Ali's Interviews with Bowie

Ali is quite a prolific writer of Bowie-fiction, these "interviews are some of my favorite of her works. Yes they're long...but they're also really fun. Enjoy. (These were originally posted on the David Bowie Message Board...the first three on a daily basis!)

The   Interview!      Part   1   of   5

I had to get him very drunk first. Then we read a bunch of his old press-releases so he'd sound just like himself. But I *did* get a VERY exclusive interview with David Bowie, which I am reprinting here in its entirety. He's sleeping now, but if you've something you'd like to pass along I'll try to ignore it in the same high fashion you're accustomed to for him. There's also a set of photographs from the set of live songs he did for me, he and his twins did, anyway. How do I post those?

Ali: One of the things everyone on the boards talks about is Oldbowie vs. Newbowie, and which is better and have you peaked and all that. No-one talks about Ziggy much, which surprises me. So I'll ask you. What do you think of him now?

DB: Ziggy was a quick wit. He wants to stay very much longer than he says.

Ali: You thinking of bringing him back to us, then? You know I'm a young 'un. I'll get to see him, then?

DB: (laughing, slurring the words.) It's a knife... Sexuality will be coming out in lines from him.

Ali: Want another drink, David?

DB: What an extrodinary question. That's all shuffled, then, in my mind.

Ali: If I may ask, who picks out these outfits you've been recently wearing? They're astonishing.

DB: The people. (At this point he launched into a detailed discussion of fabrics, illustrating with the suit he was wearing that night - an exceptional little thing in blue metallics and black natural fibers. Great slim trousers, but then, he can get away with that look, can't he?)

Ali: Tell me about Alex McQueen.

DB: He WAS doing Orwell's Nineteen-Eighty-Four in the British fashion. Sexuality and blues and what have you. He's gonna get down to the level and spirit of another suspicious brain. It'll come into video; he takes images of homosexuals led to a stage with seven hours of Puerto Rican people and introduces them into this mixed-media fashion/fascist thing. I'm doing a few tracks for that. It'll be really exciting, I think, but it's short on funding.

Ali: We know your feelings on fashion; what are his on rock?

DB: He hadn't seen Kroydon. No, only joking. His take is, like with fashion, people together often find it easier to make it than single people stuck with their own ideas. He's in a band; did you know that?

Ali: No, actually. Can a designer be a star? I mean, will Alex have any sort of lasting contribution, any fans?

DB: I think his importance was always his throwing things at reversal. Designers are already famous. It comes with the title. And who needs fans? (laughs)

Ali: Yeah, very funny. The check is postdated, monkeyboy. Next question! Can a fan be a star?

DB: Only when there are enough musicians to support one.

Ali: Back to Ziggy - it's been five years. In fact, it's been somthing like 23. What happened to the infinites? Got caught in your jetstream, did they?

DB: They come in the future, so they arrive in the future. The death of the earth is always five years from this moment. Wow. Can we talk about something more current?

Ali: I'm paying you. You do what I say. No, I'm not serious! Otherwise we'd not have the recorder on. We'll move on slowly, okay? Tell me how you got out the Ziggy brainset.

DB: The lead guitarist, Mick Ronson, supported me more than I really deserved at my age. I was shortly to straighten up and get back to making vital music without that much makeup on. What I got into around ninteen-ninety-two was, in his wake, a principle of revitalisation.

Ali: What would you be doing without Ziggy? I mean, you'd not have gotten quite so famous without him, would you? What was your fallback? Electrician?

DB: (laughs) I wanted to be a madame.

Ali:Thoughts on Celine, the Frenchman racist/pimp?

DB: He wrote for authors. And not for small children! People say he's a lot like a philosophical Bukowski - I'm just telling you what I hear because I really haven't read much of him.

Ali: Your songs are often very philosophical; the "Dead Man Walking" as ageing-gracefully, and of course the entire Diamond Dogs album. How do you come by these spiritual premises?

DB: It was very hard. People don't know how it works on character, whether it is modernism or romanticism or whatever. Essentially, you're reading these books and all they tell you is everything you've learned tll now is wrong, and you have to get past that and figure out what that person's right is.

Ali: Like a collection of souls in your head. Do you have any collections?

DB: Yeah. I tried to collect news. That got old.

