Thoughts on teaching, technology, learning and life in an era of change.
David Bowie ~ Station To Station Full Colour Artwork
April 20th, 2007

Bowie released Station To Station in 1976. The release number was RCA APL1-1327. The album released to the public had artwork with a black and white still from the Man Who Fell To Earth movie. Apparently plans had been made to release a full colour sleeve and some artwork had been undertaken. The colour artwork attracts considerable debate among collectors as to what was printed and what was not printed. It seems that in the UK RCA had 24″ X 12″ flat mock-ups printed. In the USA RCA printed proofs of the sleeve. Some collectors glued the proofs together to make up the sleeve.

This was further complicated in the late 1980s when an English collector obtained one of these US full colour proofs and had counterfeit copies made, possibly by a printing company in Japan. They were then sold by record dealers in England. Occasionally these counterfeits are now sold to unwitting collectors as authentic RCA USA sleeves. I think that is patently unfair. Check out this link for photographs of the UK 24″ x 12″ mock-up and one copy of the aforementioned counterfeit.

Anyway, Ryko reissued the album with the full colour artwork in 1990. Subsequent issues on CD have also included the full colour artwork. This year Toshiba reissued the album as a Mini LP CD with the original 1976 black and white artwork. In many respects the original 1976 black and white RCA album sleeve (especially the UK pressing) in mint or sealed condition would be a valuable acquistion.

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31 Responses to “David Bowie ~ Station To Station Full Colour Artwork”

  1. Jeni Q Says:

    I want to comment but I’m just not sure what to say. Hmm…

    David Rocks!

  2. Matthew Says:

    Thanks for your contribution to the RC article, I just read it today and it had me intrigued. I do have a query however. After reading about the counterfeit copy of ‘Station To Station’ with the full colour sleeve I went to check my copy. Sadly it does seem that my copy is indeed a counterfeit,however I’m a little confused. The vinyl itself says it was pressed in Germany! Do you know anything about the vinyl on these counterfeits? Or maybe there was another counterfeit pressing done in Germany? To confuse matters even more, the sleeve says it was printed in the USA!

  3. John Larkin Says:

    Hi there,

    Thank you for the comment Matthew. Please may I summarise the facts as I know them.

    There were three different versions of the colour Station To Station LP artwork that feature the RCA logo.

    1. Complete printer’s proof of the RCA full-colour artwork that was to be produced in the USA. It was not folded and included the printer’s marks and colour bars around the outer edges.

    2. 24 inch by 12 inch flat mock-up printed in the UK. It was a version of the artwork that was destined for the UK market. It did not include the printer’s marks or colour bars. It was given to RCA agents with a test pressing of the album to show to record dealers and shop owners.

    3. A counterfeit that was created by an English record dealer in the late 1980s. It was created using one of the legitimate RCA USA proofs described in point one above. This counterfeit was printed, folded, glued and mass produced in either England or possibly Japan. This counterfeit was simply a sleeve. It was not issued with a vinyl record. It was empty. I bought two copies from the Record Peddler in Swan Street, Manchester. It is excellent but it lacks the correct colour hues and printing detail.


    4. I suspect there is a “fourth”. Some copies of the counterfeit sleeve described above were not folded and glued and these have been sold on eBay as “genuine” flat RCA USA full colour proofs as well.

    I have detailed photographs of #2 and #3 here.

    Now, with the advent of eBay some sellers have married the counterfeit sleeve with a genuine inner sleeve and genuine vinyl record. They then sell that item on eBay as a genuine full colour RCA sleeve from 1976.

    Two or three such records were sold on eBay in 2005 and 2006 I suspect. That was why I created that web page. In fact the full colour artwork has not appeared that often on eBay since I started publishing all of this information. I think one collector paid more than £200-00 for a counterfeit and that annnoyed me greatly. There was another that sold for more than $2000-00 USD and I really suspect it was an unfolded counterfeit proof as described above.

    I later posted the details of my web site on an eBay Bowie forum and I received a lot of criticism from some quarters. One dealer had sold two “genuine” sleeves in the space of a few months. How could that be possible? I also received a lot of positive email and comments.

    I think one of the reasons I was asked to contribute to the Record Collector article was due to the fact I have been quite vocal about counterfeit rip-offs and the genuine article. I also like to share and even give away rare stuff. Why keep it locked up?

