(planned I.M.P. 1007 but really a Hoffman Avenue Records title): BOWIE ‘WISH UPON A STAR’

As mentioned in the early version of the Idle Mind presentation sheet/catalog, I will include this album at this point. The “(deluxe)” comment seen there likely referred to a printed b&w cover, something VV had already used on her side label Anti Gravity and the release Welcome To The Late Show by the Eagles, previously discussed here.

Bowie Wish Upon A Star

Source: Second of three Inglewood Forum shows (8, 9 & 11 February 1976)

Side 1: Panic in Detroit / Fame / Changes / Diamond Dogs
Side 2: Waiting for the Man / Word on a Wing / Stay / TVC 15

Another lost master tape as the rest of the show has never appeared and this is a ‘vinyl only’ special (the CD was taken from a vinyl copy as well). Praised for its very good audio quality ever since its release.

Claimed by Lou Cohan as one of his releases as found in Hot Wacks – Supplement I where he stated:  “my name is on the cover” – and it is.

First edition on black vinyl with white blank labels as seen below. The following are comments collected around the web:

“Original pressing small credit “produced by BERT & LOU” printed on cover, later only “BERT” credit, missing “LOU”; “ref BR 10001”

“…early pressing of the “Wish Upon a Star” LP – the one with “For Patty” in the runout groove…”

“Rare HAR label catalogue+order info paste on back cover!”

Bowie Wish Upon A Star 2

Second edition with blank black labels exists as well, some claim this is from 1979:

Bowie Wish Upon A Star black

Third and rarest variation:

Bowie Wish Upon A Star blu

An eBay seller claimed only 50 blue PVC copies exist.



Bowie Isolar 76

L.A. Forum concert review by Lisa Robinson as published in Hit Parader magazine:

“I think with this stage show,” David would tell me later, “I’ve put myself in a position of being more like the real David Bowie the audience has wanted. This show is more bisexual, more theatrical than anything I’ve ever done, I think. Ostensibly because it’s the most real show I’ve done. Now I can start work.”

Elton John swept into the Forum backstage area dressed in brown. He’s taken a few hours out of rest and hiding in LA to pay his respects, but he doesn’t stay long at the concert when his presence begins to attract too much audience attention. In the audience are Linda (it wouldn’t be a rock concert without) Blair, David Hockney (who’s had a busy week, attending parties for the Spinners, and the Pretty Things), Christopher Isherwood (“Can you imagine??” Angela Bowie gasped after the show, “CHRISTOPHER ISHERWOOD! My idol!!”) and Henry “Fonzie” Winkler.

The taped music of Kraftwerk can be heard over the loudspeaker. “Radioactivity for you and me,” croons writer Cameron Crowe. What a camp David is, I think. Fashionable fascism. Then, right before the screening of “Un Chien Andalou” Carole King treks up the aisle with new hippie boyfriend in tow. “You wouldn’t believe how crazy it is down there,” she shrieks to a friend in her very best Brooklyn yenta voice. I cannot believe how, with all her money, she is wearing a three dollar Indian shmatah. Cameron Crowe cannot believe I say this. She does however, seem very young, and glowingly in love.

And so, David screens “Un Chien Andalou” for all his 17-year-old fans who have not had the opportunity to study the surrealist classic film in college yet. The eye-cutting scene goes over big, but the rest of the twenty minutes causes the crowd to become mighty restless. And so at last, when Bowie comes onstage casually, singing “Station to Station”, there is a huge roar, and everyone stands up.

As the show has been reviewed in these pages at length by Ben Edmonds, I’ll just add these observations: I didn’t much care for the band; too loud, too funky, too much bottom. My seat was reverberating throughout the entire show, and it was not a pleasant sensation. “Waiting for the Man” doesn’t really work; trying to sing it as a sultry, nightclubby kind of number isn’t right. Perhaps only a few who have really been there can sing Lou Reed’s lyrics; even if he wouldn’t agree with me, Patti Smith can. But David’s new show – with the stark, spare stage lit by hot, white neon lights is theatrical. Perhaps more theatrical than any that have preceded it, because he is creating the illusion that it is real -just A Man and His Music. But make no mistake, this is a show, not a concert. Just because he’s wearing a simple white shirt, black vest, black baggy trousers, instead of a long striped sock or a pink jockstrap doesn’t make it any less of a stage act.

