The Moon is new and so is this, sort of. I haven’t done scopes in a while but the Sun/Moon in Aquarius connection has inspired me to get back in the groove. We’ve already seen Jupiter in Aries in full affect. The revolution/protests in Egypt are a direct manifestation of the Jupiter/Aries affect. I’ve noted this in earlier posts, especially in the context of self-immolation as a form of personal (Aries) protest expanding (Jupiter) into a social movement.
Jupiter has now just moved into a five degree orb of Pluto in Capricorn and is squaring it. It catches up to Pluto on the 22nd (2/22/11) and is in a direct square. Will the masses and their desire to break free from the yoke of not just Mubarak’s heavy handed grip, but also the alliances that he has forged over the past thirty years, or will the Mubarak/Sulieman coalition and allies intervene and not only quell the resistance, but try to crush a global uprising of people waking from their geopolitical slumber. 2/22/11 should provide us with a window into the future of Egypt. the middle east and beyond.
Relationships go from dress casual to formal on the 5th. Power partnering takes center stage. This cuts across coupling and collective lines. Look for strong, global alliances begin to emerge, especially on the 10th, when Venus and Pluto are conjunct, both squaring Jupiter in Aries. Personal ardor collides with agreements and covenants. The common rule is that might is right, he who has the gold rules, etc. That when it comes to order superimposing itself over seeming chaos, we have been taught that order always prevails and when it doesn’t, there is a new order to meet those needs. And while history does repeat, it is never truly the same. There are ripples and waves in the matrix, which manifest as variables. Variables are agents of true, not manufactured chaos and can spin events off into a different direction. Variables are like sparks, flying off 90 degrees of friction. Sparks are the seeds of fire and fire is the underlying energy of transformation in the alchemical tradition. The upcoming squares this month, between Venus/Jupiter/Pluto augur change, if we can imbue them with the breath of spirit. Okay. Enough preaching. Let’s look at each sign for February.
Maybe I’ve been waiting for Jupiter to arrive in your sign to start scoping again, since it lands in my fifth house. I never thought Aries would be a patron saint, but if it lifts me up out of my doldrums, then so be it. I’ll take it.
Maybe it might add a little zeal to my love life as well, especially once it opposes my natal Moon and squares my natal Saturn. For a few days I will be charismatic and stand out from the pact, I’ll attract and yet at the same time, I’ll also repel. But once Jupiter trines my natal Jupiter and natal Uranus, again, if only for a few days the world will be my oyster (grilled with ponzu and chilis of course). Oh, I’m sorry, I’m talking about me. In your scope! How does it feel? You see this has been your dilemma for a little while now and it’s only gong to get more intense, as Jupiter sneaks up on Saturn in Libra forcing other people and obligations on you. You want to jump out of your skin, do your own thing and the hell with everyone else and what they need. You’re learning through limiting the scope of the self right now, but not obliterating it entirely. No, you have to find your sphere and expand it accordingly. I will give you an example of an Aries in my life, that left a good paying job, for an even better paying job, but they’ve had to manager huge amounts of stress and really activate their inner Libra to make peace with their choice. What they were really looking for, was transformation, not just change.
The events of the world have not been too kind to you over the past few weeks. Revolution? Change? Forget it. That’s just a real hassle and the planetary energies have not been that friendly as well. Speed, chaos, energy are great when you’ve got to chase someone out of your field of lovely daisies, but spinning around you? No thanks. A more leisurely pace is your cup of tea. Things will begin to downshift for you, both on the personal and the collective front starting mid-month and into March. You’ll be able to get back into your hide as February unfolds. By months end, you’ll be sniffing the winds of Spring on the horizon, wafting through cold currents of Winter’s last blasts. Until then, hit the gym and burn off that stress and excess, because when the Sun starts shining, you’re going to remind us all that beauty is an earthy delight and that having bodies isn’t such bad thing after all. Next Thursday/Friday (10th and 11th) has the potential of being an island of pleasure in the midst of a cold, long, winter.
