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David Bowie, RIP
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  1. Good documentary on his reinvention to his early ’80s incarnation: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2973408/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

    My favorite part is where the guitarist Nile Rodgers explains how he helped Bowie write Let’s Dance. This isn’t from the documentary, but here’s Rodgers giving a version of that story:

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    I've heard similar stories from other Bowie collaborators: Bowie shows up with an acoustic guitar and plays a little folk melody and then his world class band figures out what to do with it.
  2. That’s too bad. I wasn’t a huge fan but I did like his music and appreciated the influence he had on many others. Rebel Rebel was always my favorite song of his. With Lemmy from Motorhead dying a few days after Christmas and now Bowie it reminds me how rock, particularly British rock, has completely disappeared from pop music.

  3. For me, Bowie’s two greatest songs are:

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    More of a fan of his early '80s hits, like Let's Dance.
    https://youtu.be/N4d7Wp9kKjA
  4. Female, 30ish:

    I have no idea who David Bowie is. I cannot name a song he sung or wrote. All I know is that there are a shitload of Caitlyn Jenner-esque photos of him hanging in weird places like my old ballet studio.

    I just checked and he was also a miscegenator.

    So?

    Should I be crying?

    Was he the creepy guy in Labrynth? I hated that movie 🙂

    It sounds like to me David Bowie became famous more because of his messing around with men then anything lasting.

    • Replies: @Diversity Heretic
    When someone with whom you have been familiar for many years, even just from reading about them, dies, it is a reminder of your own mortality. (Even if you didn't like them.) That's partially why the death of a David Bowie generates more comments than you might think justified.

    You're in your 30's. Soon enough, you'll find out.
    , @Gunnar von Cowtown
    I'll try to provide some context.

    1. His music was really, really good for a very, very long time. There have been a lot of musicians who used shock value, initially, to attract attention. But, if the music wasn't worthwhile, they become one-hit wonders or quickly faded into obscurity. As others have mentioned, Bowie was talented enough to write and record excellent material for decades. This cannot be understated as pop culture changed much more rapidly from the 60's-70's-80's-90's than it does now. Even though he changed sounds and images, he never really alienated his early fan base. That's no easy task.

    2. If you were a musician (of any genre) who came of age in the 80's or 90's, David Bowie was your best case scenario for aging gracefully. He was simultaneously legendary, relevant and well-liked. Sure, he did a lot of degenerate stuff in his youth, but survived it, learned from it and built a great life. Instead of overdosing at 27 or going the "celebrity rehab" route, essentially became a beloved elder statesman.

    3. He was genuinely gifted as a songwriter, and was certainly not a fraud. Yes, he collaborated with a lot of other artists, but that's how any band writes songs. "Hey, check out this riff...." Then everyone goes to work. The fact that he made so many great songs with so many different musicians proves that he was both skilled enough to write in a variety of styles and easy enough to work with that he never wanted for collaborators. There aren't a lot of musicians about whom you can say that.

    4. I wasn't a big fan of Labyrinth, either. Agree to agree.

    5. I understand why you feel the way you do. Looking at someone like Bowie without having lived through the context.... well, it's no surprise you've drawn these conclusions, especially about the cultural impact. This may be the first of many "Alt-Right Generation Gap" disputes we'll see more of in the coming years. I think the closest we'll get to consensus is, "Yeah, he was a total degenerate in his youth, but he made some really great music."
    , @WGG, @Formerly CARealist
    it's definitely an age thing. David Bowie was a weirdo, but he made some fun music that I enjoyed as a rebellious teen. Elton John falls into the same sort of category, but he's a far better musician.

    Thing is, lots of old conservatives still love the music of their youth even though it was made and promoted by the destroyers of our civilization. The pastor of my old church really dug the Beatles, for instance. Plenty of the movies reviewed and enjoyed here are pure trash but they're entertaining trash and they influence the culture around us.

    I'd say you're doing well. You're noticing stuff. Keep it up.

    Reminds me of a comment I saw from a younger type when Christopher Hitchens passed: "Some atheist guy just died."

    RIP Mr. Bowie
    , @Judah Benjamin Hur
    "I just checked and he was also a miscegenator."

    Watch Star Trek VI and you'll see why.
    , @gruff
    Sometimes Steve writes about things that interest him but are vaguely or completely unrelated to politics. I don't grok the golf course thing; you don't grok Bowie. Let it be.
    , @Dumbo
    Well, this really only shows your ignorance, the man has been around for decades, it's not like he was Lady Gaga, or, er, JLO. Haven't you heard about the Beatles, either?

    "Miscegenator"? Leave it to "HDB people" to make inane comments about sexuality believing they are saying something deep.

    "It sounds like to me David Bowie became famous more because of his messing around with men then anything lasting."

    "It sounds to you" like this, just because you are dumb and ignorant. Also in that sentence it should be "than" not "then".

    Not the biggest fan of Bowie, although I like many songs (and he was surprisingly good as an actor) but it is hard to ignore his influence in pop music and pop culture in general.

    Labyrinth was great. RIP.
    , @Anonymous
    Was this written by a man acting like he was a woman?
    , @Father O'Hara
    Miscegenator? Sounds so...clinical.
    , @Grandpa Jack
    He had some decent songs. That's his lasting legacy- some have been popular for decades and we'll likely be hearing them for decades to come.

    I also am not a fan of the flaky glam and flamboyance, but I suspect a lot was just him riding the wave of what many popular musicians were doing at the time.
  5. @Dave Pinsen
    Good documentary on his reinvention to his early '80s incarnation: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2973408/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

    My favorite part is where the guitarist Nile Rodgers explains how he helped Bowie write Let's Dance. This isn't from the documentary, but here's Rodgers giving a version of that story:
    https://twitter.com/dpinsen/status/686451626840821760

    I’ve heard similar stories from other Bowie collaborators: Bowie shows up with an acoustic guitar and plays a little folk melody and then his world class band figures out what to do with it.

    • Replies: @JLoHo
    So basically he was a fraud picked for stardom because of his Running Bisexuality joke?

    No surprise there.

    At least he wasn't a true believer! (based upon certain other comments)
    , @Dave Pinsen
    Sounds a little bit like your description of James Brown: a talented musician, but also a charismatic leader that world class musicians were drawn to.

    Interesting sort of inversion, too, re the folk melodies. Usually the softer version of the song comes later. E.g., 20-something guys in INXS do a rocking version of "Don't Change", and then, 30 years later, the survivors come up with this (still good) folky version, with a Courtney Cox doppelganger on backing vocals.

    https://youtu.be/0Ian59X7N9Y
    , @Judah Benjamin Hur
    And yet many of his best songs were early works without much/any collaboration like The Man Who Sold the World.

    Ironically, his flamboyant style which helped make him so popular and successful probably hurt his reputation as a songwriter/composer.
    , @Expletive Deleted
    Rick Wakeman (remember him?) was on the radio today recounting how DB asked him to come over and help him work up some some songs musically. "He pulled out (sic) this battered old acoustic guitar and started chunking out some chords". Wakeman was enthralled and slightly disconcerted by Bowie's didn't-see-that-one-coming key changes and chord substitutions, particularly with Life on Mars. Admitted to feeling slightly musically pwned by the Thin White Duke. "A piano-player's dream, must run though it again" was his verdict for that one. And did.

    "The Laughing Gnome" has only been referred to once today in my hearing. Fake it till you make it. Like a chom, it voiks.
  6. masterpiece

    • Agree: BB753
  7. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    What a catalog of great tunes. Up there with Lennon/McCartney. He was the biggest, most influential solo artist in rock. Reinvented himself brilliantly several times, kinda like a rock Miles Davis.

    Though I personally prefer Morrissey (who tried to tour with his hero Bowie in the 1990’s but had to drop out due to “depression”) who has arguably been a greater artist but lesser entertainer.

    Without Bowie, no glam. no punk, no synth pop, no new romantic. He also pretty much single handedly popularized Iggy Pop and Lou Reed / the Velvet Underground.

    R.I.P David. You were the best.

  8. @Steve Sailer
    I've heard similar stories from other Bowie collaborators: Bowie shows up with an acoustic guitar and plays a little folk melody and then his world class band figures out what to do with it.

    So basically he was a fraud picked for stardom because of his Running Bisexuality joke?

    No surprise there.

    At least he wasn’t a true believer! (based upon certain other comments)

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    David Bowie was a bonafide star, in multiple incarnations, over decades. He was no fraud.
    , @george
    Running Bisexuality joke?

    Before the internet memes lasted longer. With only 3 TV networks you relied on magazines mailed once a month to keep up on stuff like David Bowie. And you could not double click on an article you thought was bogus. So although it seems impossible David Bowie could go on for years.
    , @The Albino Sasquatch
    Take it easy there, young lady. By the tone of your posts, it sounds like you've been reading too many by Corvinus.
  9. @Steve Sailer
    I've heard similar stories from other Bowie collaborators: Bowie shows up with an acoustic guitar and plays a little folk melody and then his world class band figures out what to do with it.

