A WEEKLY DIARY EXCLUSIVELY WRITTEN FOR MIRABELLE MAGAZINE
1st March 1975
I've been having a great time grovelling around on the floor with bits of paper, glue, cardboard and marking pens. Yes, I'm in the midst of designing sets for my new movie and to see what I'm doing I must make tiny designs (they're called mock-ups) of what the set will look like. So I'm building miniature buildings, ruins and suchlike and having the time of my life. I'm turning into quite and architect! Of course, I'm working under adverse conditions. Zowie doesn't understand that his dad is doing very serious work and insists on playing with the sets whenever I'm not looking but, aside from that, things seem to be going along rather smoothly.
I've even begun casting for my film. Zee, MainMan's president, used to be an actor before he became a businessman, and this film is going to be his screen debut. He's really a good actor (the first time I met him was when he was in London appearing in Andy Warhol's 'Pork') - and both he and I are really excited about this project. I love putting all my friends to work!
As it stands now, I've decided not to have any music in the movie. Won't that be a change of pace? This is going to be terribly dramatic you see!
I've been watching all my favourite movies in my film library to learn the techniques I like, and I've even been watching telly again. They show a lot of really old films on television over here. The problem is that sometimes I find myself tuning into these really silly quiz shows and I become so mesmerised that I waste hours and hours. I still can't understand what makes people get dressed up as tomatoes and grapefruits to win prizes!
Back to my movie - I haven't yet decided where it will be filmed, but probably I'll choose some warm sunny place like Mexico or Spain. Or maybe this time I'll really have a chance to get to South America. I'm still waiting for my vacation!
Let's see what else is new? Oh, yes I did take some time out to see my old friend Cherry Vanilla when she was appearing at Reno Sweeney's. Cherry recites poetry and she's absolutely fantastic!
That's about it for today. More news next week.
The other day I had Zows all to myself - something that very rarely happens. Usually, there's someone around to pick up his toys and to keep him busy while I'm working, but on this occasion I had full responsibility for his activities.
It took only a few hours to discover that I wouldn't be able to get any work done with my darling son underfoot, so I decided to take drastic measures. I would take Zowie to the movies! Now, that sounds a lot easier than it really is, you know. First, of all, there are almost no movies around these days for four year olds. And secondly, I almost never venture out into the 'cold, cruel world' by myself - at least not during the day! I'm definitely a night person.
At any rate, Zowie had been cooped up in the house all day long, so like a good father, I bundled him and myself up and started out to see what we could find. Luckily, there was a Disney movie - 'Dumbo' - showing right down the road, so that's where we landed. Well, there I was sitting in one of the first rows, feeling quite silly. I mean, really, what was a grown man doing watching a movie about a flying elephant? Zowie, was enjoying it though, and - I must be honest - by about halfway through the film, you couldn't have dragged me out of the cinema!
After the movie, Zowie and I were both starving, so we went to this place that Angie has taken Zowie to in the past. It's called McDonalds and it's really just about a national institution. I promise I will never go back there again! I've never tasted anything so ghastly in my life! I had a hamburger - at least they call it a hamburger - and it took me about five minutes just to find the meat that they'd squeezed in between all the pickles, mustard, ketchup, lettuce and bread.
Zowie really loved his hamburger, however, and Angie's told me that McDonalds is really the place to be, so I think that in the future I'll let those two have the pleasure of going together!
That's how my son and I spent that day and we'll have to do it more often - daylight isn't so bad, after all!
One great thing about living in New York (and something that New Yorkers always seem to take for granted) is that there is always something exciting to do or see. And these past few days I've been out doing and seeing even more than usual!
Firstly, let me tell you about Richard Bernstein's gallery showing and party. Richard Bernstein is a very popular artist in these parts so just everyone was at the Lajeski Gallery to see his first exhibition - and to partake of the fine food and drink served afterwards. The gallery itself is very modern, and it was the perfect place to show Richard's very bizarre, pro-arty paintings and graphics. And stealing the show from Richard's work were the costumes worn by the party guests.
Cherry Vanilla arrived wearing a really bright blue velvet coat with a matching feather boa and her hair is the brightest red you've ever seen - brighter than mine ever was - and taking the rest of Vanilla's ensemble into consideration, she wound-up looking very colourful!
I had a fabulous time - especially at the party afterwards! It took a while for everyone to get warmed up, but when they do, the dance floor was jumping, the noise level was really high, and it certainly turned out to be a party to be remembered!