Maharishi-pile, farsighted-sidereal-irony. What does it all mean? Your scope is inspired by one of my favorite Gemini’s, The Cosmic Hooker, who will be on my show tomorrow. She posted one of those random games on FB about going to Wikipedia, getting the first random page, then go to quotes.com get the first random quote and so on. I decided to tap that improvisational well and opened the dictionary to five pages and let the word I had my finger on determine the fate so your star-crossed month. What you got is “Pile of Maharishi and farsighted sidereal irony.” Well let’s get down into it. Last week I was hanging with Nigel Tufnel at his man cave in the mountains, replete with a brand new Benz and hardly driven Viper, original pac-man table game and a mechanical ping pong player. Nigel also loves him some Werner Erhard. When people bring up Erhard’s less-than-perfect traits, he is less than pleased. After his third Coors light, he ripped John Lennon a new etheric asshole for dismissing the Maharishi after he found out that he loved women, drank, smoked and so on. He thought that Lennon was an ungrateful sot after Maharishi had blessed him with insight and magic. Nigel did this just before he tried to bore a hole in my soul with a positive photon launched from the center of his third eye. Events and references were piling on top of me like fallen steroidal heaps on cage night at wrestle mania. This was after we had discussed the arrival of Ophiucus and the far-sighted, sidereal irony it brought to the world of astrology. I said it was a like public address announcement for the arrival of the new gods and got people talking about astrology all over the planet and was basically wrong but interesting. Nigel liked being a Scorpio, but was also fascinated with bearing his serpent and he didn’t care one way or the other, because there was wisdom to be had in any outcome. Catch my drift?
I know a Cancer woman that is one of the most tuned in and gifted people I have ever met. Multiple degrees. Multi-dimensional. And she is as economically challenged as most of us right now. So what is she doing? She’s moving ahead of the curve, learning how to make her own cheeses, her own rejuvelac and so on. She’s taking the limitation and expanding it into recipes for the future. Quietly, determined, she’s not bemoaning her fate, but crafting the sustenance of tomorrow. Another Cancer I know eschewed her rent and zip code, festival and couch surfing for nearly a year, weaving a broad cloth of community in the process, an invisible network of soul support. She’s landed now and is on the verge of getting a gig that perfectly aligns with her sensibilities. Another Cancer has decided that her identity isn’t tied up in becoming the top dog astrologer on the planet, but something else, something even wiser and deeper than decoding the stars for profit and fame. All three have taken routes that are not traditional, circumnavigating the robotic and linear assembly line of their lives, possessing aptitude and displaying fortitude in the process. I bring these three muses up, because you can channel the energies of innovation and adaptability in your life this month. You can be both traditional and cutting edge, timely, yet ahead of your time. The choice is yours. You can crawl back into your shell or mount it with home made turbos.
I am about to blaspheme. I have come across Obama’s Mombassa birth certificate. I am going to do a post on it soon. Julian Assange sent it to me from his pimped out digs in the English country side. He saw my post on him and was overcome with a sudden clarity. What’s fascinating about the Obama birth cert is that he’s still a Leo but the birth place has shifted, changing his chart. It got me thinking about legitimacy. Not just about his presidency (trust me, he is not the first non-US citizen to sit in the White House), but of his chart. Since the public has more or less acknowledged the “other chart” and decoded his traits and tendencies accordingly, then maybe the new chart opens him up to new possibilities and ways of interacting with global crisis. I’m going all Heisinberg on you now. In essence, if we receive new data about ourselves, things that we did not know, nor were ever disclosed, how would it change us or at the very least our perception of ourselves? This is your challenge/gift. Because you’re going to discover something about yourself in February that is contrary to what you have believed and taken for granted and yet, you’ll have an amazing opportunity to grow beyond the safety of your definition. I can give you one clue. It has to do with giving something away–part of your cultural heritage and entitlement. What you get back is priceless. Oh yeah. Go have some real, kick ass fun during the full moon on the 18th.
Thank God for Virgo’s. One of my pals, Michael Edward is a Virgo and his work on the Gulf is a real gift to us all. Not only that, his inscrutability should be on display in Washington. I bring this up, because our signs are constantly delivering life lessons. Last night, he was on Rense breaking down the Gulf and let’s just say that Jeff had other ideas and agendas, shuffling Michael off after three minutes. Well, Jeff did it to the wrong guy and the wrong sign. You’re a maverick this month. A radical approach to your work gives you a flare of genius and you are working ever so hard to bring balance into your life, reserving criticism for the right moment and time, squaring accounts in a timely, yet fair fashion, but beneath the methodical approach to your soul’s evolution, there is a fire burring and you won’t suffer phonies or fools any longer. Near the end of the month, the fires cool a bit and you a comforted by the refreshing reality of being seen for who you are, not just a steady cog in the universal engine of the great cosmic Winnebago of souls, traveling through the void of space at the sped of light.