Bowie moves onstage like an actor, a film actor who knows that standing still in front of a camera often commands more attention. The entire production from the Kraftwerk, to “Un Chien Andalou”, to the black and white, is all sort of like a film David’s directed himself. It’s focused, and the focus is definitely on the Star. No more cute guitarists to go down on, no more shoving the band to the side of the stage in an attempt to be visually rid of them (that just pointed out there was a problem with them in the first place). This band stands behind Bowie but could just as easily be behind a curtain. It’s fine to hire “excellent musicians”, but conceptually, visually, these people have nothing at all to do with Bowie. (“Do you consider this to be your band?” I would ask him later. “Oh no … they’ll all probably wander off after the tour and go back to James Brown or wherever they came from,” he replied. “I really don’t know them … I mean I know Carlos… “) One thing I do love in the show is when David stands to the side of the stage during the instrumental solos, nodding his head as if he’s digging them. Aside from admiring such fine acting, it makes one long for the star’s speedy return to center stage. Don’t think David doesn’t know that.

But I’m a sucker for the more familiar, rock and roll numbers like “Suffragette City”, “Jean Genie”, “Changes”, “Rebel Rebel”, so for me, they are the most successful songs in the show. Strangely enough, he’s left out “Young Americans” and “Golden Years” but mercifully has perhaps put “Space Oddity” to rest forever.

(At this point Carole King gets hassled by the usher … he tried to get her out of her seat and she has to sit on her boyfriend’s lap. They leave soon thereafter and I notice that he is wearing a fur purse tied on a leather string around his hips.)

David added Diamond Dogs to the shows in LA; he had forgotten the words but Cameron Crowe found them for him and he learned it in time. The show lasts about one and a half hours, which is fine, and after much cheering and lighting of matches (can you imagine going to a concert anymore and not have that happen? It’s such rote, fascism indeed… ) he returns to say, “We’re touring the world, and I won’t see you for … oh … a year, so we’ll leave you with this” – a great Rebel, Rebel”


If anyone has a copy of this album on black PVC in excellent condition for sale, I’m interested.

  1. nige dodds said:

    the wording (on the sax) reads ‘for Patty’ and ‘produced by Bret’, this last is claimed as the Hoffman Avenue
    creators name in the Hotwacks supplement vol. 1. He goes on to claim the lp as his own work.
    the b-side run out contains the cryptic ‘for the turkey’. Now what did become of the remaining tape ?

    • I have since read Lou’s unhappy letter to Kurt Glemser in HW Supplement 1 and will update the listing accordingly. I have also held an original copy in a vinyl store in San Francisco (would have bought it as the vinyl was in great shape but the cover wasn’t) and it said “Produced by Bret & Lou” on the insert (as Lou wrote in his letter “my name is on the cover”) and for Patty in one of the run out grooves. Yes, it should be counted as a Hoffman Avenue release but Vicky Vinyl listing it in the early catalog threw everyone off.

  2. Hi – I’ve got a copy of wish upon a star, no cover, but it’s the blue vinyl with white label. Would you be interested in it?
    BTW, in addition to ‘for patty’, the other runout groove says ‘this one for the turkey’ (or at least it looks like it says turkey? I don’t get the reference? Cold turkey perhaps? Was he off drugs for a day or two at this time?!(

    • The blog does not buy bootlegs anymore but thank you for the offer.

      Re. the groove text, when it comes to Hoffman Ave. Records they were usually about the producers and not about the artist on the record. This must be some insider joke we’re mot in on.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: