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Metrobolist7 bookartobject

Blog post at this site May 30 2018  opening Metrobolist 7

Metrobolist7 will explain, in a form of imaginative storytelling [...] how the tale might conceivably end up as parallel alterities—fantasy and actualised document.    

And so it has turned out to be. Veer Books (London) in association with visual associations has published limited bookartobject Metrobolist 7 dedicated to the memory of my old friend and young days collaborator David Bowie.

Metrobolist 7 contains Metrobolist: Five Chapters (homebakedbooks 2014-2015) noted on earlier blog postings at this site with cover images and descriptive chapter précis. This bookartobject is filled with newer text including fantasy Metrobolist6 and more art — completing the big Metrobolist picture. Although actualized, catalogued and released as Metrobolist 6, November 2020 (Social Reality Earthtime) as an official 50th anniversary remix on Parlophone, loss of original artworks: and sadly the loss of David himself in 2016, followed by that big elephant man in the laboratory —  severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 — lessened the chances a re-released The Man Who Sold the World would see light of day.

Between 2015 and early 2020 with possibility a documented Metrobolist  would never happen, the present writer designed an imaginary album. 

A fictional Metrobolist 6. 

Slow fiction of three colourful cartoon characters

Along with his visual associations page at homebakedbooks, everything the present author wished to write about David Bowie was published as Metrobolist: Five Chapters between 2014 and 2015.

Metrobolist chapters' précis began at this site 2015.  It was inevitable Five Chapters' online posts would need amending and revising after sad news of David's death in 2016. But précised chapters one and two remain here on original date of posting, January 5 2016. 

Although Mick Weller is user and supporter of information junkie Jimmy Wales's Wikipedia project, an honest account of David and Michael's original Metrobolist is not included in its current The Man Who Sold the World (album) article. The present writer tried but didn't succeed to effectively add accurate revision to content -- it was altered back to an earlier patchwrite. Mick's effort can be found buried in the article's 'Cover art' edit history. Wales's free-to-use-and-edit encyclopedia can attract an obsessional wikipedian concern with erroneous detail resulting in a form perhaps best described as uncreative patchwritten wikifiction.

A telephone interview Mike Weller conducted with John Robinson for music magazine UNCUT's February 2020 Bowie Ultimate Record Collection Part 1 (1964-76) is recommended for its insights and historical accuracy. Or as Mick responded to this edition of UNCUT's archive collection—someone's done research at last!

But Metrobolist chapters have never claimed to be anything other than fiction. Imaginative fiction is sometimes the only mode in which truth be told.  Starman Jones made fantasy characters out of experience for the entertainment of himself and his audience. From Ziggy to final identification with vulnerable, ailing, alien Newton -- the character Jones first portrayed in Nicolas Roeg's movie of Walter Tevis's The Man Who Fell to Earth.

Perhaps only the small surviving group of  people who knew David in childhood; and those close to him maybe in later years, are really able to compare the human-being who lived downstairs until 2016, with Mike Weller's character drawn upstairs as  "John Beyond" in a fiction with made-up 16th century actor Kenneth Morris Tapley playing boys and girls in old times.

In his late twentieth century incarnation "Ken Tapley" plays  pop and rock musician "John Dagger", doubling as a cultural vanguardist in New Elizabethan Deamtime Reality. By 1958 Weller's secondary world character demanded someone soon play him for real. In this incarnation Ken Tapley is written and birthed by a  "lady grinning soul" -- glamourous yet obscure handmaiden of suburban 1940s Metrobolist picture houses.

Ken Tapley, preparing for his role as rock 'n' roller John Dagger, in turn playing '70s pop sensation "Glitter Glamm" is blue-suited figure left, accompanied by glamorous lady grinning soul character "Debbie Dagger" centre, and fictional Jinkerman -- revolutionary "Mo Stepniak", character right, disguised as worker struck for fame at "The Firm".



 (Blue Note extract from Metrobolist 4, Home'Baked Books, 2015)

Metrobolist 5. Blessed Boys and Girls

Last chapter of bookwork Metrobolist: Five Chapters. Like chapter 1 in the montage, chapter 5 is something of an exception. Of style rather than content in this instance.


Hand-lettered and vispo'd throughout; chapter 5 takes the form of an "image comic". It takes cue from cartoonist Mike Weller's  characterisations of David Robert Jones 1961 - 2015.

In journey from secondary school to arts lab; an ageing south London observer -- call him Mick for the fiction -- watches an old friend achieve unimagined fame, fortune and an eternal place in the firmament of global iconography.

In Michael Weller's bookworks and spoken-word -- DB is depicted throughout his golden years as characters Ken Tapley (author's own singing fantasy figure), John Dagger (pulp fiction comic book 19th century anarchist rebel and 20th century rock star), Starman Jones (Commander of Cosmic Squad sci-fi) and Glitter Glamm (DB's immortal creation Ziggy Stardust as caricatured by Mick Weller).


In the late 60s, and at the very beginning of the 1970s, David and Mike shared several 'artists union' collaborations, including the decision to share responsibilty for design of DB's third LP. Devised in home counties suburban Beckenham (later caricatured  as "Dedbrickton" by Weller) the North American-released album cover resulted in a failed compromise pleasing no-one.  

Intended experimental visual poetics were submitted by David himself. This collaborative work by Keith "Keef" MacMillan: and two other novice art professionals, inexperienced in dealing with powerful U.S. music industry game-players, was delivered to Mercury. The record company wrecked it.

For David, Metrobolist was the first and last time during a long and phenomenally successful career Jones lost control of the presentation of Bowie's music and image. 




Metrobolist: Seven Chapters

Metrobolist: Five Chapters is dedicated to the memory of David "Strman Jones" Bowie 1947-2016 (Social Reality Earthtime).

Between October 2014 and February 2015, during a period when online access became limited to the present writer because of technical issues, a Metrobolist montage was made of letters, words, pictures, poetry c{art}oons and storytelling. Front covers of Five Chapters are viewable in the Metrobolist chapbook Index. Back cover images are featured for each chapter described in Metrobolist7.

Metrobolist5 is a celebration of old-school cut 'n' paste 'zine making. Typos and spelling errors are corrected by hand with the mindset of an old-school typographic proof reader. Annotations make visual text art. It most certainly is not online "indie" publishing or a print-on-demand marketing ruse. It's not that sort of self-publishing. And it isn't a fanzine.

Yet in these five chapters of Metrobolist  there are elements, it needs to be stated, of the type of fantasy fiction written or posted by David Bowie fans over the years.

Mick Weller has been asked numerous times to write about designing one particular Bowie record sleeve in 1970. Before David Bowie ever thought he'd be BOWIE one day. But there is no audience for facts so Michael John Weller has designed a slow fiction. A collage entitled Metrobolist. To find out where Metrobolist is at in social media: check Instagram's The Man Who Sold The World and Tumblr's Metrobolistic pages. 

Metrobolist, it needs to be added, is no more trivial, fictional, fantastical, whimsical or insubstantial than a great deal of distorted journalism and speculative Bowie related biographical material written during his lifetime.