    Sounds a little bit like your description of James Brown: a talented musician, but also a charismatic leader that world class musicians were drawn to.

    Interesting sort of inversion, too, re the folk melodies. Usually the softer version of the song comes later. E.g., 20-something guys in INXS do a rocking version of “Don’t Change”, and then, 30 years later, the survivors come up with this (still good) folky version, with a Courtney Cox doppelganger on backing vocals.

  10. Damn. That’s so sad…

    Ever since I started reading this blog, the line from his song 1984 “I’m looking for the treason that I knew in ’65” evokes Hart–Celler Act in my mind.

  11. RIP David Bowie. Definitely one of the all-time greats.

  12. Not really a fan. He was too scattered among various styles and uncommitted to any one in particular for my taste.

    I do recognize and appreciate his stature, importance and success, even if his music never really turned me on. There were a few tunes I enjoyed hearing on the radio when I was driving.

    His death moves me more for the signal it sends that I, a similarly aged Baby Boomer, don’t have much time left. Reading the celebrity obits is now one of the ways that I read the tea leaves to try to fathom how much time I have left.

    Since Bowie was so closely associated with Mick Jagger, he’s one of those celebrity symbols of my youth, probably the most important one to leave this vale of tears to date.

    Death is nipping at my heels.

  13. They’re saying it was AEA, which sort of fits with the stage persona and image he had.

  14. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Listening now to Bowie’s very nice cover of Wild Is The Wind, I recall an anecdote that he supposedly liked to tell: Some youngster after the concert telling him “Man, this is so cool that you covered Nirvana’s The Man Who Sold The World – and it’s a really good cover!”

    • Replies: @black sea
    Way back when, a great many people thought Bob Dylan had covered Hendrick's "All Along the Watchtower."
  15. @JLoHo
    So basically he was a fraud picked for stardom because of his Running Bisexuality joke?

    No surprise there.

    At least he wasn't a true believer! (based upon certain other comments)

    David Bowie was a bonafide star, in multiple incarnations, over decades. He was no fraud.

  16. @Anon
    For me, Bowie's two greatest songs are:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAo7YeRkJYo

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oP2SS8ggLtU

    More of a fan of his early ’80s hits, like Let’s Dance.

    • Replies: @slumber_j
    I'm mostly a fan of Stevie Ray Vaughan's guitar work on that: without it, what do we have?

    Wasn't Bowie too cheap to pay SRV properly for that tour, prompting him to bag it? As I recall, Bowie was famously niggardly with the sidemen.
  17. Gonna miss him.

    BTW, did you notice that Florence King just passed away (a few days ago, reported yesterday)?

    Gonna miss her too; perhaps the wittiest writer of my time.

    • Replies: @Name Withheld
    Agreed:

    One of the last great writers of National Review.
    A very unconventional Southern writer.

    I hope Mark Steyn does some kind of obituary on her.
  18. Did he help the culture or help the culture die?

    My impression is that Bowie was always a face for the ‘New’ culture we are dealing with now.

    I’m not crying guys.

    Would he have become famous if he didn’t have the whole male/female persona?

    Or did he need to have the male/female persona to get his talent past the Gatekeepers (this I understand)?

    Or was he talented-enough and just strange so the GateKeepers held him up as genius while other people did the real work?

    There are very few real legends in the world….most are just manufactured…and the true geniuses languish in obscurity.

    It’s like Cate Blanchett…she’s a great actor…but you never want to watch one of her movies twice…cuz at the end of the day…they just aren’t good enough.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Sometimes, the smart contrarian take is to not offer one.
    , @Anonymous
    As George Eliot wrote, in The Mill on the Floss, "Certain strains of music affect me so strangely that I can never hear them without changing my whole attitude of mind for a time, and if the effect would last, I might be capable of heroism." David Bowie's music had this effect on many of us.
    , @E. Rekshun
    @JLoHo: Are you a troll?

    According to Wikipedia, David Bowie successful music career spanned six decades; he had five Platinum and seven Gold selling albums in the US; two US Billboard Number 1 hit singles and six Top Tens. Bowie was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.
  19. Can’t stand the somewhat turgid Heroes, but stuff like Golden Years is great. And Kooks is an endearing and enduring love song.

    BTW, should not the invaders of Germany be known henceforth as “Colognisers” ?

    • Replies: @gruff
    Good point. The name "Cologne" is in fact a frenchification of the Latin colonia colony, as it was a Roman colony on German land.
    , @SnakeEyes
    Another vote for Kooks an under-rated track off his best album (imo), the tremendous Hunky Dory.
  20. He was on my very short of living artists I really liked and respected. RIP.

  21. Bowie was a better musician than he was ever credited for. Also knew how to work with other great musicians : Ronson, Alomar, Eno, etc. He didn’t as much reinvent himself as just move on and learn and try new things.
    I expect all the great rockers from the 60s and 70s who didn’t die young to start dying in droves during the next 5 years.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Someone posted this on Twitter. Bowie, a tiny keyboard, and an auditorium full of FDNY after 9/11. Great cover of Simon & Garfunkel.

    https://twitter.com/jtem91/status/686479010713317378
  22. I have to listen to this every once in a while, particularly late at night.

    It seems most of the great musical talents are unique and brilliant enough to define their own genre which no one else can really do. Not just unique for the sake of being unique, but unique for the sake of being awesome. The Beatles, the Beach Boys, Queen, Michael Jackson, CCR, the Doors, Tool, Pink Floyd, Vangelis. David Bowie was very much in that category.

  23. @JLoHo
    Did he help the culture or help the culture die?

    My impression is that Bowie was always a face for the 'New' culture we are dealing with now.

    I'm not crying guys.

    Would he have become famous if he didn't have the whole male/female persona?

    Or did he need to have the male/female persona to get his talent past the Gatekeepers (this I understand)?

    Or was he talented-enough and just strange so the GateKeepers held him up as genius while other people did the real work?

    There are very few real legends in the world....most are just manufactured...and the true geniuses languish in obscurity.

    It's like Cate Blanchett...she's a great actor...but you never want to watch one of her movies twice...cuz at the end of the day...they just aren't good enough.

    Sometimes, the smart contrarian take is to not offer one.

    • Replies: @JLoHo
    Or maybe adults shouldn't idolize other adults
    , @Danindc
    Thank you Dave.

    Jloho- take the next few plays off...
  24. @BB753
    Bowie was a better musician than he was ever credited for. Also knew how to work with other great musicians : Ronson, Alomar, Eno, etc. He didn't as much reinvent himself as just move on and learn and try new things.
    I expect all the great rockers from the 60s and 70s who didn't die young to start dying in droves during the next 5 years.

    Someone posted this on Twitter. Bowie, a tiny keyboard, and an auditorium full of FDNY after 9/11. Great cover of Simon & Garfunkel.

  25. By the way, I posted this video five-plus years ago in November 2009, along with the Jesus Jones’ “Right Here, Right Now” and the Sex Pistols’ “Holidays in the Sun” to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Berlin Wall coming down.

    My vague memory is that this video is from a concert in Berlin in 2002, making Bowie about 55. He looks a lot like William F. Buckley in this video: healthier and happier that he did in the original video in 1977:

    Of course, that track — with contributions from Robert Fripp, Brian Eno, Tony Visconti, et al — is one of the landmarks of the era and can’t really be reproduced live.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    The German Foreign Office had the same idea:

    https://twitter.com/germanydiplo/status/686498183669743616
    , @Wyrd
    Here's King Crimson performing Heroes back in 2000:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcuXYlzxmF4

    Adrian Belew is no Bowie on vocals but you do get Fripp's stellar guitarwork.
  26. And, from “Basquiat,” here’s Bowie as Andy Warhol losing an argument with George Costanza’s relatives over whether Saddle River is in New York or New Jersey:

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    He was great in that. Really good movie too.
    , @nglaer
    Bowie a better Warhol likeness than the person playing the recently deceased Rene Ricard, (in the civil war cap) whom I knew slightly (friend of a friend) in real life. My favorite of Rene's lines, after he gave a talk at Yale in the late 70's: "They have no idea how fortunate they are to sleep with 20 year olds all the time." (Rene then about 35, I was about 25). I still think of it all the time.
  27. Philadelphia was the American city in which Bowie produced a live album from the Tower Theatre and some in-studio work as well. The Philadelphia area also embraced all things Bowie, especially the hair-style and fashion.

    The movie “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” noted the many girls with a “Pat Benatar” look. Well, in Philly, both male and female were sporting the “David Bowie” look during the 70’s.

    • Agree: Travis
  28. @JLoHo
    Female, 30ish:

    I have no idea who David Bowie is. I cannot name a song he sung or wrote. All I know is that there are a shitload of Caitlyn Jenner-esque photos of him hanging in weird places like my old ballet studio.

