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I heard the News today*… Blackstar’s adaptation and interpretation; Rock and Roll Star’s success; reflections on collaborating with and covering Bowie; Bowie’s ghost and much more!

Welcome to my weekly summary of Bowie news, where I gather and highlight the most interesting stories and updates related to David Bowie. The bolded titles link to the original articles summarized below. This week offered a rich mix of stories, including concert reviews, retrospectives, and intriguing anecdotes about Bowie’s life and influence. While there are always more stories about Bowie or mentioning him, here are the highlights I’ve selected.

Blackstar Symphony Comes to Washington, D.C. Blackstar bandleader and saxophonist Donny McCaslin and conductor Jules Buckley brought their Blackstar Symphony to the Kennedy Center in Washington last week. Count this among the many Bowie-related shows I wish I could have attended. The concert featured an orchestral adaptation of Bowie’s final album, performed by the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Buckley, with McCaslin and his jazz group contributing significantly. The concert included performances by vocalists David Poe, Gail Ann Dorsey, and John Cameron Mitchell, who delivered renditions of tracks from Blackstar and other Bowie classics, making for an emotional and memorable tribute The story I’m linking to here is paywalled. But I’m including it because it’s from the Washington Post, which in addition to being a national paper is also the paper of record for Wahington. There are plenty of other on-line accounts of the evening, so if you can’t get into this one, Google will help you find others.

Blackstar as apocalyptic warning? This story contemplates that Bowie’s last album was not simply a reflection about his own pending death, but about a pending potential apocalypse. Considering how much bad stuff has happened since Bowie died, the theory might have some legitimacy…

Rock and Roll Star Charts in the US. After becoming the 71st Bowie album to chart in the UK, the posthumous box set has reached Billboard.

The 51st anniversary of Bowie killing off Ziggy. Well, that happened on July 3rd. This brief article puts the event in the context of what else happened in rock history on that day.

How Janet Armstrong came to record “Absolute Beginners” with Bowie. There’s kind of a long leadup in this story before Janet is even introduced, but this is the story of how she ended up on the song.

When Bowie and David Gilmour teamed up. This article recounts the memorable occasion when Bowie joined Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour on stage at the Royal Albert Hall in 2006 to perform “Arnold Layne” and “Comfortably Numb.” It highlights the unique collaboration between the two iconic musicians, their mutual respect, and the impact of their duet, which captivated the audience and remains a significant moment in music history.

“Can You Hear Me” makes The Bear Soundtrack. This article provides an overview of the soundtrack for Season 3 of the FX series The Bear, highlighting its diverse range of music that enhances the show’s dramatic and emotional moments. Among the featured songs, David Bowie’s “Can You Hear Me” (1975) is included in the season’s final episode. Actually, that’s the singular piece of Bowie news in the article, so unless you want to know what else is featured, you don’t need to read the rest of the article.

Bowie’s Impact on Phil Collen. In a recent interview, Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen discussed the band’s upcoming Summer Stadium Tour and shared memorable experiences, including seeing David Bowie and Mick Ronson perform live. Collen recalled being mesmerized by Bowie’s performance and the profound influence it had on his musical journey.

Bowie’s ghost haunting island of Mustique. Bowie’s biographer, Dylan Jones, claims that Bowie’s ghost haunts the Caribbean island of Mustique, where Bowie and his wife Iman owned a home, with sightings reported at local spots like Basil’s Bar and the Cotton House Hotel​.

Nolan on casting Bowie. Bowie made a rare late-in-career movie appearance in Christopher Nolan’s film The Prestige, playing the role of Nikola Tesla after initially rejecting the offer. Nolan, breaking his usual casting rule, flew to New York to personally convince Bowie to take the part, as he believed no one else could portray the character with the same resonance.

Uncut’s Glam Guide. Uncut’s latest special edition, “The Ultimate Genre Guide to Glam,” explores glam rock, featuring icons including Bowie and highlighting their significant contributions to the genre.

Yara Lapidus discusses covering Bowie The Lebanese-French artist has become the first to adapt a David Bowie song into Arabic with her rendition of “The Man Who Sold the World,” featured on her new EP Orientée as a tribute to peace​.

Rick Brewster on meeting Bowie. Rick Brewster of The Angels discusses their latest album, Ninety Nine, and shares memories of their 1978 tour with David Bowie, including a personal encounter where Bowie complimented their band and showed humility about his own work.

Not about the Bowie song… Anna Krauze discusses her new play “We Can Be Heroes,” which, despite its title, is not about David Bowie’s song but explores the concept of what it means to be a superhero, featuring a character named Peanut who narrates the story of her brother, a superhero scared of rain and thunder.

Why Bowie remade “Cat People” for Let’s Dance. As you probably can guess, Bowie decided to remake his song “Cat People (Putting Out Fire)” to align it with the slicker, more commercial sound of his Let’s Dance album, addressing his dissatisfaction with the original production and its darker tone, thus creating a version he felt was more cohesive with his evolving musical direction. The original, darker version has subsequently been used in multiple other movie soundtracks and I like it better!

Bowie inspired Clive Owen. At the Karlovy Vary Film Festival, Clive Owen shared that his desire to become an actor was inspired by David Bowie, whose creativity and artistry sparked his imagination as a child.

Far Out Bowie stories of the week: Was Bowie intimidated by Lou Reed?; Bowie gave Hugh Jackman the nickname ‘Scalper;‘; Bowie as inverse of Jerry Garcia; How “Life on Mars” changed Bono’s worldview; How “Always Crashing in the Same Car” ‘floored’ St. Vincent.

And with that, we’ve finished our news…*

“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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