breezes in, looking for cigarettes, addressing the publicist, criticising the orange juice, unplugging the phone. Nervous ebullience clouds invisibly out of him and fills up the room as he flops down at last into the sofa beside me to announce:

“I’ve just had a bath”

“You smell very nice, David.”

I am completely thrown. One doesn't expect Rock Gods to divulge the details of their personal ablutions at the offset. But then, David Bowie is not what you might expect, overall. You expect charm, sexiness, yes. But not bloody Dorian Gray. He is svelte, graceful, evincing a young man's demeanour, with an absence of facial wear and tear that renders him perhaps twelve years short of his 48, and a wicked grin that fixes on my forehead, which is black and blue.

“How's your head?”

The previous day, while turning onto Sunset Boulevard from Crescent, a warp speed pick-up truck smashed into the side of my car, hurtling me momentarily into oblivion. The last thing I saw was a glimmering rain of multi-hued diamonds (the side and front windscreens); the first thing that occurred to me when I came round was how unfortunate it would have been to miss this meeting. I tell him the wounds and bruises are all in the spirit of the new album. He laughs.

“It sort of sounds like that looks, actually!” He indicates the Bosch print, with its inmates squirming in pain and anguish, being burned, carved and generally tormented by devils.

“Damn,” he says, hitting his thigh in mock dismay. “So it’s been done before then … “

Thematically, Outside is without doubt as Gothic as Bosch, and in a more contemporary sense, hugely ambitious. It attempts to depict the chaos and fragmentation of so-called civilised life, now facing the end of its second millennium, within the context of a “non-linear Gothic Drama Hyper-cycle” – set in the realms of fringe Art. The story revolves around the diaries of private dick Nathan Adler, attached to “Art Crime, Inc.”, who has come across a grisly ritual-art murder. Hippies and squeamish folk beware: we glimpsed the computer-mutilated corpse on the cover of Lodger, but with Outside, the sleeve notes/short story begins:

“It was precisely 5:47am on the morning of Friday, 31 December 1999 that a dark-spirited pluralist began the dissection of 4-year-old “Baby Grace”. The arms of the victim were pin-cushioned with 16 hypodermic needles, pumping in four major preservatives … The stomach area was carefully flapped open and the intestines removed.” And that’s just for starters.

It’s as far away from the crowd-pleasing cabaret of The Glass Spider tour as it is from the jazzy romance of Black Tie, White Noise. But if what came between was a period that Bowie himself describes as one of his lowest in terms of self-esteem and creativity, the 1993 album was like a full-stop at the end of an era. Basically, a love tribute to Bowie’s bride Iman, it was at their wedding that Bowie met up again, after fourteen years, with Brian Eno, and entered into a new phase of creativity.

During the eighties, Eno had gone to Malaysia to re-group, emerging at the end of the decade as the magician for The Unforgettable Fire, later developing his work in conceptual art. He is now a professor of the subject at the Royal College Of Art in London. The two, re-united after fourteen years, discovered their mutual likes and dislikes in contemporary music trends, and decided to work on a collaborative album.

“What we’re trying to do is to lay the texture and the ambience and the sub-text which illustrates what 1995 feels like,” says Bowie. “The intent is to make a diary of the last five years of this millennium – that’s what we’re trying to do, in musical form. The interesting thing for Brian and I is that it is a continuous sage. The overall ambition is to keep working in this vein. Not only in this vein, because I think we will both make other albums as well, but the Adler Diaries per se as a collective – we’re going to keep them going, and as each year presents itself, we’re going to try and capture that year using the device of the fictional story, and building up more characters each time.”

The album features several dramatic characters, ranging from a 14-year old girl to a sleazy, ancient shopkeeper, whom Bowie depicts on the sleeve art work as with his own computer-generated images. The creation of personae, one of Bowie’s former fortes, is used this time in a more composite fashion, to enhance the plot.

“I’ve virtually left them alone since 1975/76 with The Thin White Duke,” he says. “He was the last really conceived character. Anything else was just a public stance for stage afterwards. Up until that I’d been working with characters, but then during the course of Berlin I really tried to clean up my house in many ways, and on of them was to go through myself and what my needs were as a writer and do without the characters, because psychologically they brought me a lot of trouble, and I was in no position to mess around with all that. But NOW THAT I’M OKAY … “ (he leers, jokingly) …

There are other echoes from the past, too. On board for the album are Carlos Alomar, Mike Garson (the piano player from Aladdin Sane), Reeves Gabrels, Sterling Campbell and Erzal Kizilcay, all of whom Bowie has worked with before. Thus, between Bowie, the band and Eno, stark musical memories leap out at you from the speakers: here, that searing, lonely Turkish vibe that imbued Lodger; there, the ambient lushness of Heroes; a tinkling jazz piano pirouettes across the album like a ghostly dancer; there are what sounds like some very early guitar chords and even several monologues reminiscent of the intro to “Diamond Dogs”. It seems like Bowie is back in future time, via the past. Every style you remember from your brain’s Bowie Directory is flickering on and off on your internal screens, in a sort of Dervish-Windows gig that allows a myriad of different Bowie elements to be present simultaneously, but under a carefully managed whole.