I’m not sure what’s worse for you. Being alone or just being with one person without the possibility of being with another. If I had to choose, I would choose being with another and solely with another, no options, no outs. It’s not that you would actually stray, it’s the thought, the option, that keeps it scintillating and leaves the avenue of possibility open, because you always need the potential for meeting someone that can change you and reflect an aspect of your being. Either way though, you need to commit to yourself and sometimes that means committing to someone else as well. February poses some serious challenges to this kind of one pointed and singleminded approach. First of all, Jupiter wants to take you anywhere but where you are and, it’s gonna get worse one Uranus hits Aries as well. Your restlessness will push you through the roof. Aquarius is always whispering the words of wider and more spacial contact, which appeals to your intellect, but not always your heart. Like Aquarius, you’d like to sleep with the world, but one person at a time, not a group effort. Gemini just wants to watch. Anyway, with all that temptation and commitment you’re getting tested. What are you going to do? Throw caution to the wind or cautiously stay the course and navigate through the narrows? I am not here to pass judgment, but I will say this; “Think long term gain.”
This is the time of year, when you get that fixed square in your eyes. The Aquarian energy challenges your level of trust and urges you to come out and join the human race. You ask yourself, “How can these people be so positive and affirmative? There must be a catch?” Can you let down your formidable guard long enough to gain a few allies along the way? Can you bite your tinge just a little on Valentines Day and not shred your new agey Aquarian friend who goes on and on about helping others and how it’s our responsibility and not the governments and when you ask them for help, it’s radio silence? Are you capable of transforming those thoughts into higher perceptions and not want to strike out when the human race lets you down over and over again? It’s not the easier, nor the greatest challenge and gift to have. But only the best students get the toughest assignments or so they say and this one is a life lesson for you. Sacrifice your resentment on the alter of pride and show the world how it’s done, not how you want it done for you.
Has this thing in Egypt got you all hot and bothered? It happened on your watch really. Venus and Sag were both in your sign and let’s face it, you never net a revolution of some sort that you didn’t like. What does it mean for you? I’ll tell you what it means? You have to gently oust your own inner Mubarak, that’s what it means. But you have got to take some lessons from the Egyptians as well. You can’t overthrow a brutal regime without food, so bakers have been making bread in long stretches, to feed the uprising. What happens if blood is shed? You’ll need more blood? Egyptians have been donating blood at a record pace in anticipation of that actually happening. And what happens if that inner dictator sabotages your efforts by sicking nasty thoughts and memories upon you? Well you do like the Egyptians have done and police that shit. In essence, you can be free, but it does not come without some sort of sacrifice and new organizing principle based on emerging needs in real time. The question, is, how bad do you want it? Do you want to live like you’re living forever or do you wan to be free? Truly free? Te get to it. Go out and make some bread, save for future catastrophes and protect your heart like it’s your home.
There comes a time when we have to look in the mirror and really face ourselves. I did it today and I shaved. I don’t particularly like how I look without facial hair, but I do it every so often to remind myself that there is another face beneath my face. I usually keep it for a bout a week and then, eventually grows back. I don’t ever really get used to it, but it’s a good thing to do. You are about to have your mirror moment. Your transiting Sun is behind you and there is a brief pause before Venus and Mars enter into your sign. Their arc towards Pluto will challenge how you use your personal power, especially in relationships, but now is a calm before the intensity hits. Take a glance in the mirror and discard something that is no longer serving you, keeping you from seeing yourself in totality, without fear, without judgement. Simply let it go. Now for most of you, this cannot be some abstraction. It must be physical and it must represent a sacrifice of sorts. For me, it’s vanity. For you, it might be some zeros in your bank account. Whatever it is, it will lighten you load and help you become a ninja of transformation in just a few, short weeks time. The power is yours. The choice is yours.
