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Black Noise Bomb - David Bowie - William S. Burroughs

Disc 1: 10. 1974 - David Bowie

In the early 70's, David Bowie was on the Dick Cavett show...Cavett opened up the interview by addressing the question about whether or not Bowie in fact had a machine/weapon/device called a Black Noise..

The story goes like this... for time immemorial, the French Patent Office or who knows what put up in their lobbies (in a fashion similar to our wanted posters) and one could order or just copy the patent. It had, before Bowie's appearance been pulled by the French govt. Bowie said that, yes, he in fact had either the machine itself or the patent-i can't remember which, and that it had the capacity to destroy a city! Has anyone else heard of this, or seen the show? or did i imagine/dream it?
Part referring to Black Noise below:

"Cavett: Oh, I'm sorry if you didn't want that out. But...what is Black-noise?

Bowie: Black-noise?

Cavett: Yeah.

Bowie: Black-noise is something that Burroughs got very interested in. It's facet of Black-noise is, like a glass if an opera singer hits a particular note, the vibrations of that hit the metabolism of the glass and cracks it, yeah? So a Black-noise is the register within which you can crack a city or people's a new control bomb.

It's a noise — bomb in fact, which can destroy...why do you ask that?

Cavett: I mean is it a real thing? Is it something...

Bowie: ...Oh yeah it is. It was invented in France.

Cavett: Could a tiro use this to...

Bowie: ...well, up until last year you could buy the patent for it in the French patent-office for about 3-4 dollars.

Cavett: And it would wipe out a...

Bowie: ...It depends how much money you put into it. I mean a small one could probably kill about half the people here. But a big one could ...destroy a city. Or even more...I mean...

Cavett: It's a wierd idea, isn't it?

Bowie: Well, it's not my idea...(laughs)

Cavett: Let's not give the instructions on how to do it. Can you recommend a good book to your fans?"

etc etc

A gloriously nostalgic little photo collection in today's Guardian looks back on 
David Bowie's 1973 visit to the USSR
But it wasn't all fun and games for Mr Bowie.

Life in the USSR blew the sequins off our Western-decadent hero, who was quickly reduced to a wimpering pile of bourgeois slobber, according to another account of his journey:

“I just want bloody well to go home and watch the telly,” he confessed to his wife, Angie, on their way home to Beckenham, England. “After what I’ve seen of this world, I’ve never been so damned scared in my life.”

David Bowie does not Fly.... (nice cover story for train rides!)
Rail journey Through Siberia  - original transcript of a journey on the Trans-Siberian railroad in April 1973 - the same train trip as David Bowie in May 1973 - who was traveling back to the UK from Japan

DAVID BOWIE From Station To Station (2007 UK Genesis Publications numbered limited edition superior large-format book by Geoff MacCormack with Foreword by David Bowie. Every book is beautifully printed onto heavyweight art paper with over TWO HUNDRED previously unpublished photographs & quarter bound in red leather with padded printed Imitlin boards, embossed silk badge, gold tooling and page edging.

Related Artists: Angie Bowie

The woman behind Bowie's success:  Mary Angela Barnett
Angela, born an American citizen on September 25, 1949 in Cyprus, is of paternal English and maternal Polish descent,[1] and she was brought up a Catholic. She has one older brother. Her father, Col. George M. Barnett, a U.S Army veteran,[2] was a mining engineer and ran a mill for Cyprus Mines Corporation. Her mother was Helena Maria Galas. Both her parents died in 1984.[3]

Educated in Cyprus, Switzerland and Kingston Polytechnic (UK), she briefly attended Connecticut College For Women until she was expelled.[4]

David Bowie and career
She met David Bowie in 1969, at the age of 19. According to David Bowie, they met through their mutual friendship with Chinese-American record executive Dr. Calvin Mark Lee.[5] She married Bowie one year later, on 19 March 1970 at Bromley Register Office in Beckenham Lane, Kent. Duncan Jones is their son [Zowie].