“In terms of stylisation of the album, I think that I’m almost in a situation now where I’ve got, years-wise, such a body of work since the late sixties, that for me it’s become a question of where, if I’m going to ‘appropriate’ anybody these days, it’s going to be me!

Because when you re-contextualise something, the information changes. To use a Warhol reference, for instance: when you just see Marilyn Monroe, it’s Marilyn in the black and white scheme of things right there on film. But when Warhol painted her on a canvas it almost represented 1965 – it was so incredibly modern and prescient, it just felt like the times – using a symbol from the past and re-contextualising it.

“The painter Jasper John made a career, virtually, of a similar technique. He ended up where he was only painting with his own vocabulary of images. I’m sort of getting near that, because the years do it. You can’t do it unless you have enough work to draw from, and I’m nearly in that old, sage-like position (laughs) where I actually can.”

Bowie’s art repeated art references, to recur throughout the interview, stem from the increasing time he’s been devoting to his own visual art. Earlier this year, he held an exhibition of his work in the sacrosanct realm of the British art world, London’s Court Street. Despite having received mixed reviews, museums and important collectors (e.g. Saatchi) purchased work. Bowie himself is on the board of directors of the magazine, Modern Painters, for whom he interviewed the artist Baltheus last year. His own private collection is extensive.

“It’s always been an extraordinarily important part of my life. One of the first paintings I ever bought, as a matter of fact, in the late 70s, was a Yeats, who I’m a big fan of. I’ve been painting for the same length of time. When I was a kid it was a big decision whether to stay on as a visual artist or to become a musician. I certainly was drawn to both all the time. One has been a career, the other has been a sort of back-text, but whenever I’ve made an album I’ve always found that my painting output has increased dramatically, so it does seem that they work in tandem. It’s just that I’ve been a little bit more flamboyant about it over the last two or three years. I think that’s because I’ve changed a lot. I’m getting less self-judgemental about my work, and more or less putting everything out there that I do now, these days.”

One of Bowie’s recent projects has involved several collaborative paintings with the London artist Damien Hirst (whose material and unorthodox methods have made him highly controversial). Hirst has exhibited pieces including a large pickled shark in a tank and other preserved animals. One installation even features a pregnant cat, sawn in two, each half carefully preserved and displayed in two separate cases, so you can walk between the two parts, all of which relates strongly to themes explored in the textual and narrative part of Outside.

Flesh, blood, guts and pain may be banned from MTV (as in Trent Reznor’s video escapades), but live performance (art) has taken to it in a big way. Especially in the US, where Andreas Serrano’s once-shocking “Piss Christ” pales in comparison with the antics of HIV positive artist Ron Athey (referred to in the text). His self-afflicted “crown of blood” routine, and his live, onstage carve-up of a colleague’s back in order to create blood images on paper towels for suspension above the audience, caused outrage in the more conservative American art circles.

A similar scalpel-wielding stage show is referred to on the album in one of Nathan Adler’s monologues, when he describes a performance by suspected Baby-Grace murderer Leon and renegade high-priestess of S&M, Ramona Stone.

The album and notes also refer to artists like Chris Burden (had himself shot onstage) Mark Rothko (an abstract expressionist who committed suicide), and one young Korean underground conceptualist who would have himself anaesthetised in order that body parts would be removed in front of a live audience (that was the show). While the trend can be denounced as an ever more crass and pretentious attempt to shock and gain attention by a marginal group of artists, the movement gains increasing momentum. One theory for this intensely physical expressionism is that today, when humans can become de-humanised extensions of machines, barrenly wallowing in cyberspace, this compensates by presenting the blood and guts of humanity right into your face. Bowie relates it to a more atavistic urge.

“The more focused attention I give to ritual artists ties in with a set of subjects that I’ve always been passionately interested in, that are coming into my work more obviously these days, which involve the spiritual starvation that we have, and what do we replace it with? We don’t believe in the Church, or we’ve lost faith in the Church – but how do we deal with creating a bond between ourselves and whatever is beyond?