    Please have a look at the photographs on my web site.

    The real key is the quality of the printing of the pressing number APL1-1327 in the lower right corner. Is it clear and precise or is it fuzzy?

    I think that the person that sold you the full colour artwork simply inserted the German pressing of the vinyl. You may still have a genuine full colour proof that has simply been folded and glued together by an enthusiastic fan. Ageing also plays a role in the colour of the sleeve. ^_^

    I await your reply.

    With warmest wishes

    John Larkin.

  4. derek Says:

    hi,i am confused,the front cover looks genuine eg the right shade etc but the back is the same as the counterfeite.a record was included with the sleeve,with the RCA VICTOR label,it also includes the insert.thanks

  5. John Larkin Says:

    Hi Derek,

    An RCA USA copy of the artwork, that has been glued together for example, will have the true colour shades and the back will look the same as the counterfeit. This is since the counterfeit indeed copies the original RCA USA artwork.

    It was the RCA USA artwork that was used to create the counterfeit in the late 1980s.

    Authentic issues of the RCA USA colour artwork were sold, glued together by enthusiastic owners, with an insert and copy of the vinyl as a bonus.

    I have added some higher resolution images of the counterfeit and the RCA UK mockup here:

    Cheers, John.

  6. Julio Totang Says:

    Hi John

    Have you ever seen an LP version of RYKO’s STATION TO STATION?
    I’ve seen and own several of these limited edition LP’s but I have never seen ( not even once on ebay ) this one on sale.

    This is definitely one of my favourite BOWIE albums and a big missing hole in my collection !!!!

  7. John Larkin Says:

    Hi Julio
    They are out there. Keep looking on ebay. You may also find them via regular retailers. Of all the sleeves reissued by Ryko it is the one most treasured by collectors, along with the Space Oddity and MWSTW sleeves. They are the sleeves least likely to be resold.
    Please stay in touch. One may come my way in the future.
    Best wishes

  8. derek Says:

    hi john,
    thanks for replying to the email i sent in april.i am now ready to sell, so i am wondering could i sell it as authentic glued together ,which is what was mentioned in the reply to my email.i wellcome your advice.thanks

  9. michael Says:

    Hello – I was the source for the color slicks of the original color Station to Station cover. I was employed at the Los Angeles office of Bowie’s attorney during the runup to the album’s release. After Bowie rejected the cover, all of the slicks were tossed into the trash! Since they were unwanted, I took them and shared them with friends. There were about two dozen in all, but most were only two- or three- color test prints. Only about 6 were full color versions. I was told these were the only copies in existence.

  10. Gaspar Says:

    hi! do you think that ebay item 170313070826 sold for 516 GBP is the genuine one? the photos posted , the first two photos looks like the counterfeit but the last ones looks to me like the genuine… thanks

  11. John Larkin Says:

    Gaspar, thank you for the comment. The item was well marketed by the seller. It is a lot of money, particularly in these times of financial struggle and economic misfortune. Good luck to the seller. I trust the buyer will be happy with the purchase. I shared additional thoughts with you in an email. Shall wait to see what crops up in the forums.
    Cheers, John.

  12. steve Says:

    John – tactful answer. My instinct would be to be slightly less tactful: if the seller is indeed a big Bowie collector then he KNOWS it’s fake. But then any potential buyer who’s prepared to spend that kind of money… well, you’d also think that they too know it’s fake. It’s not like the info’s not out there. I’m gobsmacked. eBay is its own little universe.

  13. Paul Says:

    This is a repro from the seller’s listing page which poster Steve’s “gobsmacked” comments refer to. I do thinks they are apt when Steve apparently believes eBay to be a “little” universe – its become really quite well populated with intelligent life over the last decade. Steve may therefore be in a club with a membership of one. Read on…QUOTE “Some collectors do create their own reality to support what only they themselves believe. Some even produce websites to validate their own reality even further. In truth, over 30 years on, there is absolutely nothing to support the continued existence of any of these sleeves either original, or in your words bootleg. Some in the USA say half a dozen slicks (rough artwork) were saved by an RCA executive in NY, others have written to me from as far wide as Canada and the UK who have owned record stores actually given proof sleeves (fully made up here as you see) by RCA sales reps. I have seen many differing formats and I happily accept each on its own merits. Likewise whichever you believe is up to you, it makes it no more or less tangible, certainly not sly and also no more valid”.