Angela appears in the D.A. Pennebaker concert film Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars: The Motion Picture; in a backstage sequence, David calls her by the name "Star".) She often accompanied him on his international concert tours, which included the U.S., Japan and Europe.
Key People involved in Ziggy Stardust

Nee Mary Angela Barnett. Angie (born in Cyprus, educated in America, Switzerland and Kingston Polytechnic, UK) met and fell in love with Bowie in 1969 when she was 19 years old. They married in March 1970 and had one child Zowie (Joey) Duncan Heywood Bowie on 30 May 1971. Along with Tony DeFries she is credited as being the major influence in Bowie's rise to fame. David and Angie separated in 1976 and formally divorced on 8 February 1980.

Angela's daughter: Stacia Larranna Celeste Lipka - In 1980, Drew Blood and Mary Angela Barnett had a daughter

About William Burroughs:
Burroughs was a primary figure of the Beat Generation and a major postmodernist author who affected popular culture as well as literature.

Burroughs had one child in 1947, William Seward Burroughs III, with his second wife Joan Vollmer, who died in 1951 in Mexico City after Burroughs accidentally shot her in the head while drunk, an event that deeply permeated all of his writings. Burroughs died at his home in Lawrence, Kansas after suffering a heart attack in 1997.

Bowie - Burrough's Interview 1974 - Black Noise Bomb:
Beat Godfather Meets Glitter Mainman - Rolling Stone - February 28, 1974
by Craig Copetas

William Seward Burroughs is not a talkative man. Once at a dinner he gazed down into a pair of stereo microphones trained to pick up his every munch and said, "I don't like talk and I don't like talkers. Like Ma Barker. You remember Ma Barker? Well, that's what she always said. ' Ma Barker doesn't like talk and she doesn't like talkers.' She just sat there with her gun."

This was on my mind as much as the mysterious personality of David Bowie when an Irish cabbie drove Burroughs and me to Bowie's London home on 17 November ("Strange blokes down this part of London, mate"). I had spent the last several weeks arranging this two-way interview. I had brought Bowie all of Burroughs' novels: Naked Lunch, Nova Express, The Ticket That Exploded and the rest. He'd only had time to read Nova Express. Burroughs for his part had heard only two Bowie songs, 'Five Years' and 'Starman', though he had read all of Bowie's lyrics. Still they had expressed interest in meeting each other.

Burroughs: Politics of sound.

Bowie: Yes. We have kind of got that now. It has very loosely shaped itself into the politics of sound. The fact that you can now subdivide rock into different categories was something that you couldn't do ten years ago. But now I can reel off at least ten sounds that represent a kind of person rather than a type of music. The critics like being critics, and most of them wish they were rock-and-roll stars. But when they classify they are talking about people not music. It's a whole political thing.

Burroughs: Like infrasound, the sound below the level of hearing. Below 16 MHz. Turned up full blast it can knock down walls for 30 miles.

You can walk into the French patent office and buy the patent for 40p. The machine itself can be made very cheaply from things you could find in a junk yard.

Bowie: Like black noise. I wonder if there is a sound that can put things back together? There was a band experimenting with stuff like that; they reckon they could make a whole audience shake.

Burroughs: They have riot-control noise based on these soundwaves now. But you could have music with infrasound, you wouldn't necessarily have to kill the audience.

Bowie: Just maim them.

Burroughs: The weapon of the Wild Boys is a Bowie knife, an 18-inch bowie knife, did you know that?

Bowie: An 18-inch bowie knife.... you don't do things by halves, do you? No, I didn't know that was their weapon. The name Bowie just appealed to me when I was younger. I was into a kind of heavy philosophy thing when I was 16 years old, and I wanted a truism about cutting through the lies and all that.

Burroughs: Well, it cuts both ways, you know, double-edged on the end.

Bowie: I didn't see it cutting both ways till now.

Yes the timing of it and Burrough's was very connected (read Naked Lunch) and had alot of inside information.
He was also connect with Nirvanna/Kurt Cobain  with a series of interviews and there was Urban/legend talk of Cobain being mind controlled...