“There are areas of sexuality and violence a that are not embraced or contained by Judeo-Christian ethics, and we feel that we don’t know how to deal with these things, or publicly see them displayed so that we can make up our own minds and manifest our fears or our exuberances about those particular areas of our lives, and I think that’s what popular culture is for. I think it’s there to take up the slack the Church won’t deal with, and that if we didn’t have a public arena for that almost gladiatorial, fight-out, that NCO-pagan blood-letting – that the world would be in an even worse condition than it is now.”

When challenged that the tone of the album seems to espouse a particularly negative spiritual flavour overall, Bowie vehemently disagrees.

“I don't believe that it’s a negative outlook, you see. I think it’s a common wisdom that at the end of every hundred years you have a psychic panic that comes into place just before you turn the century – it happens in the arts and society. I think that it has an awful lot to do with the momentum that gathers. It’s like a desperation that you’ll never get through to the next century, and I think coming up to the millennium it gets far more exaggerated, more highly focused.

“This story is indicative of the feeling that there has to be some kind of ritual sacrifice made, otherwise we won’t get into the year 2000. It’s the same with these artists – there’s some kind of mutation of some barely remembered pagan ritual going on that’s carried out in these new post-modernist ways. Its within that area. It is a dark irony and it’s supposed to be.”

Another theme on the album, which is inextricable from the kaleidoscope of musical styles involved, is that of chaos. One song is entitled, ‘I’m Deranged’, another, “No Control”. Methods for the music’s composition were often equally diverse. The process included flashcards issued at the beginning of a recording session, which might instruct the musicians: “You are the last survivor of a catastrophic event and you will endeavour to play in such as way as to prvent feelings of loneliness developing within yourself” or “You are the town crier in a society where all media networks have tumbled down”. Eno would sample snippets of radio broadcasts s they happened. Bowie would come into the studio with his cut-ups and the whole gang would jam.

Bowie’s “cut-ups” method (not the only Burroughs influence on the album my any means) has undergone a cybernetic upgrade: now he does them by punching his writing into a “verbaliser” computer programme, which cuts up what he’s just fed in for him in seconds.

“There’s so much emphasis now on the speed by which we receive information, and the voluminous quantity of the information in the States. There’s 78 Channels worth of stuff to look at on the television alone. Which means that because they are all vying for ratings, they can’t possibly pretend to cover anything in any more depth than a buzz phrase, a sound byte or a quick image. And people are receiving their information like that. And because the speed and the diversity of the output, people have lost the need to analyse anymore. They’re not looking past the surface image.

“For instance, the younger people are very adept at scanning the surface of things. And we (my generation) tend to think that shows some kind of indifference or a Philistine attitude, but I think it’s probably a transitory period. I think they’re leaning to adapt to a world which will only get more fragmented and more chaotic at this point. Everything is changing. History is breaking down, there’s revisionist history – just look how Ireland is changing radically. Overnight it’s being re-written. Every tissue of our society is being evaluated and re-written, because revisionism is really the word of the day – it means that what we end up with is really a network of histories, rather than one straight trunk which takes you back down one absolute path. “

Speaking of expansion, does Bowie fear its antithesis – the growing spread of extremism seen generally in world affairs and on a more mundane level, how it affects personal and sexual freedoms? Even in the area of Gay politics, the extreme activists have become as intolerant of non-conformists as the heterosexual conservatives they once fought against.

“There’s a lot of fear on both sides. And I think that kind of polarisation is apparent everywhere. The polemic at the moment is very tribal. And it’s a tribalism that extends through politics, through Church, fanaticism of various kinds. And it’s about finding an absolute. Absolutism and absolutes generally, again, it’s one of the fifties’ philosophic strains that ran through society and it’s been shouldered and dragged through this end of the century. It’s quite obvious that there is no absolute political system.

“What it does breed more than anything else is malicious fundamentalism. The trouble is that the ones who are getting it more than anybody else these days are the Drag Queens, because they are despised, abhorred and ostracised by everybody. By straight gays and by straights. And I can almost regard the Drag Queen as the only radical left – it’s peculiar, but it’s come back to that again.”