  14. John Larkin Says:

    Thanks for the comment Paul. Always appreciate a comment. I am a little confused. Are you in agreement with Steve or disagreement? I am not sure in which direction your comment is headed. Perhaps I am a little too tired.

    I know that a RCA USA colour proof was copied and mass produced with the assistance of a UK collector who did gain access to a RCA USA colour proof.

    I travelled to the UK four times and the USA once on record collecting jaunts during those years. I was right into it back then.

    That was just over two decades ago. I bought two copies of the mass produced counterfeit at the actual time of its production for £10.00 each from a retailer in Manchester whom I know very well. I was staying in Manchester and also Sheffield at the time.

    The counterfeits are excellent and nicely reproduce the RCA USA colour proof. They were folded and glued and they are ubiquitous amongst Bowie fans from that time. Some collectors bought half a dozen or more. It was a genuine bargain.

    The full page publication of the RCA colour Station To Station sleeve in the excellent discography, David Bowie An Illustrated Record by Charles Shaar Murray and Roy Carr had really excited the Bowie community earlier in the decade.

    Most fans thought that they would never ever get to see a copy of the full colour Station To Station sleeve and when the counterfeit turned up it it was a real god-send. We all knew it was a counterfeit but we did not care. It was simply neat to have a copy and thus get an idea of what the full colour RCA sleeve would have looked like if it had actually been officially released.

    An interesting test would be to compare both the colour of the cardboard and a cross section of the cardboard used for the real RCA USA proof and that for that counterfeit.

    Once again, good luck to the seller and I am sure the buyer will be chuffed when they hold the item in their hot little hands.

    Cheers, John

  15. Jeff Gold Says:

    Great Site–I can further unravel the mystery as a friend of Mike, the original source. He gave me one of the originals in ’75 and I believe I sold it to someone in England many years ago–it may have been the one that was knocked off. I have just posted another alternate slick that Mike has had had since ’75 on Ebay, but this one has white type at the top. If anyone is interested in the complete story, or this slick, it’s on Ebay as item number 220400765271 .
    Thanks !

  16. steve Says:

    Rather than just being some other random eBay apologist with an apparent deficit of both logic and honesty, I’d say ‘Paul’ is probably himself the seller, wouldn’t you? Well, ‘would-be seller’, I should say, as I see that the original winning bidder sensibly withdrew and that the item has been listed again. Fact: there are hundreds (thosuands?) of these counterfeits out there. Fact: either the seller knows that his item is one of these counterfeits, and he is therefore dishonest, or he doesn’t, in which case he’s just stupid. Shall we vote?

  17. John Larkin Says:

    Jeff, thanks for the comment and the pointer to the eBay item. A very welcome revelation indeed. It is good to see that the account on the eBay item’s description clarifies Michael’s account above back on the 22nd February. I appreciate your time and input.

    Steve, thanks for the comment. I guess I am ever the diplomat and desire to be tactful. I have enough on my plate with my life, family and career to be also judge and jury. Let the punters decide.

    And, Michael, I would like to thank you for your input back in February. Sorry I did not reciprocate at the time. Life was crowding in back then. Thank you for your timely clarification.

    Cheers, John.

    PS. I have written a new blog post about the latest developments in the history of this sleeve.

  18. David Bowie ~ Station To Station Full Colour Artwork Revisited Says:

    [...] amongst a collection of materials that the company felt was no longer needed. Michael himself commented about this on my earlier post. In addition to the RCA full colour proofs printed in the USA a number of [...]

  19. Paul Says:

    Hi John, in my view your posters original comment was simply more slanted towards harming the eBay sellers reputation than commenting on the item being offered (more comments since proove this and Iam suprised you have published remarks verging on slanderous). The eBay listing which was the subject of the posts on your website clearly included a published comment from the seller which stated “In truth, over 30 years on, there is absolutely nothing to support the continued existence of any of these sleeves either original, or in your words bootleg”. To me this clearly underlines the fact the seller makes no claim to any provenance. Your poster has since proven his interests are more personal than practical claiming I myself am now the seller, plus a variety of other slanders/fraud claims etc. Iam not the owner but I do know the seller personally and Iam going to refer your website to him as I do think you and your posters are living out your own reality and need a subtle reality check, certainly when you are providing a platform for public remarks which are clearly self regulated. My uncle is a JP in Sydney and would have a heart attack if he read some comments you have published. To return to the subject I do share the opinion (ALSO STATED IN THE eBAY SELLER LISTING which states: ["I defy anyone to produce 10 or 25 or 100 counterfeit copies of this colour LP let alone the thousands bootleggers apparently aim to produce? I will happily buy them all, just tell me one thing.....where are they all ? Japan, UK errrr USA? Just show me a couple of dozen then that have ever surfaced? In fact show me a handfull? mmmm its gone very quiet"] It’s my opinion that probably a handful (thats 5 or 6) “sleeves” existed and eveything else thereafter are copies. Counterfeit is also legally inacurate by the way as the product was never sold, issued and so cannot be commercially counterfeited, “copy” being the correct term. John I do think you need to either clean up your act as a moderator, your website content or take the subject itself a tad more seriously. Incidentally, I have also been told on good advice the buyer of the £510 LP sleeve sale, from Brazil, did not withdraw but offered a non verified PayPal payment. Facts and not fantasy are often less entertaining I know.

  20. Paul Says:

    Having now read it Jeff Gold’s posting supports my previous assertion above and basically amounts to making this STS website obsolete as according to this, aside from Mr. Olsens 6 slicks, all other later forms and formats as simply copies of his, period. So now rather than continue a dead debate John, as a blog simply does, why not validate your LP sleeve website with a register of owners of the colour STS sleeve/slick. This would enable us to put some demographics on the suject and in the belief Jeff may or may not be correct, we can all upload our own sleeve pics, facts and sleeve bios. We can then all see where all these hundreds of “copies” actually are. You could then give us all a VIN number or serial number perhaps? (that last sentence was a joke John) [Please notice this post is slander free]

  21. John Larkin Says:

    Paul, I cannot go into all sides of the argument. I do not see myself as a moderator per se but I will take on your advice. I shall keep a closer eye on it.

    I may have to create a separate site for this and tear it away from the education focus.

    It would be a good idea to obtain additional high resolution images of other examples of the colour artwork that do appear. It would be good, for example, to see higher resolution images of the item put by Jeff Gold on eBay yesterday. It would be informative.

    That would be a good idea to have a register of owners so that the debate could be settled. I am not sure that is the job for me but it would help.

    I do not think there are hundreds of the copies of the sleeve but there are definitely multiple copies that were printed in the UK at least. It is a pity that ever happened I guess. I have two that I bought at the time. They are a nice item and I treasure both. I hope to put one in a frame one day. Never got around to it.

    Thanks very much for your comments Paul. Please keep up the debate,

    Cheers, John.

  22. John Larkin Says:

    I know one thing would make me feel happy. Regarding eBay item 170323199680 I would be most grateful if the seller removed the following sentence from the description: “OTHERWISE YOU CAN WRITE A BOOK OR WEBSITE LIKE “JL” ZZZzzzz.” That would be a noble gesture.

  23. Paul Says:

    Done I believe John. Another noble gesture in return would be to avoid hastily adding unsubstantiated assertions from Jeff Gold (or others in his wake) into the body or your website (qualifying his pictures as genuine John Larkin style) as I have had a letter from Jeff today which reads thus QUOTE “Michael [OLSEN] worked initially in the law office of Michael Lippman in Los Angeles, who managed Bowie at that point. I don’t know off the top of my head whether he worked at another location. I believe the Mainman office had been recently closed down and Michael was tasked with cleaning out the stuff that had been there–I believe this came from Mainman discards.” END OF JG QUOTE, BEGINNING OF CONCLUSION? Mr. Olsen did not work in any Bowie fan club, either official or otherwise, but instead worked in a lawyers office. According to Jeff Mr. Olsen removed said “slick” therefore from a lawyers office, and was not given it as a servant of the fan club to dispose of. Jeff cannot recall “off the top of his head” what exact location or office Mr. Olsen worked at (that does not count as good provenance) and he now “believes” said “slick” came from MainMan discards (that does not support what his eBay listing currently says). Will this update be added to your glowing resume of Mr. Gold and your continued championing of the “slicks” cause? My advice is come clean John and revisit your own blog words that you were once “angry” that a “counterfeit” sleeve sold for several hundred pounds on eBay and set about scuppering that ever happening again…and in the meantime wasting what was a good opportunity to make a valuable contribution to STS and its memory. Paul

  24. John Larkin Says:

    Paul, once again thanks for your comment. Michael had written about his part in the process back in this post as a comment back on the 22nd February 2009. It does differ to accounts elsehwere. People are allowed to have memory lapses. Frankly I give up. Perhaps this debate should be continued on one of the other forums out there.