William S. Burroughs and Cobain at Burrough's Lawrence, Kansas, home.
Kurt later said they mostly talked about Leadbelly.
Subject: Re: Nikola Tesla invented a dangerous machine
Date: 10 Jun 1994 15:27:28 GMT

On a similar subject,I heard a mister Vladimir Gavreau, of Marseilles,France  created some sort of Low frequency oscillator,
the vibrations from which,  instantly killed the technician operating the thing.
One of the pioneers in infrasonic research was French scientist Vladimir Gavreau, born in Russia as Vladimir Gavronsky.[1]
His interest in infrasonic waves first came about in his lab during the 1960s, when he and his lab assistants experienced pain in the ear drums and shaking lab equipment, but no audible sound was picked up on his microphones. He concluded it was infrasound and soon got to work preparing tests in the labs. One of his experiments was an infrasonic whistle

Luftkanone. Developed at Talstation Lofer, Germany, during WWII. Developer: Dr. Richard Wallauscheck.

Best quote here:

" consisted of a parabolic reflector, 3.2 meters in diameter, having a short tube which was the combustion chamber or sound generator, extending to the rear from the vertex of the parabola. The chamber was fed at the rear by two coaxial nozzles, the outer nozzle emitting methane, and the central nozzle oxygen. The length of the chamber was one-quarter the wavelength of the sound in air. Upon initiation, the first shock wave was reflected back from the openend of the chamber and initiated the second explosion. The frequency was from 800 to 1500 impulses per second.

The main lobe of the sound intensity pattern had a 65 degree angle of opening, and at 60 meters' distance on the axis a pressure of 1000 microbars had been measured. No physiological experiments were conducted, but it was estimated that at such a pressure it would take from 30 to 40 seconds to kill a man. At greater ranges, perhaps up to 300 meters, the effect, although not lethal, would be very painful and would probably disable a man for an appreciable length of time. Vision would be affected, and low-level exposures would cause point sources of light to appear as lines." [1]

The device was not deployed, due to complexity and lack of range.

Also, a device that created vortices in the air, and a device that shot 'plugs' of air were developed at the same facility, primarily for low-level anti-aircraft defence.


[1] _Secret Weapons of the Third Reich_ by Leslie E. Simon (USA, ret)  WE, Inc., Publishers (c)1971 [great book!]
[2] _The Guns 1939-45_ by Ian V. Hogg  Ballentine Books Inc. (c)1970
[3] _Lost Victories_ by Erich von Manstein  (Ooops, no data)
[4] _German Secret Weapons of World War 2_ by I. V. Hogg  ARCO Publishing Company, Inc. (c)1970
Introduction - Sound of Death - by Lawrence Tierney

      During the period of the Cold War, most countries spent huge amounts of money on research and development for a wide range of weapons, ...

      In France, during 1957, against the background of international tension, fear and distrust caused by the Cold War, Dr. Vladimir Gavreau assembled a team of researchers to look into the development of remote control systems and robotics. This group of scientists was given a large building to use for their experiments and almost from the time they moved in, they all suffered from varying degrees of nausea. ...

Like all researchers who investigate the unknown, Dr. Gavreau and his team had some very lucky escapes during their early experiments. For instance, on one occasion the frequency generated was between three and seven cycles per second, and although the researchers could not hear it they very quickly became aware of its effects. They reported the sensation as similar to their bodies being put under tremendous pressure, both internally and externally, followed by pain in their eyes and ears. However even more frightening, at that time, were the effects that occurred after the 'infrasonic generator' had been working for a short time.

The ground shook almost like an earthquake, and the 'infrasonic generator', which was encased in concrete, and the building that housed it collapsed. Only the quick thinking of one of the researchers, who managed to switch off the power, saved the researchers from possible death and the destruction of all the buildings.

On another occasion, the 'infrasonic generator' was sealed into a concrete block and concrete baffle blocks were placed around the output pipe. The device was switched on, and even though the power output was very small, it still broke out of its concrete seal and smashed the baffles. During a different experiment the infrasonic generator even managed to shake quite a large triangular shaped wedge of Marseilles, and all of this without a sound being heard.
      The effects of the 'infrasonic generator' on the researchers during these experiments included eyesight and hearing problems, internal organs suffering from painful spasms, and it appeared to immobilize anyone caught in its effects. Normal physical activity could be impaired sometimes for days rather than hours. The findings of the team concerning the effects on the human body caused by infrasonic sound in the range of between one and ten cycles per second read like something from a science fiction novel.

