‘Ch-changes’ v. ch-ching

I posted a couple hours earlier today –oh, by the way, Happy New Year 2016 to all you loyal Plastic Altoids — to a wordpress blog, a post from a couple years ago, about Bowie Bonds, the asset-backed security from 1997 or so that raised $55 m for either David Bowie, his manager, a guy named David Pullman or Prudential that served as an advance on his next record deal or basically just a plug for the Wall Street way (which a short time later, gave us “Too Big to Fail” which was the loss of 500 Billion also known as half a Trillion{I think I mean 5 Trillion -ed}). The blog was by a big Bowie fan who also is a former Wall Street guy (compared to me, a former small time music manager, who is medium cool into Bowie, and have no even indirect connection to Bowie — I dated a girl once, who recognized him in a cameo in an obscure British flick, was it “Brimstone and Treacle”?.
I was reading Michael Lewis “The Big Short” on at the very bottom of page 98 (of 290) it said “asset-backed” and that sent me sussing about ol’ David. And then posting on this guy’s blog. And now I’m at page 128 i.e. 30 pages later — and this is basically all I accomplished today, beyond fetching Chinese food for lunch and then, with Terry, making a great pasta with meat sauce dinner — all of a sudden I am worried that my ideas are so ludicrous that they were de-posted. Then the headline came to me so why not post here?!

Posted in “filthy lucre”. Tagged “bowie bonds” “michael lewis” “the big short” “david bowie”

The thing that came to mind but I did not say is that around the time of Bowie Bonds the music industry had made a sea change, more subtle than what people always say about Napster crushing the major labels: around 1999 the major labels made more money on publishing than on record sales; prices soared and stayed high for things like licensing a classic song or a performance by a classic act to television and movies; they made more money and still do on their catalog than new artists. They have not completely abandanoned new artists, it’s just less of the business model. And the major labels still sell about 80 percent of the biz (which was the variable I always tracked, or rooted against; I am indie).

I checked and other people did speculate and usually dismiss that there is some connection between Bowie Bonds and Too Big to Fail. Not much of a connection,it just made me think. And yes the blogger who is or was a wall st guy writes about music better than I understand the market.

The blog is called “Pushing Ahead of the Dame” by Chris O’Leary I think (the reference eludes me) and here is what I wrote:

I found my way to this because “securitization” is mentioned on page 98 of Michael Lewis “The Big Short”. Is the performance of the underlying asset that important to the ” bond”?
Arguably this is like Bowie accepting $55m to stump for Wall Street period.
I wish I could have shorted the ability of Bowie to sell $55m in records over the last decade.
His touring should have been independent of his publishing and unit sales so the deal would not be contingent on his playing so many shows.

edit to add: there’s also a news to me act called Chairlift with a song “ch-ching”

and 1: Liza Jane, accordng to O’Leary book, the first song put out by Bowie, but also perhaps a cover, by dale hawkings but not either the Nina Simone or Vince Gill thingies. Wranglers?


edit to add, Monday, Jan. 11- the blogger Wedge (craig m) sends word that Bowie has succumbed to cancer.


About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player; he also sang in local choir, and fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32
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