Don’t you just love it when people are wanting a more democratic and free world? Don;t you just love it when they’re using Twitter to do it? Man, you must be high on all this. It must be your birth month? Yep, It sure is. A few weeks have passed, but happy birthday nonetheless. You are streamlining systems and cracking open minds. This is when the world is you own, open love fest. That’s why Valentines Day takes place in February. Love for everyone. It’s also why there’s only 28 days in the month. The party has to end sometime and though the 22nd or 23rd usually ushers in the fish, the fun still keeps flowing. Okay, here is your gift from me. You are about to get a revolutionary idea, one that is about to change your life and the lives of others around you. It may come in a dream, or your car might be stuck somewhere and you’ll sit down and talk with someone at a cafe waiting for Triple A and hit will hit you like the hammer of Thor, right in the third eye. And then what? Will you work your ass off to make it happen or will it languish on the floor like so many other good ideas that you’ve had before but never acted on? Don’t pas this gift up, because the gods won’t be so generous next time. Trust me.
Want to get a glimpse into chaos theory? They stage a revolution in Egypt and my kid gives his substitute teacher a raspberry. He’s a Pisces. Why am I mentioning it? It’s because you are far more permeable and open to influence than nearly any other sign and right now, you’re being played like a Wurlitzer at Coney Island. Mercury, Mars and the Sun are tickling the keys to your psyche. This is not such a bad thing, if you can somehow channel forces that even you are not aware of. If you’re acting odd or displaying unusual traits of behavior, it’s probably a sign that your psychic weather vane is spinning. Either that or your brain has adjusted to your last dosage of Xanax. Anyway, what are you going to do with this ambient madness? I always urge creation and exorcising the disincarnate spirits of the world through art. And you dear Pisces are one of the most creative signs in the zodiac. You must give these feelings life if you’re going to maintain a healthy perspective. The gloom of winter will pass. The tragedy of dying fish will pass along with it to some extent, and your grief will move to other places. You have a few months before Neptune flows into your sign and when it does, the psychic floodgates will open. Better get used to it now.
On 9/11/01, Mars in Capricorn was in an exact conjunction with Nostradamuses natal Sun
A few years back, I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Louis Turi at one of The Whole Life Expos in SF. The thing that I loved about Louis (Louie) was how adamant and matter of fact he was when he gave a reading, based on the dragons head and tail, this according to Turi, in the style of Nostradamus and how he cast charts. Just in case you don’t know the dragons head and tail are the north and south nodes. According to Turi, Nostradamus would casthe dragons head, north node, on the ascendant and then all of the other planets in their various houses according to placement and degree.
I was dutifully trying to be a good vegetarian at the time, but I was always cold and feeling slightly tire and run down. Turi had one look at my chart and told me that I needed meat, that it was essential based on my constitution. He did this unprompted and I later told him about my effort to be a vegetarian. In his confident and indefatigable fashion, he said, “but of cooorse.”
Turi considered himself an authority on Nostrdamus and I have little doubt that he fancied himself as “a” reincarnation of the great seer. Whether he was or not, I really enjoyed his readings and they opened up a whole new doorway to me. It was how he said what he said inasmuch as what he said that really made a difference for me and in fact gave me the confidence to take my readings to the public at large. I was never too keen on his almanacs, thinking them too vague as a sensible guide for prediction, but his personal readings tended to be spot on.
I remember hearing him on Coast-to-Coast one night a while ago and his style flowed in that same, confident, and knowing manner.
In many ways, it was a testament to the lasting power of Nostradamus, that he could influence Turi and other like John Hogue to devote their life’s work to the man and that the work was still living and breathing.
Michel de Nostradame was born in Provence, in the year, 1503. The day of his birth is open to some debate. Some list it as 12/14, others list it at 12/21. He was part of a very large family of some means of Jewish descent, though they were on the surface, practicing catholics. My guess is that the Jewish mysticism, ie, The Kaballah was very much a part of his upbringing.
Nostradamus studied to be a physician, but it is obvious that the scope and breadth of his training far exceeded the curriculum of his day. Nostradamus was a master herbalist, who helped scores of sick and dying people during The Bubonic Plague. While he was serving the courts and saving Europe, he was also scrying his now infamous prophecies. Astrology played a significant role in his ability to link future dates with astral alignments. I believe that at his core, he was first and foremost an astrologer and that astrology formed the basis of his work, from prophecy to healing. Planets have dispositions, angles reveal blocks and flow, degrees confer strength and so on. Nostradamus was able to diagnose people based on their charts and treat them accordingly.
