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David Bowie Opens His Own Online Bank 82

Anonymous Coward writes "David Bowie, the most wired rock star on the planet (he even has his own ISP!) has opened an online bank! What strange times we live in." Indeed. It's a shame there are no physical branches of the bank; I would probably trust banks more if the bank managers were dressed like Jareth from Labyrinth.
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David Bowie Opens His Own Online Bank

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  • shit, i hope not, cuz i worship him...


    / k.d / earth trickle / Monkeys vs. Robots Films [xoom.com] /

  • Oh, so what??!!? I happen to be a member of BowieNet. Do you think Bowie is running BowieNet in his basement? NO, it is a joint operation between UltraStar and Concentric Networks. They don't hide that fact. It says so right on their site (go to "Help" in Premium Services). The thing that makes it cool isn't that he has an ISP, it is that he is active on his ISP. The site has news, pictures, events, and even chat services that allow you to chat with HIM on a regular basis. I'm sure BowieBanc will offer cool stuff like that as well. Besides, did you read the terms? They are great, check it out.

    / k.d / earth trickle / Monkeys vs. Robots Films [xoom.com] /

  • many college classes require you to have a current, new version of a book. i would bet that ecampus would have a hard time filling orders for brand new books. they would have no problem with books that were 1 year or more old, but not new books. maybe, i'm wrong. i dunno...


    / k.d / earth trickle / Monkeys vs. Robots Films [xoom.com] /

  • So many of our greatest artists worked for money. Wasn't it Michelengelo who was commisioned to paint the Cistine Chapel? Many of our greatest artists were not just in it for the art...

    / k.d / earth trickle / Monkeys vs. Robots Films [xoom.com] /

  • If you believe what you have just said, you know little of rock musicians. Rock and Roll is not about music. It is about style, attitude, risk, ego, emotion, and music. There are few jobs quite like a rock musicians. Their job is to entertain. Their job is to make you feel. And they get paid for it. It is a social contract. I will pay you to entertain me, to make me hurt, or make me feel good, make me feel something. You take my money and feed me these things. It is a continuous cycle. When the artist can no longer deliver his side of the contract, you move on to another artist. The fact that Bowie has been pumping out stuff that sells so well for this long (Oh, and by the way, Yesterday was his 53rd birthday) is astounding. Few musicians have produced quality for that long. All too often it is to make a few bucks then retire early. Bowie, Dylan, McCartney, etc. have all gone done this. You want them to be the rock and roll gods, you just don't know it. Rock and Roll is the greatest coup ever pulled.

    / k.d / earth trickle / Monkeys vs. Robots Films [xoom.com] /

  • That's ok, Jennifer Connelly [imdb.com] is even more hot in Dark City [imdb.com] and she was definitely legal then.
  • I just stuck this one on my own page. Music news and News for Nerds don't intersect as often as I'd like...

    I have a suspicion that this deal is similar to those "branded credit cards" that everyone under the sun offers. The real grunt work is done by a real financial institution, in this case USABancShares.com. He just sticks his face on the ATM cards and the cheques, and probably gets a royalty fee or a percentage. Nothing very radical here, except for another marketing coup by a performer who seems to embrace "the future", every step of the way.
  • Whacko Jacko - not to mention Sir Paul. They have the odd bit of spare cash lying around :)
  • She was also quite hot in Heart of Justice [imdb.com] (made for TV -- TNT IIRC -- which I taped and keep around now only because I saw that she was in it, and which basically sucked otherwise). And, yes, she was already obviously destined to be a heartbreaker even in Labyrinth, which would still be one of my favorite movies of all time even if she weren't in it. :)

    Anyhow, Bowie's banking thing doesn't really surprise me all that much... He's always been into being on the bleeding edge for its own sake, and when he quits doing so, he'll stop being Bowie (my guess is that he'll be dead by then.)

    Zontar The Mindless,

  • > seriously, this doesn't seem to be "david
    > bowie opens a bank", but "some bank hires
    > david bowie's image to promote a new online
    > bank". personally, i wouldn't trust the
    > former, as he doesn't have the expertise in
    > the banking field. still, it's a marketing
    > coup.

    Given how well the average bank performs, perhaps a lack of experience isn't as great a detriment as it might seem. :)

    Seriously though, anyone who has done a lot of handling of money, as Bowie has done, and especially those who have suffered at the hands of others financially, as Bowie has, tend to educate themselves in self-defense. We don't really know HOW much he knows; it may well be more than we think.

    Anyhow, I'm for the concept myself.

    I tend to think that online brokerages will replace online banks (as brokerages give better service and many of the same features) and not the reverse as some people claim.

