Sunday, November 27, 2011

David Bowie denies licensing songs for UK musical

There’s some confusion over reports of a UK musical featuring David Bowie’s material.

The Guardian reported Sunday that a futuristic fantasy called Heroes: The Musical will tell the story of Major Tom, as well as the starman and a "young dude" called David and will have its world premiere in March at the IndigO2 venue, inside London's former Millennium Dome.

Bowie rarely gives permission for his songs to be used and has never allowed them to be used in this way before. "We could not really believe it when they gave us permission," said Deep Singh, who wrote the musical. "His people had warned us that it was very unlikely that he would be interested and that he had been asked many times before."

Singh, a former screenwriter, believes that Bowie gave consent because he emphasized that his story was not a nostalgic recreation of the 1970s but was set in the future and aimed to show the timeless relevance of Bowie's lyrics.

"We did not want Mr Bowie to think it was going to be a tribute show, and that seems to have had an effect," Singh added. He is putting the show together for one major showcase performance in the spring in aid of arts and community charities. If the performance is a critical success, he hopes that Bowie, who lives in New York, will grant it a longer life.

"Mr Bowie's representatives have been incredibly supportive when we have asked them for things and yet hands-off in terms of letting us get on with the project," said Singh.

The Guardian reports that all proceeds from the evening will go to three charities, the Orpheus Centre, Albert & Friends Instant Circus and Youth Music Theatre UK, that use the performing arts to help underprivileged and disabled young people to learn new skills.

Once the news splashed around the globe, Bowie’s representatives issued a statement to set the record straight:

“Neither the David Bowie Organization, nor its co-publishers EMI Music and Chrysalis, has issued a license for this performance at the O2. There are no negotiations pending for a long running musical featuring the music of Mr. Bowie.”

Stay tuned…

David Bowie David Bowie

David Bowie – Heroes (1977)

See also:

David Bowie: live album from 50th birthday concert due in April
Will Ferrell as David Bowie in Christmas video spoof
1996: David Bowie rocks The Bridge School