    I just checked and he was also a miscegenator.

    So?

    Should I be crying?

    Was he the creepy guy in Labrynth? I hated that movie :)

    It sounds like to me David Bowie became famous more because of his messing around with men then anything lasting.

    When someone with whom you have been familiar for many years, even just from reading about them, dies, it is a reminder of your own mortality. (Even if you didn’t like them.) That’s partially why the death of a David Bowie generates more comments than you might think justified.

    You’re in your 30’s. Soon enough, you’ll find out.

    • Agree: JohnnyWalker123
    • Replies: @Jloho
    Just wait in a few hours you 'll come to your senses when the media starts treating this guy like the second coming

    He was just a womanizing man/musician who allowed his PR team to market himself as a cross dresser. The End.

    And no this shouldn't remind u of your mortality.
    , @Jay Fink
    I first became familiar with Bowie in the mid 70s from his big
    hits "Fame" and "Golden Years". I was only a young child, 8 years old, yet I had total appreciation for how good his music was. Since then I have discovered most of his library. Just in the past year on Pandora I heard " Did you ever have a dream" from his first album in 1967. It's a wonderful song about astral projection that sounds more like a showtune than rock.

    I think the reason his death is so significant to me isn't so much thoughts of my own mortality, I am over 20 years younger, it's that I have been conscious of Bowie for over 80% of my life and have enjoyed his music over long stretches of it. Plus he was unique and a true musical artist in a field filled with so much cookie cutter, formula music. When a legend like this passes it seems there is no one to take his place and I speak as someone who keeps up with and isn't closed minded about current music

  29. @Steve Sailer
    By the way, I posted this video five-plus years ago in November 2009, along with the Jesus Jones' "Right Here, Right Now" and the Sex Pistols' "Holidays in the Sun" to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Berlin Wall coming down.

    My vague memory is that this video is from a concert in Berlin in 2002, making Bowie about 55. He looks a lot like William F. Buckley in this video: healthier and happier that he did in the original video in 1977:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tgcc5V9Hu3g

    Of course, that track -- with contributions from Robert Fripp, Brian Eno, Tony Visconti, et al -- is one of the landmarks of the era and can't really be reproduced live.

    The German Foreign Office had the same idea:

  30. @Dave Pinsen
    Sometimes, the smart contrarian take is to not offer one.

    Or maybe adults shouldn’t idolize other adults

    • Replies: @CK
    So we should idolize children instead? When you have no one to look up to you will spend a lot of your life looking down at the shit between your toes.
  31. @Steve Sailer
    And, from "Basquiat," here's Bowie as Andy Warhol losing an argument with George Costanza's relatives over whether Saddle River is in New York or New Jersey:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snPULwxtVcA

    He was great in that. Really good movie too.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    He was great in that. Really good movie too.
     
    Though a Bowie detractor for 45 years, I'll gladly concede that he was quite the actor!

    Also, there will be a few sadder Somali-Americans today. His widow and daughters. (One a step-.)
  32. @Diversity Heretic
    When someone with whom you have been familiar for many years, even just from reading about them, dies, it is a reminder of your own mortality. (Even if you didn't like them.) That's partially why the death of a David Bowie generates more comments than you might think justified.

    You're in your 30's. Soon enough, you'll find out.

    Just wait in a few hours you ‘ll come to your senses when the media starts treating this guy like the second coming

    He was just a womanizing man/musician who allowed his PR team to market himself as a cross dresser. The End.

    And no this shouldn’t remind u of your mortality.

    • Replies: @slumber_j
    But think of the bondholders! Talk about a haircut...
    , @SFG
    What you keep running into is the old rule: Don't speak ill of the dead. When someone dies, you remember them. It's like kicking people when they're down.

    (We saw the left doing it to Thatcher, and everyone else thought it was mean-spirited.)

    After enough time, of course, you become a historical figure, and then are fair game.

    As for Bowie himself: He did a lot of weird stuff. Musicians often do.

    He made a lot of music in a variety of styles for a long time, and with all the one-hit wonders, that's impressive.

  33. I saw Bowie once – in Hong Kong in about 1983.

    He had an interesting voice, some effective dances steps, a terrific suit and an extremely competent band.

    If memory serves the highlight was China Girl which had just been released.

    My impression was of a modest but genuine talent carefully sheparded and teased out to maximum effect. In other words another hard-working ambitious wasp who, in his case, managed to affect being a ‘rebel rebel’ for half a century; dropping dead on the job.

    I see his alter-ego as a high-functioning alcoholic clipper captain in the 19th Century.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    "I see his alter-ego as a high-functioning alcoholic clipper captain in the 19th Century."

    I think Bowie might have appreciated that.
    , @Gunnar von Cowtown

    He had an interesting voice....
     
    Other than Jim Morrison, Bowie was the only baritone (I can think of) in rock/pop until New Wave hit big in the early 80's. It's like he told an entire generation of deep-voiced kids, "It's OK. You don't have to be able hit notes only banshees can hear to sing lead in a rock band."
    , @Bill B.
    To my surprise it appears that Bowie's stage suits in Hong Kong were made there the day before if you believe this:


    https://www.google.co.th/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjH362lxqXKAhXFkpQKHRS4BkMQqQIIHDAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.scmp.com%2Fnews%2Fhong-kong%2Farticle%2F1900089%2Fdavid-bowies-tailor-hong-kong-icon-fit-prince-presidents-and-thin&usg=AFQjCNFqiO7fcCU0M9D0Hl1GLUuoOK12ww&sig2=oRDrZrFXrJqZFEGJHBwJSg


    I have had a Mr Sam suit made for me once and although I thought it was pretty natty for a while it later became clear that you get what you pay for. And Mr Sam's stuff is really not that great and easily spotted as such once you know.

    I am sceptical about all these world historic figures flocking to be dressed in serviceable but mediocre clothing but I guess the 'idea' of Mr Sam has resonance.
  34. Ok his sixties output was probably his true talent while the 70s output is probably drug induced or put together by the pr team

    Nothing to get your panties wet over

    • Replies: @Niccolo Salo
    Just shut up.
    , @Daniel H
    >> Ok his sixties output was probably his true talent

    He didn't have any sixties output. The 70s was his era.
  35. Wow.

    Usually, when one says “I’d like to dance on so-and-so’s grave”, it has a completely different meaning.

    Mr Sailer: Find a documentary called David Bowie: Five Years. To quote Douglas Adams in another context

    “That’s obvious. Anybody could’ve thought of that.”
    “Ah, but anybody did not. It is the essence of genius to make the hitherto unseen blindingly obvious.”

    He not only came up with great ideas (listen to the piano player gush about “Life on Mars”), but also who put together the right bands to do what became world-class stuff.

    Also consider http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-famous-people-whose-best-work-was-motivated-by-revenge/ #4 is as good an explanation for his late 70s stuff as anything else.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    I saw Bowie on his 1983 tour when he was on top of the pop world (after his contract expired in which his ex-mananger got 50%).
  36. @Jloho
    Just wait in a few hours you 'll come to your senses when the media starts treating this guy like the second coming

    He was just a womanizing man/musician who allowed his PR team to market himself as a cross dresser. The End.

    And no this shouldn't remind u of your mortality.

    But think of the bondholders! Talk about a haircut…

  37. A small role in a throwaway film, but I always remembered it.

    • Replies: @Daniel H
    He had a one scene role as Pontius Pilate in The Last Temptation of Christ. I thought it an excellent representation of Pilate.
  38. @The Only Catholic Unionist
    Wow.

    Usually, when one says "I'd like to dance on so-and-so's grave", it has a completely different meaning.

    Mr Sailer: Find a documentary called David Bowie: Five Years. To quote Douglas Adams in another context

    "That's obvious. Anybody could've thought of that."
    "Ah, but anybody did not. It is the essence of genius to make the hitherto unseen blindingly obvious."

    He not only came up with great ideas (listen to the piano player gush about "Life on Mars"), but also who put together the right bands to do what became world-class stuff.

    Also consider http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-famous-people-whose-best-work-was-motivated-by-revenge/ #4 is as good an explanation for his late 70s stuff as anything else.

    I saw Bowie on his 1983 tour when he was on top of the pop world (after his contract expired in which his ex-mananger got 50%).

    • Replies: @The Only Catholic Unionist
    That period was the "fifth" year in the doc I mentioned ("David Bowie: Five Years"). Worth seeing if you get a chance. Even if you think of Bowie as more of an impresario than a musician (tho' I think he's woefully underrated as the latter) he was awfully good at "just" that.
  39. @Bill B.
    I saw Bowie once - in Hong Kong in about 1983.

    He had an interesting voice, some effective dances steps, a terrific suit and an extremely competent band.

    If memory serves the highlight was China Girl which had just been released.

