Mean As Custard (calico_pye) wrote,
Mean As Custard

  • Music:

RIP - David Bowie 1947 - 2016

It is going to be one of those "I can remember where I was when (insert name here) died" moments - alas I found out via Facebook, which I took as being a hoax. The trouble with writing about the passing of a legend such as David Bowie, is that everything you type will be a dramatic understatement.  So many cliches uttered, so many pointless personal accounts etc.  How can anyone say anything about Bowie that doesn't sound trite, or gushingly sentimental? Especially if you never knew the guy...

Meh - I will do just that....

As a child of the seventies, I remember Bowie quite well, but when the apocalytic atmosphere of the eighties turned up (to an anthem of haunted treble synth, I might add), there was Bowie in the forefront.Teenagers can feel seperate and cut off from others, alien and remote, struggling with body image and emotional change. I had just turned 13 when 'Ashes to Ashes' came out in August 1980 and was already earmarked for what seemed like a decade of teenage angst.  And there he was - dressed in Pierrot costume, moodily ambling across a solarised beach, with a backdrop of a tractor and the Blitz Kids in tow - now and forever embossed on my mind. The song still gives me goosebumps whenever I hear it.

He felt at home as a performer and brought an extra dimension of art and ideas to the world via his 'stage' characters - Ziggy, Aladdin et al. He engineered change in social expectations in the seventies and beyond - that you could be an outsider, alien or dangerous other, you could be gay, bisexual, asexual, pan.  And it didn't matter.  Bowie amazed at every trick and turn, reinventing himself with new personas and changes of direction in music.  So many important acts in the seventies and eighties were inspired by his style, seen in acts such as Gary Numan, Visage, Human League, Adam Ant and the boys of Depeche Mode.

It's hard to think of a modern-day innovator of this day and age as the pop scene in the UK has been seized by the likes of Simon Cowell and mass-produced music, gansta rap and a weird penchant for Brit soul divas (no offense Adele, I am sure I will like you more when your stuff isn't so in-my-face).  The point is, in regards to pop music - Bowie was the first.  The one who challenged preconceptions and sought to make things fresh and new.  To artists and poets, he was their hero.

"My mother said, to get things done, you'd better not mess with Major Tom."

Tags: david bowie, eighties underground, obituary, vids 2016

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