Wednesday, March 27, 2013


1973 in Kamamto :PJs

Am I a David Bowie fan?

No, but he grew famous in the world as I was making a name for myself in dance.

Wow -- the changes one makes!

The self-assured, handsome, young guy presented himself to the music world as a sex object.

It seems to me, that the choices he made early on, when he was striving for that big break, is what he glommed onto.

Aside from his great looks, his voice had an exceptionally large vocal range -- an interesting high, (a falsetto like Michael Jackson), a lullabying middle-range, also a very strong, mellow, basso. Maybe Bowie should have stuck with his voice, but early in his career, Bowie chose to promote himself as a sexy potential lover.  

He projected a gayness as "Ziggy Stardust," (that's what he called himself, back then), and (to me) seemed to be saying I can be anything -- be whatever you want me to be -- comic, tragic, virginal-innocent, lascivious-wicked, male, female, transgender.

Why did  Bowie fasten onto that? I think the mirror told him that, and his love life told him that. He had the self belief that one has when you're young, and you're intensely aware of how people respond to you -- how one person, than another, and another falls madly in love with you.

As time passed, of course. he got wounded by incompatibilities, infidelities -- all that sort of thing that goes with being a star. But success -- fame, standing ovations, making big money -- gave him more and more power, and Bowie seemed to move away from being seduced, to seducing. 

All of David Bowie's selves succeeded. He was one of the strangest, most compelling stars of the  seventies. He probably inspired Prince and Madonna. They, like him, and  he, like them, kept music lovers surprised, wondering what he was going to look like or do  next, while he was creating and promoting new albums.

In 2004, Mother Nature hit Bowie hard. Something happened to him backstage after a gig. Was it a heart attack? We heard rumors about surgery -- a clogged artery -- but no official announcements.

Since then (nearly a decade) Bowie has mostly disappeared. There were brief glimpses of him at a few music and fund-raising events. In 2009,  with his wife, he attended his son's movie premiere -- his son, Duncan Jones, formerly called "Zowie," directed the award winning science fiction film, "Moon." But Bowie has not been performing, or releasing any new recordings for the past nine years.

Out of the blue, January 8, 2013, on iTunes, 66-year-old David Bowie released a song, "Where Are We Now," and a video. It's a mournful, reminiscing ballad about the places in Berlin where Bowie hung out in the seventies. Though Bowie also released a video of the song, there have been no press conference, announcements, or interviews -- no marketing campaign, not even a tweet.

There was just the promise, on Bowie's Website, of an album to come in March, but on February 26th, with no fanfare, he released the video for a second single, “The Stars (Are Out Tonight),” which pairs him with actress Tilda Swinton, a tall, boyish-looking, 52-year-old Scottish actress, winner of the 2007 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

The reviews have been overwhelmingly enthusiastic. Still, Bowie has said nothing in public. Nevertheless, he was in the headlines in London, when he approved the Victoria and Albert Museum's new exhibition called "David Bowie"  (March 23th to July 28th 2013), that looks  at the ways in which Bowie influenced the music industry, as well as  how his sound and style changed over the duration of his career.

Here's a photo from the "The Stars" video.

Here's a video of  "Where Are We Now."

This is a link to the Daily Mail -- photos -- and after you skim down the page, you can play  video of "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)" 
It pleases me, as if I know him, that he's performing again.  I think, listening to these two pieces, that perhaps now we are finally meeting the real David Bowie.


Carola said...

Sounds like he's doing what he needs to do to preserve his health, and still express the music that is inside him,

Linda Phillips said...

I've never been a huge fan either. Although there are a few of his songs that I have always liked.

In part, i think I was put off by his shocking ways of dressing. I never felt that he respected the audience. I think he wanted to create a large distance between himself and them. Well in my opinion, he succeeded at that and I don't relate to performers who do that.

Anonymous said...

I found this blog to be interesting and powerful about David Bowie. He is a fascinating star to write about and appreciate his efforts to stardom. I remember him in the 1970's but listened to him mostly on the radio. I do remember how outlandish his clothes and pics were but his voice is really good. Thanks for sharing this. kam

Mary Russell said...

I've been a fan since the early days as I was influenced by my older brothers who also love him. He's always been quite the chameleon. The new album is just brilliant although "Hunky Dory" still remains my favourite. :)

Dustspeck said...

Thank you for the breakdown Emily; brutal but so perfect: Most artists don't ever have any support comparable to what Mr. Jones has had. Hero worship equals nothing really. His tune, "Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed", is still one I like a lot. It's the harmonica in there that gets me. I don't know who blew that part; but, I appreciate that. It actually sounds like more than one player? I don't care really. The ending of that tune would be very hard to reproduce in a live performance.