    I feel frustrated when I see counterfeit copies of the RCA colour artwork sold to unsuspecting fans for exorbitant sums of money. I feel it is morally wrong. I personally could never do it. That is how I feel and I am entitled to express those feelings

    I am closing this post to further comments. Sadly, I feel the debate should be carried on elsewhere.

    Cheers one and all, John.

  25. John Larkin Says:

    Well, I have reopened as a few commentators wish to add their final words and then I shall consider it finished. Remember, objectivity is the key.

    Cheers, John.

  26. Paul Says:

    WIKI: OBJECTIVITY “A proposition is generally considered to be objectively true when its truth conditions are “mind-independent” — that is, not the result of any judgments made by a conscious entity.” From his letter to me Jeff Gold clearly had no idea of the true provenance of his STS slick and i think your sponsoring his advertising campaign ignores your own call for objectivity. You freely admitted your own motivation in making this blog was scuppering sellers of the STS colour sleeve (of which there are very few anyway, possibly one every 4 or 5 years like this one a proof sleeve nothing to do with me by the way before one of your half dozen respondents jumps in!) But a format like slicks which is clearly more wide open to laser copying (“counterfeiting” as you choose to put it although the items were never made commercially available) you still happily champion and in fact now sponsor. Are you on commission terms from Jeff Gold perhaps? Your own blogs claim only half a dozen original slicks ever existed but several dozen have already been sold on eBay over the last decade which suggests most now in circulation are probably laser copies themselves. You make no mention of this and choose instead to knock those few LP sleeves which were actually factory made up from the genuine original camera artwork. The memorabilia market finds its own balance and sets its own commercial values and your slanted blog, censorship and in fact commercial sponsorship of your buddies only attracts people whose minds are already made up – missing an opportunity to objectively educate new fans on whats actually out there. Presenting half the facts is one thing but then doing our thinking for us is another. You could quite justifiably remark on a fully made up STS colour sleeve as “factory made from the original authentic film” which they are. Instead you choose to throw the word counterfeit into the debate (which the colour sleeves are not as no original colour sleeves existed anyway according to your blog – so you cannot counterfiet something that never happened). On another note since getting Jeff Golds letter this week i did my own homework on Mr. Olsen with an old RCA friend and MO did work at the fan club. Its just a pity Jeff did not do the same and learn his facts before waving a letter of provenance at us. Likewise you should have done the same John before you sponsored his advert. According to your last post he is allowed a $999 memory lapse – that may well still be at our expense if the STS slick is a laser copy. Anyway, i like spending my hard earned $$$$ on memorabilia and have for decades so Im not going to stop now, Im just checking out all the rest of the stuff out there, the “whole picture” so to speak….a picture you yourself never fully painted for your readers.

  27. Maarten Kwant Says:

    I’ve been following this debate for a while. My 2 cents:

    - We know there were original proofs, printed before the release of Station To Station. There seem to be both US and UK copies of these
    - We know a sleeve was printed in the late 80s, this is well known and shouldn’t be up for debate.
    - There might be copied proofs as well

    As collectors it is always good to be able to determine which is which. John has shown us different examples. I think John has made a very good start of that.

    Bottom line – I as a collector am interested in knowing if the sleef/proof/whatever was created originally in 1976 or somewhere in the 80s.

    I don’t think it is very constructive to argue about semantics – is it a counterfeit, “factory made from the original authentic film”, a proof, a mockup – as long as we all know what is meant by the used terms, right?

    PS: If anyone has one of those ‘made in the 80s’ sleeves for sale for a sensible price I am very interested.

  28. christian Says:

    It’s a shame that this has turned into an exercise in claim and counter claim. From what I can gather, the original intent of this article was to try and gather information on what actually happened between the sleeve being planned in colour and issued in black and white.

    The story has always had gaps and will continue to do so, that was never a secret.