The fascinating thing about Nostradamus and his chart is how it reflects the processions of the equinoxes.
In his chart, cast on this day in 1503, he is a Capricorn, at 1 degree. Today, anyone born on this day is a Sag and will be up until the 21st/22nd. Since the birth of Nostradamus, it seems as though the solar system has shifted by at least degrees. His chart is a study in oppositions with his Sun, Mercury (conjunct) and Neptune. Meanwhile, he has four planets in Cancer, including Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Chiron. Chiron “The Wounded Healer” becomes a deeply motivational force in his life as it trines his south node in Pisces, becoming a guide stone for his medicinal and metaphysical studies. Jupiter in Cancer forms a trine to Uranus, again in Pisces, pointing towards immense opportunity in the realms of healing (Cancer) and mysticism (Pisces).
During the late nineties, and early 2000′s, Pluto was in Sag, which was where it was at the time of Nostradmuses birth. Was there any coincidence that his popularity increased during that time? Ironically, Mars was in an exact conjunction at 1 degree Capricorn with his natal Sun on 9/11/2001.
Now, we see that Pluto in Capricorn is sitting right on Nostradamuses, Sun, again at 1 degree Capricorn. Will the energy of Pluto illuminate the works of Nostradamus and reveal new layers of meaning? Will his most controversial and dire quatrains come to life based on the intensity of such a connection? And moreover, does astrology continue to impact lives and charts, even after a person has discarded their Earth suit? Does it promote the concept of the long tail of planetary aspects through what we call time?
Ladies and gentleman, I give you todays, “Star of the Day.” Nostradamus.
Century 6, Quatrain 97
At forty-five degrees, the sky will burn,
Fire approaches the great new city,
Immediately a huge, scattered flame leaps up
When they want to have verification from the Normans.
I’ve been trying to come up with a musical track that I think exemplifies one particular aspect of Pluto in Capricorn and the best example that I could come up with right now, is David Bowie’s anthemic, “Station To Station” off the album of the same name. Bowie (Capricorn) was hanging out a lot in LA, particularly The Chateau Marmont and Harry Houdini’s old place, now owned by Ric Rubin. He was doing loads of cocaine, saw himself as a modern day incarnation of Merlin, dabbled in grey magic and assumed the identity of “The Thin White Duke,” a decadent, Euro, disco vampire.
Most people think that “Station To Station” refers to a train, perhaps The Trans-Euro-Express, but when in truth, he is referring in part to the Kaballah, particularly when he references going from “Malkuth to Kether” or “Station To Station.” The song is a high speed journey on the left handed path of consciousness, it is the manipulation of subtle matter; “one magical moment/such is the stuff from where dreams are woven/bending sound/dredging the ocean/lost in my circle.” The last line seems to be a reference to a magical circle, much like the ones drawn up by Enochian magicians such as John Dee and Francis Bacon when they would summon entities known as “macrobes.”
In interviews with Earl Slick, a metal blues guitarist from Toronto recruited for his ability to wrench big, walloping chords for numbers like “Station to Station” and “Stay,” Slick barely remembers the sessions that took place in LA as they were recorded in a frenzied blizzard of choice, Peruvian flake, a sonic blur, tripping across the over-amplified circuitry of distorted memories.
Bowie had just finished filming “The Man Who Fell To Earth” where he played Thomas Newton, a frail genius from another world. Director, Nicholas Roeg, told Bowie that he thought the character would stay with him for a while after they had completed shooting and so it did, morphing into the icy Duke, reptoidal and reserved on the surface, but manic and possessed beneath it, consorting with alien intelligence through symbolic arcana and magical powders,
For me, “Station to Station” is a sonic ritual, a knowing assemblage of craft on many different levels, and one that invokes power. Just listen to the realm splitting roar of the guitar on this rare video from 1976, a dress rehearsal from a show in Toronto.
I’ve been tracking Pluto in Capricorn from a socio-political perspective, but it can also represent the conscious application of ritual magic and outside of Led Zeppellin and Jimmy Page (also a Capicorn), nobody did it better than Bowie in his dark, astral phase.
