Vol. 2, Issue 17, April 27, 2004
David Bowie Missing Since 2001, Says Wife
A routine publicity event for a contest has revealed that pop legend David Bowie has not been seen in person for almost three years.
"I really don't know what happened," said former model Iman, who has been married to Bowie since 1992. "He used to go on these little trips where he would "find himself," and this one time he didn't come back. What can I say."
Iman was apparently used to Bowie's periodic absences and was initially unconcerned by his failure to return from his latest expedition, which she believes may have been in Siberia. "Mostly, it was nice to have the house to myself, so I didn't think about where he was too much," she admitted.
Long a mainstay of American pop culture best known for his albums in the early 1970s, David Bowie's career had been sliding. After his disappointing 1999 album, "Hours," many critics assumed that his star had set for good.
"I was worried that he'd quit working altogether and just hang out in the house all the time," said Iman.
The question of Bowie's whereabouts became more urgent, however, when his follow up album "Reality" - which had already been recorded - was released in 2003 after extensive remixing from the studio. It did surprisingly well and led to a world concert tour, which Bowie's absence made somewhat problematic.
"That's when I hired Arnie," said Iman.
Arnie (Arnold Herschel) was a David Bowie impersonator who worked the clubs in Las Vegas. Iman, in apparent collusion with Bowie's record label, secretly hired Arnie to go on tour in Bowie's stead. The successful "A Reality" tour made millions and put Bowie back in the spotlight.
Because Bowie's physical appearance has varied during the past thirty years, no one apparently noticed the slight discrepancies in Arnie's appearance. He has successfully carried off the impersonation for a year, even going so far as to propose a contest for Bowie mash-ups (taking the lyrics from one song and superimposing them over the back tracks of a different song). However, after Iman repeatedly called him "Arnie" in a recent press conference, he confessed.
"Actually, it's been really hard to keep this a secret," said the jubilant Arnie. "I've managed to pull this off for a year! It's a great accomplishment for an impersonator like me."
Industry analysts were uncertain what to make of the news, which apparently will not affect either "Bowie's" touring schedule, the mash-up contest, or the release of his next album.
"You know," said Rolling Stone music critic Vanessa Jackson, "I thought he sounded better during this last tour."