Reply to "DAVID BOWIE"

I was just reading the posts in this category, and noticed the vast majority speak only of Davids more recent work and ignore his stuff from the early 1970's, which I consider his most inspired work (Space Oddity; The Man Who Sold the World; Hunky Dory; The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars; Aladin Sane). David Bowie has been a major influence on my life. Like many artists, it is difficult for those who weren't around when the artist first began influencing music to really appreciate the creative force that was so unique at that time. How totally new and fresh he sounded then. I first heard him in 1972 (late by British standards) in a friends bedroom. He was so turned on by this new artist and sound and played the Space Oddityalbum for me. I was knocked out like the first time I had heard Jimi Hendrix, The Cream, or The Doors. But there was so many more dimensions to these words, music and theatricality than I had ever heard before. Bowie was like this little gremlin speaking to me from deep within my very DNA. He was so assertivly and openly being unashamedly feminine, and being so sexy at the same time. He really grabbed me and wouldn't let go. "Cygnet Committee" struck a very deep chord within me, connecting with my own inner truth so desperately trying to get to the surface and scream out like Bowie quoting Susan Hayward "I WANT TO LIVE!!!" Not long after, at a pot party, again in a friends bedroom (I was 17), I heard "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars" and was completely turned on like never before. I still consider this album to be one of the greatest masterpieces of Rock, right next to Sargent Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club. It was much influenced by Stanley Kubrick Movies popular at the time, like 2001: A Space Oddysey, and A Clockwork Orange. I saw it as a Sci-Fi Rock story. For a while Bowie performed the finale: Rock 'N Roll Suicide while being pulled into a Black Hole ("Give me your hands...") which was a finale scenario more recently appropriated (stolen?) by Hedwig and the Angry Inch. I remember what a deeply moving experience it was to hear all of those albums for the first time, and I'm glad that it was always with others, where everyone listened intently with breathless excitment.

I also remember the insane homophobia here in the states that surrounded any mention of Bowie in the early seventies. Even in 1976, my wearing a Bowie T-shirt was akin to many ignoran-tay in New Jersey to wearing a sign saying "I'M GAY!" Hence he didn't really get much airplay even, until he sold out and became more acceptable for the mainstream. I didn't see Bowie perform until July 1974, the Diamond Dogs Tour, at Madison Square. I went with a group of friends,glittery boys and girls, all anticipating a continuation of Ziggy. Although the show was sensational, even by Madison Square Garden standards (He sang "Time" on a swing high above the stage, in old Lady of Burlesque style) we were all disappointed that he had closed the door on Glam Rock, and was now this "thin white duke." Only Bowie could single handedly do that. Even though the vast majority of the United States were not ready for it (Androgynous glam rock), we were, and we all felt we needed it. It was sad to see that it wasn't to be, at least as far as we could see, here in the states (I was then ignorant of much of what was happening only in the UK and Europe at that time). The alien who had showed us the way, had jumped the track and was now on another path. Before long we were on that path too, eating up all that he delivered. Station to Station, played LOUD on good equipment is still fantastic!

I just realized I've gone on way too long here, but feel like I've barely scratched the surface on this man and how he has affected me. I also must say that there were groups that continued carrying the flame that he had begun, such as Queen and Parliament. Much can also be said for the musical guitar stylings that came from Mick Ronson in those early days and how much they contributed to the greatness of the sound. I still joyfully hear his influence on such artists as Gina from the Lunachicks. ALso the influence Bowie had on other artists, such as on Lou Reeds "Transformer" album, Mott the Hoople, or Iggy after he left the Stooges.

In the early seventies, while so much of music had stagnated and become so boring (before the Punk and then New Wave explosion) Bowie was creating some truely fantastic stuff.

[This message was edited by Stacy Amber on 03-25-04 at 10:25 AM.]
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