    _Deirdre
  • Surely having a Flying Pig [theflyingpig.com] on your credit card would be even more supercool (in an even more stupid sort of way)?
  • Don't get too carried away, but, truly _how hard is it_?

    People have mentioned that these 'branded' financial services
    are everywhere (and they do seem to be.) So if all the
    backend stuff is truly done by a "real" bank, what does it
    take to be one of the "brands"?
  • Hmm, well he's/they're not _that_ ambitious... (to host their own site)

    it seems www.bowiebanc.com is hosted by Concentric

    (w/ Solaris according to www.netcraft.com)

    Oh, and besides that redhat link, there were many
    lame ones. Trendy stuff, it seems, like redhat.
  • Well, there's already a Linux credit card. A percentage of each purchase gets to open source projects that need funding. Here's the link: Linuxfund Credit Card [linuxfund.org]
  • How about the First Bank of Slashdot!

    Wait a second.. don't moderate this to funny... I'm Serious!

    Hey, why not? deny the fact that you would be able to feel Oh so superior if you are standing there in the line at Fry's, and you whip out a gold card with /. and a little penguin on it as you pay for that latest version of Caldera...

    Or pictures of Hemos, or a GNU, or whatever..

    Hey, I would transfer my money to this fine theoretical establishment!

  • You want to be an artist? Stay an artist and try to produce something worthwhile. You want to be commercial whore? Fine, be that but don't pretend you're an artist. You can't be both.

    Since when??? Where says that in the Bible??? Artistic talent and commercial talent are, I think, not at all incompatible. Witness all artists who managed to make a living off their art. Some of them were especially good at marketing and made a very good living indeed, from Pieter Paul Rubens to Salvador Dalí (a.k.a. Avida Dollars, as he himself put it). You can be an artist in more than one field.

  • Hey all,

    Well, first impressions... he's just trying to rip off us fans.

    But then start thinking about it. It's no big secret of his finanacial problems with his manager when David was on the way to become a living legend (IMHO anyway).
    Is it too much to assume that he is doing this for himself, attempting to prove that now he is who he is and can do things well a second time around. Plus, being the alleged net-junkie that David is, it'll give him a chance to indulge in his little enjoyment away from music.

    I have only taken a brief look at the bowiebank.com site (I like banking in person too much - nothing like a good argument with your bank manager at the start of the new year ;) but I can't see anything in the rates which is exactly extortionate.

    Give him a chance... it's what we all deserve, after all, isn't it ?
  • The text on the card would be full of spelling errors, and when you swiped it, it wouldn't give up the most recent version of the credit card number. :-)

    ---
    Tempfiles fugit
  • Wouldn't be surprised. A lot of musicians favored Mac in earlier days for music and MIDIk work.
  • Bowie knows quit a bit about MP3's. Which is why he uses SIMD or somesuch. Keeps his publishers happy because the music can't be downloaded the way MP3 is, and locks out non-Windows users.
  • Yes, sir, of course you can close your account. Behind me you see the beginnings of a great labyrinth. The vault is in the castle beyond the city of the goblins. Please make your request to the teller on duty there.
  • not your father's century ....
  • ...is retinal scanning for identification :)

    seriously, this doesn't seem to be "david bowie opens a bank", but "some bank hires david bowie's image to promote a new online bank". personally, i wouldn't trust the former, as he doesn't have the expertise in the banking field. still, it's a marketing coup.

    wonder who'll follow in a similar vein... Sting's organic foods? Keith Richards' drug emporium? or... wait for it wait for it...

    George Michael's sperm bank :)



    Fross :)

  • I just bought the Labyrinth DVD the other week. It has the movie on it (duh!) and all kinds of other goodies. A 'making of' documentary that is about 30 minutes long, and very cool, may I add. It also has the theatrical trailer for 'Labyrinth', 'The Dark Crystal', and another on thatI can't remember. It also has some information about the actors in the movie.

    Anybody remember how hot the actress that played Sarah was? She's only *14* in that film! (God, I feel like a dirty old man. Hehe.

    Here [abbagirl.com] is a page with some links about the Labyrinth.

    Did you guys know that George Lucas was tied to that movie?

