David Bowie's House on the Island of Mustique
Виллла Дэвида Боуи на частном острове Мюстик (Малые Антильские острова). На острове всего 800 жителей и 114 домов (постройка новыех домов запрещена). Асфальта на острове нет, передвигаться по нему можно только на гольф-карах. Полиции тоже нет, хотя этот остров - одно из самых безопасных мест в мире...
Вилла среди прочего имеет комнату для игры в карты,
декорированную раковинами мидий, студию с бамбуковым потолком,
использовавшуюся Боуи для записи, сцену для музыкальных выступлений и
террасу с видом на океан. Площадь дома составляет 1,3 тысячи
квадратных метров, площадь всего поместья 2,5 гектара.
Боуи : "Я думаю, что Мюстик всегда будет давать бесконечный
источник радости. Этот дом – на столько спокойное место, что у меня нет
абсолютно никакой мотивации, написать хоть что-нибудь, когда я здесь".
Боуи : "Я жаворонок. Я встаю между пятью и шестью, пью кофе и читаю пару часов, пока все остальные встанут. Тогда мы завтракаем и все идем вниз к пляжу – ничего поразительно оригинального. Одна вещь, которая особенно приятна в этом доме, что он разбит на маленькие части, в которых можно заблудиться – вы можете ходить по дому по меньшей мере восемь дней, и каждый день находить новое место. Я там иногда немного создаю скульптуры, чего не делал со времен, когда изучал искусство".
Дэвид Боуи с женой, актрисой и моделью Иман
via AD :
AD revisits the musician’s Indonesian-style refuge on Mustique,
which appeared in our September 1992 issue
TEXT BY CHRISTOPHER BUCKLEY
PHOTOGRAPHY BY DERRY MOORE
Posted August 31, 1992 · Magazine
One of the cruising guides to the Grenadines sports a hand-drawn map of the island of Mustique that shows its various points of interest. Here is “Princess Margaret’s ho.” There’s “Mick Jagger’s ho.” And up here, high on a hillside, is “David Bowie’s ho.” And one heck of a ho it is, five years and more than fourteen cargo containers in the making, culminating in an Indonesian-style pavilion that horseshoes around two koi-filled ponds that descend burblingly toward the setting sun into a sort of trompe-l’eau sluice from which dark water appears to emerge magically pristine as it pours into the swimming pool. Indonesia in the Caribbean? But of course. No architecture is out of context on Mustique, an island of follies and Taj Mahals and Kyoto gardens. “It’s a whim personified,” says David Bowie. “I love a good clich?, and this house for me is just the most delightful clich?.”
Bowie, his mismatched eyes asparkle with intelligence, wit, mimicry and a distinctly sexual energy, drags on the umpteenth Marlboro of the morning. At forty-five he is ascetically lean and fit, almost gaunt. He was twenty-two when he became famous with the song “Space Oddity,” a soulful dirge about an alienated astronaut named Major Tom. He released it to coincide with Apollo 11, and when BBCTV played it moments after Neil Armstrong planted his feet on lunar soil, Bowie too was launched. He brought to rock his own theater of the absurd with a succession of extremely dramatic personae—Major Tom, the androgynous Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, the Mephistophelian Thin White Duke.
Role changes have always been part of David Bowie’s persona. Born David Jones, he grew up in the London suburb of Bromley, the son of a children’s home administrator. His father bought him a saxophone, and he adopted the stage name of Tom Jones—for a week, until he saw photographs of another fellow, a singer, who went by the name. He changed it back to David Jones. Then along came the pop group The Monkees, with lead singer Davy Jones. He called himself David Jay for a bit, but decided that it lacked a certain je ne sais quoi. By then Mick Jagger had become the flaming hot rocker. Jagger...dagger...Bowie was into Americana...knife...presto—David Bowie! The rest is anything but silence; it’s been very loud indeed.