    But I also get concerned when I see a copy of the colour STS sleeve on sale by the same seller cd copy of the unreleased Dance lp.

    Unless I am very wrong, as well as being mislead by someone who purchased another copy of the cd from the same seller, this is not the Dance album, but a compilation of officially released tracks wrapped in the original artwork. Two other owners of this cd have also told me that is it not the Dance lp.

    If someone can prove to me that the Dance cd is genuine, as the seller claims, with the genuine Rusty Gardner and Paul Sabu Megamix, and not the DMC Megamix then i’ll have more faith in the STS that is currently for sale.

    If the seller is mistaken in this case and the item is not the rare Dance lp, could they not also be mistaken about the legitimacy of the STS sleeve?

    I would like to believe that both are genuine and i’m happy for anyone here to demonstrate to me that they are. A few second sample of the Gardner / Sabu mix should verify it.

    Until then it seems clear to me that knowingly or otherwise, items that cannot be certified as genuine are for sale and therefore everyone should be careful about what they buy.

  29. John Larkin Says:

    Maarten, thank you to the reference to semantics. I was thinking exactly the same thing. I may know someone with a copy of that reproduction for a most reasonable sum. I will put you in touch with them.

    Christian, your example regarding the recently sold Dance CD which, according to the item description was the “very same deleted Bowie LP from EMI, with the original deleted artwork, which escaped in very very small numbers in Germany under the serial number (DB8385) in 2001. The track listing is not really important… what is important is that this deleted Bowie LP is probably the rarest CD on the planet right now…” had also crossed my mind this evening as I was composing this comment. I conclude below on a similar note.

    Now, Paul…

    Michael Olsen worked for the Bowie workforce in the attorney’s office (Lippman) and that included his involvement in the nascent Bowie fan club. This was in the RCA USA.

    About this time Michael obtained two dozen or so slicks, artwork, proofs, call them what you will, of the forthcoming Station release. He remembers that six of these were full colour. Some were three colour and less. They are authentic or were once authentic if they all still exist.

    Read Michael Olsen’s comment dated the 22nd February above. That probably explains the white lettering of the proof presently on eBay. The additional red ink that would have been applied to emphasize the red in the artwork is not present in the item for sale. Jeff Gold is selling it on the behalf of Michael Olsen.

    At some stage in the history of these RCA USA colour artwork items one of them made its way to Northern England. A dealer who was also a collector utilised the proof to have reproductions made for collectors.

    Call them what you will, counterfeit, bootleg, etc. Probably best to refer to them as reproductions. This is not a matter of semantics. This is a matter pertaining to information as opposed to misinformation.

    The copies printed in the UK are reproductions. They are not authentic. They are later reproductions of one of those proofs originally printed in the USA in 1975.

    Regardless, multiple reproductions of a RCA USA proof were made in England late in the 1980s. I bought two copies of that reproduction from Craig at the Record Peddler in Swan Street, Manchester. I paid £10.00 for each of them. £10.00 each. I could imagine very hard and believe that both are authentic items from 1975 but I know they are not. I could have bought more copies of the reproduction from Record Peddler at the time if I was able but I did not have that much money to spend.

    [As well the RCA in the UK produced 24" X 12" full colour flats they were given to RCA reps on the road who showed them to retailers. They were not that uncommon. I was fortunate enough to pick up one of those with a test pressing of the album, the insert, and one of the colour advertising posters.]

    I have linked
    to a photograph I have just taken
    of the RCA UK 24″ x 12″ flat mockup together with the test pressing of the album, in the foreground, and the two copies of the reproduction of the RCA USA colour artwork leaning up against the old iMac in the background. I still possess them all. I, a single collector in the antipodes, is at least showing two reproductions for all to see. They are real. Other fans possess them as well. We should form a Station To Station Full Colour Sleeve Reproduction Group on Facebook. [There are high resolution photographs of the same items that were taken for a Record Collector article in 2007 present in the same directory if you wish to peruse them.]

    So, half a dozen or so full colour proof items were printed in the USA as well as some dozen or so two and three colour proof items. One of these was taken from the USA to England in the late 1980s and utilised to create the multiple reproductions.

    Paul, when were “those few LP sleeves which were actually factory made up from the genuine original camera artwork” created? 1975? Later? Can you please clarify the production year for those items.