    ---
  • He is the most Weired as well as Wired.
  • Neither. According to an interview in Yahoo!:Internet Life (April 1999) He uses an iMac. Its his son Zowie (Joey) who's the techhead, and according to Bowie, "He's so totally fluent [his son] ... He's done a lot of programming when he was taking a break from university, programmed for BowieNet. He's quite a techhead, I'm not". At the very end of the interview he says he is "a Mac person". I wont hold that against him, because he does more all day than I do in a month, so ... *shrug*
  • See my post above, he's a Machead
  • Thanks a lot for your (+1, Informative) answer. Of course, being a Mac person is OK (I used to be Mac, back when I was young).
  • "David has always prided himself on being first"

    OK, David, be the first rock star that answers the following: vi or emacs?
  • ...that Damned CDs and Alien Sex Fiend traveller's checks aren't too far behind.
  • Of course, the classical Mick Rock picture of Bowie (in his Ziggy days) simulating a fellatio on Mick Ronson's guitar ! (You can view it somewhere on Mick Rock's web site [mickrock.com])

    This picture was an icon of the 70's. Wouldn't it be cool if it became the icon of the OO's ? ;)

    Stéphane.
  • I'm as big a Bowie fan as you and I think that Bowie's sudden interest in business affairs (an ISP, now a bank,...) is some kind of revenge with his past.

    As I suppose you know, in his pre-Ziggy, Ziggy, Aladdin Sane and Diamond Dogs days, he showed a remarkable inability to manage himself and had no sense of money. He had delegated every financial aspect of his career to his manager, Tony Defries, and lost lots of money because of this complete desinterest in money. His only goal, at the time, was to become a rock star (and he became the greatest rock star, IMHO).

    So, I think that before asking whos he trying to turn on with this?, we should ask what has David to prove ?

    Stéphane
  • Bowie is reported to be a net junkie. I once read that he wakes up very early in the morning, just to have his 4-hours/day quota of being online. I wouldn't be surprised if he was idleing on IRC (under a false identity, of course) all this time, while downloading mp3's (another things he seems to be in, these days).

    For the ISP, I'd say he's on Bowienet, that seems a good guess ;).

    And finally, I believe David is a mac freak. I've read it somewhere a long time ago, but maybe he ch-ch-changed since.

    Stéphane
  • Gary Glitter. Who's computer use has been in the news a fair bit recently.

    Rich

  • From what I've read about Bowie, and his many "accomplishments" I get the impression that he is just whoring his name around on everything net-related so he can find a way to capatalize on this new market. Just becasue he has an ISP and online bank doesn't mean he has an active role in maintaining them. I bet he doesn't even know what web server his ISP uses.

    Here just a little insight onto how little Bowie actually knows. About a few weeks ago, on Silicon Spin (ZDTV), Dvorak rounded up the usuall MP3 spokespeople (is anyone else getting sick of seeing the guy from RioPort?). Anyway, in a quote by Bowie, he stated that he was not worried about MP3's, and the pirates screw themselves because "once they download the songs, they can be tracked down in five minutes"

    Right, David.......

  • Ziggy played banker, cashing checks with Weird and Gilly.
    The tellers from Mars. He played it online
    But had to pay the fine.
    Became a real crank, created Ziggy's bank

    Ziggy gave out loans, screwed up money and screwed up concept
    Like some cat from Japan, he could lick 'em by smiling
    He could leave 'em to hang
    Came on as a loaded man, well hung and snow white tan.

    So where were the tellers when we system started to crash
    No DSN to guide us,
    So we bitched about his rights, and should we crush Ziggy's site?

    Ziggy played for time, jiving us that we were voodoo
    The kids were just crass, he was the nazz With God given cash
    He loaned out way too much but boy he didn't lose his touch

    Making love with his ego Ziggy sucked up their money

    Like a Judas he sold us
    When the kiddies launched their scripts I knew we were dying quick

    Oh yeah
    Ooooooo
    Ziggy played bankerrrrrr

    I wonder if he'll [bowienet.com] remake Little Toy Soilders [teenagewildlife.com] for Toywar [toywar.com] - JohnyAngel

  • Bowix
    i still think tux is cooler

    with that in mind, (and with the /. bank idea) wouldnt it be cool to have a ./ credit card ?

    ATMs accross the nation would get slashdotted
  • I'm actually wondering if any famous stars actually USE a computer.

    Radiohead... Thom does his own web-site (www.radiohead.com [radiohead.com]).

    - - -

  • The budgets of universities and colleges would be destroyed if it wasn't for the windfall profits made in bookstores.

    Don't forget the faculty. Many textbooks are written by faculty. Same faculty make their book req. for the courses they teach, and they get a cut of each book sale.

    You don't think the faculty can get by just on their salary, and the sale of ideas and inventions they "borrow" from their graduate (and undergraduate) students, do you?

    And while I am on this rant, Think about the contracts some schools push on the students regarding IP. Let's see, you pay the university money to get an education, but you are forced to sign a contract saying that anything you invent while getting your education belongs to the university? Hello?

