"I often plunge myself into the deep end of asituation just to see whathappens," said DAVID BOWIE to his fans on the night of September 11. It's aquote that summed up the extraordinary Internet event which tookplace at the singer's official web site,http//:www.davidbowie.com.
That's where BOWIE--in an unprecedented move--exclusively released his newlyrecorded song "Telling Lies" on the net. This hybrid of rock and undergrounddance rhythms remixed by A Guy Called Gerald isn't available in any store ordistributed to any radio station in North America. In the first four days ofits Internet release, there were more than 46,000 downloads of thetrack--over 10,000 per day--which means the website's server is running at over 300,000 hits per day for the last sevendays.
Two completely different versions of the song (the first is the "Feelgood"jungle mix by David Bowie and Mark Plati, while the second was mixed by danceguru Adam F.) will also be made available to fans exclusively via theInternet on September 18 and September 25 respectively, both at 11:00 pm ET.
This Wednesday's release will also premier Progressive Network's new 3.0Real Audio player, which means the sound quality of the streamed audio willbe superior to anything heard so far. All three versions will be availablein this new, improved format and also Macromedia's Shockwave Audio, plus adownloadable CD-Quality stereo file. (Note: "Telling Lies" will be releasedcommerically on vinyl and CD in the U.K. by RCA in November and BMGEntertainment International will also make it commerically available to allits other territories later this year.)
For the September 11 launch, BOWIE was joined at a secret New York Citylocation by two imposters: BOWIE guitarist Reeves Gabrels and Patrick Briggs,outrageous frontman for Psychotica, the BOWIE-influenced group who werefeatured on the main stage of this summer's Lollapalooza tour.
The unique online conference was picked up by TV news across the country.
It featured the three DAVID BOWIEs, two in disguise (and both telling lies). The conference was simultaneously held in CompuServe's Convention Center andon the World Wide Web. Each disguised and silhouetted "BOWIE" answeredquestions from the fans and those users in the Convention Center voted forwhom they believed to be the real BOWIE.
Here's a sample question (the real DAVID BOWIE will be revealed at the endof this press release): "What are the contents of your wallet now?"
DAVID #1: "Because I'm an Englishman, I don't have a wallet. I just have a room key."
DAVID #2: "American Express, platinum card, three condoms and two hundreddollars."
DAVID #3: "Passport, a driver's license and no money."
Another question: "What is the reason you chose to do these four ballroomshows?"--an inquiry about BOWIE's recent sold-out East Coast weekend shows,which he scheduled for fun while recording his new album in New York forrelease through Virgin Records America in early '97, titled Earthlings.
DAVID #1: "'Cause they're all within driving distance of New York so wecan drive back and get into the studio."
DAVID #2: "Well, I've always liked ballrooms. I've always liked FredAstaire. I figured this is one way to see those places I always wanted tosee as a child."
DAVID #3: "Well, I quite like the intimacy of a small room as most artistsdo."
The answers were often hilarious, the results usually unpredictable. Eventhough the real DAVID BOWIE told the truth in every answer, fans actuallyplaced him last in their vote behind their first (Briggs) and second(Gabrels) choices. True lies indeed!
At the end of the guessing-game interview, the lights were switched on andthe real BOWIE then took questions about everything from the different mixesof "Telling Lies" (the singer revealed that yet another-- a fourth--mix mightbe included on the forthcoming album Earthlings), to the secret behind, asone fan asked, his "longevity in a business that burns up talent so quickly. Replied BOWIE: "Strong willpower and a good pair of socks."
Internet users on the World Wide Web who wanted something more than justreading text, asking questions and seeing the event's live transcript coulddownload enhanced CU-SeeMe software and witness the audiovisuals of the eventin color. This works like standard teleconferencing equipment except that itruns over the Internet and works even at modem speeds of 28.8. The entireevent is now being rebroadcast 24-hours-a-day on CompuServe's BOWIE pages(http://www.compuserve.com/bowie).Like demand for BOWIE's new track,accesses for the conference have maintained the same high levels, even fivedays after the original September 11 launch.
Note: As for the identities of the three DAVID BOWIEs, they are as follows:the real DAVID BOWIE (#1), Reeves Gabrels (#2), and Patrick Briggs (#3).