It had been a long hard road for David Bowie, singing, songwriting, acting, painting, snorting, sculpting, writing, dancing and fucking. He approached the new millenium with a vibrant mix of madness and apathy.
In February it was announced that he had been nominated for two Grammy awards for Best Alternative Album and Best Male Rock Performance. Bowie declined to appear, using as his excuse a, 'cold'. He was able to provide a note from his mother:
To Whom it may concern
David will not be able to come to the Grammys because he has a cold, he is in bed right now and I am giving him soup. (I think he is putting it on, he's always been a bit of a malingerer that son of mine. Don't give him the awards, he doesn't deserve them).
With the Grammys avoided David's next stop was in the Isle of Man. There he started work with Goldie appearing in a film to be titled 'Gay Gangsters Love Sunshine and Music', later retitled 'Everybody Loves Sunshine' so as not to be heterosexualist. David had collaborated with Goldie on his 'Saturnz Return' album and planned to do further work with him such as bricklaying and bookshelf dusting.
Acting and being nominated for awards were not the only arse-busting pieces of work David was involved with though. He became co-founder of '21', an art publishing house venture that would publish all kinds of arty books that no-one would ever buy. As a back up in case they went broke they would also publish Batman comics and pornography.
With this publishing venture well on the way in April, it comes as no surprise that David won 'Best International Live Act' at the Hot Press Irish Rock and Pop Music Awards. Bowie gave his acceptance speech live by satellite: 'I feel an overwhelming amount of apathy at being awarded this mediocre prize at this obscure award show. Rest assured that by tomorrow I will have forgotten all about it, and the trophy will no doubt end up in a trash can somewhere between here and my home. I didn't win a Grammy, but I scored a Hot Press Irish award. It's kind of like salt rubbed into a painfully blistering wound. Thankyou all, and goodnight'. A scriptwriter was ordered for future award appearences.
It was May, and a press conference had been called. Announced was another film project that Bowie would be involved in. 'Il Mio West', a spagetti western starring Harvey Keitel, Leonardo Pieraccioni as well as Bowie would begin filming in Italy starting June. A new role for Bowie, a mad pistolero named Jack Sikora, a villian. David got carried away with his role at times, shooting Harvey Keitel in the leg, the director in the head and himself in the groin before they took his pistols away from him.
Meanwhile it was all going on behind the cyberspace scenes. On June 24th 'Bowienet' was announced to be becoming operable soon. Bowienet would provide a full ISP for $19.95 a month, or would provide members with full access for $5.95 a month. For this fans would get behind the scenes web-cams, Bowienet member only song contributions, messageboards frequented by some guy posing as Bowie, shops, adult entertainment, games, love, sustinence, sunshine and God. A world first for celebrity based website. As usual at the very hint of a new artistic/commercial avenue David was there grabbing it by the teat and squeezing precious milk from the bloated aching udder.
But this was especially the year of filming for Bowie. By July he was off to Vancouver to star in a kids film for The Family Channel. 'Exhuming Mr Rice' would portray David as a 400 year old man who digs himself out of the grave to horribly murder and mutilate the children in the street who were curious about him. He would stuff their ripped out stomach with Rice, and then make a witty one-liner. A sequel was planned, 'Orgy of Death II : Mr Rice's Revenge'.
Going along with this theme, Bowie was rumoured to be appearing as a member in the audience when Nitsch would slaughter animals and roll around in their guts for art. Bowie denied having anything remotely to do with Nitsch and his strange work of art, but the trail of intestines stuck to his boot and dragged along behind him told a different story.
Work with long estranged producer Tony Visconti and Reeves Gabrels, recording a track for the upcoming Rugrats film was completed, but then dropped from the film. Repeated use of the words fuck, shit, cunt, motherfucker, kill, bastard and slut in the song meant it was deemed inappropriate for such a film.
So Bowie only managed to record and not release 'Mother' for an upcoming John Lennon tribute album. This before Bowienet was officially launched on September 1st, and not surprisingly before anything that came after. Everyone who tried to access Bowienet without using a computer were repeatedly frustrated by the lack of access for non-computer-users.
Perhaps it was simply time for David Bowie to sit back and get awards. The 1998 MMVA Eyepopper Award was his. He gained the distinction by being the artist who's 'Eye popped out and dangled from it's socket the most in the past year'. While recieving the award his eye popped out again and dangled causing much mirth, laughter and applause was mixed with gagging and screwed up faces.
Meanwhile, on Bowienet the Inaugural Bowie Chat was held on October 1st. A brief transcription follows:
Bowie : Welcome to the first Bowie Chat at Bowienet! Please ask me any questions you'd like!
Arber543X : Age? m/f?
Starcraxman : Doom V3.46 awannaplay?
Troogy : hey! craxman!
Bowie : Excuse me what? You can ask questions about my latest recording efforts, or perhaps Iman!
IgpussyXcXc : cyber? m19
Starcraxman : Troogy!
KkbbB54 : :^# bhrf? kkkkkk be LOOL!
Troogy : LMAO!
Arber543X : lol ;O>
Bowie : What does bhrf mean? I don't understand!
Troogy : krbo9 Bowie
Starcraxman : ---### BLIXMAN BURGEEMAN ###---
Troogy : LOL
The chat goes on like this for pages, with Bowie slowly slinking to the sidelines not sure of how to reply or communicate.
On December 18th 'Il Mio West' premiered in Italy
Viva Italia : When da moon hitsa your eye like a bigga pizza pie, thatsa Bowie.
Italia Italia Italia : Whatsa madda you eh? Gotta no respect? Whaddya think you do? Why you looka so sad? Itsa not so bad. Itsa nice-a film, ah shuttupya face!
Slowly leaving the year behind him in confusion Bowie was approached to appear at Gisborne in New Zealand for a new year's eve concert in 1999. Would he? Would he really? Could it be? (No, if you check the next chapter you'll see that he didn't)