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I heard the news today*… David Bowie News of the Week: Earl Slick, Chris Stein, Jon Bon Jovi, Diane von Furstenberg reflect on Bowie… and more!

This my weekly summary of news of the about Bowie. The bolded titles link to the original stories I summarize below. As always, there were actually more stories either about Bowie, or in which Bowie is at least mentioned, but this is my selection of the highlights.
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Guitarist Earl Slick on David Bowie’s Sobriety. During the 1970s, David Bowie was known for heavy drug use. By the time he recorded The Next Day in 2013, he embraced a healthier lifestyle, indulging in espresso and biscotti instead. While promoting his new book, Guitarist Earl Slick reminisced about their old habits but highlighted their shift to more wholesome treats during recording sessions, marking Bowie’s transformation and focus on sobriety later in his career. Slick has told different stories in different interviews, and in THIS ONE, in which he says, “nobody turns down free cocaine,” he kinda tells the opposite of the first.

Blondie guitarist also reflects on Bowie. Chris Stein of Blondie discusses his experiences with David Bowie and Debbie Harry in his new book Under a Rock, sharing anecdotes and reflections on their influence on his life and career.

Bon Jovi witnessed the recording of “Under Pressure.” Jon Bon Jovi recalls witnessing David Bowie’s iconic performance of “Under Pressure.” In a recent interview, Bon Jovi shared his admiration for Bowie, highlighting the profound impact of seeing him perform this legendary track live. I had never heard this story before!

It was almost a night to remember… In a candid interview, designer Diane von Furstenberg shared that she once considered a threesome with Mick Jagger and David Bowie. She revealed the incident while discussing her life and experiences in the rock and fashion worlds. Makes me think of the Bowie line, “you’re the great mistake I never made…”

Citroën Commercial. David Bowie might have enjoyed the new Citroën commercial, according to those who worked on it. The ad, featuring Bowie’s song “Space Oddity,” aims to celebrate creativity and innovation, qualities synonymous with the artist. Bowie’s estate approved the use of the song, suggesting the artist’s likely approval of the campaign. The commercial showcases a journey of a young woman in a Citroën vehicle, capturing the spirit of exploration and discovery that Bowie embodied in his music and life. At least the people who made the ad thought Bowie might like it…

Bowie’s debut album to be reissued on vinyl. The self-titled debut album by David Bowie is set for a vinyl reissue. Originally released in 1967, this album showcases Bowie’s early musical explorations and eclectic style. The reissue will feature a newly remastered version, offering fans a chance to experience the album with enhanced audio quality. Personally, I don’t like the album– I don’t think Bowie had hit his stride, but if you are a fan and want it on vinyl, your chance is coming soon!

And even before that… Bowie’s first single, “Liza Jane,” released under the name Davie Jones with the King Bees in 1964, marked the beginning of his career as a recording artist. The song, a cover of an old blues tune, showcases Bowie’s early interest in American rhythm and blues. Despite its lack of commercial success, “Liza Jane” is significant as Bowie’s first official recording. Also, as a song, I like this more than anything on the 1967 album.

Rat Sculptures Honoring Mick Ronson. In Ronson’s hometown of Hull several rat sculptures have been installed to honor the late guitarist renowned for his collaboration with David Bowie. These sculptures, created by the artist known as “Pyramid,” commemorate Ronson’s legacy and his significant impact on the music world. Each rat sculpture symbolizes a different aspect of Ronson’s career and contributions, reflecting his enduring influence and the respect he commands in his hometown and beyond. Ronson’s first band was called, “The Rats.”

Far Out Bowie stories of the week: The Band David Bowie Absolutely Needed. Bowie described The Spiders from Mars as an essential component to his musical evolution and success. No surprise there… Two Songs Bowie Wrote with Lou Reed in Mind. David Bowie revealed that “Queen Bitch” and “The Bewlay Brothers” were the only songs he specifically wrote with Lou Reed in mind. How Bowie Achieved Artistic Freedom with 1. Outside. Bowie experimented with fragmented narratives and avant-garde influences to create the 1995 album, which, while controversial among some fans, is actually one of my favorites.

The man had marketable skills. This story from The Mirror recounts how Bowie once found himself mistaken for a tour guide while exploring in Mexico.

Reflections on a concert from half a century ago. Bowie’s performance at the Gaumont Theatre in Worcester (the UK Worcester, not the one in Massachusetts) is fondly remembered in this local publication, capturing a memorable moment in the city’s musical history.

Reflecting on Lodger as the album turns 45. The American Songwriter highlights the final piece of Bowie’s Berlin Trilogy. Unlike “Heroes” and Low , Lodger was recorded in Switzerland and New York. The album features experimental techniques, including Oblique Strategies cards and instrument switching, resulting in a blend of different styles and moods. You probably already knew that, but for whatever reason I don’t think this near-great album gets its due and is certainly worth revisiting.

Never-before-seen photo of Bowie. An previously unknown photo of a young, half-naked David Bowie, wearing a sock and a sheet, taken by Arthur Sharp, is set for auction in Derbyshire, with the entire collection expected to fetch £10,000.

Bowie the soccer fan. This paywalled story from The Telegraph is about how Bowie became obsessed with soccer– referred to in this British publication as “football” — during the 2002 World Cup. I have to say, this is another story I had never heard and seems to be the kind of detail that normally doesn’t make for news 22 years later. But hey, I’m not British so maybe I just don’t understand…

I’ve heard the news today” is Bowie’s adaptation of the Beatles lyric, which is heard in “Young Americans.” “We’ve finished our news” is a line from, “Oh You Pretty Things”.

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