A Project conceived by;
In the spirit of David Bowie’s interest of working across platforms, and John Lennon's eclectic work in all art forms, our goal is to create an exciting testament to the artistic contribution to the world we have lived in, are living in and the future that we consider to be framed, shaped and influenced by the musical genius of these two men.
We hold a Safety Copy #05 of the 1975 original recording of “Fame” by David Bowie, on 2 inch 24 track. It has 16 tracks of musical information and one track of SMPTE time code. It is in pristine condition and can be digitized and/or synced with another 24 track machine using the original time-code, therefore providing additional space for tracks to be recorded.
Using an analogue safety copy of the original 1975 recording, written by;
David Bowie, John Lennon and Carlos Alomar. The tracks were performed by:
• David Bowie – lead vocals, guitar
• John Lennon – backing vocals, guitar, production, tape loops
• Carlos Alomar – guitar
• Emir Ksasan – bass
• Dennis Davis – drums
As Chris O’Leary states in “Pushing Ahead of the Dame”;
“There are no horns, no backing chorus singers (just Lennon’s squeaked-out “fame” and the vari-speed vocals at the end), no keyboards save for a backwards piano track that appears in the intro and briefly shows up later.”
Our intent is to add these missing pieces, backing chorus, horns, keyboards, and strengthen the guitars creating a version that whilst holding on to the raw primal energy given in the session itself, to give it some flesh, some meat, a body that dances with abandon.
We have two Otari MX80 machines available to work with in the Studio des Collines, in Hautefort (Boisseuilh), France. Having been fortunate enough to have found this gem of a recording, we have decided that this is an occasion to re-unite many of the artists that have worked with Bowie and Lennon throughout their careers.
We seek a collaboration among various artists, paying tribute to the two iconic individuals who have influenced so many of the musicians, producers and performers throughout the course of the past 40 years and more. In addition, we would like to extend the opportunity to a select few emerging artists to participate in this venture. The resulting product would then be issued as a single, with a video produced that would be both a narrative and a biopic of the process, thus an enhancement to the collaboration and single issue.
Artists with whom we would like to extend an invitation to participate are as follows:
Adrian Belew, Brian Eno, David Sanborn, Earl Slick, Gerry Leonard, Iggy Pop, Ken Scott, Marianne Faithfull, Mick Jagger, Mick Ralphs, Mike Garson, Tony Visconti, Nile Rodgers, Peter Frampton, Reeves Gabrels, Robert Fripp, Scarlett Johansonn, Tina Turner, Trent Reznor, Sir Paul McCartney. Sir Richard Starkey (Ringo Starr), Julian & Sean Lennon, Yoko Ono, Sir Elton John, Eric Clapton, Donovan.
This is not an exhaustive listing, there is scope for inclusion within this list of choices for all interested parties to nominate artists to us, Bernard Indeau and Michael Meldru, as producers of this thrilling project.
Dead Or Alive Media Arts International (DOAMAI) proposes:
To produce a reworking, a derivative issue of the original 1975 recording of “Fame” by David Bowie and John Lennon using the 2 inch, 24 track safety copy #05.
To invite nominated emerging artists to participate alongside the veteran artists who worked with Bowie and Lennon as a way of showing their support for the new generation of musicians coming onto the scene.
To issue a single of this production for airplay, sales, distribution and download.
To produce a video documentary of the production process, enhancing the scope of the production, allowing viewers to see and meet those artists that have been integral in the making of this product.
What We Need
Our first priority is the negotiation of the mechanical and synchronisation licensing as these are paramount to the legal permission granted by the publishers. These publishing houses are as follow;
RZO Music Ltd.
& Lenono Music.
Seeking £10k - £50k
Within the context of this, we have made arrangements with a New York based attorney who will assure these negotiations, and who has given assurances that to do so as expeditiously and economically lean as possible.
Seeking £1.5k - £4k
Our next priority is signing on each of the artists that we have selected and coming to an accord about their participation and the logistics of timing, travel, accommodation and the input they can make to the project.
Seeking £25k - £40k
We will need the services of an accountant, strict governance of the campaign funds will be of the highest importance, we want to make a success of this venture, and we intend to keep a very close eye on the budget.
Seeking £1.5k to £2 k
Our time in the studio will need to be covered, costs of engineering, and catering for the artists during the periods of work.
