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Cyberspace Oddity: Behind New Bowie

Aspiring Webhead to add sound and vision to new David Bowie tune

August 24, 1998 12:00 AM ET

Thousands of would-be poets, hack reporters and wannabe rock stars will likely rummage through crumpled notebooks of amateur prose next month, seeking out that perfect verse for David Bowie's current single-in-progress.

After swapping lyrics over the years with rock & roll stalwarts like Mick Jagger, Lou Reed and Iggy Pop, the illustrious Ziggy Stardust is now courting a new, unsuspecting collaborator. To commemorate the launch of his personal Internet Service Provider, www.davidbowie.com, Bowie will pen the first verse and chorus of a never-before-heard song, then post the words and upload the music on his site to help inspire the masses to complete his musings.

Beginning next month, anyone with a computer mouse and modicum of imagination can contribute three additional verses to the yet-unnamed song during the five-week contest. Internet users will vote on the contributions each week, and Bowie will ultimately choose the winner from a pool of twenty to twenty-five finalists, according to Ron Roy, a spokesman for UltraStar Internet Services.

After selecting his partner in rhyme, Bowie will fly the winner to New York, where the Thin White Duke will rehearse, record, mix and encode his or her new song live on the Web. Bowie will then post the song immediately onto davidbowie.com, where subscribers can access it free of charge. So much for sharing a chunk of actual royalties.

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