      Fortunately for the researchers, during most of these experiments the output power of the 'infrasonic generator' was very small, so the results of the accidents were not usually fatal. This convinced Dr. Gavreau and his colleagues that the 'infrasonic generator' had been proven as a potential weapon, silent and deadly and of truly horrific and devastating power!

      The French authorities issued statements to the effect that Dr. Gavreau was not working on a weapons system, but the patents that were registered tend to suggest that the French statements were perhaps little more than a smoke screen.
Conversations With William S. Burroughs
Monday, October 27, 2003

Prisoners of the earth come out
Q: What is the importance of power, in all its form, in the machinery of destruction?

A: The exercise of power for power's sake is precisely the machine of destruction. This would seem to be something we have had throughout history, and in a sense this is true. The difference is a matter of degree. Old-fashioned power, the generalissimo shooting a provincial governor across his desk, has self-limiting goals, and at least a measure of self-preservation. To confuse this old-style power with the manifestation of control madness we see now on this planet is to confuse a disappearing wart with an exploding cancer. You might as well expect a measure of moderation, or at least self-preservation, from the virus of rabies which dies when you do, mission accomplished.

What we see now is power exercised for purely destructive purposes. Whether they know it or not, the present controllers are bent on annihilation.

Q: And what of money, ownership, property?

A: Vested interest of power and/or money is perhaps the most potent factor standing in the way of freedom for the individual. New discoveries and products are suppressed because they threaten vested interests. The medical profession is suppressing Reich's orgone accumulator and his discoveries relative to the use and dangers of orgonic energy. They are suppressing Dianetics and Scientology discovered by Mr L. Ron Hubbard. They are suppressing the use of massive doses of Vitamin E for the prevention of heart disease, the use of massive doses of Vitamin A for curing the common cold. (I have used this simple remedy for thirty years and it works. Everyone I have passed it on to has found that it works either to abort or modify the course of a cold. At the first soreness in the throat which presages the onslaught of a common cold you take 500,000 units of Vitamin A. Vitamin A alone. Not Vitamin C which is quite worthless for a cold. At one time I had thought to market this remedy but was told it could not be marketed because the American Medical Association is opposed to self-medication. The AMA is opposed to self-medication if it works.) The medical profession is suppressing the use of apomorphine for the treatment of alcoholism and drug addiction and for the general regulation of disturbed metabolism. The medical profession has a vested interest in illness. They suppress any discovery that strikes at the roots of illness. The real-estate lobby has a vested interest in the housing shortage. They sabotage any attempt to provide good cheap housing. An example of this suppression is the Lustron house.

A man named Lustron devised a prefabricated house of porcelain steel, with a layer of insulation in the middle. This house was termite-proof, rust-proof, age-proof. It would still be there a thousand years from now. Lustron planned to put this house out for five thousand dollars. He only manufactured a few hundred Lustron houses before he was forced out of business by the real-estate lobby. They blocked him from obtaining the necessary materials.

The Tucker car is another example: Tucker devised a car so much better that any car on the market it would have forced big motor companies to change their dies and produce a car of equal performance. Since they could sell the inferior cars they were already set up to produce, it was cheaper and easier to block Tucker... No materials! He lost 20,000,000 dollars and nearly went to jail. The Tucker car never hit the open market.

Other examples are the blocking of the ramie industry by the Duponts and other manufacturers of synthetic fabrics. Where are the bicycle helicopters we were supposed to have by now? Where are the aluminium houses?

The police have a vested interest in criminality. The Narcotics Department has a vested interest in addiction.

Politicians have a vested interest in nations.

Army officers have a vested interest in war.

Vested interest, whether operating through private, capital or official agencies, suppresses any discovery, product or way of thought that threatens its area of monopoly.