    My impression was of a modest but genuine talent carefully sheparded and teased out to maximum effect. In other words another hard-working ambitious wasp who, in his case, managed to affect being a 'rebel rebel' for half a century; dropping dead on the job.

    I see his alter-ego as a high-functioning alcoholic clipper captain in the 19th Century.

    “I see his alter-ego as a high-functioning alcoholic clipper captain in the 19th Century.”

    I think Bowie might have appreciated that.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    Once he reached full manhood, there were few men who needed a drink less than
    David Bowie.
  40. Apparently fought a private battle with cancer for the past 18 months, which is why his death came as such a surprise.

    also nearly died of a heart attack

    Since having surgery in 2004 after collapsing backstage at a gig due to a clogged artery, Bowie has stayed largely out of the spotlight and hasn’t performed live since 2006.

    Interesting considering he doesn’t meet the risk factor of being overweight, in fact they call him the ‘thin white duke’. It’s just more evidence artery disease is more genetic than lifestyle based. You can be thin, eat healthy, and still drop dead at a relatively young age from a heart attack.

    • Replies: @Anonym
    Smoking is a big risk factor for heart disease. David Bowie was a long-time smoker.

    Also one can eat quantities of food that are bad for you sufficient to maintain a healthy body weight. If his diet consisted of a lot of saturated fat, especially animal body fat, and/or trans fats, that would not have been healthy.
    , @MEH 0910

    Interesting considering he doesn’t meet the risk factor of being overweight, in fact they call him the ‘thin white duke’.
     
    Cocaine is bad for the heart.
  41. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @JLoHo
    Did he help the culture or help the culture die?

    My impression is that Bowie was always a face for the 'New' culture we are dealing with now.

    I'm not crying guys.

    Would he have become famous if he didn't have the whole male/female persona?

    Or did he need to have the male/female persona to get his talent past the Gatekeepers (this I understand)?

    Or was he talented-enough and just strange so the GateKeepers held him up as genius while other people did the real work?

    There are very few real legends in the world....most are just manufactured...and the true geniuses languish in obscurity.

    It's like Cate Blanchett...she's a great actor...but you never want to watch one of her movies twice...cuz at the end of the day...they just aren't good enough.

    As George Eliot wrote, in The Mill on the Floss, “Certain strains of music affect me so strangely that I can never hear them without changing my whole attitude of mind for a time, and if the effect would last, I might be capable of heroism.” David Bowie’s music had this effect on many of us.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    Well said.

    if the effect would last, I might be capable of heroism
     
    What a line!

    Perfect for the original post.
    , @njguy73
    I know of nothing better than the Appassionata and could listen to it every day. What astonishing, superhuman music! It always makes me proud, perhaps with a childish naiveté, to think that people can work such miracles! … But I can’t listen to music very often, it affects my nerves. I want to say sweet, silly things, and pat the little heads of people who, living in a filthy hell, can create such beauty. These days, one can’t pat anyone on the head nowadays, they might bite your hand off. Hence, you have to beat people's little heads, beat mercilessly, although ideally we are against doing any violence to people. Hm — what a devillishly difficult job!

    - Vladimir Lenin

    That's right. Beethoven almost made Lenin not want to do bad things.
  42. @JLoHo
    So basically he was a fraud picked for stardom because of his Running Bisexuality joke?

    No surprise there.

    At least he wasn't a true believer! (based upon certain other comments)

    Running Bisexuality joke?

    Before the internet memes lasted longer. With only 3 TV networks you relied on magazines mailed once a month to keep up on stuff like David Bowie. And you could not double click on an article you thought was bogus. So although it seems impossible David Bowie could go on for years.

  43. Apparently, Bowie, who was known to have a good sense of humour, was so taken by Phil Cornwell’s (brilliant) impression of him on the show Stella Street (a daft British comedy from the 90s) that he would go around asking people: “…do you think it makes me look a bit buttery?”

    …which always amused me. Rest in Peace, David Bowie.

  44. In his other post on Deep England, Sailer calls David Bowie a “professional English eccentric.”

    I think professional English eccentric nails it as a description of David Bowie. And that type of English eccentricity is itself a type of genius, creatively speaking. From Lewis Carroll to Oliver Heaviside to numerous others, it is a thing, unique to that culture.

  45. Anybody who still wonder why David Bowie waited to 1983 to release his most commercially successful album?

    The reason is a horrible contract with Tony De Fries that expired in 1982…

    http://mentalfloss.com/article/19505/10-ruthless-rock-managers
    http://www.thekomisarscoop.com/2008/03/ex-rock-impressario-tony-defries-lost-22-million-in-offshore-tax-evasion-scheme/
    http://www.jewwatch.com/jew-domination-managers.html

  46. @Dave Pinsen
    More of a fan of his early '80s hits, like Let's Dance.
    https://youtu.be/N4d7Wp9kKjA

    I’m mostly a fan of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s guitar work on that: without it, what do we have?

    Wasn’t Bowie too cheap to pay SRV properly for that tour, prompting him to bag it? As I recall, Bowie was famously niggardly with the sidemen.

    • Replies: @black sea
    I've seen Stevie Ray Vaughan recount this incident, or his version of it, in an interview.

    Bowie asked SRV to play on the "Let's Dance" album, which he did. Bowie wanted SRV to go on tour for the album, but presented it as if Vaughan's band, Double Trouble, would be the opening act on tour. When SRV discovered that Bowie was really only offering to bring him along, he declined, feeling he'd been lied to.
    , @Clyde

    Wasn’t Bowie too cheap to pay SRV properly for that tour, prompting him to bag it? As I recall, Bowie was famously niggardly with the sidemen.
     
    You are correct that Stevie Ray Vaughan was going to be on that Bowie tour but dropped out. Right after the Lets Dance album. My guess is the reasons you state are correct. Bowie was not niggardly. He went along with his financial people being niggardly. Bowie was smart enough to to be one or two steps removed from such grubby things as paying your sidemen what they are worth.
    So he was a bisexual freak but he put out some good music and Rolling Stone magazine always backed his "latest" to the hilt.
    , @Brutusale
    Yeah, Bowie paid his band union scale. But nobody will notice that Earl Slick wasn't Stevie Ray, right?

    I liked Bowie's Ziggy Stardust/Diamond Dogs stage, but everything from the Thin White Duke stage on left me cold. Funny that the last time I saw Bowie live was when he was Iggy Pop's sideman.
  47. Bowie was surprisingly American influenced, both in his choice of name, and musically, having been given a plastic saxophone as a gift by his mother since she and he were both fans of John Coltrane, so there was already a musical/avant garde background.

    Many UK musicians of the era were more middle class than they let on. It was usually the middle class kids who went to private schools who had music education, or owned their own instruments.

    Not many people know that Mick Jaggers father Joe was a Phys. Ed, teacher and a very successful one who had written a popular textbook and had his own TV show on which young Michael made his first media appearance. So that is where the prancing around came from!

    A friend of mine played bass guitar on the recording of Bowie’s first hit Space Oddity. My friend was offered a cash payment of 5 pounds or a share of royalties. As he knew the song was garbage, he took the cash. (Later he became a successful physician.)

    • Replies: @yaqub the mad scientist
    Rick Wakeman says he took the 5 pounds, too.
    , @Reg Cæsar

    Many UK musicians of the era were more middle class than they let on.
     
    Especially in the London orbit, where middle class kids loved to pretend to be sharecroppers, while working class stiffs up north preferred to soften their hardscrabble lives with a gentler, more poppish sound.

    Screaming Lord Sutch and the Zombies are examples of those taken to be of a higher class than they were. The latter came from the town of St Alban's, not the school, and Colin Blunstone said his father was a hairdresser. About their toff accents, "That's just the way we talk in Hertfordshire."

    Way, way up north, Eric Burdon was quite middle class, as raw as he sounded on record. His Animal bandmates Hilton Valentine and Alan Price grew up poor, Price hailing from notorious Byker. (That may explain why Price stiffed the rest of the band on royalties to "House of the Rising Sun".) I'd read somewhere that they'd have heated political arguments before concerts, Burdon taking the socialist side, the poor guys the Tory, or at least to the right of Burdon.

    I remember being surprised a few years back to be reminded that the Animals wore matching three-piece suits onstage. It was only the Stones who dressed like trash, though Manfred Mann and the Zombies would do a beatnik look.
    , @SnakeEyes
    Funny story especially because doctors are notorious for making bad financial decisions.
  48. @Steve Sailer
    And, from "Basquiat," here's Bowie as Andy Warhol losing an argument with George Costanza's relatives over whether Saddle River is in New York or New Jersey:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snPULwxtVcA

    Bowie a better Warhol likeness than the person playing the recently deceased Rene Ricard, (in the civil war cap) whom I knew slightly (friend of a friend) in real life. My favorite of Rene’s lines, after he gave a talk at Yale in the late 70’s: “They have no idea how fortunate they are to sleep with 20 year olds all the time.” (Rene then about 35, I was about 25). I still think of it all the time.

