Something changed in my home in the year 2000. As my wife and I made the decision to move away from where we lived to another place, the need to have internet access at home arose, so we could research the move without employer Gartner catching wind of my planned move. So we needed dialup service. After looking what was out there, the thought arose “why not go with Bowienet?” Their offer was better than most, so we did. For a year and a half, if you were to contact me or my wife by email, the domain in the address was davidbowie.com. I had to get used to dialup after seven years of a fat pipe, but there were other perks associated with Bowienet besides cool by association.
One of these was the “for members only” live album taken from the “Earthling” tour that we had seen so memorably in Ft. Lauderdale back in 1997. “Liveandwell.com” featured a 2xCD set with the first comprised solely of “1. Outside” and “Earthling” material. The second had four remixes of little worth, though the track “Fun [Dillinja mix]” [and it’s barely a track] appeared here only in any form. Bowienet set up liveandwell.com for a place for fans to contribute stories and photos/artwork and these were incorporated into the packaging. No, you can’t have mine, but in 2001 I found a copy in a used bin in my town and sold it for a strong two figures in a period of unemployment. It’s a solid three figures now. If I find another one I’ll let you know.
The new Millennium brought a quiet spot on the Bowie dance card with no albums released, but he did film a memorable cameo in the wacky film “Zoolander” as himself, moderating a pose-off between male models. I never saw this flick until chasinvictoria recommended it to my wife and I during a visit years later. It was one of those strange movies that are smart about being stupid.
Bowie had begun talking about revisiting his pre-fame 60s material in the wake of the BBC disc and all of the new attention the songs had gotten, particularly those on disc one that seemed very new and different. This prompted Bowie to investigate them again with the intent of re-recording many of them again for a mooted new album, “Toy” that was scheduled for release that year. There would be a handful of new song on it and reinterpretations of old numbers like “Let Me Sleep Beside You” from the now older/wiser writer. For one reason or another, it never happened. Maybe EMI lost interest? Maybe Bowie lost interest? Maybe both? 2001 came and went and “Toy” was consigned to the dustbin of history.
Of more valid interest was a long sought-after record that I managed to find after I moved to my new city in the Spring of 2001. I was perusing the basement vinyl bins at the late, lamented “Almost Blue” and found a record I had read about in the incredible “David Bowie Illustrated Record” book in 1981.
“Beauty + The Beast” is my favorite David Bowie song, and when I read that RCA made a rare [especially in 1977] DJ extended 12″ promo of the track [b/w “Fame” mastered hot for 12″] I knew that it would be the record for me. I kept an eye peeled for years, but in 2001, I found it. $10.00 later it was mine! Of course, it’s a simple extended mix on the era. Nothing fancy, just a few looped instrumental vamps here and there, but it’s gold to me. It makes the song just that much longer and enjoyable.
Next: …The Prodigal Son Returns!