DVD: David Bowie- Rare and Unseen
From “The Rare and Unseen Collection” comes this DVD featuring about an hour’s worth of never-before broadcasted footage of David Bowie.
The footage itself consists of interweaving sequences of interviews, press conference performances and rehearsal footage, spanning Bowie’s post-Ziggy Stardust days.
If you’re a Bowie fan, surely you know that at least in his early years, he said very little in regard to his career and personal life. Even in the 1999 interview we see a Bowie reflecting back on his career with comical laughs and a smile, proving that the man doesn’t take himself too seriously, but still isn’t willing to open the vault completely.
Perhaps my favorite sequence in this picture is the 1975 interview with Russell Harty, which was taped via satellite from England to where Bowie was staying in California.
Here, it becomes clear why perhaps many journalists and talk show hosts were made nervous by Bowie as legend; his brief answers, priceless facial expressions an uncompromising demeanor was both intimating and refreshing. Unlike many artists who might appease their interviewer and themselves by quickly rattling off their responses, Bowie listens intently to every question asked, choosing which ones he’ll shed some insight on, and completely dismissing the ones he doesn’t deem appropriate. His blunt humor reveals a man firm, but open-minded, and certainly this is a far cry from the mythical, intangible image many cast upon him.
The DVD also includes interviews with band mates and long-time pals like Peter Frampton and Carlos Alomar, as well as Bowie speaking out about music and memories with Brian Eno, Iggy Pop, and Lindsay Kemp.
Here are some memorable quotes from the disc:
Of his drug use and the Ziggy Stardust days: “The drugs started taking a more severe hold of my life. The ability within your conscious mind to actually deliver yourself into two separate parts disappears and the lines blur, and it’s only this one formless mutant that’s left behind…I didn’t know I was playing characters at that time.”
Of his drug use and how people who’ve been human “pin cushions,” like William Burroughs, are surprisingly the ones still living: “It’s interesting that people who go through the cusp of those explorations tend to come out the other side, and a better person for it.”
Answering a question from Harty regarding extra-terrestrials: “A mountain or a tree is a manifestation of forces we are not capable of dealing with.”
On his definition of discipline: “Discipline doesn’t mean you make sure you get up at eight in the morning…Discipline is if you conceive something then you decide whether or not it’s worth following through, and if it’s worth following through, you follow it through to its logical conclusion and do it to the best of your ability.”
Of Performing: “I’m a good performer and I’m a good singer but that has nothing to do with being a musician- Does it?”
“You can dress a show with a trillion dollars worth of goodies, but if the show is not substantial, there’ll be no impact.”