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Bowie on the cover of Uncut Magazine

Bowie makes another magazine cover this month, with the May 2024 issue of Uncut, which also includes a CD sampling several musicians but packaged to pay homage to the cover of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. The issue apparently has a couple of alternate covers, both of which I’m including here. At the risk of simply providing the magazine free advertisement, click HERE is you want to order a copy (which you can do– you don’t have to subscribe.

The magazine’s website describes the Bowie feature as such:

“ONE of my favourite moments of the new David Bowie boxset, covering the birth of Ziggy Stardust, is the demo of “Soul Love” recorded at Haddon Hall in November 1971. The tape has evidently been made for Mick Ronson and, after playing the song through, Bowie leaves a message for his co-conspirator. “I think we should work on that as a single, Mick,” he begins, going on to list ideas for arrangements he has in mind for the song, based around a “heavy, warm sax lineup”. Bowie’s ideas are clear, precise and detailed, revealing a lot about his ability to imagine how a finished song might sound. After this, there’s a pause, then Bowie signs off in the kind of cute parentese he might have used with his then-six-month-old son, Zowie. “Oo-kay? Right ’den.” In the space of just a few moments, we have heard from several different David Bowies: the performer, the composer, the friend. Three months after this charming, intimate recording, another David Bowie came into focus when Ziggy Stardust made his earthly debut on stage at the Toby Jug, a pub off the A3.

“A lot has already been written about Bowie’s stellar trajectory during 1971/1972. But for our cover story, Peter Watts has unearthed what feels like a genuinely fresh tale, full of alternate versions, discarded recordings, different track listings and paths not taken. You might wonder, then, what might have been had Bowie ended up playing slide guitar on “Starman” – and how that might have looked during that July 6, 1972 Top Of The Pops performance…”

I post these types of magazine covers as further evidence that Bowie has transcended his human form and has become a part of our larger culture. of course, a magazine like Uncut is really at least partially reflective and Bowie is not the only musician of the past to grace its cover, but this also isn’t the only magazine trying to sell issues by putting Bowie on the cover of late.

I’ve been playing with the idea that David Bowie was actually a character and thus can “live on” in the sense that the same character can be portrayed by others. Bowie, of course, wasn’t the “real name” of David Jones, and all the versions of “David Bowie” were themselves characters. But “David Bowie” was a kind of meta character, much like James Bond or Sherlock Holmes. I haven’t fully developed this thought yet, but I think the idea gives greater currency to the image here of Jones playing Bowie playing Ziggy. David Jones might have left us, but David Bowie lives.

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