    • Replies: @Former Darfur
    He was eccentric as hell, but he was one of the great pop music innovators, never mind what you think about transvestitism, homosexuality , or miscegenation. Everyone who was anyone intersected with him in the 1970s, 1980s or 1990s or they can directly trace something major to him.
  49. @Steve Sailer
    I saw Bowie on his 1983 tour when he was on top of the pop world (after his contract expired in which his ex-mananger got 50%).

    That period was the “fifth” year in the doc I mentioned (“David Bowie: Five Years”). Worth seeing if you get a chance. Even if you think of Bowie as more of an impresario than a musician (tho’ I think he’s woefully underrated as the latter) he was awfully good at “just” that.

  50. My handle gives a clue as to where sympathies fall when it comes to the Thin White Duke.

    Those poo-pooing him here crack me up. What unhappy, jealous, bitter souls you must have to denigrate this ground-breaking artist from our time. So you didn’t like his music? No problem there…but to go on to act as though he was just a sterile invention that meant nothing is outrageous.

    Yes, he was my hero. Ziggy Stardust graced my bedroom wall as a teenager. I thank God for his life and the continuous joy and inspiration he brought to me throughout mine.

    RIP DB.

  51. We owe to him the observation that God is an American:

  52. @Anonymous
    Listening now to Bowie's very nice cover of Wild Is The Wind, I recall an anecdote that he supposedly liked to tell: Some youngster after the concert telling him "Man, this is so cool that you covered Nirvana's The Man Who Sold The World - and it's a really good cover!"

    Way back when, a great many people thought Bob Dylan had covered Hendrick’s “All Along the Watchtower.”

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    To be fair, Dylan himself has said that Hendrix had the superior arrangement.
  53. Dude supported the Jena 6 monsters and gave them money.

    I stopped liking him after that.

  54. (Please excuse a repeat of my comment on the other post, but it belongs here as well.)

    How English was Bowie? He was born a Jones, often as not a Welsh name. His adopted name is Celtic, too, as is his son “Zowie”‘s, who is Duncan Jones.

    Davies, too, is a name both Welsh and West English.

    • Replies: @anon
    Anglo-Welsh are pretty mixed now especially in the big cities with a few regional exceptions: North Wales mountains (more old welsh), swampy bits of east coast England (more old english) and the upper class (less welsh, more norman).
    , @Father O'Hara
    His mom was 100 percent Irish. (Sorry) Not a big fan myself. But it was interesting to read about what a horn dog he was. Cool. Why he married Imam? Didn't get that,'specially considering her "situation".
  55. @JLoHo
    Female, 30ish:

    I have no idea who David Bowie is. I cannot name a song he sung or wrote. All I know is that there are a shitload of Caitlyn Jenner-esque photos of him hanging in weird places like my old ballet studio.

    I just checked and he was also a miscegenator.

    So?

    Should I be crying?

    Was he the creepy guy in Labrynth? I hated that movie :)

    It sounds like to me David Bowie became famous more because of his messing around with men then anything lasting.

    I’ll try to provide some context.

    1. His music was really, really good for a very, very long time. There have been a lot of musicians who used shock value, initially, to attract attention. But, if the music wasn’t worthwhile, they become one-hit wonders or quickly faded into obscurity. As others have mentioned, Bowie was talented enough to write and record excellent material for decades. This cannot be understated as pop culture changed much more rapidly from the 60’s-70’s-80’s-90’s than it does now. Even though he changed sounds and images, he never really alienated his early fan base. That’s no easy task.

    2. If you were a musician (of any genre) who came of age in the 80’s or 90’s, David Bowie was your best case scenario for aging gracefully. He was simultaneously legendary, relevant and well-liked. Sure, he did a lot of degenerate stuff in his youth, but survived it, learned from it and built a great life. Instead of overdosing at 27 or going the “celebrity rehab” route, essentially became a beloved elder statesman.

    3. He was genuinely gifted as a songwriter, and was certainly not a fraud. Yes, he collaborated with a lot of other artists, but that’s how any band writes songs. “Hey, check out this riff….” Then everyone goes to work. The fact that he made so many great songs with so many different musicians proves that he was both skilled enough to write in a variety of styles and easy enough to work with that he never wanted for collaborators. There aren’t a lot of musicians about whom you can say that.

    4. I wasn’t a big fan of Labyrinth, either. Agree to agree.

    5. I understand why you feel the way you do. Looking at someone like Bowie without having lived through the context…. well, it’s no surprise you’ve drawn these conclusions, especially about the cultural impact. This may be the first of many “Alt-Right Generation Gap” disputes we’ll see more of in the coming years. I think the closest we’ll get to consensus is, “Yeah, he was a total degenerate in his youth, but he made some really great music.”

    • Replies: @NOTA
    It's kind-of traditional for artists and musicians to have wild bohemian lives, especially in their youth. That sort of thing tends to take a toll on you, which is one reason why a lot of creative types seem to die tragically young. Also, the AIDS epidemic made the gay/bisexual part of the bohemian life a lot more risky than it was other times.
    , @CJ
    Bowie at the height of his mid-career performances on the 1980 Midnight Special, an actual live performance BTW:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQBySMvPn5A&list=RDzQBySMvPn5A
  56. @Dave Pinsen
    He was great in that. Really good movie too.

    He was great in that. Really good movie too.

    Though a Bowie detractor for 45 years, I’ll gladly concede that he was quite the actor!

    Also, there will be a few sadder Somali-Americans today. His widow and daughters. (One a step-.)

    • Replies: @Jloho
    Don't forget his white son married Asian....so much for that genetic lineage!
    , @Kylie
    I'm with you. I did not care for Bowie's music and his voice made my fillings ache.

    But he was a talented actor. Low-key but charismatic. Great screen presence.
  57. WGG [AKA "World\'s Greatest Grandson"] says:
    @JLoHo
    Female, 30ish:

    I have no idea who David Bowie is. I cannot name a song he sung or wrote. All I know is that there are a shitload of Caitlyn Jenner-esque photos of him hanging in weird places like my old ballet studio.

    I just checked and he was also a miscegenator.

    So?

    Should I be crying?

    Was he the creepy guy in Labrynth? I hated that movie :)

    It sounds like to me David Bowie became famous more because of his messing around with men then anything lasting.

    Don’t be a [email protected]

  58. @JLoHo
    Or maybe adults shouldn't idolize other adults

    So we should idolize children instead? When you have no one to look up to you will spend a lot of your life looking down at the shit between your toes.

  59. Just checking in from Mars. I’ve heard of Mr Bowie and seen his strange picture in the papers, but I’ve never seen him perform or listened to any of his songs – not one, ever.

    Have I missed something of great ‘cultural significance’?

    • Replies: @Anonymous

    Have I missed something of great ‘cultural significance’?
     
    Yes. Pop music was a central part of the cultural milieu in 1960s-1980s (much, much more than it is today) and Bowie was a very significant figure in pop music - through his own creations as well as being an influence/inspiration to scores of other important figures.
    , @ScarletNumber
    Ironically, Mars was referenced by Bowie in his songs.
    , @PiltdownMan

    Just checking in from Mars. I’ve heard of Mr Bowie and seen his strange picture in the papers, but I’ve never seen him perform or listened to any of his songs – not one, ever.
     
    Please ask your elders about Mr. Bowie. He left your home planet for Earth with a group of spider musicians. The black hole beings consumed him. Perhaps the tale was too shocking for your tender ears.
  60. @slumber_j
    I'm mostly a fan of Stevie Ray Vaughan's guitar work on that: without it, what do we have?

    Wasn't Bowie too cheap to pay SRV properly for that tour, prompting him to bag it? As I recall, Bowie was famously niggardly with the sidemen.

    I’ve seen Stevie Ray Vaughan recount this incident, or his version of it, in an interview.

    Bowie asked SRV to play on the “Let’s Dance” album, which he did. Bowie wanted SRV to go on tour for the album, but presented it as if Vaughan’s band, Double Trouble, would be the opening act on tour. When SRV discovered that Bowie was really only offering to bring him along, he declined, feeling he’d been lied to.

  61. @Dave Pinsen
    Sometimes, the smart contrarian take is to not offer one.

    Thank you Dave.

    Jloho- take the next few plays off…

  62. @Bill B.
    I saw Bowie once - in Hong Kong in about 1983.

    He had an interesting voice, some effective dances steps, a terrific suit and an extremely competent band.

    If memory serves the highlight was China Girl which had just been released.

    My impression was of a modest but genuine talent carefully sheparded and teased out to maximum effect. In other words another hard-working ambitious wasp who, in his case, managed to affect being a 'rebel rebel' for half a century; dropping dead on the job.

    I see his alter-ego as a high-functioning alcoholic clipper captain in the 19th Century.

    He had an interesting voice….