Seeking £8k to £12k
Video Pre-production costs
Seeking £10k to £12k
Mastering, Jacket design, print and Duplication costs for first issues.
Seeking £10k to £15k
All of this will entail hours and hours of telephoning, emails, and research that necessitates administration by an office staff, therefore salaries of those that provide the time and contacts. Included in this is of course PR, pre-marketing and publicity and of course, social media and web coverage.
Seeking £10k to £15k
The figures stated above are made using broad strokes of a pen and reflect the assumption of best case and worst case scenarios. We firmly believe that the true figure lies somewhere closer to the top end.
Once all of this is complete, then we can move on to the next step, our marketing and distribution campaign!
In each of his interviews about this particular work, David Bowie pointed out that his aim was to inform the listener about the perils of fame. The dangers of its hold on a person and the obsession it can engender. His message could not be more pertinent today, where our culture is driven on by celebrity. We have become consumers of fabricated personalities, the stories of people only being famous because of their celebrity, with little or no apparent achievement to mark that celebrity.
We can see the result of this in the disastrous political nightmare in world politics, particularly with the rise of power through fame and celebrity. We would like to bring together artists and musicians that have made an impact because of their persistence, their faithfulness to quality, and their successes in helping to shape our culture. For this, we owe them the status that is rightly called "FAME".
You can make a difference in getting on board now so that we can introduce this concept again to this generation of listeners, bridging musicians from one era with another, and offer within a musical context some clarity about quality, pride and achievement.
Both Bernard Indeau and myself, Michael Meldru have been musicians all of our lives. We have toured and worked with all genres of music, have both been playing on sidewalks at some time in our lives, and both of us have been inside multimillion dollar recording studios working on projects. Our experiences have provided us with the knowledge, patience and insight to bring a project of this significance to a sterling conclusion.
Michael has worked with highly acclaimed international artists such as:
Blood Sweat and Tears, Chaka Khan, Aretha Franklin, Patti La Belle,
Marvin Gaye, Jess Roden, Niominka Bi N’Diaxas Band, Pentangle,
Court of Miracles, Uprising (Barbados), Bobby Colomby, Marina Moreno
Our hope is to begin with this leg of the project, make a product that we are all proud of, that reflects our respect for these two legends, finishing production prior to the anniversary of John's death in December and then give it out to the world before the anniversary of Bowie's death from cancer in January.
Risks & Challenges
The most risky part of this project is at the start, getting it right from the very beginning by lining up all of the legal framework, the licensing and agreements with the publishers. It is not because we need to find the tape, we have it already, it isn't because we couldn't find musicians that would love to be part of it, they are lining up trying to get in on this now.
We have already made arrangements with our attorney that deals with music licensing, and have also spoken with the 5 publishing houses concerned. Each of their licensing departments have given their assurance that they were willing to work with us in the project, however, none of them could state a license fee prior to our having the project worked out further, stating exactly how and what we would be producing.
There are hurdles to overcome with logistics, travel, accommodation, catering, when considering the number of people we would like to participate, and their prior commitments viewed against our working time-frame.
Because of this we are giving ourselves a very long period of pre-production and post-production time spread over 5 months. Post production will take place between November and January, when the final mixing and video editing will be completed.
Michael will direct most of the activity of Planning, Scheduling, Artist Liaison, Web Design, Photography, and the video production staff that will be assembled in Bristol, and then cross over into France to make the shoot.
Bernard will be in charge of studio scheduling, recording, instrument hire, and logistics at the site of Studio des Collines in Hautefort, France.
Michael has 40 years experience working in:
Theatre & Business Administration
Audio - Video Pre / Post Production
Production Studio Design And Realisation
Administration & Co-Ordination
Architectural Acoustic Analysis & Design
Broadcast Conception And Implementation
Fields Of Experience
Theatre Sound, Lighting & Set Design
Music Composition, Performance & Recording
Acoustic Design & Installation
Radio Production & Engineering
CCTV Design & Application
Industry (Entertainments, Media, Arts)
Specialties: Video & Audio Production with an emphasis on Quality
Other Ways You Can Help
Some people just can't participate or contribute, but that doesn't mean they can't help:
Ask your network to get the word out and make some noise about our project.
Remind them to use their Social and Professional networks to help this project succeed!