So you're in this movie DeadRockStar?
I was hired as an actor two or three years ago but they didn‘t have a start date. I spoke to Danny Vinik, the author, a couple of weeks ago, and it is supposed to start shooting this summer here in Tucson.
And this is based on your memoir Backstage Passes, as the Daily Express claimed? No, that's another project and I've worked on a number of Backstage Passes screenplays. I'm often asked to consult on David Bowie/glam rock-related movies. I was going to consult for Velvet Goldmine. My daughter, Stacia thought it was about me and nearly had a nervous breakdown. I retained the film rights to Backstage Passes as a project in case I ran out of things to do. Recently, not only have there been scripts about that time period but (and this amazes me) all these David Bowie Tribute bands, who amount to "Elvis/Bowie impersonators". Bowie has become a legend in his own time! I was very impressed with that news which came to me through the website.
Have any big names approached you to do a David/Angie movie?
No. But I can tell you about a 23-year-old, a young gentleman recommended by a mutual friend. He has written a screenplay about David. He'd read Backstage Passes and incorporated some of it. I read it and nearly had a coronary. The kid had me screaming down Beckenham High Street about aliens. That certainly got my attention.
Are you working on a Backstage Passes screenplay?
Yes, I've written three or four versions. I'm playing with it. I wrote a musical called Razor and I think there’s a way to combine fiction and fact to blend into an individual story rooted in the material. My days and nights at the moment are spent working on my book Pop.Sex, Popular Sexuality In The World Today. But there has been so much interest in the '70s time frame and I have seen so many scrappy efforts at recreating the age; I will be forced to add my two cents worth for those who might appreciate something closer to reality. Or farther from reality because it was a special time. Almost Famous came the closest I have seen to that particular time but it did not address the European adventures of rock 'n' roll so to top Almost Famous, I want to take my time and do it well. Next year I’ll write the film of the '70s. Backstage Passes is hard for me to ignore; the book was released for a third time in October 2004; I am asked about it five or six times a week in letters from the internet. I want it to be serious and entertaining. It's got to be right.
Is it about you and David Bowie?
I don't know I haven’t written it yet. It's about me specifically. It would not be right to tell the David Bowie story. He was a part of my life but just a 10-year chunk. That's not much. Backstage Passes the movie is about me: it does not start with David Bowie and end with my leaving him - despite the book version which was heavily influenced by the American publisher. It's about my early life in Cyprus. David Bowie was one project in my life, the next was my horse ranch. These are told in flashbacks. I'm so exhausted talking about the past. Someone from Holland recently sent me a copy of Dutch Penthouse in which David is quoted as saying Backstage Passes is the best book about him - I should write more! I don't speak Dutch so I can't say if this true.
So the film is about you...
By the third version I decided I would revert to my alter ego, Lily Bounty. Backstage Passes is just a starting point for The Adventures of Lily Bounty.
Where does Lily Bounty come from?
Back in 1991 I wrote a sex opera serial for the 900 sex phonelines. Lily was born out of that - an erotic animated film about Lily Bounty. Gorgeous, erotic Lily Bounty represents what I desire.
Some might say there's a movie to be made about you and David. Some people say your career suffered as you helped his take off...
I don't think that's necessarily true - but I wonder why they say that. I did a good job with David Bowie. I'm a great marketer - it was enough for me to promote him. I would never say "He'd be nothing without me..." He's a brilliant writer and entertainer but he needed a marketer - I mean, we were the first music kids to incorporate stage methods to transform musical events into theatrical experiences. I claim responsibility for that. I am a total theatrical experience nut! But I don’t like traditional stuff, once corporate endorses it I am wary of its merit! I like weird, street theatre, slick cabaret, solo satire, stream of consciousness comedians; Robin Williams, Billy Connolly.
You've been much abused by some in the media for writing about Bowie in Free Spirit and Backstage Passes.
Have I? Oh, well.
Tell us of your movie loves.
I admire Ridley Scott - a brilliant cinematographer. I'm crazy about the new breed of sci-fi writing, not crazy about the young/adrenaline violent flick. I have a weak stomach. I can't stand mushiness - I'll rush for the exit. Babe is one of the best movies I've ever seen. Not the second one. I like applications where different types of special effects and animatronics present a different visual world. Paul Verhoeven's Starship Troopers is brilliant - it reminds us of war based on fear, of invasion, it's remembering, placed in a sci-fi context. Bulworth is brilliant: Warren Beatty gets better and better. I think in biographical movies Howard Stern's life story Private Parts was a hit! And Larry Flynt's life story was very well done. It’s all in the writing - no script and it’s rubbish. Howard told me he worked for four and half years with the writers getting that script right.
You've released a music CD album Moon Goddess.
Yes, it is like a musical review of my life. Moon Goddess was written between 1984 and 1993. My first solo recording was in 1976; I wrote a poem called Soul House. Roy Martin wrote the music and it was released through Track Records. Thunderclap Newman was in the studio with us and I asked him to help me with Some Of My Best Friends Are Strangers. I met Chico Rey in New York & wanted to record a track of his called Crying In The Dark which I had heard him perform in a club. We began this album with six tracks recorded in New York. By 1986 we were touring Europe with Crying In The Dark out on Bellaphon and an English band. I produced and directed a video in Vienna for the song and we won an award in Germany for that effort.
So tell us about yourself...
I live with Michael G, he's very cool, in Tucson, where there's more writers per square foot than anywhere else on the planet. It's taken me a while to learn to focus on my career. I guess being raised a Catholic it took me a while to realise it was okay to follow my own dreams and not think I had to hang on the cross to help someone else make their dreams come true. My son Joe/Zowie will be 31 next May 30. Happy Birthday Darling. My daughter Stacia celebrated her 22nd birthday on July 24. and so I have been able to fulfil my desire to have a boy and a girl. I have travelled and written books and poetry and directed short films and video, written and performed music. Films are my next port of call; that’s where I was going when that good-looking young David Bowie said: "Come on over to my house." It just took a while to get out the door. Thank you for a fun interview, Madame Arcati.