In 1990 he made the gutsy, artistic move of announcing that he would perform his greatest hits one more time on tour and then never again, in order to force himself to produce a new repertoire. His current band is Tin Machine, which plays to mixed but, given his exalted status, respectful reviews; two of its members are sons of the sixties comedian Soupy Sales. He is newly married to Iman Abdulmajid, a.k.a. Iman, the painfully beautiful (but not as tall as you thought) Somalian model and now actress. But about the ho....
“Why Mustique indeed,” Bowie begins. “Frankly, it was quite odd. I went down to spend a couple of days with Mick and Jerry in their house, and while waiting for the boat—I was going to take a trip up and down the Caribbean and it never happened because the propeller fell out or something—I was stranded. And I just went scouting one day, having nothing better to do, there being little else to do there, and I came across this area of land attached to Arne Hasselqvist’s. And we talked about it, and I thought, Why not?”
Colin Tennant, Lord Glenconner, bought the island for a pittance in the late fifties and cleverly developed it by planting it with a royal seed, Princess Margaret, to whom he gave a parcel of land as a wedding present. He then enlisted Swedish architect Arne Hasselqvist to transform her uncle-in-law Oliver Messel’s watercolor architectural sketches into an actual ho. Hasselqvist stayed on Mustique and to date has built roughly half of the island’s houses, including his own breathtaking Japanese hilltop house, similarly arranged around tranquil koi pools (see Architectural Digest, August 1990).
“Arne was willing to sell,” Bowie continues, “if the sister house to be built on the site matched in weight the house he’d built for himself. I could agree to that, but then what to do with it? I said to him, ‘Look, you’ve obviously been to the East, Arne. Have you ever been to Indonesia?’ He’d had a romp through there, so he knew what I was talking about. He had an idea for the waters going into the pools and into the swimming pool. And then I brought in Robert Litwiller to start constructing, in a vaguely Indonesian style, a potpourri of all the islands of Indonesia, running the whole gamut, the ring of fire.” He laughs. “I wanted my own bit of the ring of fire. I wanted the sapphire,” he says, the songwriter wringing out any rhyme. “I wanted something as unlike the Caribbean as possible, because it’s a fantasy island, Mustique. Everybody just builds a getaway from it all so they can get there and see the same people they see all around, but in a holiday situation.” A tropical hothouse version of Gatsby’s East Egg, where everyone went “to be rich together.”
Bowie’s main residence is in Lausanne, Switzerland. He has an apartment in Los Angeles and a boat in the Mediterranean, “which I don’t see enough of.” He spends five or six weeks on Mustique over Christmas, and then goes back for a bit in midyear. He says he keeps things intimate, inviting just a small circle of friends, Iman and his twenty-one-year-old son, Zowie, now called Joe. “I throw one big party a year. This year it was a New Year’s party, the theme being the seventies. I put on a disco, and Iman brought a mirrored ball down with her, an electric one. We had dinner for fifty but then invited people in for dancing afterwards. They all go down to Basil’s when they’ve had enough. That’s the one bar on the island, I’m up on the hill, which keeps me away from the odd tourist boat, which is getting less and less frequent because we’re being quite strict about what anchorage we’ll make available, because one used to get tourists coming up in cars and people-spotting, of course, basically because of Mick, myself and Princess Margaret’s house.” As for being a landmark in the cruising guide, he says, “That’s Basil’s advert,” and does an imitation: “You may well be roobin shoulders with David Booey orr maybe Mick Jagger when you come to Basil’s!” He notes, “I’ve not had my shoulder rubbed, yet.”
Jagger, he explains, came to Mustique via Princess Margaret. “Mick had been with that crowd for quite some time. He knew them all through the sixties. The Stones were of course the house band for all the coming-out parties in the sixties. 'Let’s get the Rolling Stones! Daddy, can we have the Rolling Stones?’ ‘Well, tell them to wash before they come.’ That sort of thing. So he moved in those circles at a very young age.” Jagger’s house, like Hasselqvist’s, is Japanese style, with a great croquet lawn.
