Florence Mills basks in the glow of a sun lamp in her dressing room before a show in Paris, France (1925).
In the translated reviews I’ve read, Parisian critics were unkind to Mills’ performances, because she wasn’t as “sauvage” as Josephine Baker. White jazzbo Mezz Mezzrow made similar criticisms, comparing her unfavorably to Bessie Smith.
Which is like bitching about Diana Ross not being Nina Simone, Whitney Houston not being Queen Latifah, or Janelle Monáe not being Nicki Minaj. White dudes policing the blackness and femininity of black female performers still happens, still is shitty.
BOWIE: “I was working [on “Diamond Dogs”] with an engineer named Keith Harwood, who unfortunately is no longer with us. He died in a car crash going home from the studio hitting the same tree that Marc Bolan did.”
They should cut that tree down.
BOWIE: “The British would never do that sort of thing. “That tree has been there for 500 years - killed a couple of rockers…..” (laughs)
|—||Bowie, interview with Guitar Player, 1997.|
Caitlin Moran wishes DB a very unhappy 50th birthday, The Times, 17 January 1997.
Orchestra National de France, Le bœuf sur le toit (1978)
Composed by Darius Milhaud ca. 1920, originally to accompany a Charlie Chaplin short, then adapted to an original ballet. Quotes liberally from Brazilian choros, maxixes, tangos, and popular songs. Title (The Bull on the Roof) references the watering-hole in Paris where surrealism was born. A nexus of many realities.
David, on the other hand, played all his parts [on “Earthling’”] on a little travel guitar with a built-in amp and speaker.
Bowie: It’s all I need. It’s all Reeves would give me! It’s a self-esteem thing — I actually don’t think I’m worth a better guitar. Why give me a nice Gibson? Give me something I don’t feel so precious about. If it’s a real cheap guitar, I can do what I want with it, fuck it up, make it do silly things. If you give me a real guitar that real musicians play, I’m suddenly very insecure. I much prefer a cheap Parker.
Gabrels: There’s no such thing as a cheap Parker.
Bowie: In my case, there are. They give them to me. Or did I pay for that one?
Gabrels: That one’s mine. It doesn’t get much cheaper than that, does it, David?
|—||Bowie and Reeves Gabrels, interview with Guitar Player, June 1997.|
Kierkegaard, “The Rotation Method” (Either/Or), 1843.
(cf. The Buzzcocks, “Boredom,” 1977.)
Outtakes from “Five Years”
Some nice outtakes here: Alomar and Slick fighting for credit again on a Station to Station track (“Stay”), a lovely Gail Ann Dorsey version of “Ziggy” and, strangest of all, two Gerry Leonard pieces about latter-day Bowie songs (“Loving the Alien” and “Heathen”) suggesting perhaps there was a longer epilogue in the original cut.