DAVID BOWIE IS ALL AROUND US
First of all David Bowie was born David Robert Jones on January 8th 1947. He dropped out of school at the age of 16 to work in an advertising agency. Then, a year later, he decided to become a professional musician.
At that time, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones had the supremacy of English pop music and Bowie needed to fight to make a name on the pop rock stage. He began with a few groups but was never noticed or anything. Undercover, Davie Jones changed his name for David Bowie, in order not to be confused with Davy Jones from The Monkees. Can’t Help Thinking About Me was his first record with the name David Bowie on 14th January. He was not famous yet but, in 1969, his “Space Oddity” single was launched at the moment when the first man walked on the moon.
And that is where it began.
Bowie used a peculiar way to write his songs. The “cut up” technique permitted him to concoct his strange lyrics. He wanted his audience to understand his songs the way they wanted to. He wanted them to reclaim the lyrics to make them personal. “I like the idea that [the lyrics are] vehicles for other people to interpret or use as they will.”
His first successful album was at the beginning, entitled Man Of Words, Man Of Music but later, took the name of Space Oddity to embody the whole point of the album. The following years were important for Bowie’s intimate life. His father died suddenly and he got married to Mary Angela “Angie” Barnett who had a huge impact on him and his music during the glam period.
The studio sessions went on and The Man Who Sold The World came out with an unordinary cover. Bowie exploited his androgynous appearance to promote his song. He appears with a dress and looks very feminine. The critics were multiple but Bowie kept on wearing what he wanted.
After his tour in the US, he came back to England and declared he wanted to create a character “who looks like he’s just landed from Mars”. Ziggy Stardust was dressed like an astronaut from inner space. Red-haired, red-booted, Bowie sang “Starman” on Top of the Pops (TV show). No one had ever seen this, was he a man or girl? A human or an alien?
Moreover, he wanted to be stage creative. Fascinated by Orwell’s novel 1984, he tried to get permission to make a musical story but didn’t get the rights so he created his own. Diamond Dogs is his own violent apocalyptic tale in which David Bowie created all the decorations and made the whole set and production.
Bowie made many famous collaborations such as Lou Reed, John Lennon or Iggy Pop. He wanted to have a special feeling with his collaborations. He never failed with any of it because he felt good and on an equal footing. The ideas were similar and the relationship with them was fluid but intense.
We can say that Bowie let a deep mark on the pop and rock stage. He became an idol for a whole generation and even afterwards. His songs continue to vibrate on and on. Berlin is the place where he found peace and calm. He wrote “Heroes” and “Low”. Ziggy died and he became entirely David Bowie. He collaborated with Brian Enno, the most important character of his career because he created four of his “best” albums according to his fans.
During the 80’s he started acting in plays like Elephant man in Broadway. John Lennon’s death hurt him so much that he refused to go on stage and just recorded Under Pressure with Queen. Later on, he recorded the Let’s Dance album and song which is today the only one most people know. He also sang China Girl originally written for Iggy Pop.
In 1993 he got married with a Somali model Iman. Few albums got out such as Heathen and Reality but his health deteriorated and he needed rest with his wife and little girl born in 2000.
Rumors about new albums circulated but Bowie stayed away from media and stages.
2016 was the end of everything when Black Star, a testimony album with “Black Star” or “Lazarus”. Bowie fought cancer for more than a year and disappeared on January 10th at 69 year old.
We can say that Bowie impregnated the rock history and the music in general. He left us a huge heritage and he will keep singing yet for a long time through generations. My idol died but I’ll listen to my vinyls nostalgically.
Various tributes were paid in multiple cities. The one I keep in mind is the Danish one ; The bells rang and played Space Oddity.