I'm just a space cadet, he's the Commandeur...
After a question from BowieNetter mandn on the MBs, and a few e-mails I've received, I thought I'd do a little detective work regarding the cute little pin that David has been wearing on his left lapel during recent public appearances. (Top right in above pic)
Well, it's a bit more than a cute little pin...it's a wireless pinhole digi-cam that beams back film of the evening's encounters to a massive hard drive at David's home so that he can relive each evening at his leisure. Actually, that's mainly a big fat lie.
What it really is...
I'm sure you all remember back in October 1999 when David was awarded France's highest cultural recognition, Commandeur dans L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, in a presentation by French Minister of Culture, Catherine Trautman.
Anyway, you all knew that, but the pin you've spotted David sporting on his lapel recently is simply a smaller, more manageable, version of the larger award in the shot above, so that the recipient doesn't have to go around with that bloody great thing hanging around their neck!
I do remember reading somewhere, (I'm sure one of you lot will find the article) that some years before DB received Commandeur status, (which is only given to a maximum of twenty people per year) he received the lower graded, but still impressive, Chevalier (Knight) dans L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres...through the post! Classy, eh? That may even be the thing on the fashionably wide lapel in the shot from 1973 above...I'll let you know either way.
Footnote: Well of course I was hopelessly wrong about the picture above. I asked DB if he was wearing the Chevalier dans L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in the picture, and this is what he said: "If only. That is a profile of Lenin on a badge that I picked up in Moscow in 1973."
The badge/brooch/medal/ribbon/pin, or whatever you call the thing, isn't dissimilar to the one above...though that isn't the exact one. Oh well, now we know.