When Bowie met Burroughs

David Bowie and William Burroughs photographed by  Terry O'Neill in 1974 and hand-coloured by Bowie

From The Guardian:

Bowie’s needs were less obvious, but nonetheless urgent. Searching for an exit from conventional pop stardom, he needed another way of working and a different kind of public persona. Literary cachet offered the chance of a deeper, wider and more permanent cultural relevance; Burroughs had an impeccable avant-garde reputation and an image that was at once forbidding and forbidden, remote and culturally potent.

Most of all, Burroughs had a technique that would enable Bowie to renew his entire method of writing lyrics and making music. During the early 1960s, Burroughs and his colleague, the painter and writer Brion Gysin, had developed the cut-up as a method of visual and verbal reassembly that was equally applicable to painting, montaged artworks, calligraphy, tape manipulation and the word. It offered, in fact, a whole new way of seeing.

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