Ali: (laughs) Speaking of old news, and I do mean to be rude, whatever happened to Nathan and Baby Grace and that lot? We've not heard from them in ages.

DB: I'm actually going to write when I'm done here.

Ali: Influenced at all by all the promising young writers on your own message board? Some brilliant young thing is combining her own writing with computer-generated text, and there's a really fabulous set of made-over jokes with you in them, several versions of your life history -- any of that register with you?

DB: To be honest, it's all like a string of 'Rock 'n' Roll Suicide'.

Ali: (coughing to cover muttered 'stupid cocksucker'.) And what about Tin Machine?

DB: (wryly) Apparently it would not go to sleep.

Ali: FINE! Well, tell us, o rhythm saviour, about the coming of jungle.

DB: It's like the coming of other forms of course. I started slightly after the majority of the club scene did.

Ali: Angela Bowie did a disco track, you know. Do you see Earthling as a populist sort of thing like Let's Dance?

DB: (looks over his shoulder) Did I do something wrong?

Ali: No, not at all, you stinking bastard. It's just that I write my heart out for you and you're so FLIP with it, aren't you. I mean EVERYONE'S written their little thing and it doesn't mean anything to you, DOES IT?

DB: I've just got past Kerouac and the Adler Diaries and a number of Mirabella magazine articles. Quite honestly I haven't had time to read your work in a while.

Ali: (sniffling) Don't touch me! Just answer the questions! Christ I hate you!

DB: (folds his arms in front of him and puts his head down.) You're acting childish.

Ali: I - I'm sorry. (straightens self) Fine. Fine. Let's get past that. Where do you think your music's going?

DB: I guess I'm getting nearer to, like, one point where I want to be. Earthling is one of a whole sequence of proper albums, considering, what, they were on the record racks marked proper music.

Ali: You want to hold still on a concept? Just for a while or forever? Is it this futurist fictional thing?

DB: Jagger is a science fiction fantasy. I want to be a man holding still on everything.

Ali: So you want to hold still on a concept, and the concept is everything?

DB: Everything.

Ali: That's ambitious.

DB: A pale shadow. I'm getting nearer to things much bigger.

Ali: Like WHAT?!

DB: My fingers!

Ali: Think of your fingers much?

DB: Frequently.

Ali: When was your last manicure?

DB: It's about fifteen years.

Ali: Been putting it off, then, have you? Why?

DB: The Ron Athey scarifications - that's all true, by the way - has made me very edgy about those sharp little things they poke you with. It's a bit like dentistry for the hands, isn't it? I just do it myself.

Ali: O, I see. When's your next appointment with you?

DB: (smiling)Tommorow.

Ali: Do you torment your nails much? Are they beat on?

DB: And hung upon a lot and I've still got in the works on another set of hands. Reeves, as it happens, has recieved a manicure from me.

Ali: Where do you want your nails to be when you're doing them?

DB: I want to be developed. Nails are only a sliver of that!

Ali: You've been thinking about this, haven't you.

DB: I analyse it.

Ali: Next subject: what did you get for your birthday? What does one give a millionaire?

DB: I got feelings.

Ali: (laughs) A little late in the game. Why now?

DB: I have to write my unauthorized auto-biography from the most subjective possible position.

Ali: The Mbers often talk about books written on you. I must confess, I scarecely recognize the man who comes out of most people's remembrances. Whose history is that?

DB: Their own version. I really have to sleep.

Ali: We'll continue tomorrow, then. Last words?

DB: I'm just a bullet-proof mask, friends, and that's the word on stage.

Ali, thanking you all.

The   Interview!      Part   2   of   5

Today was better - he wasn't as drunk and neither was I. Our dear boy is actually quite the scientist; apparently when no-one was watching he went and got a degree in Inorganic Biochemistry, Particle Botany, and Quantum Zoology. Of course we spoke on none of that in the interview. It's just a savage teaser. You have no idea how many classes he's taken in Human Anatomy, though. And he remembers oh-so-much. O so much.

No, just kidding. I'm the only girl on here that doesn't want to bean him senseless and if you're very good I'll even tell you why someday. To any effect, herein lies the INTERVIEW part 2.

Ali: Good to have you back; let's get depressed quickly. Why do you whip your bandmates?

