David Bowie’s Lost Film Examined at YSU

Fri 10/19 at 4PM

Katherine Reed, assistant professor of musicology at California State University, Fullerton and a graduate of YSU’s music education bachelor’s program as a university scholar, is delivering a lecture on David Bowie’s “lost” film planned around his 1974 Diamond Dogs album and tour. The lecture will take place in Bliss Hall, Room 3036 on the campus of Youngstown State University on Fri 10/19 at 4PM.

Utilizing previously unstudied notes from Bowie and his creative collaborators, Reed will reconstruct the staging of the tour and the planned film.

Bowie’s Diamond Dogs album was loosely based on George Orwell’s iconic novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, although Bowie’s attempt to gain permission to create an official adaptation was denied by Orwell’s widow Sonia. Considered his most personal and complete artistic statement, the album and tour followed Bowie’s dramatic “retirement” from live performance, the firing of his band The Spiders From Mars, and the artist taking on complete production and guitar playing, for the first and last time in his career.

Reed views this productive and creative period as a turning point in Bowie’s career, as he fully developed his ideas into his most complete “concept album,” although The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars is usually credited with that breakthrough. In the ensuing decades, multitudes of artists have honored Bowie’s influence in their own conceptual work in music, live performance, staging, costuming and theatrical fluency.

Katherine Reed is working on a book, Hooked To The Silver Screen: David Bowie and the Moving Image, supported by a research fellowship at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Library and Archives.

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