Calling All The Young Dudes

He's got his own bonds on Wall Street, houses all over the world, a fashion-model wife, and more wealth than any other rock star to date. But what he really wanted was his own Internet Service Provider. As a result, David Bowie goes online September 1 with the first rock-star-based ISP: BowieNet.

According to the new company, UltraStar Internet Services, the official announcement of the launch was to coincide with the release of the EMI Records compilation The Best of David Bowie, 1974/1979 on August 23. However, the CD, which contains details of the online service, was prematurely released by EMI-Canada two weeks ago. This led Canadian fans to search for the service. In response, a "pre-launch" site was posted.

Fees will be the typical $19.95/month found 'round the net in the US, where the service will debut. Plans include future dial-up numbers around the world by year's end, unreleased Bowie tracks and videos, Bowie screensavers, wallpaper, and icons, special access to "David, his world, his friends, his fans," and links "recommended by David." Fans who already have an ISP they like can gain access to the special privileges mentioned above for $5.95 a month.

The new ISP is being coordinated with Concentric Network, an established net company with technical support and its own dial-up system. Concentric said it will combine its CustomLink VPN service with hosting and e-commerce capabilities to power BowieNet. Folks choosing full internet service will receive a CD-ROM containing a customized browser along with two classic live Bowie audio and video tracks never before released to the public. There will also be an exclusive encrypted, newly recorded audio track that will unlock via the Internet.

"I wanted to create an environment where not just my fans but all music lovers could be a part of the same community," Bowie stated; "a single place where the vast archives of music information could be accessed, views stated, and ideas exchanged."

And as a bonus, if you join Bowie's service, your e-mail address will soon end with @davidbowie.net.

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