DB: You see results. This guy down Christopher Street who ought to know said in a number of write-ups of our concerts the best were on nights when I just whaled on them.

Ali: On second thought let's no talk about that. I was joking when I asked it anyway. Wow - that's - that's sick, man. We should talk about something happy and shiny now. What do you like best about Jesus?

DB: His disciples.

(At this point the tape spooled out of control and I can't decipher it. I think the conversation took a turn for the better shortly afterwards, so really it's best this way.)

Ali: But you have stopped taking *most* drugs, haven't you?

DB: Never got messed up again. Most LVs, they pass out if it incorporates a splitting headache and shaking. I always ignored that sort of physical pain. Jagger used to throw up into other people's hats; I mean, he would actually look for a hat to throw up in.

Ali: Why take them at all?

DB: 'Cause that's the moment. It was part of that society.

Ali: Speaking of society, what about all this twaddle about the internet/TV/movies/music, pardon my french, fucking up our precious American youth?

DB: There's much more impact on TV. I'm not sure about the other media. I think if you're smart enough and brave enough to find, you know, porn or whatever on the Internet, you're old enough to look at it. Every part of society is moving and growing at such a tremendously fast pace, and here are all these parents insisting their children still grow up slowly!

Ali: Do you believe there is any reason for anything to grow slowly anymore?

DB: The most devastated plants have an excuse. Us apes have to rolls with the changes, as it were.

Ali: As long as we're on the subject of apes, why did you *really* tour with NIN?

DB: 'Cause Uncle Floyd wasn't melodically driven. No, only joking. I want people who do something completely different.

Ali: How do you account for the sudden increase in bands that, to put it mildly, slavishly imitate you?

DB: I just appealed to a time in which drugs and the family unit were of equal importance, I suppose.

Ali: How do you think your current work will influence bands in the future?

DB: Hopefully I'll be gone before those albums are available. (laughs) I really don't know.

Ali: I've read the reviews and what people in general have to say about Earthling...

DB: Libraries of feedback.

Ali: ... Yeah, like a Frampton song. But forget what all those people said. What was *your* feeling on the album?

DB: It was going to the idea of a poet in space/man of earth thing.

Ali: At Madison Square, where you essentially debuted all the new songs, you spoke of incorporating all these visuals into it. Was that music or performance art?

DB: It was definitely a theatrical performance. You've been reading the Diaries, haven't you? 'It was definitely music - but was it art?'

Ali: The what?

DB: The Adler Diary, that story-as-frontispiece in Outside. You know.

Ali: No, I'm afraid I haven't a clue what you're talking about.

DB: What? I thought you fed the whole thing into your Randomizer and posted the resultant spew on the
boards - at least, I'd read some of it posted under your name.

Ali: HA! HA! You HAVE been reading the current stuff! HA HA HA! You GOIT!

DB: O dear.

Ali: YOU GOIT!!!!

DB: (sighs)

Ali: (brandishing pistol) WHY SHOULDN'T I BLOW YOUR HEAD OFF?

DB: Do you really want to be remembered as David Bowie's Valerie Solanis?


DB: Look, I'll tell you what, I'll go upstairs for a tick. I suppose you don't want this present I'd brought you, then?

Ali: WHAT PRESENT?! (sniffling) I mean, what present?

DB: O, it's nothing I suppose. Call me when you're ready to continue.

Ali: No, wait, wait... I'll behave... What present?

DB: You promise you'll behave?

Ali: Yeah, yeah, whatever - what present?

DB: Here.

(sound of paper ripping)

Ali: O, wow...

DB: Do you like it?

Ali: Wow - this is - wow...

DB: Iman picked it out, actually.

Ali: Wow, jesus, wow, I'm sorry, David.

DB: It's okay. Can we finish up? I have to go soon.

Ali: Wow, okay, yeah, wow. Wow. Jesus wow Christ.

DB: (laughs)

Ali: Do you - wow - I don't know if should ask this now - how did you get so buff?

DB: What? O, I tried something I got that on television, basically.

Ali: Which was?

DB: The military.

Ali: You're not serious.

DB: Quite serious. I did a stint with the Royal Navy for about two years. That'll put hair on your chest. Or in my case, pectorals.

Ali: No, really.