Back when I interviewed him in 1999, we touched upon astrology briefly, off record, and how he shares the same birthday as Elvis (January 8th). He confided to me that the closer he gets to his birthday the more pronounced, two protruding bumps in his forehead, one above each eye, like budding horns, begin to bulge.
Pluto In Capricorn, from base to capstone, root to fruit, “Station To Station.”
Mercury is retrograde in Gemini and it’s time for me to re-invigorate my blog. I did this interview ten-years-ago and recently re-connected with Richard Horowitz after staying up far-too-late one night last week watching Bertolucci’s cinematic rendering of The Sheltering Sky where Horowitz provided the exotic soundtrack.This Q&A was to appear in the last, which turned out to be the “lost” issue of MONDO 2000. For those of you who don’t know, MONDO was one of the greatest and most influential magazines of all time. It was redolent with early adopter themes, bursting at the spine with memes and strange attraction. I was part of the waning phase of MONDO’s glorious ascent. Not privy to all of the media buzz that surrounded the mag in the middle of the nineties, I nonetheless experienced the madness and genius of Queen Mu on a daily basis. I could go into a whole post simply on the complexity and brilliance of the MONDO maven. I will go on record and say that she is one of the great unknown and little recognized writers and minds of the 20th century. With Pluto moving into Capricorn, The Queen’s natal sign (she shares the same birth date as Elvis and Bowie), I think we will witness her rise once more.I spent two separate phone interviews with Richard and Sussan and one interview with Sussan alone and really got to know them. I appreciated truly their candor and vulnerability.The art was pure Heide Foley in all of it’s psychedelically inspired retinal overload. I actually found this on Heide’s website where much of the lost issue resides. Curiously, she has me named as “Rob Hall.” Enjoy.
Majoun—passed down through the ancestral food chain, a mind-kissing cousin of Soma, brain food of the gods.
Majoun—trance possessor of initiates into visions of desert ecstasy and love–the mysteries of muezzin and minaret. Sacred geometries, spinning poets and wheels of tilting stars, revealed by the sweet taste of this Kif-powered Moroccan paste that’s mixed with mint tea.
In it’s aural manifestation, Majoun is three parts Adrian Sherwood’s On U Sound collective ( Keith LeBlanc, Skip McDonald and Doug Wimbish), world rhythmatist Steve Shehan, Gnawa rebel Hassan Hakmoun, virtual reality vulcan Jaron Lanier, a host of some of the finest players from Morocco and the core ingredients—Richard Horowitz and Sussan Deyhim. Horowitz is a master ney player. His musical influences include the likes of Bachir Attar, The Gnawas and other Moroccan mugicians. Psychically, he is linked to the famed boho expatriates Brion Gysin and Paul Bowles. It was Bowles who suggested that Horowitz, along with Ryuchi Sakamoto, co-score the film version of his classic tale, The Sheltering Sky. Deyhim is an expatriate as well. She fled her native Iran before the Shah’ s strings were cut by the puppet masters. Relocating in Europe, she studied voice, dance and theater with the legendary Maurice Beijart. Her other-worldly ululations mixed with her native Farsi echo the passionate yearnings of ancient muses reborn with an avant-garde intelligence crystallized in their cells.
But most of all, Majoun is the elixir of travellers. It is that quality of traveling, a circumnavigational displacement in space and time that unites all of its participants-—nomads in a virtual caravan of dreams–—that Horowitz and Deyhim have assembled. Through a filament of light and sound, from Berkeley to London and New York, they shared their journeys and their secret recipe for Majoun with MONDO.
Reportedly worth over $800 million, David Bowie has gone from “The Man Who Sold the World” to “The Man the World Is Buying.” From space oddity to corporate entity, he’s busy recreating his persona once again. With the ISP BowieNet, his Web site, Bowie Bonds, and arrangements to set up ISPs for the likes of the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles, Bowie is becoming a computer baron.His energy, a titanic clash of classical cultivation and maniacally driven curiosity, has given birth to a new record, Hours…the first major-label release to be sold in its entirety over the Internet.
