Wednesday, January 14, 2009


David Bowie has always been a trendsetter, and usually in a fairly positive way. He's one of the most influencial musicians of the pop and rock and roll era, and most music fans would probably agree that that's a good thing. He was also one of the first musicians to embrace the internet, and establishing a community with his fans.

But the UK's Daily Mirror says that David Bowie's "Bowie Bonds" from the '90s are to blame for a trend that ultimately led to the economic mess that the world finds itself in. I'm not a financial expert, so click the link to read the whole story, but the gist of it is this: in 1997, Bowie, and some financial "experts," figured he has a certain amont of money coming in every year... so why wait for it? He would take a huge upfront lump sum, and investors were guaranteed a good income.

I remember thinking about this at the time: I'm a huge Bowie fan, but his records were becomming willfully uncommercial and his tours were not huge greatest-hits fests. How much money was he presuming to take in from 1997 (he was over 50 years old at the time) and, say, 2007? I wonder how the investors did on those Bowie bonds. He hasn't had a hit in the past decade. And obviously this model of lending on future money coming in hasn't worked very well for the world's economy. But I don't know if you can really blame Bowie for that. Do you blame him for Spandau Ballet?

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