So Bowie bought the land in 1986, and the house was ready, except for finishing touches, by Christmas 1989, an accomplishment that deservedly swells the chest of New York designer Robert J. Litwiller, who coordinated the disparate contributions of Hasselqvist, and designer Linda Garland and landscape architect Michael White, both of whom live halfworlds away on Bali.
lt was the redoubtable Litwiller who oversaw every detail, including the shipping containers from Indonesia, Italy, England, New York and Atlanta, with their concomitant nightmare of international paperwork and customs clearances. “It was something,” Litwiller says of the project with a wan smile, “I choose not to remember.” It was also, he adds, an education, during which he learned, amid much else, of the ingenuity of termites, which will bore up through thick concrete, traverse underneath floor tiles and then burrow precisely through those to get at the leg of a bamboo chair, pure candy to them. “So you have to be very careful no one heavy is sitting in it,” he says. Not likely in this household. My Labrador retriever weighs more than Bowie and Iman together.
In October 1990 a mutual friend brought Bowie together with Iman. “I’d just come out of one relationship and I was really completely uninterested in forming a new one. And then we had dinner in Los Angeles, and it was over. Or rather, it began. She’d just been there a year. She’d quit modeling to endeavor to create a new career for herself, acting, a very brave thing to do. She was very hard-line about modeling: ‘That’s it, I’m at the top, I’ll stop.’ She just did Star Wars this year. Not Star Wars, what’s that other space thing? Star Trek. Star Trek 39. And she did House Party 2. She did a television movie called Lies of the Twins,and for the first year in Hollywood, that’s pretty good.”
Bowie has called himself an entertainer, not a musician. “Oh yeah, absolutely. I’ve been lucky with the songs. I can’t play anything well.” This is an amusing admission from a multiplatinum rock aristocrat. “I play what is politely called ‘composer’s piano,’ which means I know enough chords to be able to find my way around a song but not enough to sit down on stage, like Elton John, for instance, who’s a wizard pianist. I’ll have a go at anything and get a screech or an oink out of it, and then think, Well, that’s kind of nice, play it three times and it’ll sound like an arrangement.” He adds, “I think that’s the secret to half of my success as a composer.” He says that Philip Glass, the American composer, will debut a symphonic piece at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in October consisting of a cycle of Bowie’s seventies Berlin trilogy—Low, Heroes,and Lodger, his favorite compositions. “I rollick in it because Glass was a huge influence on me in the seventies, so the cycle has sort of come full circle.”
Bowie has worked in almost all the arts. He’s acted in movies, playing an alcoholic alien in Nicolas Roeg’s The Man Who Fell to Earth, a vampire with Catherine Deneuve and Susan Sarandon in The Hunger and a prisoner of war in Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence. He debuted on Broadway in 1980 in the title role in The Elephant Man. He’s narrated Peter and the Wolf with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra and recorded a duet performance of “The Little Drummer Boy” with Bing Crosby. (Bowie and Der Bingle, conjure on that.) Crosby, he recalls, was by then “pretty far gone, but he had a splendid voice, very loud.” He says he’s been working on a screenplay “eternally,” which he would like to direct. He sculpts and paints, though he never paints on Mustique because, he says, “the light frightens me. It’s incredibly bright. I’m not used to working in the light. And I’m not terribly good. It shows too many flaws when you’re painting in very bright light. Technique goes to hell. So I’ll retain that for the murk of Berlin or somewhere.”
It’s time to go. He has to get on a plane, which he “loathes” so much that at the height of his touring career in the seventies, when he was on the road eleven months a year, he went an entire six years without flying, requiring some truly Phineas Fogg–like improvisations.
His house overlooking Lake Geneva is where he works and writes. But David Bowie’s heart seems to be in Colin Tennant’s “strange netherworld—nutty, potty” Mustique, this semi-sceptered isle, this rhinestone set in a turquoise sea, “this storehouse of anecdotes, none of which will pass my lips,” he laughs. “My ambition is to make music so incredibly uncompromised that I will have absolutely no audience left whatsoever and then I’ll be able to spend the entire year on the island.”