Resources: David Bowie Wonderworld

This may be the ultimate David Bowie fansite.

Paul Kinder’s David Bowie Wonderworld must have thousands of pages. Every time I visit I discover a new corner and am filled with, well, wonder: just look at the complete contents page. What a gift the aptly named Kinder has provided the world for 15 years. He started the site in 1997, and its news page is still updated nearly daily.

It’s nice to see that it has won a number of awards, and accolades from Bowie himself:

“Hey, Mr. Kinder, very nice new look you’ve got going on your site…” and  “…I never get over how much effort you put into your work. It’s extraordinarily mad and quite amazing.”

There’s a lot here I haven’t found duplicated on other sites. A few examples:

  • David Bowie Artwork Portfolio and Exhibitions: Huge amount of information and many images of Bowie’s visual art.
  • Concert performances. Listings from 1958 onwards (some, like the shows of Reality Tour, described in detail, even down to ticket prices)
  • Bowie Live Chat Transcriptions. Most from bowienet, but there are two from AOL (1994, 1997) and one from CompuServe (1996). While many are with Bowie, some of the later ones are with Reality Tour band members.

But my favorite part of all is the Wonderworld’s Press Archives. There are hundreds of links to interviews, profiles, concert and album reviews, and more from mainstream, and better still, obscure and defunct publications.

Photographs, lyrics, FAQs, discography: of course. There’s a lot of user-generated content as well, like essays and blogs.

There’s a message board. At least these days its tone is light, sometimes silly, and not necessarily about Bowie. I get the impression there’s a hardcore of regular posters who have been teasing one another for years. Today is January 25, 2012. Since January 25, 2011, 77 pages, each with 50 message titles, have been added. While some of these messages have gotten just a few replies, others have dozens (for example, on page 77 one had 58, another 44).

I haven’t a clue how many pages there are in all. I would imagine, though, that the past year would be one of the lighter ones. If it generated 77, how many pages would there have been in each of the eight years from1997 to 2005, when Bowie was very active?

Maybe one day I’ll make it to the beginning. In the meantime, more will have been added. If only all problems were like this one.

Thank you, Mr. Kinder.

 

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