DB: (laughs) Why don't we talk about something else, then?

Ali: So, why didn't Eno join and get buff too?

DB: It was half my stunning him with melodic structures that he couldn't possibly comprehend, and half his avowed hatred for fascism and short haircuts.

Ali: Did the military change your sound at all, in your opinion?

DB: Except in fools like Prince who was about it longer than me, your sound is the only thing to survive.

Ali: Prince was in the military too?

DB: And it was never heard of. He has without a doubt the best PR men in the business.

Ali: Did the military affect your clothing at all? Drawn or repulsed by squared shoulders now?

DB: No.

Ali: Where's fashion going, then?

DB: The seventies is the news and exposing oneself is quite an art. People who have to wear uniforms forget a lot of that.

Ali: Painting is making a resurgence to classicism...

DB: It's forgetting Andy Warhol.

Ali: That may be so, but it is making that return all the same. Your feelings on it?

DB: I can't articulate them.

Ali: Do you make abstract music? Or do you paint portraits?

DB: Yes.

Ali: Do you see Outside as abstract art and Earthling as more concrete?

DB: I'm more accessible in the new album. How's that for an answer!

Ali: You think a non-Bowieite could just sit down and connect with Earthling?

DB: You could immediately.

Ali: A lot of people are hearing NIN in Seven Years To Tibet. What did you get out of the NIN tour?

DB: I tried to get money, but in the end I got some teenagers and a pouch of feathers. Jabul wants to trade for goats, but I don't much need goats these days.

Ali: Smart aleck.

DB: (laughs) It was a good tour. I enjoyed myself immesely. I don't know what I'm going to do up there on stage all alone! But someone's gotta do it.

Ali: Do you sleep with a British flag?

DB: Everyone gets lonely sometimes.

Ali: Alright, that's enough for tonight. One last question - what's your vision for America?

DB: I rather like the idea of a youth uprising, something really dynamic like that.

Ali: You know, I did a Jokes For Bowie about that.

DB: (Smiles)

Ali, who had to shoot him in the head later.

david here. ali's not looking so i'll tell you - she's a monster and the only reason i put up with her at all is because you dear people mean so much to me. love you all - david.

The   Interview!      Part   3   of   5

He was quietly dressed in earth tones without ruffles; it was difficult to envision him the protogod Marilyn Manson and Trent would have us believe he is. In fact, I confused him with his Davenport at first. Today's conversation was much more peaceable than our previous ones. I was wearing his little gift, which pleased him immensely. Yes, David Bowie may, in fact, be a nice guy. Onward and upward!

DB: (laughs) Yes, but up until now, it was quite alarming.

Ali: I think you have this psychic umbilical cord to the man, personally. What's news for your music now that he's not readily available?

DB: I didn't know I was bound for the studio any time soon.

Ali: O.

DB: Which isn't to say that he's not a very good friend and I'll not miss him.

Ali: O. Okay, whatever. I don't know anything about it. What is truth?

DB: Experience and perception. Next.

Ali: Is there a god?

DB: I thought I was God.

Ali: No; you're thinking of Bono.

DB: Bono is God? That's a poor rub.

Ali: No, Bono thinks he's god. Reznor thinks you're God.

DB: What do you think?

Ali: Ever since the therapy I haven't been able to form cognizant philosophical opinions. Next.

DB: Have you ever conducted an interview whilst under the influence of drugs?

Ali: I can honestly say I can't wibble freep rippiz weeneroff.

DB: (laughs)

Ali: No, seriously. Any movie roles in the near future?

DB: None that were still open. I'm trying out against a small group of the rock stars for the role of me in "Diamond Nebula", but I think Bono got it.

Ali: Could I be an extra?

DB: You could make real experience on a project like that.

Ali: Would you ever do a movie with your lovely and talented wife Iman?

DB: Which one is it, then? O, yeah, her. (laughs) We've done a few Swedish skin flicks.

Ali: Ewww. That's revolting. Are they out on video yet?

DB: Yes, so you can sit home and have it off.

Ali: Not my scene. You're not serious, are you?

DB: Of course not.

Ali: You frightened me there. What scares you?

DB: That question.

Ali: How'd you deal with the sudden panic it must have wrought in you?

DB: I'd rather not talk about all that.