The next glittering event I attended was the Roxy Music concert where everyone turned up to see the marvellous Bryan Ferry. Bryan isn't as hugely popular here as he is in England, but he will be - with the help of some of his fans who include Andy Warhol, Richard Bernstein, Amanda Lear and me!
There was a small get-together after the show at a new restaurant called Lady Astor's. Since Max's Kansas City closed everyone who used to go there for a meal or a drink or just to hang out to meet old friends, has been looking for a new hang-out to take its place. Well, it seems Lady Astor's has turned into the new place! All the artists and musicians and glitter crowd who could be seen at Max's each and every night have turned up there! It's quite a strange place. It rather looks like the lobby of an elegant old hotel in the '20's.
Wish you were here...
Love On Ya!
The Bowie family had its own private power failure the other evening. It was during one of my first days back in New York and I was just delighted to be back in my own house in the midst of my familiar surroundings. I was relishing the thought that I had a whole evening to myself with which to do anything I wanted.
I started experimenting with all my 'toys'. I switched on my stereo, turned on my TV and began contemplating what film I could put on my movie projector for the night's entertainment. I was also looking forward to a wonderful home-cooked meal which Angie was busy preparing in the kitchen.
Suddenly, everything came to a dead halt! The TV stopped, the stereo went off in mid-record and all the lights blacked out totally - I was sitting in complete darkness!
Now, I must say that I never panic in these situations - I also never know what to do and I'd probably be sitting in the dark right at this very minute if it were left up to me! However, I gathered my wits about me and went downstairs to tell Angie of my dilemma. Angie told me not to worry, that it was probably just a blown fuse and that she'd be able to fix it in a matter of seconds. And so, armed with a torch and a selection of new fuses, the fearless Angie descended the stairs to the basement to find the fusebox.
Anyway, no sooner had she taken out the old fuse and put in a new one when all the lights in the entire house went out, the radio went off and all the kitchen appliances went dead. At this point we decided that we'd better call in an electrician before we managed to black-out the whole neighbourhood!
Meanwhile, we were absolutely starving. But, thanks to the power failure, dinner was only half-cooked and very inedible. Angie took her torch and peered in the fridge, finally coming up with some leftover road beef and soggy bread. By the way, the fridge was rapidly defrosting at this point. We were quite a sight, eating soggy sandwiches by candlelight.
When the electrician finally came to investigate we received him as if he were our long lost brother. Really, at that point, there wasn't anyone in the world I wanted to see more! He went down to the dungeon, found out that it was indeed blown fuses - Angie was on the right track - and he reminded us gently that this is what does happen when you use every appliance in the house!
I'm turning into quite a mad-movie maker these days! As I told you, I'm making that 'Diamond Dogs' film and I'm really getting into it. Every room in the house is just littered with spools of video tape and people have to be careful wherever they walk so as not to trip over wires from the various machines, photographs or odd lengths of film.
I had some friends over the other night and I'm afraid I nearly drove them crazy with my latest artistic endeavour. They walked into the living-room and had to climb over three stereos (for my mood music), my video tape machine, four big lights (the kind they use on movie sets) and reams and reams of paper which I had scattered all about. The paper, you see, is what I use to write down all my plot ideas and scene ideas and such, but when the time comes for me to refer to all my notes I don't know if I'll ever be able to find them! My friends also had to make sure they avoided stepping on all of Zows' toys, which contributed greatly to the overall mess!
If my guests thought they were in for a quiet evening - they had another think coming! We'd get into what appeared to be civilised conversation and then I'd suddenly leap up, grab my video tape camera and proceed to take pictures of everyone talking! Of course, no one really wanted to talk with a camera pointed in his face, so I abandoned that for a while - much to everyone's relief, I might add!
I didn't stop completely, though. This film-making fever has really overtaken me! I kept adjusting lights, photographing people on the sly and jotting down notes whenever I had a brainstorm and thoroughly drove everyone nuts! My reputation as a fabulous host must be suffering a bit at this point. I even made everyone sit still as I showed them films of what I had already done, but, luckily in this first 'public' tryout, the audience received the first rushes (as we in the movie biz call them) very well.
I've just lately acquired the nickname of 'Machine Man' - I don't know if that's a compliment or not - but it seems that currently no one sees me without a camera around my neck, or fiddling around with my stereo or some toy that I use in my work.
So this is David Bowie alias Machine Man signing off for this week...
|Created: July 1997 © Paul Kinder||Last Updated: 17/4/05|