Saturday, March 18, 2017

the hand that wrote this letter

hello there

i shall be honest about it, look you see. when it was first announced that David Bowie was going to be on a special set (or special sets as it turned out) of stamps off of Royal Mail, my reaction was "hang on, i thought the rule was that it was only members of the Royal Family who could be on stamps, or people who had di....oh". as anonymous and private as he was for much of the last decade of his life, it's still hard to accept that he's gone.

but that's not for here. we have lamented before and will lament again, but now is the time to celebrate this most splendid gesture of appreciation for him. yes, of course, my second thought after the news was "let me go and buy the stamps, then", and so i did. and now they have arrived.

the above are what i suppose you would call the "main" set of stamps released. six of his albums celebrated, going from the first really celebrated and accomplished album (Hunky Dory) through to his final work (Blackstar). yes, i know there were two albums prior to Hunky Dory, but let's be honest - those had moments, this was a work of art from start to finish.

should you need a guide to the albums featured, at the top from left to right is Hunky Dory, followed by Aladdin Sane (which is probably to be my next 'random Bowie' post) and "heroes". at the bottom in the same order we have the set him up financially for life pop magnificence of Let's Dance, the out of all options curious choice of "i am so down with the kids on this drum and bass malarkey", the little wonder of Earthling and then of course Blackstar, the farewell to the fans.

will i be using these stamps to send letters with? ha ha, no. rather like my Star Wars ones from a couple of years ago, and many others, these are to be kept safe. for what end or purpose i know not, but just safe. it did, however, strike me as a shame not to send some Bowie stamps out there into the realm of the postal service, so i bought some extras.

well i did say 'some'. these are two fairly standard booklets of 6 1st class stamps off of Royal Mail, only with two of the ones of HM The Queen being replaced by two of the Bowie album covers, apparently selected at random. i just bought two books, so four people somewhere will get 1 Bowie album cover stamp.

my thoughts on the selection of album covers? so long as one did not use Never Let Me Down you could not go far wrong. i would, however, have suggested that something like Scary Monsters, or if they wanted a 90s record Black Tie White Noise, might have been a bit more iconic and recognizable than Earthling, a poor selling album and you just see the back of him, but there you go.

why no Ziggy Stardust, you ask? because, and i presume this to be the reason, Royal Mail had previously used it in a set of stamps celebrating classic British albums. i've got that set too, thanks to Auntie. no, yes, that one. from what i remember Screamadelica features in the collection too.

the other set of stamps? it might have been better for Royal Mail to have just done 10 album covers, but no, they elected to use four images of him live and on stage.

and which iconic concerts are these off of? well, if we start with the four stamps proper, at the top is Ziggy Stardust from 72 - 73, and next to that is a shot from the Stage tour, 1978. at the bottom we have poptastic money making with Serious Moonlight from 1983, and the final picture is from the last tour, the early 2000s Reality tour. the big massive image on the sheet, frustratingly, is from the Glass Spider shenanigans of 1987.

there's absolutely nothing wrong with the selection of images used for the stamps as such, but i can't help but think they have missed a trick. yes, he was a great live artist too, but why not use these other four to cover that other area of art he contributed to - cinema? they could have done a set featuring an image of him off any number of roles - The Man Who Fell To Earth, Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence, Labyrinth, Absolute Beginners, The Hunger and The Prestige all come to mind. hey ho, perhaps another time.

what will i be using the David Bowie stamps that i bought to actually use on? some of these, i would imagine.

postcards off or Royal Mail which have on them the images of the stamps, with one card also, i believe, having the full set of live stamps on, for good measure. bought purely to send off to people, so as to spread the wonder and love for Bowie.

who shall i send them to? not sure. a few people come to mind, but maybe i will open it up, offering to send one or two to random strangers who would like such a thing of beauty in the mail. but it would be randomly selected cards if i did.

how much has all of this cost me? just slightly south of £25, since for some reason quite a few of the stamps are expensive £1.52 ones rather than standard 1st class 66p (or whatever) ones. do i feel that expenditure was all worth it? well i would not have argued with it all being a bit cheaper, but there you go, it's done now, isn't it.

i appreciate that much better images of these David Bowie stamps are to be found across the internet, but all the same it would be ace if this has all been of interest to someone somewhere!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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