Acting on a tip from my heavily Bowie-o-phile Alaskan correspondent, I decide to hunt down Jazzin' for Blue Jean the short promo film directed by Julien Temple for David Bowie's 1984 single, 'Blue Jean'. Sure enough, a quick confirmatory peak at Wikipedia confirms that I've had the bladdy thing all this time - it's an 'easter egg' on the Best of Bowie DVD. Every home should already have a copy of this, obviously, but if yours doesn't already, I can't recommend JFBJ highly enough. If the thought of seeing David Bowie (as Vic) dressed, variously, in Frankie Relax t-shirt, bondage pants and 80s-stylee hoody (whilst all the time wearing a band aid, a la Nicholson in Chinatown, to staunch a nose wound..hee hee) isn't enough to persuade you to shell out, then the dialogue is *simply* *priceless*. "Rock star's got no boots on..." "remember Margaret, on her yak...?", "Hello Mr. Screaming, I'm from the Melody Faces...erm, one of the music papers...", "Keith, I've got a teensie weansie bit of a headache" - the latter in his best luvvy voice as 'Warszawa' plays in the backgouand as the recently resuscitated Screaming Lord Byron pops pills and applies his slap. And I've left out the best (and oft-quoted here) line, as regular readers will know. It's always a pleasure to watch and a personal motivation to view it very closely is that there was an apocryphal story that a college friend of mine and Ro-Mo's (Lex) appeared in the club scene - hence many a screwed-up eye (although, barely a screwed down hairdo these day, it must be said) from yours truly, trying to spot her - always unsuccessfully.
Jones suitably satiated, we watch a few of the other clips on what is a pretty definitive anthology of probably the most important artist in the iconography of rock and pop. Trevor Bolder's silver sideboards on the Russell Harty Show are also worth the admission alone. There's a very weird, stilted interview with Harty from the same show - RH vacilating between the heavy ("do you worship a God, David?") and the trite ("oh go on!"..when Bowie refuses to divulge the details of the more salacious fan mail he receives...) He was, as S. would no doubt say, "a mincing twat*, wasn't he? (Russell Harty, that is...)
S. comments on how superbly he sings (although in this case to a backing track) live. I guess he was a bit of an oddity in that he came from that very early sixties 'entertainment' background (Larry Parnes-style talent "stables", variety, learning your craft, all-round entertainer and so on...) that was still clinging on in the face of the Beatles revolution. So he knew all the steps, had had the voice coaching and knew the ropes of the business, but was savvy enough to position himself on the side of the 60s counter culture as the decade wore on - 'Cygnet Committee', 'Memory of a Free Festival', The Man Who Sold the World etc.. As the more utopian aspects of the sixties deteriorated through the economically ravaged seventies, Bowie was perfectly poised to ride the coat tails of glam to international stardom whilst remaining a totemic figure for outsiders and true faith pop followers, and would go on to popularise pretty much every interesting underground development that the 70s threw up - most spendidly in his trilogy of European albums with Fripp & Eno. Although, as Vic concludes at the end of JFBJ, his sleeves *were* actually better than his records (;?)
There are several versions of the Blue Jean video available, but the full short- feature-length JFBJ is too long to be accessed via youtube, unfortunately. But, in a wonderful piece of synchronicity, I had a glance at the 'alternative' MTV clip that *is* available on yt, and - who should rear into full view on the right hand side of the frame, at precisely 3 min. 3 secs...?
All these years, I've been looking at the wrong *bladdy* clip...Mind you, I was *even* more impressed by the fact that Rio Ferdinand has played bass for David Bowie...
It was lovely to see you again after all these years Lex - should you ever read this.
L.U.V. on y'all,
Quick PS - Tardy, I know, but I finally got around to Listening to both of Realdoc's *fantastic* podcasts, and urge anyone who hasn't already done so, to do so now, if only for the gratuitous porn singing at the end of number two. And the bird on the record seems to be enjoying herself too...
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