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David Bowie Fetes Record Label Chief, Teases New Album

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(Jo Hale/Getty Images)

(Jo Hale/Getty Images)

By Brian Ives 

David Bowie has been famously reclusive as of late. He has only promoted his last album, 2013’s The Next Day, via a couple of videos. He did no interviews, promotional appearances or performances for the album, which may not have thrilled his label, Colombia Records.

He may have made up for it last night in London, at the Music Week Awards 2014 (an annual event that celebrates the music industry, awarding various concert promoters, venues, radio shows, web services and record labels). Columbia’s US Chairman Rob Stringer picked up the prestigious Strat Award (a lifetime achievement award), and Bowie sent a message paying tribute to the his label’s head.

He recalled that the first time they met, Stringer was wearing a Daft Punk helmet, and, listing Stringer’s artist-friendly achievements, he said, “Rob had not only guested as an executive third Daft Punk member at a lunchtime gig at a club in Manhattan, but had also led a Dylanology symposium at Barneys clothing store, sung falsetto on a new London Grammar track and choreographed a touching interpretive dance number to One Direction’s ‘They Don’t Know About Us’ for the cast of ‘Glee.'”

He semi-teased a new album, saying, “When he asked me if I minded if he took a few Saturdays off from his duties as percussionist on my new album this year… how could I refuse?”

Here’s Bowie’s full message:

When I first knocked on the door of his office at Sony, New York, you can imagine my surprise when a member of Daft Punk opened it. In silence he brought me in and indicated that I should take a seat on the comfy armchair to the right of the chairman’s desk, around which he moved and took his place in the chairman’s chair.

He removed the shiny helmet.

It was Rob.

‘This,’ he said ‘is how far I will go for my artists.’ I found out that during the course of that day Rob had not only guested as an executive third Daft Punk member at a lunchtime gig at a club in Manhattan, but had also led a Dylanology symposium at Barneys clothing store, sung falsetto on a new London Grammar track and choreographed a touching interpretive dance number to One Direction’s ‘They Don’t Know About Us’ for the cast of Glee.

Knowing him for the man he is, it came as no surprise that he had won tonight’s most prestigious award, The Strat.

If you become the object of his enthusiasm an artist will find a genuine long-term support that is sadly missing in the recording industry.

When he asked me if I minded if he took a few Saturdays off from his duties as percussionist on my new album this year in order to catch the Luton Town football club fixtures, how could I refuse? It’s the least I could offer to the man who with his own hands pulled my album to number one throughout the world.

Congrats for The Strat, Rob. You’re a star.

David Bowie 2014

There’s been no word that Bowie is actually working on a new album (with or without his record label chief on percussion), but then again, no one knew that he was working on The Next Day either. A Bowie release that does have a release date is an archival one: a 7″ picture disc of “Diamond Dogs” will be out on June 17.

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