The album finds Bowie in a contemplative mood. With middle age looking him dead in the third eye, he’s addressing the themes of loss, regret, and redemption.He’s also had a hand in creating the new computer game Omikron: Nomad Soul, from which many of Hours’ tracks are culled. Omikron provided a vehicle for Bowie to virtually recreate himself as a 21-year-old rock star (Boz) who performs in an alternate dimension. Dorian Gray looks back through pixilated reflections in the digital mirror.Hidden beneath Bowie’s alien veneer and his ability to fuse artistic effort with Wall Street smarts is a trickster-par-excellence — a corporate coyote who’s not above blowing the mind of a sweaty-palmed journalist at Virgin’s New York offices.
A half-hour late, he arrives with his publicist in tow–stuporifically stumbling across the room, teeth badly broken, dead eyes staring at me through a Thorazine dream. I say to myself, “Christ… Bowie’s fucked.” I extend a hand to a shaky hand. We sit. Bowie rips fake teeth from his mouth and laughs with a vengeance: “Unflappable — I like that!”
I’ve passed the initiation. The interview can now proceed.
Phoenix: Along with the release of Hours…, Iggy [Pop] and Brian Ferry have releases coming out at the same time. Is this a coincidence or a conspiracy?
Bowie: How about that! If I’d had my druthers, I’d rather not have put out an album right now. But Virgin wanted me to put this album out now, because everyone has gone for the end of the millennium thing. I don’t mind. But I would rather have had it come out earlier this year or waited until the beginning of next year. But at least it will come out and I can move onto the next one — which is how I tend to think. I don’t like to sit around and watch it, dust it off and say, “yeah, that’s a beauty.” It doesn’t bother me that it’s coming out with everyone else and their fathers.
Phoenix: Do you still communicate with Iggy?
Bowie: I don’t see Iggy at all. I’ve not seen him since ’97. We were working on a tour in Germany. He seemed fine. I think he does far, far more touring than I do. I like touring, but I don’t like it quite so obsessively as [he does]. We have drifted away from each other, and in a way I understand why. I’ve never talked to him about this and I probably shouldn’t talk to you about it…
Phoenix Oh c’mon.
Bowie: All right then. [Laughter] I think there was a moment where Jim [Iggy] decided that he couldn’t do a fucking article without my name being mentioned, and I don’t think that’s a very comfortable feeling. I completely understand — I really, really do. Unfortunately, I think Jim took it personally, and that’s a shame because I would have liked to remain closer to him.I think that he felt he had to physically take himself out of the picture to become autonomous again. We’ve never voiced this to each other, because we’re sensitive to each others’ feelings. I’m not saying that it’s a resentment, but I do believe that he always felt that there was this svengali-type figure dogging him. Because I did such a load of work with him and I was a major mainstream artist myself at the time. [A phone begins to ring in the boardroom where we sit] What do you think?
Phoenix: Why don’t you get it?
Bowie: You think? Okay. [The trickster rolls up his sleeves, springs across the room and answers the phone]Hello, Polygram! [Hearty laughter at his own hijinx]
Phoenix: Here comes the Velvet Goldmine question: How did you feel about the portrayal?
Bowie: I didn’t notice that I was in it. Am I really that uninteresting? God, he was about as interesting as a soapdish, wasn’t he? I presumed that they kind of backed off the portrayal characterization and just went for cipher. I had the advantage of reading the script before it was made and knew it was a stinker from the moment I read it.It had two things going against it: First, they wanted all of the songs that I want to use for Ziggy Stardust, and from about halfway on, the writing just fell to pieces. It had a fairly interesting start and totally disappeared somewhere. I anticipated it would be a bomb. I also think its location was totally wrong. I think [writer/director Todd Haynes] located it in the early ’80s — unwittingly. I presume that’s when he grew up. Because for me, I was watching Steve Strange and Boy George and the New Romantics, who had by that time, (when they had reinvestigated the idea of Glam) put a certain kind of ennui, a certain kind of sophistication on the thing. It was all very mannequinish, by the time it got to the ’80s. It was all made very well. The stitches didn’t show in the ’80s. In the ’70s it was vulgar, tacky and funny and there was a lot more shopping. They didn’t show that in the movie. It was located in the wrong era. The only entertaining areas for me were the gay things. I think that [Haynes] inherently has an understanding of the gay situation.But the lovely thing that came out of it was a fantastic five-page letter from Michael Stipe who asked me to be involved — which I’ll keep for the rest of my life and is far too personal and adoring for me to reveal, yet. But of course it will go up on the Internet eventually.