    Regarding memorabilia. The original color artwork from 1975, the proofs, the UK RCA mock-ups, and the reproductions are all memorabilia. All of it. It is simply that some of that memorabilia is intrinsically more valuable than the rest and to portray a reproduction as authentic is not appropriate. [Unless one considers it to be an authentic reproduction. Reproductions as authentic reproductions. Enough of these circular arguments.]

    Perhaps there are collectors who find reproductions to be intensely fascinating and are willing to pay top dollar for them. I, for example, am fascinated with the various reproductions of the Mercury MWSTW sleeve. The Japanese reproduction is fascinating as is the reproduction of the round Mercury German MWSTW sleeve. Incredible memorabilia. I think the picture discs of each are not as nearly as fascinating.

    Regarding sponsorship. I am not sponsored by or sponsoring Jeff Gold. The first time Jeff and I ever crossed paths was when Jeff commented on this blog post on the 22nd April last. I was actually chuffed to see that Jeff had written on my blog.

    I posted about the white lettered sleeve as it is an important and integral piece of the puzzle. Another step on that journey into the light of wisdom and knowledge.

    Now, regarding the application of objectivity.

    Murderer: What, you egg! [Stabbing him] Young fry of treachery!
    Son. He has kill’d me, mother. Run away, I pray you!
    [Shakespeare, The Tragedy of Macbeth. Act IV, Scene II]

    John Larkin

  30. Jeff Gold Says:

    Hi John,

    I’m amazed at the vitriol that “Paul” has directed on this issue. I have no idea who he is or his qualifications to speak on this issue, but let me give you mine. I started collecting David Bowie seriously in late 1972. I met Bowie at least 4 times in 1974/1975, and asked him about numerous records he had made/written/been involved in for probably the first Bowie discography ever, which I put together at that time (I gave him a copy.) Once, by the way, was late at night in the parking lot at Cherokee Studios in Hollywood while he was recording “Station to Station.”

    When the BBC were filming the “Cracked Actor” Bowie documentary for their Omnibus series, they wanted to interview a Bowie superfan, and Mainman directed them to me. I appear in the film talking about Bowie, with some other fans/friends I recruited, and they filmed the portion in my bedroom, surrounded by my collection. I also helped the director and his associates with research for the documentary (Not that it’s relevant, but I went on to work in the record business for many years, and was eventually the Exec. VP/General Manager of Warner Bros. Records in the US.) I tell you this not to blow my own horn, but to establish that I was indeed a very big Bowie collector early on, and am not some nut who is making unsubstantiated assertions.

    When Paul contacted me about the Ebay listing, he sent a skeptical email that asked me for “exactly which Bowie office Mr. Olsen worked at between 75 and 77 ie address and name.” I replied to him that Olsen at first worked out of Michael Lippman’s office (Bowie’s manager at the time.) I had stated clearly in the listing (as Michael had in his letter) that he ran the Bowie fan club. It was utterly ridiculous for Paul to infer in his posting that I had confirmed in my letter to him Olsen had worked in Lippman’s office and not the fan club. MIKE RAN THE FAN CLUB. He did it initially out of Lippman’s office, and Paul knew (and didn’t mention in his posting) that he had asked me only for the “address and name” of the location that Mike worked out of. Paul then declared that Olsen worked for Lippman,not the fan club (I see in a posting a few days later he wrote that he found out from an RCA employee that Olsen DID run the fan club.)

    Once again, I knew Mike at the time. I got a slick from him in 1975. He only had 6 finished ones and the one with white writing, and some other slicks with some but not all of the colors (called “progs” or “progressive proofs”.) I was there. I remember it clearly. Paul was not. As far as I’m concerned, end of story.

    I don’t wish to come off as some arrogant guy; I’m merely a collector/dealer wishing to clarify the story. I think it’s very important to get the story straight, and in this case, I can verify something that happened 34 years ago with authority. I thank you for your blog and efforts to get the story straight (which, by the way, you did regarding the authentic and fake color slicks & proofs, without my help or Paul’s.)

    Kind thanks,

    Jeff Gold

  31. John Larkin Says:

    Thank you for clearing this up Jeff. Most informative.

    This has been an epic. Time for me to wrap this up and perhaps this debate can be continued on other forums.

    Good night one and all,