    If the university is going to get ownership of the results of your work, THEY SHOULD BE PAYING YOU!

    P.S.

    Some of those books really suck!

  • Hey I would sign up.(if you'ed except my lack of credit rating). I'll take the green Slashdot backgrount with Tux in the corner.
  • I'm actually wondering if any famous stars actually USE a computer. Even the internet. Do they ever go into IRC? Do they have an ICQ UIN? Maybe they have a Hotmail account...I wonder..Or are they all AOL lamers like Leonardo Dicaprio?
  • I'm as big a Bowie fan as Cmdr. Taco is The Who and my reaction as well as most of my Bowie fan friends (Most of them through the Net, Bowie ain't too big here in Wisconsin, I'm sure he will when he goes Country though) is neutral, so what I can't figure out is, whos he trying to turn on with this?
  • In a re-related news, the United States government banned popular musicians from releasing operating systems.

    According to the Whitehouse spokesperson, this measure is to curb thread-space wastage on Slashdot.

    "If we don't do this, we are going to end up with Spice OS, Backstreet Windows, PuffDaddix and SySpears " the spokesperson added.

    The legislation states that even reporting about these OSes on slashdot carry a mandatory "-1: Offtopic" penalty.

  • Both of these seem pretty far out...

    Then again, this is pretty far out...

    I thought it was a joke when my friend mentioned it on IRC...

    Now I find out... It isn't a joke...

    But I'm laughing harder now than I was then!
  • Hmmm, it seems more likely to me that Bowie is "creating" a bank to receive money or media attention. After all, he supposedly made $55 million from the selling of his catalog "stock". I'm sure he didn't just donate all of the $55 million he made to some artistic or humanitarian non-profit foundation. I doubt many would disagree that a lot of what fans like about Bowie is his ability to really stand out, and as far as I know this definitely makes him stand out more than any other musician. What other musician has started a banking service? This is especially divergent when you consider that many musicians and the public accuse each other of "selling out". I would be cautious in glorifying an action of somebody's when they are very likely to receive a substantial profit.
  • The spark gap transmitter has been stolen!

    Prolific posting provides points.

    I'm a meta-karma-whore. Mark me as off-topic and score big in meta-mod.

    Am I doing a bad thing by manipulating the slashdot system? Perhaps I should be less obvious. Woo! woo!

    - smurfle the illiterate.
  • I think that's the same company that has TV ads saying they're "Y3K compliant". I wonder if they bothered running that slogan past their sysadmins. I suspect they aren't completely Y2038 compliant yet if they use 32 bit OSes for anything.
    --
  • Bowix is actually a rebranded version of BeOS, with icons and the look and feel redesigned by David Bowie, and sounds taken from his back-catalogue. It ships with an exclusive interactive CD containing concert footage and unreleased songs.
  • And all that's fine and well. The trouble comes when our gods (and yes, you're right, it is we that make them) go beyond being the lucky beneficiaries of our adulation and start carving in stone the means by which the lucrative time-fold of the last few decades can continue forever.

    After reading his articles, one gets the impression that he doesn't recite very often the mantra of "Their job is to make you feel good", as you put it. The element of feedback that is so important to the vast majority of artists seems to have got lost in a sea of business as usual, not in ignorance of the new technology but in active disregard of the calls for change. Of course, Bowie is not the only one that can be accused of protecting the hand that feeds him, but this thread is about him alone.

    Hey man, the industry lawyers are tarring those techie upstarts good and proper, so why should I rock the boat when the old system is bringing in those dollars so reliably.
  • Don't be all that enamoured with Bowie folks. If you read his magazine interviews, it's clear that he believes in the good old standard way: the artist is God and will do whatever he/she wants and will charge whatever he/she desires and the rest of us are just one of two things --- either pirates, or suckers for the milking.

    Yes, he's aware of the new technologies, but he doesn't accept that this means that earlier social relationships should change to match the new possibilities. Watch your back, as he's as likely as not to stab you in the back with an RIAA dagger. I wouldn't bank with him. One should trust one's banker.
  • $55 million? I'm not sure if we're talking about the same thing, but I know he managed to offer several hundred million in "stock" of himself, making him the first (and probably only) billionaire rock star.

    --
  • I guess now is as a good time to remind people that, instead of forking your hard earned money into some rock star's bank, why not charge it on a Linux credit card [linuxfund.org]? Will Bowie give the proceeds to Linux developers and education? Slim chance. Linuxfund will.

    --
  • ...the most wired rock star on the planet....

    Is David Bowie REALLY the person who fits that description? Yes, he has BowieNet, and now his bank, but on the other hand...

    Thomas "Blinded With Science" Dolby runs a little company called Headspace. No, AFAIK they don't make Beatnik for Linux yet, but still, (minor rock star + internet software company) is arguably more wired than (major rock star + minor ISP).







    This is my opinion and my opinion only. Incidentally, IANAL.

  • I have to say, having an ATM card with David Bowie's picture on it would be supercool (in a really stupid sort of way) but the question is *which* picture? Ziggy Stardust? The Thin White Duke? Major Tom? Having sex with Mick Jagger?

    Ah, I see, it looks like they're doing a close-up of his mis-matched eyes: www.bowiebanc.com [bowiebanc.com]

  • In related news, godlike jazz pianist Keith Jarrett announced his teaming up with Richard Stallman and Guy Steele to create a new integrated operating system/high-level language called "Concert" (in the tradition of "Scheme", "Planner", "Conniver" and other traditional Lisp-related systems). Reportedly, this system would feature complete model-level reflection, purely functional networking, a complete AI system for proving software correctness on the fly, zero-time automated garbage-collection, a direct telepathic user interface, and an uniform, self-documenting language syntax without any punctuation at all. The system is expected to run on top of no hardware whatsoever by the time of its first release.

    Except for hardcore jazz fans or computer scientists, nobody really paid attention. The full sources are available at ftp://ftp.concert.ai.mit.edu/pub/concert/src, but nobody so far has downloaded them.
  • Well, I'm not sure what you are talking about, but here are the details on the Bowie bonds offering.

    Mr Showbiz story on Bowie Bonds. [go.com] (No, I don't normally read Mr. Showbiz).
  • Well, this was the guy who managed to sell $55 Million in bonds based on the projected earnings from royalties to his songs, so I guess starting a bank isn't that much further afield.
  • Hey. We need to convince Bowie to license and start using Chaum's online digital cash protocol [ecashtechnologies.com].

    Chaum has been sitting on his license for years, refusing to open it up to others until his company, Digicash, finally went bankrupt and he sold it to Ecash Technologies; if Bowie licensed it from them and started using it, it would be a big step forward for digital anonymous cash users.

    For those of you who are unaware, anonymous digital cash has significant consequences [pro-ns.net] for Internet commerce.

    Big name, big money, big business. And maybe even crypto-anarchy to boot!

  • Bowie and his partners hope fans will want to use the bank to express their loyalty to the ever-changing brand that is David Bowie, Roy said. "You've got a passion for something, you want to show your passion."


    Excuse me, but this may just be one of the more ridiculus things I've heard in a while. OK, I (grudingly) accept the fact that we live in a society where we have Michael Jordan Sneakers, Spice Girls play dolls, 100 different Star Wars items, Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd endorsed cars (VW), and a lot of other bullshit.


    Now we have David Bowie opening a bank. Come on! And there's a press release claiming that he has a passion for something. Well yes: His passion is milking his fans (or people who just happen to recognize his name/face) for even more of their money than they already gave him.


    You want to be an artist? Stay an artist and try to produce something worthwhile. You want to be commercial whore? Fine, be that but don't pretend you're an artist. You can't be both. Stick to something you know, something you're good at. No, marketing your name does not count. Producing great art might. I guess the great irony of our age is that this bullshit actually seems to work: Why else would companies be doing it? Which in turn doesn't say much good about the average person's (the part of the population that goes for these items) intelligence.


    I'm ranting; I'll stop now ...

  • by seaportcasino ( 121045 ) on Saturday January 08, 2000 @10:36PM (#1389920) Homepage
    This is a publicity/marketing stunt for USABancShares.com in the same vein as Planet Hollywood and other such ventures. Looks like it is working well as there is now a Slashdot article covering it and god knows how much other coverage it is getting in the media. I imagine you will be seeing this on ET and all the other entertainment news shows. Anything works better than banner ads I guess.

  • I think he's just experimenting with all facets of money, trying to get a handle on what it means and implies in our society. I mean, he sold stock in his back catalog, but I doubt he needed to raise money, which is the normal reason for selling stock. I think he's exploring money as an artist would, now that he has the means for these experiments... and how many artists have ever had as much financial means as he does today? Somehow this seems like a very Bowie thing to do.
  • by RuntimeError ( 132945 ) on Saturday January 08, 2000 @10:24PM (#1389922)
    Sunday Jan 9, David Bowie, the Rock icon-cum-jack of all trades, announced today that he has released an open source operating system named Bowix [TM].

    According to industry analysts, the 128 Bit operating system is bound to pose a strong challenge to other operating systems such as Windows, Linux and MacOS.

    "People worship me for my music, and people worship Linus for his OS system " David said, "But now they will worship me for both"

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