Phoenix: Are you doing a Ziggy film?
Bowie: Yeah, I’m not only doing it (overly ambitious as always), I’m doing it on three platforms. I’m working with people on a film version and I’m working with people on a theater version that’s completely different and I’ll synthesize the two into a huge version of Internet hypertext — where we will find out about Ziggy’s mum and things like that. I want this kind of parallel world with Ziggy on the Internet that stays there as archive forever — like a living organism. But the theater version and the film versions will be completely and utterly different from each other. The stage show will be about the interior values of Ziggy and his contemporaries. It won’t have terribly many characters in it. The film would be the audiences’ perception of who or what Ziggy was. It will be a bigger, grander, more blah, blah. But the three taken together is, I suppose, lazy post-modernism where the same story is told in different ways.
Phoenix: What’s the timeline on that?
Bowie: 2002. It’s scary. It’ll be exactly 30 years by then. I hope we can get one of them out by that time.
Phoenix: While we’re on the subject of film, weren’t you going to do a film with Derek Jarman called Neutron?
Bowie: Neutron, yes, absolutely. I still have the script and Derek’s drawings. It’s so sad that things get left behind. I tend to want to do too much. I want to approach his family at some time to see if we could do something with it. I have his script and his drawings. I even know down to the music how he wanted to do have things done. And it would be lovely posthumously to do his piece. It would be fabulous. A wonderful script — very scary piece of work. How did you know that anyway? Very few people know that.
Phoenix: Well there’s another part of the story I want to ask you about. The guy that I heard it from said that you had left a pack of Marlboro’s at Jarman’s and that word had gotten back to you about your cigarettes being there and you stopped the project because you thought Jarman was practicing sympathetic magic on you.
Bowie: No, absolutely not!
Phoenix: Urban legend?
Bowie: God yeah. I would’ve given my arm to work with Jarman. My remembrance of the thing was that, as usual, he couldn’t get the funds to actually make the movie. It had some quite spectacular scenes in it. It did require proper sets. There weren’t existing properties around London. He went back to his set designing ideas for it and came up with these amazing Neo-Fascistic buildings for it. I don’t think that anybody was willing to put up the bread for it.
Phoenix: How does it feel to be considered a “Buy-In” versus “Sell-Out?”
Bowie: I like the phraseology, but I’m not quite sure what you mean.
Phoenix: Bowie as commodity, Bowie as brand.
Bowie: Ah, the branding of David Bowie! Well it’s been done to artists after they’re dead, like Presley Ltd. and selling ashtrays and so forth. It’s definitely a viable option and it’s quite exciting. It’s sort of pioneering and it’s not an acceptable way to go. And that I always find subversive enough. People say; “How can you brand yourself? How disgusting — oooh.” [Gleeful and slightly pervertedly] Yes, I know!
Phoenix: Finally, in Omikron, there’s this theme of transmigration of souls with different characters within the game. And a player can be anyone including Iman, but not you.
Bowie: Yes, that’s right. [More laughter]
Phoenix: How does she feel about that? How do you feel about that?
Bowie: She is a freelancer. You can hire her. She’ll work for anyone… apparently. Well, I quite like that they can’t get inside of me. That was tabled by the French. It’s a French game. A really diplomatic courtesy was extended toward me. They said,[in his best camp French] “but of coorse, nooone can become you. You are David Boweee.” I said, “Yes, you’re absolutely correct.” I’m not lettin’ anybody climb inside of me.Originally Published gettingit.com
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My English doppelganger, Darren Williams, delivers angles, asides and observations from his perch in LIverpool. Darren is a two of clubs as am I (the conversation card) and hails from where my grandmother was born and raised. Darren's observations from the world of sport, esoterica, music, the BBC and film are top notch.
NEW FROM DARREN WILLIAMS--DECODING THE MIRROR To read more, CLICK HERE.
FREE ASSOCIATION RADIO
Here are some past episodes from my various programs on Free Association Radio. These are interviews with some of the leading edge thinkers on the planet, from the realms of quantum healing, ancient mysteries, exo-politics, astrology and consciousness.
David Ian Cowan (Navigating The Collapse Of Time) and Sarah Nash (The Cosmic Hooker): Quantum Healing.