    Other than Jim Morrison, Bowie was the only baritone (I can think of) in rock/pop until New Wave hit big in the early 80’s. It’s like he told an entire generation of deep-voiced kids, “It’s OK. You don’t have to be able hit notes only banshees can hear to sing lead in a rock band.”

    • Replies: @Bill B.
    The dire singing of the typical rock/etc band has become more noticeable to me the further I drift from my teenage years. Of course it depends on what the music is trying to do: Mick Jagger has never been able to sing for a toffee but is still effective.

    Even David Bowie would have probably struggled with 'Mull of Kintyre'.

    In my ignorance I assume that mediocre band singers use a high register to project and because it is easier. Every party drunk can do falsetto turn.

    But doesn't low quality suit the music business? One wouldn't want to let genuine talent have that unfair advantage...
    , @Desiderius

    Other than Jim Morrison, Bowie was the only baritone (I can think of) in rock/pop
     
    In his own twisted way, he managed to retain, and even deepen, his manliness against the wave of effeminacy in men.

    He was the picture of "amused mastery."
  63. Bowie tackled the little problem of beginning a song really well.

    In the mid 90’s he sold the future revenue of his next ten albums for $200mm or something like that. The very first album in the slate was Outside, a collection of songs telling the story of a guy who kidnaps a girl and carves her in to art. He seemed to be sending a message to his investors.

  64. @Jloho
    Just wait in a few hours you 'll come to your senses when the media starts treating this guy like the second coming

    He was just a womanizing man/musician who allowed his PR team to market himself as a cross dresser. The End.

    And no this shouldn't remind u of your mortality.

    What you keep running into is the old rule: Don’t speak ill of the dead. When someone dies, you remember them. It’s like kicking people when they’re down.

    (We saw the left doing it to Thatcher, and everyone else thought it was mean-spirited.)

    After enough time, of course, you become a historical figure, and then are fair game.

    As for Bowie himself: He did a lot of weird stuff. Musicians often do.

    He made a lot of music in a variety of styles for a long time, and with all the one-hit wonders, that’s impressive.

    • Replies: @Matra
    What you keep running into is the old rule: Don’t speak ill of the dead. When someone dies, you remember them. It’s like kicking people when they’re down.

    In 2007 Bowie donated money to the legal defence of black thugs in Jena, Louisiana, who repeatedly kicked a white kid in the head when he was down.

  65. @JLoHo
    Female, 30ish:

    I have no idea who David Bowie is. I cannot name a song he sung or wrote. All I know is that there are a shitload of Caitlyn Jenner-esque photos of him hanging in weird places like my old ballet studio.

    I just checked and he was also a miscegenator.

    So?

    Should I be crying?

    Was he the creepy guy in Labrynth? I hated that movie :)

    It sounds like to me David Bowie became famous more because of his messing around with men then anything lasting.

    it’s definitely an age thing. David Bowie was a weirdo, but he made some fun music that I enjoyed as a rebellious teen. Elton John falls into the same sort of category, but he’s a far better musician.

    Thing is, lots of old conservatives still love the music of their youth even though it was made and promoted by the destroyers of our civilization. The pastor of my old church really dug the Beatles, for instance. Plenty of the movies reviewed and enjoyed here are pure trash but they’re entertaining trash and they influence the culture around us.

    I’d say you’re doing well. You’re noticing stuff. Keep it up.

    Reminds me of a comment I saw from a younger type when Christopher Hitchens passed: “Some atheist guy just died.”

    RIP Mr. Bowie

  66. @slumber_j
    I'm mostly a fan of Stevie Ray Vaughan's guitar work on that: without it, what do we have?

    Wasn't Bowie too cheap to pay SRV properly for that tour, prompting him to bag it? As I recall, Bowie was famously niggardly with the sidemen.

    Wasn’t Bowie too cheap to pay SRV properly for that tour, prompting him to bag it? As I recall, Bowie was famously niggardly with the sidemen.

    You are correct that Stevie Ray Vaughan was going to be on that Bowie tour but dropped out. Right after the Lets Dance album. My guess is the reasons you state are correct. Bowie was not niggardly. He went along with his financial people being niggardly. Bowie was smart enough to to be one or two steps removed from such grubby things as paying your sidemen what they are worth.
    So he was a bisexual freak but he put out some good music and Rolling Stone magazine always backed his “latest” to the hilt.

  67. @slumber_j
    I'm mostly a fan of Stevie Ray Vaughan's guitar work on that: without it, what do we have?

    Wasn't Bowie too cheap to pay SRV properly for that tour, prompting him to bag it? As I recall, Bowie was famously niggardly with the sidemen.

    Yeah, Bowie paid his band union scale. But nobody will notice that Earl Slick wasn’t Stevie Ray, right?

    I liked Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust/Diamond Dogs stage, but everything from the Thin White Duke stage on left me cold. Funny that the last time I saw Bowie live was when he was Iggy Pop’s sideman.

  68. @Gunnar von Cowtown
    I'll try to provide some context.

    1. His music was really, really good for a very, very long time. There have been a lot of musicians who used shock value, initially, to attract attention. But, if the music wasn't worthwhile, they become one-hit wonders or quickly faded into obscurity. As others have mentioned, Bowie was talented enough to write and record excellent material for decades. This cannot be understated as pop culture changed much more rapidly from the 60's-70's-80's-90's than it does now. Even though he changed sounds and images, he never really alienated his early fan base. That's no easy task.

    2. If you were a musician (of any genre) who came of age in the 80's or 90's, David Bowie was your best case scenario for aging gracefully. He was simultaneously legendary, relevant and well-liked. Sure, he did a lot of degenerate stuff in his youth, but survived it, learned from it and built a great life. Instead of overdosing at 27 or going the "celebrity rehab" route, essentially became a beloved elder statesman.

    3. He was genuinely gifted as a songwriter, and was certainly not a fraud. Yes, he collaborated with a lot of other artists, but that's how any band writes songs. "Hey, check out this riff...." Then everyone goes to work. The fact that he made so many great songs with so many different musicians proves that he was both skilled enough to write in a variety of styles and easy enough to work with that he never wanted for collaborators. There aren't a lot of musicians about whom you can say that.

    4. I wasn't a big fan of Labyrinth, either. Agree to agree.

    5. I understand why you feel the way you do. Looking at someone like Bowie without having lived through the context.... well, it's no surprise you've drawn these conclusions, especially about the cultural impact. This may be the first of many "Alt-Right Generation Gap" disputes we'll see more of in the coming years. I think the closest we'll get to consensus is, "Yeah, he was a total degenerate in his youth, but he made some really great music."

    It’s kind-of traditional for artists and musicians to have wild bohemian lives, especially in their youth. That sort of thing tends to take a toll on you, which is one reason why a lot of creative types seem to die tragically young. Also, the AIDS epidemic made the gay/bisexual part of the bohemian life a lot more risky than it was other times.

    • Replies: @Jloho
    But see that's my point... The hedonistic lifestyle is a sign that he wasn't that talented musically because to be good at something and create awesome things you have to ...work...
  69. I think his spaceship knows which way to go…

  70. Bowie guesting on Ricky Gervais’ show “Extras”. Amazing cameo.

    http://bit.ly/1IYRXgH

  71. @Gunnar von Cowtown
    I'll try to provide some context.

    1. His music was really, really good for a very, very long time. There have been a lot of musicians who used shock value, initially, to attract attention. But, if the music wasn't worthwhile, they become one-hit wonders or quickly faded into obscurity. As others have mentioned, Bowie was talented enough to write and record excellent material for decades. This cannot be understated as pop culture changed much more rapidly from the 60's-70's-80's-90's than it does now. Even though he changed sounds and images, he never really alienated his early fan base. That's no easy task.

    2. If you were a musician (of any genre) who came of age in the 80's or 90's, David Bowie was your best case scenario for aging gracefully. He was simultaneously legendary, relevant and well-liked. Sure, he did a lot of degenerate stuff in his youth, but survived it, learned from it and built a great life. Instead of overdosing at 27 or going the "celebrity rehab" route, essentially became a beloved elder statesman.

    3. He was genuinely gifted as a songwriter, and was certainly not a fraud. Yes, he collaborated with a lot of other artists, but that's how any band writes songs. "Hey, check out this riff...." Then everyone goes to work. The fact that he made so many great songs with so many different musicians proves that he was both skilled enough to write in a variety of styles and easy enough to work with that he never wanted for collaborators. There aren't a lot of musicians about whom you can say that.

    4. I wasn't a big fan of Labyrinth, either. Agree to agree.

    5. I understand why you feel the way you do. Looking at someone like Bowie without having lived through the context.... well, it's no surprise you've drawn these conclusions, especially about the cultural impact. This may be the first of many "Alt-Right Generation Gap" disputes we'll see more of in the coming years. I think the closest we'll get to consensus is, "Yeah, he was a total degenerate in his youth, but he made some really great music."

