Ziggy plays acoustic guitar?

by John Sakamoto / Jam Music

8th January 1997

After years of resistance, David Bowie is finally warming up to the idea of recording his own unplugged album.

Ever since turning in a much-praised acoustic set at the Neil Young Bridge benefit last October, “an unplugged album suddenly sounds like an interesting currency to work with,” Bowie is saying recently from New York, where he’s been scrambling to pull together an all-star birthday concert for, well, himself.

That show, a benefit for the Save The Children fund, takes place at Madison Square Garden on Thursday, the day after Bowie turns 50. It will feature, among others, the Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins’ frontman Billy Corgan, Robert Smith of The Cure, and a reunion with irascible old buddy Lou Reed.

“I think maybe it appeals more to me now that I’ve actually been thrown into the deep water of it. The only problem has been that, when (MTV) asked me the last time, they wanted me to do lot of old hits.

“And I think now we’re maybe getting on better terms with each other,” Bowie adds, perhaps alluding to his recent scene-stealing performance on the annual Fashion Awards show broadcast by MTV sister station VH1. “I think they’re quite accepting that I’m very resolute about not doing that kind of show.”

In the midst of all of this looking back, Bowie is also gearing up for the release of his new work, Earthling. The bracing jungle and dance-flavored album is due out in Canada on Feb. 11. It will be preceded by a single and video, “Little Wonder,” both of which hit the airwaves here this week.

After that, he’ll hit the road for a six-month tour that he says will bring him to Canada this spring or summer.

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