“Elvis Presley, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie and The Sex Pistols may come and go, but rebellion remains a key part of the rock n’ roll experience. However, that rebellion – the outgrowth of a youthful search for independence and identity – doesn’t always take the same form.”
I do not use the word ‘genius’ lightly, but if David Bowie is not a genius, then there is no such thing.
“He’s sort of like an alien prince, he still runs my universe as well, like, every morning I wake up and think, ‘What would Bowie do?”
A Man for All Seasons & Planets
Greetings Earthlings and other assorted music lovers. I’m here to discuss Major Tom,Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, Thin White Duke; David Bowie. The Time/Space Traveller who worked the Earth for 69 plus years.
Spoiler alert: I Fell to Earth.
I’m writing-posting to you regarding this master of disguise from outer space. Where? I’m not at liberty to tell you, but it is not Purgatory since Dear David, upon passing from the Earthly plane, was immediately put to work by the POWERS THAT BE as an ambassador for cultural and artistic affairs. He is impossibly busy arranging our celestial band for gigs near and far in our solar sytem.
Before I go further into his new duties on High, let us look back at the dazzling career that made Mr. Bowie into an Intellar star of the first magnitude.
Early Elvis & Little Richard Adopter
Forgive my syntax and grammatical faus pax, dear Earth friends, as I frequently lapse into Milky Way-style writing to reach the broadest audience possisble. Okay, on with the story of the shaman, I mean showman.
According to Wikipedia, edited for these purposes by yours truly for easier reading.
David Bowie was born David Robert Jones on 8 January 1947 in Brixton, London.
In 1953, Bowie moved with his family to Bromley. Two years later, he started attending Burnt Ash Junior School. His voice was considered “adequate” by the school choir, and he demonstrated above-average abilities in playing the recorder. At the age of nine, his dancing during the newly-introduced music and movement classes was strikingly imaginative: teachers called his interpretations “vividly artistic” and his poise “astonishing” for a child. The same year, his interest in music was further stimulated when his father brought home a collection of American 45s by artists including the Teenagers, the Platters, Fats Domino, Elvis Presley, and Little Richard. Upon listening to Little Richard’s song “Tutti Frutti”, Bowie would later say that he had “heard God”. I told you Little Richard was a true shape shifter!
Bowie was first impressed with Presley when he saw his cousin dance to “Hound Dog. During this formative period, his stage presentation of numbers by both Presley and Chuck Berry—complete with gyrations in tribute to the original artists—to his local Wolf Cub group was described as “mesmerizing … like someone from another planet”. See, they knew even then!
Major Tom Recruits Me Into His Dance Army
I was visiting, thru my Earthling personna, a party in Gainesville USA back when Bowie was coming on strong with YoungAmericans LP. The merrymakers must have played the LP ten times, and, although I was more of a Hendrix/Clapton/Led Zep fan I was memerised by the music and the compete shift Ziggy had made in transforming himself into this soul music master. To me, his past work; Suffragette City was one of the greatest dance tunes ever, which had me mad over Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars. So, when that tune was played several times in succession I went into full-hyper dance mode. When David’s music comes on in the proper place I still get all Ziggy with it.
The Ultimate Sylistic Inspiration
Looking at the trends and history of this style-maker, I hereby posit the following:
No Lady Gaga
No Adam Lambert
No Marylin Manson
No Glam Rock
No Roxy Music
No Janelle Monáe
Well, I must confess, seeing the Liberace Museum in Vegas did make me realize that Bowie and Elton were following a genius of shape shifting!
Don’t Blink You’ll miss Bowie’s New Muse!
As one would expect of such a chameleon-like performance-artist, he changed styles a multitude of times, so, I will let the fine reseacher/writers at
AllMusic tell you about his incredible work ethic and prolific body of work. I could spend a Light Year listing all his zigs and zags musically and culturally. He was and remains a guiding spirit for many in the galaxy.
Bowie Does the Proust Questionnnaire.
This is good fun! it was published in Vanity Fair in August 1998.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
What is your most marked characteristic?
Getting a word in edgewise.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
What is your greatest fear?
Converting kilometers to miles.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Which living person do you most admire?
Who are your heroes in real life?
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
While in New York, tolerance. Outside of New York, intolerance.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
What is your favorite journey?
The road of artistic excess.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Sympathy and originality.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
What is your greatest regret?
That I never wore bell-bottoms.
What is your current state of mind?
If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?
My fear of them (wife and son excluded).
What is your most treasured possession?
A photograph held together by cellophane tape of Little Richard that I bought in 1958, and a pressed and dried chrysanthemum picked on my honeymoon in Kyoto.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Living in fear.
Where would you like to live?
Northeast Bali or south Java.
What is your favorite occupation?
Squishing paint about a senseless canvas.
What is the quality you most like in a man?
The ability to return books.
What is the quality you most like in a woman?
The ability to burp on command.
What are your favorite names?
Sears & Roebuck.
What is your motto?
“What” is my motto.
“He not only created the world that made it possible for our band to exist, he welcomed us into it with grace and warmth. A true artist even in his passing, the world is more bright and mysterious because of him, and we will continue to shout prayers into the atmosphere he created.”
”It was about the androgyny of mixing it up, and that was what was so incredible about his concepts—he was one of the first rock stars to really push the idea that sexuality was not black and white but an exploration.”
-Adam Lambert (New Queen singer)
I’ll sign off here and hope you like this exposition on a true space explorer.