For somebody who was, at the height of his career, the harbinger of an all-compassing sexuality (or as he puts it himself, with a grin, “indiscriminately promiscuous”), this kind of dogma is ludicrous. I tell Bowie the story of an “outing” campaign run by one of the more extreme Queer activist groups. Names ad photos of celebrities were plastered all over walls in urban areas around US cities, in the form of imitation “Absolut Vodka” ads. The caption under Jodie Foster would be “Absolutely Queer”, the one under Paula Abdul would read, “Absolutely Straight”. Bowie suddenly erupts into hilarious snorts of laughter. “Ooooh,” he quips. “Was I on both, then?”

“No, it’s funny, because I recently saw a headline on the cover of Harpers & Bazaar, which read: BISEXUAL CHIC (laughs) – and it felt, oh God (mock shame and horror), – has it come to this? And it has!! It’s something you wear now! But it’s very funny. I guess that’s how experimentation is showing itself, because again, I think the depth aspect of it is not really there, it’s almost a surface thing. I think that to pick on something as a ‘fashionable’ thing to do is a way of assimilating information these days, like reading surfaces. Surfing the chaos sort of thing.”

Bowie does surf the Internet, and although initially intrigued by its potential has found it “a bit of a let-down”.

“I don’t have Utopian thoughts on computers of the Internet of anything else. I think it’s got up-sides and down-sides. It passes information, and voluminous information, and very quickly. But unfortunately most of the information is crap! And you think, wait a minute, why am I wading through this rubbish. They say it makes information more accessible – but it has an awful lot to do with the quality of the information you’re searching for.

“And the other thing is that I’ve always seen it, since its instigation, as a thing whose very dark side manifests itself when it becomes a force of the financial middle and upper classes. It’s divisive in the sense that a certain group of people will benefit from it and have that computer ability, but the rest of the world will suffer dramatically. Because they’ll have even less information than before, without access to computers. You won’t find some guy running around the Andes saying, “wow, you wanna see what I got on the Internet tonight …’ It isn’t going to be like that It supports the haves, and doesn’t support the have-nots.”

In that regard, Bowie is, undoubtedly very much in the former category himself at this stage in life. Nevertheless, the current album could be perceived as a risk for him. Although almost anything that Eno touches turns to artistic (and sometimes commercial) gold, Outside is, overall, decidedly dodgy. The audience that bought Never Let Me Down or Black Tie, White Noise isn’t going to touch it with a barge-pole. Can a duo of lads in their late forties swing a successful album without stopping to he greed tactics we’ve seen from some of Bowie’s contemporaries of late? Just take The Eagles tickets last summer across the US, at $125.00 a pop. Or your “Special Edition” Rolling Stones Gold Visa card, available with the Steel Wheels tour tickets purchases.

“I think I’ve ever only had one physical obsession in my life, and that was with art, and that’s the only thing I’ve ever really bothered with. Commercial success? It’s not my raison d’etre – it really isn’t. I’ve always wanted, more than anything else, just to be a successful artist, and what I mean by successful is to produce things that continue to interest me. I just want to keep surprising myself with things. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s all good.”

Once upon a time in the Eighties …

“Yes! In fact, some of the surprises were quite horrendous. But the parameters for me to stretch are those of expression. Sometimes I wonder if wanting to go out and make a lot of money – I can’t talk for anybody else – but I think I know why that happens. When a need for the love of the audience, or something – and wanting to keep up your financial status – causes you to … It also produces a nagging feeling of I’m really letting myself down. And when you let yourself down – you go shopping. I think that money will take the edge off not being creative any more, not bothering. As if by earning a lot of money, that will give me the happiness that being creative used to. So really, it doesn’t buy you happiness so much as buy you a cocoon. I don’t want that cocoon particularly. I think that what I need in my life now is just to remain creative. Because I’ve had money.

But if the album is unlikely to cause Michael Jackson to lose sleep, it certainly has potentially a brand new, young audience willing to give it a shot. In the way that Bowie retained his cool pretty much all through punk by being more out-there, skinnier, paler and generally weirder than any rock-star-sniping punk, his early music has withstood the challenges to time and served to influence a newer generation – from Kurt Cobain to Trent Reznor, with whom he is currently touring in North America.

“The interesting thing for me, is that I kind of always knew what my weight was in Europe, it was kind of self-evident. But in America, I had no comprehension that I mattered a toss over here. Then, after the Nirvana thing, I started to read things that were sent to me by my PR people in LA, on bands like NIN and Smashing Pumpkins and Stone Temple Pilots, which indicated that my work was really an integral part of their influences. That’s more than flattering, it almost validates one’s work to see it infiltrate a culture in that way.

“That it re-emerges in different guises, in different areas of that particular art form, is almost tantamount to thinking that in one’s own lifetime, one’s work has come to some kind of fruition. I can’t be anything but delighted when I see that happen.”

