An introduction to Metrobolist: Five Chapters by Michael J. Weller (Home'Baked Books, 2015) was first blogged on the 45th anniversary of David Bowie's The Man Who Sold The World LP release in the USA.
Michael J. Weller’s ‘Metrobolist' tale is a published chapbook series. Five chapters beginning 1946 finishing 2015.
Apart from social media updates and term 'poetry comics' amended to 'poetry c(art)oons', 2015's original post remains the same. It's here.
Mid-2015 there was an idea initiated by Nigel Reeve working for Bowie’s record company to release a limited, signed Metrobolist album: a boxed vinyl recording of David’s nine songs with the American cartoon sleeve as it was conceived originally, speech bubble filled; opening to reveal a surreal Metrobolist6 gatefold photo story from out-of-time schooldays to Bowie 2015 via Keith MacMillan's 1970 Haddon Hall photoshoot. Same yellow US The Man Who Sold the World back cover with song lyrics and Blue Note Oh By Jingo cartoon trio sans Mercury logo.
Metrobolist7 will explain, in a form of imaginative storytelling, why Metrobolist6 didn't happen, and also, as speculative fiction, suggest how the tale might conceivably end up as parallel alterities—fantasy and actualised document.
Dedbrickton—imagined district of southeast London.
Unique serial title & number ‘Metroblist6’ is suggested by MJ's fictional character "Mart Cert/Alpha Zee" in June 2015 (Social Reality Earthtime) to acknowledge the publication of Mike Weller’s Home’Baked Metrobolist5 chapbooks and numerically index the release of Metrobolist as a record album.
In 1970 Metrobolist was the original title Mike Weller and David Bowie agreed on, before Mercury Records decided to disregard their client's instructions. The record company made a mess of material left them to complete— resulting in less options for DB to consider as potential LP presentations in territories other than North America.
Mercury’s UK subsidiary Philips Records subsequently released David’s preference for a selected Keith MacMillan domestic cover photograph for his emerging homegrown, European and Asian audience—to the applause, it must be admitted, of not only David but just about everybody involved in Bowie’s professional management 1970-71.
Despite, or because of Mercury's cock-up, the 'cartoon' or 'wild west' cover always enjoyed a tiny fistful of admirers. Over the years this has turned into a growing number of enthusiasts. And David was the first. Thirty years after the picture was drawn it seemed to grow on him again as time and events passed—and continue to pass.
DB and his New York office gave Metrobolist6 an initial nod in 2015 but that was it.
Sadly, after 45 years, there was to be no reunion or working collaboration between Mick Weller and his old chum making the Metrobolist6 album a social reality.
David’s poor health was not, however, the only reason ‘Metrobolist6’ did not materialize 2015/16.
Back in 2015 other production difficulties emerged. Original lettering, painting and finished artwork had mysteriously vanished from Mercury’s archive years before. The lettrist title ‘Metrobolist’ and comic-book bubble caption had to be hand-drawn again from Mike Weller’s memory (with originals 'lost' and only an old 'Metrobolist' lettering sketch in pencil to work from). A newly agreed hand-lettered album subtitle Nine Songs by David Bowie was added.
These in turn needed digitalizing with the best front and back colour reproduction the Bowie Archive had in its possession. A professional art studio began developing the concept with a quote from David in a companion supplement.
Metrobolist6 was intended to be a high-end gold-lettered boxed vinyl article.