The cold war is used as a pretext by both America and Russia to conceal and monopolize research confining knowldge to official agencies. It is no exaggeration to say that all important research is now top secret, until someone lets a rat out of the bag.

Infrasound, for example: I quote from a Sunday Times article, April 16, 1967, "Acoustics," by Frank Dorsey, under the title "Joshua Knew a Thing or Two":

"The world is not noticeably short of lethal weapons, but a team of French scientists in Marseille is working on a death-ray machine designed to provide an entirely novel method of human destruction. The project began when the Electro-Acoustical laboratory moved into a new building three years ago. Staff complained of headache and nausea. Investigation began. Electromagnetic waves were suspected and eliminated. So were ultra-sound waves. At this point, one of the technicians got out an antique appparatus for detecting infrasound--that is, air vibrations which oscillate at less than ten vibrations a second, or 10 Hertz--(The human ear registers, as sound vibrations, from 16Hz to 20,000Hz) It had been used during the First World War to distinguish cannon fire and movement of trains too far off to be unscrambled by ears. I quickly identified the source of the unease: the giant ventilator of a factory next door. After changing the ventilator's frequency, the five-man team headed by Professor Vladimir Gavreau decided to find out more about the properties of infrasound."

As everyone knows, sound is a succession of waves in which the air is alternatively compressed and decompressed. Fast vibrations either go right through solid objects or bounce off them, usually doing relatively little harm even when very powerful. But slow vibration, below the hearing level, can create a sort of pendulum action, a reverberation in solid objects that quickly builds up to intolerable intensity. To study this phenomenon the team built a giant whistle, hooked to a compressed air hose. Then they turned on the air. Professor Gavreau says:
"Luckily, we were able to turn it off quickly. All of us were sick for hours. Everything in us was vibrating: stomach, heart, lungs. All the people in the other laboratories were sick too. They were very angry with us."

The first blast was audible only to 190 Hz. It had an acoustical force of about 100 Watts, compared with one watt for a football referee's whistle. From then on the tem worked at lowering the frequency, but carefully kept the power input down. A bigger whistle was built, measuring about five feet across. It emits a very low but audible tone, at about 37 Hz. If turned on full blast, it would develop 2000 Watts--and the building would fall down like the walls of Jericho before Joshua's trumpet. At the pressures used it has done no more than put cracks in the ceiling. The team has discovered that the wave length most dangerous to human life is 7 Hz. At 7 Hz, turned on very softly, one has a vague impression of sound, and a general feeling of discomfort. At 3.5 Hz, nothing can be heard directly but there is a curious incidental effect. Nearby sounds, such as air hissing into the pipe, take on a pulsing quality--at 3.5 pulsations a second. All sounds in the neighbourhood seem to ululate rhymically. The team has suffered from its experiments. Some of the invisible injuries appear to be persistent.

"It not only affects the ears," Professor Gavreau says, "but it works directly on the internal organs. There is a rubbing between the various organs because of a sort of resonance. It provokes an irritation so intense that for hours afterwards any low-pitched sound seems to echo through one's body."

In developing a military weapon, scientists intend to revert to a policeman's whistle form, perhaps as big as eighteen feet across, mount it on a truck and blow it with a fan turned by a small airplane engine. This weapon, they say, will give forth an all-destroying 10,000 acoustic watts. It could kill a man five miles away. There is one snag: at present, the machine is as dangerous to its operators as to the enemy. The team is working on a way to focus it. Various systems of baffles have been tried, but the most promising method appears to be propagation of a different and complementary sound a wave length backward from the machine. This changes the frequency of airwave length moving in that direction, thus protecting anyone to the rear. There is, of course, a much simpler means of protection: turn the machine on from a safe distance.

This summary of Professor Vladimir Gavreau's experiments with infrasound is based on the Sunday Times article. A much more comprehensive article has appeared in an American periodical, The National Enquirer, Vol.42, No. 27, March 10, 1968.

Professor Gavreau's discovery has been patented and anybody can obtain the plans and full description from the French patent office upon payment of two francs.