Generally, Bowie comes across as a Renaissance man mostly at ease with himself in the ‘90s, chaos or not. He is even optimistic.

“I think the Arts Reflect society all the time, and there is an emergence of such good music since the beginning of the ‘90s that it indicates a new kind of positivism among young people. Which has more or less destroyed that whole bland thing of the ‘80s.

“If you’d asked young people in the ’80s what music they’d take with them over the next ten years, they’d say, what? You’re crazy! Paula Abdul? Kylie Minogue? Now you ask them the same question and they’ll come up with half a dozen bands or acts from Nirvana to Pearl Jam onwards of who they'll say, that the music will take them through a lot of our lives. They will grow with this music.”

Music seems to be the main focus for Bowie right now, with the release of the new album and the US tour with NIN. But it’s certainly not the only one. He plays Warhol in a new film by American artist Julian Schnabel entitled Build A Fort, Set It On Fire on the life of the street artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat. He hopes to further develop The Adler Diaries with Brian Eno, ultimately stage them as a “piece of epic, monumental theatre, directed, ideally, by stage master Robert Wilson. His first visual arts exhibition in the US will take place later this year, and he expresses his wish to “pummel Britain with my art until they give in.”

He confirms that he will be creating a Minotaur with Damien Hirst just as soon as the human who has donated his body for this project after his death obliges, and that they even plan to build a labyrinth for it on a small island near the Hebrides.

I remind Bowie that precisely 22 years ago to the month, he caused widespread panic staging a “Retirement Gig” at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, in order to guillotine the monster, Ziggy. Yet here we are another decade, another monster and an end-of-millennium album that Ziggy probably would have approved of (remember 5 Years?). Bowie laughs, and begins to speak before I fully formulate my question.

“The last five or six years, really, since the end of the ‘80s, have been just wonderful. I’ve been very fortunate in my personal life. But also, what I do as an artist has been so fulfilling. As I get older, for me the priorities fast become quality of life, and each day I don’t want to fuck about.

“I don’t really want to waste my time, because there’s so much more that I want to do and say and paint and make music on and all that, and I love it. I really love it. I love being an artist. It’s my chosen profession, and I just think I’m getting better at it, and this is definitely the wrong time to quit.”

 

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David Bowie's parting gift to us still remains on top.

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HMV Not Aiming To Take On Netflix!

Reports that HMV are to close down their four Irish stores have been confirmed – but news reports that the company’s new online platform will go head to head with streaming giant, Netflix, are not accurate.

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Conor J. O'Brien among those performing at Proms Bowie Tribute

He's joining the likes of Marc Almond, John Cale & Amanda Palmer in the Royal Albert Hall

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David Bowie's The Man Who Fell To Earth Returning to Cinemas

He left earth too soon but the icon will be back on the big screen in restored glory.

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David Bowie's lock of hair sold for $18,750

Prince’s Yellow Cloud guitar sold at the same auction.

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A Lock of David Bowie's Hair to be Sold

The English icon's hair is up for sale but it will cost you.

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David Bowie Inspired Ballet To Launch In Detroit

The Starman's music has become a dance performance.

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David Bowie To Be Honoured At Fashion Awards

The Council of Fashion Designers of America is to pay tribute to the late music icon

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LISTEN: David Bowie's Unreleased Music Vault Raided by BBC

A new BBC4 documentary will give previously unheard music from the late Starman its first offical airing.

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Unseen Photos of David Bowie on display

Previously unseen images of the British pop legend on show in new exhibit.

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David Bowie Vinyl Breaks Discogs' Price Record

The late singer's album A Space Oddity has sold for nearly €6,000

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The Best Selling Vinyl Of 2016

As record sales continue to soar, we take a look at the top ten sellers.

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WATCH: New lyric video for David Bowie's 'I Can't Give Everything Away'

There's a smile on our face but a tear in our eye...

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WATCH: Animated Visual for David Bowie's 'I Can't Give Everything Away'

It's impossible to chart the influence David Bowie had on music and culture before his untimely death but today the video for 'I Can't Give Everything Away' is another reminder of the insurmountable loss.