Ali: Where does a worldfamous popstar go to cool his heels? You must have hungry fans down your throat all the time.

DB: That's brilliant; I tell you and tomorrow I wake up with some strange tongue in my mouth.

Ali: That doesn't happen to me nearly so often as I'd like.

DB: You should try sharing a bed with Carlos.

Ali: Where do you plan to be during the ritual art-murder of Baby Grace Blue?

DB: Carefully assembling my alibi.

Ali: Thoughts on the 20-hit wonder Hootie and the Blowfish?

DB: (vaguely southern accent) "I haven't changed my audience. It works in the studio."

Ali: Who is Paco Juarez?

DB: Paco Juarez? Isn't he the lead singer of Hootie and the Blowfish?

Ali: Earthling has been critically *adored*, but US sales are sluggish. Why?

DB: But it will sell in a moment. (closes eyes, tilts head back.) Ahhhh. There we are.

Ali: (laughs) On a completely and totally different note, what do you make of the scene in the US ghetto? In ghettos around the world but especially in race-polarized US?

DB: Their lives [ghetto dwellers] are into the idea of the old - slavery, economic inopportunity, prejudice - and they can't move forward. Worse still, rap has become so popular that all these suburban kids are buying into the glamour of the ghetto while being in what amounts to another world. Gansta rap is telling the truth, but the white kids aren't hearing the desparation. They're only hearing the gunshots or whatever. The excitement. Those inner city kids - most of them don't expect to see 21 so there's no sense of these people living or growing and that broke down most of their inherent moral control. I really get angry when I come to some place like New York or whatever and some uptown lawyer's boy has on the same outfit as the kid selling gold chains down the street.

Ali: You used to really be into the soul music thing in the '70s, and hiphop in the early '90s - recently you've moved away from that black thing. Explain yourself!

DB: Drums and bass doesn't belong to any one race, which is an exciting thing. As for moving away from black music, or what is considered black music - it's just cyclical. What I was doing in the early '70s wasn't black, neither was Heroes/Low/Lodger. I think I should clarify that it's not an issue of colour to me. It's an issue of what is new, what is interesting.

Ali: So you're abandoning soul?

DB: The new material draws on soul music. I never abandon things. I'm really a terrible hoarder. But I do rework them a lot and sometimes I suppose it beomes unrecognizable!

Ali: How did you get Virgin to buy into releasing Outside and Earthling, which are a departure from EVERYTHING mainstream at the moment?

DB: Two-thirds of releasing anything is convincing the men with the money. Actually, the guys at Vergin were very supportive and excited by it.

Ali: It's not music other 50-year-olds listen to.

DB: We know different 50-year-olds, I think.

Ali: What are you going to wear on tour? I really liked the big-pants in cream for Outside.

DB: Yellow is the savvyest thing, but I'm going to go with something a little more moody and let Reeves Ali: Where do you get your tailoring done?

DB: Our universe.

Ali: How are rehearsals going?

DB: O, great. We even got things to work, at times.

Ali: Have you done much work?

DB: Sure.

Ali: On what?

DB: Things! (laughs)

Ali: And on to another subject: How are you doing?

DB: I'm going to be fabulous.

Ali: But how are you now?

DB: I'm quite alarming.

Ali: Do you think you'll survive as an artist in the years to come?

DB: I don't like to survive. I don't like art, either. I like to surf the net, eat pork, and watch "This Old House."

Ali: (laughs) I thought you weren't taking drugs anymore.

DB: I'm a total liar. I take all of them. At once, if necessary.

Ali: What's your favorite drug?

DB: Family.

Ali: What was the last thing you did with Eno?

DB: We wrote.

Ali: Is he family?

DB: In all my best true fantasies.

Ali: Did you ever sleep with him?

DB: Yeah, and he'll curl up on your chest like a baby.

Ali: Never plugged him, though, did you?

DB: I'm a huge fan of his work. Of course I sell it to everyone.

Ali: But, I mean, you didn't - (makes obscene hand gesture)

DB: Make a circle of him and poke me finger through it? Surely not.

Ali: (sighs) Nevermind.

DB: (laughs)

Ali: And that's all the time we have. See you tommorow!

DB: Good night. And that looks lovely on you!

Ali, saying thanks.

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