Undoubtedly top secret projects are exploring the military potentials of infrasound. Since sub-lethal infrasound paralyses the mental functions--(as Professor Gavreau put it "I could not add two and two")--well add two and two and you will see that infrasound is an ideal weapon against dissident elements within the establishment. It is to be hoped that hobbyists will obtain the plans and experiment. The materials necessary are cheap and easily obtained.

Perhaps infrasound has therapeutic properties at low volume and borderline infrasound might add a new dimension to pop music. Another scientist who freely published his discoveries was Wilhelm Reich. He died in a federal prison. Most of you know something of Reich's experiments, discoveries and theories so I will not undertake a detailed rundown here.

Nine years ago in Amsterdam, I talked with a Dutch chemist who told me they had synthesized a drug infinitely more potent than LSD, and could not take the responsibility of testing this drug on human subjects, owing to the possibility of residual brain damage. Subsequently, I heard that the drug has now been released to "official agencies" in America.

This may well be the "non-lethal nerve gas" being used in Vietnam.

Recently I heard from someone connected with a laser research project conducted by the U.S. Navy: "They can actually send a thought." Some years ago, experiments in Norway indicated the possibility of activating speech patterns directly in the brain by means of an electromagnetic field.

Hearing voices? The Black Box which develops positive ions, enabling anyone within its range to perform at a high level of efficiency without fatigue, was used by the U.S. Army and kept secret for ten years. Is it on the market yet?

Important research that could be used to free the human spirit is being monopolized by paltry intellects in the name of "National Security."
Conversations With William S. Burroughs
Penthouse Interviews Burroughs/1972
PENTHOUSE: It's nearly ten years since you gave a statirical but graphic description of totalitarian control in THE NAKED LUNCH. Do you think your visions of a decade ago are any nearer reality?

BURROUGHS: THE NAKED LUNCH was a science-fiction idea but is now absolute fact, mainly because of the development of electrodes which can control the brain. If anyone has these electrodes planted in him--and there may be many ways to do this, not necessitating an actual surgical operation--he can be made to think, feel, or even experience, anything that the manipulator of the electrodes wants. He can be made to make involuntary movements: to pick something up against his will. Also to feel fear, or sexuality, or any other emotion. Where such control is possible, the question arises of who is to exercise it. Once someone has the control box he is in complete control of anyone fitted with electrodes.

Shot her in the head by "accident?"  I wonder about that. ...

Heir's Pistol Kills His Wife; He Denies Playing Wm. Tell
Mexico City, Sept. 7  1951 (AP)--William Seward Burroughs, 37, first admitted then denied today that he was playing William Tell when his gun killed his pretty, young wife during a drinking party last night. William S. Burroughs, c.1951

Police said that Burroughs, grandson of the adding machine inventor, first told them that, wanting to show off his marksmanship, he placed a glass of gin on her had and fired, but [was so drunk] that he missed and shot her in the forehead.

After talking with a lawyer, police said, Burroughs, who is a wealthy cotton planter from Pharr, Tex., changed his story and insisted that his wife was shot accidentally when he dropped his newly purchased .38 caliber pistol.

Husband in Jail

Mrs. Burroughs, 27, the former Joan Vollmer, died in the Red Cross Hospital.

The shooting occurred during a party in the apartments of John Healy of Minneapolis. Burroughs said two other American tourists whom he knew only slightly were present.  Burroughs, hair disheveled and clothes wrinkled, was in jail today. A hearing on a charge of homicide is scheduled for tomorrow morning.
No Arguments, He Says "It was purely accidental," he said. "I did not put any glass on her head. If she did, it was a joke. I certainly did not intend to shoot at it."  He said there had been no arguments or discussions before the "accident."

"The party was quiet," he said. "We had a few drinks. Everything is very hazy."

Burroughs and his wife had been here about two years. He said he was studying native dialects at the University of Mexico. He explained his long absence from his ranch by saying that he was unsuited for business

At the 0:56 mark :

David Bowie - Dick Cavett -  PART 3
Recorded in New York, on 2nd December 1974. First Aired on Thursday 5th December 1974