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David Bowie tribute gig to be streamed on Skype

Fans are being asked asked for a charity donation in return for their ringside seat

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WATCH: David Bowie's first film appearance

The X-rated 1969 short he starred in, The Image, has surfaced online

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Two limited edition David Bowie picture discs to be released on Record Store Day

It has just been announced that the two picture discs will be released on Record Store Day 2016 being held on April 16

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WATCH: David Bowie receives Icon Award at the Brits

Annie Lennox, Gary Oldman and Lorde paid fitting tribute to the Thin White Duke

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Watch: Lady Gaga Pays Tribute To David Bowie At The Grammys

The pop star activist morphs between Bowie eras

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LISTEN: Amanda Palmer, Anna Calvi & Neil Gaiman collaborate on Bowie tribute

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Tribute: Ricky Warwick on David Bowie

When I was playing guitar with New Model Army back in 1987, we were lucky enough to support David Bowie in Berlin. He played a gig in front of the Reichstag on the Glass Spider tour, and we performed in front of 80,000 people. The Wall was still up, and you could hear people on the other side in East Berlin, pressed up against it and listening to the concert.

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David Bowie: Hooked To The Silver Screen

In addition to his groundbreaking music career, David Bowie also delivered a series of fine film performances.

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Lady Gaga To Honour David Bowie At The Grammys

The pop star activist will perform a tribute to the late musicial icon.

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David Bowie: A Celebration

A dominant artistic force for five decades, David Bowie meant so many different things to so many different people. As the rock ‘n’ roll world struggles to come to terms with his death, we talk to the Irishman who served as his musical director, Gerry Leonard, and recall the Hot Press interviews with everyone from Morrissey and Nile Rodgers to Chris Hadfield and Brandon Flowers, in which his talents were celebrated.

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Download David Bowie's Blackstar cover artwork for free

It's a lovely gesture from the London company that designed the elements

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HamSandwich, Le Galaxie, Nanu Nanu & VANN Music members recreate classic Bowie looks

It's the brilliant work of Dublin snapper Ruth Medjber

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David Bowie - Blackstar

One Last Time For The Man Who Fell To Earth

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Bono Pays Tribute To David Bowie

The U2 frontman has talked to Rolling Stone about his relationship with an artist, who was one of the great icons of the 1970s...

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David Bowie continues to head up Irish chart with Blackstar

Blackstar is, once again, the biggest seller of the week

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Listen to David Bowie Impersonate Neil Young, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop and more

Producer Mark Saunders shares incredible recordings of David Bowie impersonating Neil Young, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop and lots more after a 1985 recording session in London

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Bono, Noel Gallagher & Damon Albarn rumoured for Bowie supergroup in Brits tribute

If the industry grapevine is correct, an A-list line-up is gathering to honour the legendary artist.

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Bruce Springsteen, Robbie Williams, Rufus Wainwright & Melissa Etheridge cover Bowie

The heartfelt on stage tributes continue!

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New Star Formation Named After David Bowie

With a spider already named in his honour, it was inevitable that the Star Man would be honoured in space...

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David Bowie’s Blackstar Shoots To No.1 In Ireland

There are six David Bowie albums in the Irish Top 30 this week, following the sad news about the death of the rock icon announced earlier in the week...

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David Bowie, Natalie Merchant, Suede & Run The Jewels star in Free Music Friday

Ghostface Killah, Enio Morricone, Madonna & Glen Hansard also get in on the act!

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David Bowie to be honoured at this years Brit Awards

David Bowie is to be honoured at this years ceremony two years after receiving the award for Best Male following the release of 2013 album The Next Day

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Dublin events scheduled to celebrate life of David Bowie

The Lighthouse Cinema and The Sugar Club are among the first to line up events to mark the legend's passing

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From the Hot Press archives - stars discuss David Bowie

Billy Corgan, Morrissey, Robert Smith and Moby are just a few of the artists who spoke to us over the years about the musical icon; we crack open the vault to gather some of the most entertaining, poignant and important recollections

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David Bowie Festival & Vigil, Dublin

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Further tributes pour in to the late, great David Bowie

Old friend Richard Branson, and devoted admirer Joe Elliott have shared their thoughts, as well as some of the cream of Irish music

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Watch: David Bowie’s Most Popular Duets

We take a look at some of David Bowie’s best known and most loved collaboration’s that he has brought us through the years.

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Bono pays tribute to David Bowie

A short and sweet message from the U2 man

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The Rolling Stones, Tony Visconti and Snow Patrol pay tribute to David Bowie

Stars continue to honour the departed superstar

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WATCH: David Bowie through the rock 'n' roll ages

From 'Space Oddity' to 'Lazarus', the Thin White Duke remembered...

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Stars react to the death of David Bowie

From astronauts and actors to musicians and journalists, tributes to the departed Starman are flying in from all over the world

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David Bowie vigil set for Grand Social tonight

Venue for Dublin Bowie Festival will celebrate his incredible night tonight

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David Bowie dies at the age of 69.

