PoPT Blog #4 David Bowie : Arnold Corns : Curious Magazine #19 May 1970 ‘gender bending’ cover!
David Bowie : Arnold Corns : Curious Magazine, text © Paul Drummond 2020
Curious issue #19 – May 1970 – a “sex education magazine for men and women”.
•Click here for stock : David Bowie : Man Who Sold the World era : Curious Magazine #19 May 1970 ‘gender bending’ cover!
Early Bowie rarity with a price tag that matches its scarcity (a copy recently sold for £400+)
This relates to Bowie’s brief, post Space Oddity, Arnold Corns project. He spotted & approached (should that read talent scouted & cruised?) Freddie Buretti at El Sombrero club, a disco near Victoria Station in London. He fashioned Arnold Corns, a vehicle for pop-stardom, for Freddie ne Rudi Valentino that was bounded to fail. Only one single was released at the time: Moonage Daydream/ Hang Onto Yourself , both penned and produced by Bowie. Although more allegedly radio material & /outtakes/demos exist (with Bowie, not Freddie, singing most of the material). Listen to the complete Arnold Corns demos here
Both of these songs reappeared on Bowie’s breakthrough LP Ziggy Stardust & the Spiders From Mars…as would Buretti, but not in a musical capacity. Instead, he created Bowie’s most outrageous stage outfits of the period- combining elements Kubrick’s interpretation of Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange with Burroughs Wild Boys.
Instead of modelling one of Buretti’s creations for the cover of Curious, Bowie wore his infamous Mr Fish “man-dress” that he sported on the (UK only) cover of The Man Who Sold The World LP . At the time, this was refereed to as “gender bending”, a term so brilliantly out-dated, that it needs repeating without apology. Fish opened his boutique in 1966 – 17 Clifford Street, Mayfair with the byline : “Peculiar to Mr. Fish”. Mick Jagger also wore a Mr Fish ‘man-dress’ for The Rolling Stones’ Brian Jones memorial concert at Hyde Park on 5th July 1969.
Despite being openly gay, Buretti’s and his muse/girlfriend Daniella Parmar provided “The Bowies”- both Angela and David – with a blue print (androgyny, peroxide hair, shock value) for David’s next incarnation – Ziggy. Interesting times and even more interesting people. There’s been a documentary made about Buretti, but good luck finding a screening…
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