Ashes to Ashes: Wall Street meets Rock & Roll

January 31, 2012

While we are still transitioning from recession to depression, periodically debating whether to sell our stocks before they further plunge into the NASDAQ abyss, we can only speculate as how we got there.

As I was watching an Apple commercial, I couldn’t help to wonder why I didn’t buy Apple stocks when Gates was still CEO of Microsoft circa 1995 and Jobs was not yet a household name. It was about 40 bucks a share! Now, if you fancy a single slice of juicy Macintosh, you will be expected to disburse about $450.

I then snapped out of it thinking to myself “Why am I still thinking about stocks?!” Attempting to forcibly distract myself, I couldn’t help to appreciate the carefully “Apple picked” melody in the background: “Ashes to Ashes” by David Bowie.

… again, here is another set of dots to connect …

In fact, David Bowie forfeited ten years worth of royalties (25 albums / 287 songs) to the Prudential Insurance Company for 55 million dollars. Helped by banker David Pullman, he then made history, not as “Ziggy Stardust” or “Major Tom”, as he previously achieved, but as David Robert Jones: the first artist, the first person actually, to secure intellectual property rights.

Thus, the origin of Bowie bonds, which are also known as Pullman bonds.

When we look at the countless Bowie songs that were taken and / or performed by other artists, Prudential had no reason to be hesitant. Here is a sample, in no particular order:

Under Pressure (“Ice Ice Baby” – Vanilla Ice; “Sniff” – The Kleptones)

1984 ( “1984” – Tina Turner)

Man who sold the World (“Man who sold the world” – Nirvana; Mourn – Apoptygma Berzerkl; )

Let’s Dance ( “Been Around the World” – P. Diddy feat Biggie Smalls; “Hot Stuff” – Craig David)

Starman (” Star Guitar” – The Chemical Brothers)

Fame (“Takeover” – Jay-Z ; “Night Of The Living Baseheads” – Public Enemy; “Shamrocks And Shenanigans” – House of Pain; “It Wasn’t Me, It Was The Fame” – EPMD; “Strange Fame” – Sage Francis); “Hot (I Need to Be Loved, Loved, Loved, Loved)” – James Brown; “Alive on Arrival” – Ice Cube; “Faith/Fame Remix” – Limp Bizkit ft. Everlast; “Bowified Rebelution” – The Kleptones; “Fancy Pants” – Lady Gaga)

Ashes to Ashes (“Body II Body” – Samantha Mumba)

Crystal Japan (“ Warm Place”- Nine Inch Nails)

Heroes (“Elephant Love Medley” – Ewan McGregor, Nicole Kidman and Jamie Allen; “Just for One Day (Heroes)” – David Guetta; “Heroes” – Brazz)

Cheers to having guts to go out into the world and stake your own claim! It is exactly in times like these that you ought to divert from the flock and play by your own rules.

Thank you Sir.

Do you remember a guy that’s been
In such an early song
I’ve heard a rumor from Ground Control
Oh no, don’t say it’s true

They got a message
from the Action Man
“I’m happy, hope you’re happy too
I’ve loved
all I’ve needed to love
Sordid details following”

The shrieking of nothing is killing
Just pictures of Jap girls
in synthesis and I
Ain’t got no money and I ain’t got no hair
But I’m hoping to kick but the planet it’s glowing


Ashes to ashes, funk to funky
We know Major Tom’s 4
a junkie
Strung out in heaven’s high
Hitting an all-time low

Time and again I tell myself
I’ll stay clean tonight
But the little green wheels are following me
Oh no, not again
I’m stuck with a valuable friend
“I’m happy, hope you’re happy too”
One flash of light
but no smoking pistol

I never done good things
I never done bad things
I never did anything out of the blue,
Want an axe to break the ice
Wanna come down right now


My mother said
to get things done
You’d better not mess
with Major Tom

Copyright © 2012 Thus Always To Genius. All Rights Reserved.


One Response to “Ashes to Ashes: Wall Street meets Rock & Roll”

  1. I only recently learned of Crystal Japan/ a warm place. Blew my frikken mind, I had no idea, not knowing much about Bowie.

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