The Lost Bowie Soundbite

• Do you remember the movie, “The Linguini Incident?” I didn’t think so.

• On a dusty old cassette, a bittersweet revelation: David Bowie’s unfulfilled dream

• Another recollection from my distant pasta

I have shoeboxes full of audio cassette tapes I haven’t listened to in 30 or 40 years — interviews done for radio stations and the ABC network. The other day I found one labeled “David Bowie raw.” On it was an interview done in the CNN New York studios in 1991 (before the interview starts you can hear the control room assure us over a two-way speaker that David’s cigarettes and ashtray are not in the shot).

He was promoting his starring role in a low-budget film ($2 million!) alongside Rosanna Arquette.

“The Linguini Incident,” directed by 25-year-old Richard Sherman, never had a chance; it opened in LA the week of the riots. It wasn’t very good, either.

I listened to the 18-minute interview and came across something near the end that surprised and saddened me.

What I’m going to do here is create a radio feature I might’ve produced – not knowing then what I now realize, having heard him articulate a dream that never came true.

You can click on the audio links to hear his mellifluous voice (It’s Safe For Work) or just read:

David Bowie goes from stage to screen again, alongside Rosanne Arquette in ‘The Linguini Incident,’ opening this weekend in limited release. In it, he plays a bartender who plots with a co-worker to rob the fashionable, upscale restaurant where they work, called ‘Dali.’

Me: It is a delicious send-up, if you will, of a trendy Manhattan restaurant. David: Yeah. Me: Any restaurant in particular you thought it could be compared to? David: No, hah hah hah. Me: You still want to eat in this town.. David: I want free meals!

The 44-year-old internationally-renowned musician professes not to be concerned at all about whether ‘The Linguini Incident’ delights the palates of filmgoers.

Me: What do you think its prospects are? David: I haven’t a clue and I don’t really care. I like what I did in it and that’s good enough for me.”

Will Bowie be sticking to music-making or will he pursue more cinema opportunities?

David: It’s fun. It’s fun being invited to take part in sharing these, um, celluloid extravaganzas. But it’s not my life. I enjoy the process for a while. It gets quite boring, because I like to have an active hand in it myself. That’s why I guess I’m so keen to at least have a crack at making one movie. And there are enough people out there who will believe in me for one movie . . . and then I’m on my own. So, it might just be my first and my last movie. I don’t mind.

He says he has written a script and already cast two of the roles. He’ll just be directing, not acting. He says he is “very well financed for it.”

Says Bowie, “It’s just a question of finding the appropriate time and taking the plunge.”

Mark Scheerer, Reporter-on-the-Road, with your “hollywood minute.”

So I went to the Internet Movie Data Base and was somewhat surprised to find that, by the time of his passing in 2016, he had not made that one movie.

Other than executive producing a couple of films and directing several music videos in which he starred, David Bowie, for whatever reason, never got a chance to direct that first – or last – movie.

It’s hard to think there weren’t enough people out there who believed in him.


To end on a lighter note, a Bowie anecdote:

In 1983 I was sent by ABC Radio News to cover one of the first North American dates of his Serious Moonlight Tour, at the fabled Forum in Montreal (where I never got to see a Canadiens’ game, dammit). There was no interview offered and my on-site efforts at a spontaneous Q&A were rebuffed by his publicist. But I got to see a great concert and reported on it. Afterward, back at the Ritz-Carlton, the tour hotel where I also was staying, I heard he might be partying a couple floors up. It was easy to find the suite – getting off the elevator I followed the sound of music. The door was open and I wandered in. Bowie was holding court, sitting on the bed, and there was music and booze. No decadence, at least not front and center. Made myself at home, chatted with tour personnel.

A while later, the publicist showed up and froze in the doorway, her eyes big as saucers as she spotted me. She casually walked over and whispered, “You can stay, but don’t you DARE let him know who you are; I’ll lose my job!”

Deal!

-30-

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