The world of music has been left reeling as David Bowie has passed away.

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LISTEN: Full stream of new David Bowie album Blackstar

The long-awaited long player is finally here

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WATCH: David Bowie releases video for Lazarus

The Thin White Duke has unveiled the full promo for his latest single

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UPDATE: David Bowie Releases Another Teaser For 'Lazarus'

We are just days away from the release of the singer's new album

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David Bowie Shares New Single 'Lazarus'

The Thin White Duke has released an early Christmas present for music fans everywhere.

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Bowie Teases Second Track From New Album Blackstar

Columbia Records have teased the track 'Lazarus' on its YouTube channel.

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David Bowie to release new single 'Lazarus' this Friday

'Lazarus' will be the second track to be released from his forthcoming album Blackstar.

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David Bowie's Forthcoming Album Features James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem

James Murphy brings his own brand of idiosyncratic percussion to Bowie's hotly anticipated new album.

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WATCH: New David Bowie video

The 'Blackstar' promo is stunning!

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New David Bowie album out January

With a single premiering tonight!

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WATCH: The Last Panthers sneak peek features song by David Bowie

The upcoming European crime drama will be released through Sky Atlantic on November 12

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David Bowie to release Blackstar album + a classic Hot Press interview

There's a single in November with the parent LP following in 2016 on his birthday

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WATCH: David Bowie scores the music for the Last Panthers opening credits

The still Thin White Duke is in top soundtracking form!

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David Bowie supplies the theme for new Sky Atlantic blockbuster

The Jones boy and The Last Panthers are hitting screens in November

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David Bowie to release Five Years 1969-1973 boxset

The new box set documenting Bowie's long career is due out on CD, vinyl and digitally this September

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New David Bowie box set on the way this autumn

FIVE YEARS 1969 – 1973 charts the Star Man's early days. PHOTO CREDIT: Brian Ward

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David Bowie book edited by Limerick academics

University of Limerick sees book emerge from 2012 conference

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Irish playwright working with David Bowie

Enda Walsh is collaborating with the Jones boy on a The Man Who Fell To Earth spin-off

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Archive Articles: Happy Birthday David Bowie

We dig into the Hot Press vaults and present a vintage interview with the iconic musician and a recent chat with his right-hand man.

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Bowie associates to perform classic album in Dublin

There’s some excellent pre-Christmas news for David Bowie fans with former Spiders From Mars drummer Woody Woodmansey, producer Tony Visconti and Heaven 17 man Glenn Gregory announcing a June 24 visit to the Dublin Olympia.

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David Bowie 'Sue (Or In A Season Of Crime)' - Track Review

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LISTEN: New David Bowie song

'Tis A Pity She Was A Whore' is the provocatively named track that has debuted on BBC Radio 6 Music.

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LISTEN: New David Bowie song

'Sue (Or In A Season Of Crime)' is streaming online now.

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David Bowie reveals new album artwork

Nothing Has Changed gets its release next month and includes the track, 'Sue (Or In A Season Of Crime)'

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David Bowie reveals compilation artwork

For his forthcoming 'best of'...

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David Bowie announces new single, massive compilation

'Sue' will feature on Nothing Has Changed

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David Bowie tribute tomorrow night

All-star line-up pay tribute to the Thin White Duke

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David Bowie confirms new material is on the way

The Thin White Duke has stopped being quite so cryptic and promised new music "soon".

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RECORD STORE DAY: David Bowie Release Plans

Plans special picture discs.

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WATCH: Bowie in Louis Vuitton short film

The Thin White Duke confirms his "fashion icon" credentials in a new ad for the French designer.

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David Bowie to return to the stage?

Could the Thin White Duke be coming out of live retirement?

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LISTEN & WATCH: David Bowie unveils four new tracks + video

Four new tracks from the expanded edition of David Bowie’s The Next Day have appeared online.

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David Bowie to release The Next Day special edition

'The Next Day Extra' hits this November...

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WATCH: New Bowie video

'Valentine's Day' is the latest single released from his The Next Day.

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David Bowie pays tribute to bassist Trevor Bolder

The former Spiders From Mars man sadly passed away yesterday...

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Astronaut performs Bowie classic from outer space

Chris Hadfield is the first person to record a music video in outer space...

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Catholic League attack Bowie's latest video

It seems the veteran artist can still conjure up controversy.

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David Bowie unveils controversial Next Day vid

The Thin White Duke's run of cinematic promos continues...

