“New York’s à gogo and everything tastes nice,” sang David Bowie in his early ’70s hit, “The Jean Genie.”
This month, New York is indeed à gogo with vibrant Bowie flavor as “Bowie 75,” a year-long celebration of the iconoclast’s 75th birthday, launches with two exclusive experiential retail pop-ups: one on Soho’s Wooster Street, and one on Heddon Street in the musician’s native London.
Both open Oct. 25 — 75 days before Bowie would have turned 75 on Jan. 8, and six years after his passing on Jan. 10, 2016. They will run until the end of next January.
While London’s pop-up marks the site of the “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars” album cover photo shoot, the Wooster Street location is a five-minute walk from Bowie’s final home on Lafayette Street.
“These locations were chosen specifically,” Bowie 75 producer Lawrence Peryer, 50, told The Post. Peryer grew up in Hamden, Connecticut, before moving to New York City to work in the music business in the 1990s, including on Bowie’s pioneering late ’90s artist-to-fan subscription website, BowieNet.
“It’s really about the authenticity,” he added, speaking from his home in the Pacific Northwest. “London was so important to Bowie as an artist, and his fan base there is phenomenally passionate. New York is where he lived and made his late career music. He played the concert here after 9/11; he has so many ties. I read a beautiful quote from SOMA magazine where Bowie said, ‘I’m a New Yorker now.’ “
These sound and vision museum-stores have fine art photography exhibits, video and a new immersive “David Bowie in Sony’s 360 Reality Audio” booth, overseen by Bowie’s longtime producer Tony Visconti.
“This will be a rediscovery of his music,” Peryer said. “It’s this incredible new spatial audio technology. This is like listening in a sphere with music emanating from all around.”
Interactive installations include “Ground Control,” where fans can leave messages for Bowie. “Then everyone can read them on the exhibit’s website,” said Peryer. “This will be very emotional for fans and a beautiful way they can express themselves.”
Fans can also write songs on “The Cut Up Magnet Wall,” where magnets printed with different Bowie lyrics can be jumbled up and rearranged into new sentences with new meanings — Bowie himself used the “cut-up” technique, borrowed from influential Beat author William Burroughs.
“This is evocative of one of the ways David created songs,” said Peryer. “It’s low tech, but high impact.”
Selfie ops include “Be a Bowie,” a series of mirrors where people can step into Bowie costumes and personas; “I Am a DJ,” which recreates the BBC radio booth for Bowie’s 1979 DJ set; and a custom-built, working, red K2 phone box, à la the “Ziggy Stardust” album cover. On Halloween, fans are invited to drop by dressed in Bowie regalia.
Fans can buy merchandise, singles and albums, including the forthcoming ‘90s reissue boxed set, “David Bowie 5: Brilliant Adventure (1992 – 2001),” out Nov. 26; and “Toy (Toy:Box),” a previously unreleased reprisal of several early period Bowie songs recorded in 2000, out Jan. 7.
Special guests popping into the pop-ups include “Ashes to Ashes: The Songs of David Bowie, 1976-2016” author Chris O’Leary doing a Bowie song breakdown, Dec. 4; and Bowie collaborator, musician and producer Mark Plati, who will head the Wooster Street “Toy” album release party, Jan. 7, on the eve of Bowie’s 75th birthday.
“We want to give people really good reasons to keep coming back to the store,” said Peryer. “You can shop for memorabilia and music, but it’s a shop for experiences, too. These are definitely retail locations, but if that’s all they are, then we haven’t done our job.”
“Bowie 75,” 150 Wooster St., at W. Houston Street; Bowie75.com
Published on: Article source