    Bowie at the height of his mid-career performances on the 1980 Midnight Special, an actual live performance BTW:

  72. RIP. True legend. Huge influence. He will be missed.

  73. I’m surprised nobody’s mentioned his best acting performance, in Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085933/

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    "I’m surprised nobody’s mentioned his best acting performance, in Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence........"

    Or in what has to the all-time greatest lesbian vampire movie: "The Hunger"
  74. @Gunnar von Cowtown

    He had an interesting voice....
     
    Other than Jim Morrison, Bowie was the only baritone (I can think of) in rock/pop until New Wave hit big in the early 80's. It's like he told an entire generation of deep-voiced kids, "It's OK. You don't have to be able hit notes only banshees can hear to sing lead in a rock band."

    The dire singing of the typical rock/etc band has become more noticeable to me the further I drift from my teenage years. Of course it depends on what the music is trying to do: Mick Jagger has never been able to sing for a toffee but is still effective.

    Even David Bowie would have probably struggled with ‘Mull of Kintyre’.

    In my ignorance I assume that mediocre band singers use a high register to project and because it is easier. Every party drunk can do falsetto turn.

    But doesn’t low quality suit the music business? One wouldn’t want to let genuine talent have that unfair advantage…

    • Replies: @Gunnar von Cowtown

    In my ignorance I assume that mediocre band singers use a high register to project and because it is easier. Every party drunk can do falsetto turn.
     
    Like you said, it depends on what the music is trying to do. If the goal is to be heard over loud, heavy guitars, then a higher register is probably the path of least resistance. I'm not really sure whether or not it's an issue of technique or talent, but there certainly was a time when too many front men did their best Robert Plant impressions for far too long. Bowie's use of low crooning set him apart instantly.
    , @Anonym
    AFAICT, the commercially successful baritone is the exception that proves the rule. If you ever try karaoke as a non-tenor, you will either need to carefully select songs by baritones, or offend the ears of everyone in the room by ignorantly inserting the square beg of your voice into the round hole of the typical song.
  75. @Anonymous Nephew
    Can't stand the somewhat turgid Heroes, but stuff like Golden Years is great. And Kooks is an endearing and enduring love song.

    BTW, should not the invaders of Germany be known henceforth as "Colognisers" ?

    Good point. The name “Cologne” is in fact a frenchification of the Latin colonia colony, as it was a Roman colony on German land.

  76. I think the closest we’ll get to consensus is, “Yeah, he was a total degenerate in his youth, but he made some really great music.”

    What some may refer to as “degenerate” behavior, others might identify as “being different.” In his time, Bowie was one of the few successes who artistically legitimized lifestyles on the fringes of a pretty tightly wrapped mainstream society, insofar as his music made you feel as if you weren’t alone in your “weirdness.” It undermined the notion that there was something very wrong with you, and only you.

    Because his music also went beyond the fringes into somewhat mainstream popularity at times, it would tend to bring groups of kids getting together who otherwise would eschew each other, so that kids who normally wouldn’t spit on you downwind would get to know you, and at least be more tolerant of differences.

    At the “cool” parties in high school, college, and even the “jock” parties, Bowie was always in the background, lending a bit of artistic authority to “being different.”

    Whether you were gay, bi, black, asian, fat, ugly, weird, whatever. Bowie was kind of the grease in the sexual, ethnic, or class structures that would otherwise be the majority “normals” ruthlessly grinding down on the different.

    Buried in amongst the long list of successful rock entrepreneurs, Bowie was an important artist. Very few, if any musical artist of this generation will come close to matching his artistic impact.

    I think it’s safe to say that the current generation isn’t a group who contemplates much. They certainly aren’t what I’d call “self-contained.” Basically a scourge of devoted internet addicts. God help them if the internet ever collapses. They’d be like ants who can’t detect each other’s scents, wandering aimlessly about until they dropped form dehydration.

    There’s not much point in arguing Bowie’s artistic merit with many of these dumb droid terminals commonly referred to as “people in their twenties.” They eat, shit, respond to peer pressure, and sleep for a few hours.

    That is about all there is to most of them.

    As an almost baby boomer, I feel quite certain that when I die, god willing, in thirty years, it will be an excellent time to do so. I’m quite certain I won’t be crying. I’ll be laughing like a mean kid with a secret.

    In the meantime, let’s dance!

  77. Came across a video (too lazy to look it up now) a while back of Bowie covering Brian Wilson’s “God Only Knows”. Very good and somewhat (to me) unexpected.

    RIP. I enjoyed most of his music, thanks David.

    • Replies: @European-American
    "God Only Knows" cover by Bowie from album Tonight (1984)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOadV_CPT_k
  78. The latin aphorism de mortuis nil nisi bonum applies only to leftists and assorted freaks in modern America. The left feel no such compunction when defecating on the memory of conservative heroes. The Romans were a deeply superstitious people who thought it unlucky to merely say the word death aloud. In contemporary culture this phrase is used exclusively to exempt leftist wreckers from the criticism they richly deserve. Mark Antony had the right idea when he said I come to bury not praise .

  79. His album Scary Monsters provided some of the weirdest songs played on AOR radio in the US in 1981. It turned me on to far more interesting music than what was ever going to be available on commercial radio.

  80. @Steve Sailer
    I've heard similar stories from other Bowie collaborators: Bowie shows up with an acoustic guitar and plays a little folk melody and then his world class band figures out what to do with it.

    And yet many of his best songs were early works without much/any collaboration like The Man Who Sold the World.

    Ironically, his flamboyant style which helped make him so popular and successful probably hurt his reputation as a songwriter/composer.

  81. @JLoHo
    Female, 30ish:

    I have no idea who David Bowie is. I cannot name a song he sung or wrote. All I know is that there are a shitload of Caitlyn Jenner-esque photos of him hanging in weird places like my old ballet studio.

    I just checked and he was also a miscegenator.

    So?

    Should I be crying?

    Was he the creepy guy in Labrynth? I hated that movie :)

    It sounds like to me David Bowie became famous more because of his messing around with men then anything lasting.

    “I just checked and he was also a miscegenator.”

    Watch Star Trek VI and you’ll see why.

    • Agree: Richard S
  82. David Bowie was a star throughout my childhood. Hard to imagine the 80s without him. As I learned about all the songs he wrote – often secondhand through bands that covered them – I came to appreciate his talent more as an adult. He also bore an uncanny resemblance to my sister — he looked more like her than I do. He has roots in West Wales supposedly, so maybe we’re related somehow. I’d like to think so anyway.

    He was an incredibly influential guy. I’m sorry he’s gone, but he had a good run.

    • Replies: @Jloho
    He bears an uncanny resemblance to my mother which is pretty scary
  83. @JLoHo
    Female, 30ish:

    I have no idea who David Bowie is. I cannot name a song he sung or wrote. All I know is that there are a shitload of Caitlyn Jenner-esque photos of him hanging in weird places like my old ballet studio.

    I just checked and he was also a miscegenator.

    So?

    Should I be crying?

    Was he the creepy guy in Labrynth? I hated that movie :)

    It sounds like to me David Bowie became famous more because of his messing around with men then anything lasting.

    Sometimes Steve writes about things that interest him but are vaguely or completely unrelated to politics. I don’t grok the golf course thing; you don’t grok Bowie. Let it be.

  84. @Reg Cæsar

    He was great in that. Really good movie too.
     
    Though a Bowie detractor for 45 years, I'll gladly concede that he was quite the actor!

    Also, there will be a few sadder Somali-Americans today. His widow and daughters. (One a step-.)

    Don’t forget his white son married Asian….so much for that genetic lineage!

    • Replies: @snorlax
    Bowie's son with his model wife is a good argument against the notion that looks are genetic: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/af/Duncan_Jones_and_David_Bowie_at_the_premiere_of_Moon.jpg
  85. @SFG
    What you keep running into is the old rule: Don't speak ill of the dead. When someone dies, you remember them. It's like kicking people when they're down.

    (We saw the left doing it to Thatcher, and everyone else thought it was mean-spirited.)

    After enough time, of course, you become a historical figure, and then are fair game.

    As for Bowie himself: He did a lot of weird stuff. Musicians often do.

    He made a lot of music in a variety of styles for a long time, and with all the one-hit wonders, that's impressive.

    What you keep running into is the old rule: Don’t speak ill of the dead. When someone dies, you remember them. It’s like kicking people when they’re down.

    In 2007 Bowie donated money to the legal defence of black thugs in Jena, Louisiana, who repeatedly kicked a white kid in the head when he was down.

  86. @Bill P
    David Bowie was a star throughout my childhood. Hard to imagine the 80s without him. As I learned about all the songs he wrote - often secondhand through bands that covered them - I came to appreciate his talent more as an adult. He also bore an uncanny resemblance to my sister -- he looked more like her than I do. He has roots in West Wales supposedly, so maybe we're related somehow. I'd like to think so anyway.