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Bowie breaks silence on new album

... In the form of a cryptic 42 word description of The Next Day

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The Stars (Are Out Tonight)

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The Sane Event

The classic image of David Bowie from Aladdin Sane is part of a major visual celebration of the singer at the Victoria and Albert Museum...

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David Bowie Goes No.1 In Ireland

The Next Day goes straight in at the top of the Irish album chart...

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David Bowie: The Next Day

Brilliant comeback from rock icon...

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David Bowie's Wife Hints at Upcoming World Tour

Supermodel Iman makes comments that suggest a Bowie world tour...

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About A Bowie

It had been years since anyone had heard from David Bowie, the rock icon who seemed happier to fade away rather than burn out. But suddenly, in January, came a new single with his first album in a decade to follow. Stuart Clark reflects on the Thin White Duke’s remarkable career, and then talks to his right-hand man, Dubliner GERRY LEONARD, about 2013’s most-anticipated return.

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David Bowie streaming new album

Check out The Next Day ahead of its official release date...

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David Bowie's back: New Hot Press in shops today!

Inside we've got a David Bowie feature, Johnny Marr, Cillian Murphy, Stereophonics, James Blake, Passenger and Gabrielle Aplin...

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WATCH: New Bowie video

Tilda Swinton stars in the promo for 'The Stars (Are Out Tonight)'

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Where Are We Now?

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Track of the fortnight: David Bowie

We've also reviewed new music from Little Green Cars, ASIWYFA, Atoms For Peace and Femmepop...

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Bowie Producer Opens Up On New Album

David Bowie's long-time producer Tony Visconti has spoken about new album The Next Day...

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LISTEN: Bowie is back

He has a new track you can listen to now and a new album coming in March.

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When Hot Press met David Bowie

Stuart Clark sat down with the legendary singer in 1999...

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Celebrate Bowie's birthday

As the Thin White Duke turns 65...

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Bowie set to release Live In Dublin DVD

Those in attendance at Bowie's Point shows last year will soon be able to relive the memories on DVD

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David Bowie

Normally I’m of the opinion that God’s a bit of a bastard, but today all he/she/it has done is smile on the House of Clark..

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Bowie to headline Witnness 2004?

Good news for Glaswegians today may signal great news for Irish fans tomorrow, as David Bowie confirms for T In The Park

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Bowie takes Dublin by Storm

The 16,000 fans who attended David Bowie's Point Theatre gigs (pics Roger Woolman) will be able to see themselves on the telly next year. Yup, the Thin White Duke has decided to immortalise the Dublin leg of his Reality World Tour on DVD.

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Reality

Instead of trying to be self-consciously cutting edge, Bowie spends most of his 26th studio album belting out orthodox rock ‘n’ roll songs with a band that includes long-time friend, producer and vibemaster Tony Visconti.

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Play it again, Dave!

Well, ok then: Second David Bowie date announced for Dublin's Point Theatre

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David Bowie to play Dublin

The still-Thin White Duke brings his 'A Reality Tour' to The Point

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Remember this classic album: David Bowie's The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars

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Remember this classic album: David Bowie's The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars

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Everyone Says Hi

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The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars

Although this 30th anniverary edition of the album doesn't actually add a lot more to the already expanded edition released over ten years ago, it does remind you again of its classic status

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Heathen

Heathen may not be the spectacular return to form that some people are claiming, but it’s certainly a far more cohesive affair than its predecessors, Earthling and …hours, which both buckled under the weight of their experimentation.

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All Saints - Collected Intrumentals 1977-99

Drawing heavily on his Berlin, post Thin White Duke period and the albums Heroes and Low in particular, All Saints is something of a mixed bag.

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Bowie At The Beeb

Hey pop pickers, get a load of this. 37 classic performances from the thin white duke, recorded at the then fledgling BBC Radio 1 studios between 1968 and '72, as the whole world went Hunky Dory.

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Wowed By Bowie

A new album, an exclusive gig and opinions on Velvet Goldmine, the Internet and life, love and happiness. STUART CLARK meets the legendary DAVID BOWIE.

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Buddha Of Suburbia

KATE BUSH: “Moments Of Pleasure” (EMI); DAVID BOWIE: “Buddha Of Suburbia” (Arista)

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Bowie - The Singles Collection

DAVID BOWIE: "Bowie - The Singles Collection" (EMI)

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Scary Monsters and Super Creeps

Just one theory, that's all. Just one… David Bowie, a man of many facets, facades, both factional and fictional.

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