    He was an incredibly influential guy. I'm sorry he's gone, but he had a good run.

    He bears an uncanny resemblance to my mother which is pretty scary

    • Replies: @JohnnyWalker123
    Wait....... What?
  87. @NOTA
    It's kind-of traditional for artists and musicians to have wild bohemian lives, especially in their youth. That sort of thing tends to take a toll on you, which is one reason why a lot of creative types seem to die tragically young. Also, the AIDS epidemic made the gay/bisexual part of the bohemian life a lot more risky than it was other times.

    But see that’s my point… The hedonistic lifestyle is a sign that he wasn’t that talented musically because to be good at something and create awesome things you have to …work…

  88. @Steve Sailer
    By the way, I posted this video five-plus years ago in November 2009, along with the Jesus Jones' "Right Here, Right Now" and the Sex Pistols' "Holidays in the Sun" to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Berlin Wall coming down.

    My vague memory is that this video is from a concert in Berlin in 2002, making Bowie about 55. He looks a lot like William F. Buckley in this video: healthier and happier that he did in the original video in 1977:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tgcc5V9Hu3g

    Of course, that track -- with contributions from Robert Fripp, Brian Eno, Tony Visconti, et al -- is one of the landmarks of the era and can't really be reproduced live.

    Here’s King Crimson performing Heroes back in 2000:

    Adrian Belew is no Bowie on vocals but you do get Fripp’s stellar guitarwork.

    • Replies: @Former Darfur
    Robert Fripp is a case study in his own right and maybe more fascinating than Bowie. Certainly a damn sight more eccentric.
  89. @Jloho
    Ok his sixties output was probably his true talent while the 70s output is probably drug induced or put together by the pr team

    Nothing to get your panties wet over

    Just shut up.

  90. @Jloho
    Ok his sixties output was probably his true talent while the 70s output is probably drug induced or put together by the pr team

    Nothing to get your panties wet over

    >> Ok his sixties output was probably his true talent

    He didn’t have any sixties output. The 70s was his era.

    • Replies: @Anonym
    Not sure whether it counts, but I know Bowie in 1968 did write lyrics to the French song that would later become My Way in English.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_on_Mars_(song)
    , @Brutusale
    His first album, David Bowie, came out in 1967. The second, Space Oddity, was released in the summer of 1969.
  91. @JLoHo
    Female, 30ish:

    I have no idea who David Bowie is. I cannot name a song he sung or wrote. All I know is that there are a shitload of Caitlyn Jenner-esque photos of him hanging in weird places like my old ballet studio.

    I just checked and he was also a miscegenator.

    So?

    Should I be crying?

    Was he the creepy guy in Labrynth? I hated that movie :)

    It sounds like to me David Bowie became famous more because of his messing around with men then anything lasting.

    Well, this really only shows your ignorance, the man has been around for decades, it’s not like he was Lady Gaga, or, er, JLO. Haven’t you heard about the Beatles, either?

    “Miscegenator”? Leave it to “HDB people” to make inane comments about sexuality believing they are saying something deep.

    “It sounds like to me David Bowie became famous more because of his messing around with men then anything lasting.”

    “It sounds to you” like this, just because you are dumb and ignorant. Also in that sentence it should be “than” not “then”.

    Not the biggest fan of Bowie, although I like many songs (and he was surprisingly good as an actor) but it is hard to ignore his influence in pop music and pop culture in general.

    Labyrinth was great. RIP.

  92. I am not sure the word ‘eccentric’ is an apt one to describe him. (Hope you will forgive me for replying to later-in-time iSteve content, but I think my comment belong here rather than in that post). All huge pop stars are more or less eccentric, this being an effect of the huge amounts of money they own. I guess you mean musically rather than personally, and I wonder if as such it would apply. There is a commenter here who has disparaged him as thoroughly as is possible. One might say this is insensitive, or pointless, but in fact there is a grain of truth in her sayings (which, put differently, is to say she has spoken half-truths). Art is a double-edged sword. You might see artists as corrupters or as beacons that point to the ongoing corruption. I am seldom interested in Personal Morality, so I always see them as the latter. In the case of Bowie, I have always considered him as a musical parody. Sometimes his melodic skill was so astounding that one barely noticed the perversity of his cultural statements. I point to one specific moment in his career: the album Scary Monsters. That album was almost solely composed of incredibly ugly songs (the one exception I can remember is of course ‘Ashes to Ashes’, which is just the opposite, a hugely affecting and original song, one of the best in pop history). If you examine the lyrics to those ugly songs in that album, you will find they are very close to leftwing manifestos. One of them, called ‘It’s No Game’, is particularly disturbing, because it seems to be a leftwing description of the world made by an oligophrenic man. In one of the verses he refers to ‘documentaries on refugees’, which is perhaps as close as we will ever get to a glimpse of the artist’s position on the most pressing problem of our times. This song is a hint to the position we, as common persons, should take on pop stars: view them as a mix of musical geniuses and political oligophrenics. I have no idea if ‘eccentric’ is the term used to convey that concept, but if it works for others, that’s okay with me.

  93. @Hunsdon
    A small role in a throwaway film, but I always remembered it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5aifxF4kTc

    He had a one scene role as Pontius Pilate in The Last Temptation of Christ. I thought it an excellent representation of Pilate.

  94. @Diversity Heretic
    When someone with whom you have been familiar for many years, even just from reading about them, dies, it is a reminder of your own mortality. (Even if you didn't like them.) That's partially why the death of a David Bowie generates more comments than you might think justified.

    You're in your 30's. Soon enough, you'll find out.

    I first became familiar with Bowie in the mid 70s from his big
    hits “Fame” and “Golden Years”. I was only a young child, 8 years old, yet I had total appreciation for how good his music was. Since then I have discovered most of his library. Just in the past year on Pandora I heard ” Did you ever have a dream” from his first album in 1967. It’s a wonderful song about astral projection that sounds more like a showtune than rock.

    I think the reason his death is so significant to me isn’t so much thoughts of my own mortality, I am over 20 years younger, it’s that I have been conscious of Bowie for over 80% of my life and have enjoyed his music over long stretches of it. Plus he was unique and a true musical artist in a field filled with so much cookie cutter, formula music. When a legend like this passes it seems there is no one to take his place and I speak as someone who keeps up with and isn’t closed minded about current music

  95. @Lovernios X
    Came across a video (too lazy to look it up now) a while back of Bowie covering Brian Wilson's "God Only Knows". Very good and somewhat (to me) unexpected.

    RIP. I enjoyed most of his music, thanks David.

    “God Only Knows” cover by Bowie from album Tonight (1984)

  96. @Jonathan Mason
    Bowie was surprisingly American influenced, both in his choice of name, and musically, having been given a plastic saxophone as a gift by his mother since she and he were both fans of John Coltrane, so there was already a musical/avant garde background.

    Many UK musicians of the era were more middle class than they let on. It was usually the middle class kids who went to private schools who had music education, or owned their own instruments.

    Not many people know that Mick Jaggers father Joe was a Phys. Ed, teacher and a very successful one who had written a popular textbook and had his own TV show on which young Michael made his first media appearance. So that is where the prancing around came from!

    A friend of mine played bass guitar on the recording of Bowie's first hit Space Oddity. My friend was offered a cash payment of 5 pounds or a share of royalties. As he knew the song was garbage, he took the cash. (Later he became a successful physician.)

    Rick Wakeman says he took the 5 pounds, too.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
    My acquaintance who told me that he had played bass on the recording of Space Oddity in 1969 told me about that in 1970 or 1971, so to me it is a very old story. When I knew him in Liverpool he played bass in a jazz trio.

    However, having now done a little research on Wikipedia, I suspect that this was not true. However since he is now a very distinguished person in his own field on both sides of the Atlantic, I shall not name him.
  97. Luther Vandross was a back up singer for David Bowie on “Young Americans”

  98. @Bill B.
    The dire singing of the typical rock/etc band has become more noticeable to me the further I drift from my teenage years. Of course it depends on what the music is trying to do: Mick Jagger has never been able to sing for a toffee but is still effective.

    Even David Bowie would have probably struggled with 'Mull of Kintyre'.

    In my ignorance I assume that mediocre band singers use a high register to project and because it is easier. Every party drunk can do falsetto turn.

    But doesn't low quality suit the music business? One wouldn't want to let genuine talent have that unfair advantage...

    In my ignorance I assume that mediocre band singers use a high register to project and because it is easier. Every party drunk can do falsetto turn.

    Like you said, it depends on what the music is trying to do. If the goal is to be heard over loud, heavy guitars, then a higher register is probably the path of least resistance. I’m not really sure whether or not it’s an issue of technique or talent, but there certainly was a time when too many front men did their best Robert Plant impressions for far too long. Bowie’s use of low crooning set him apart instantly.

    • Replies: @yaqub the mad scientist
    I’m not really sure whether or not it’s an issue of technique or talent, but there certainly was a time when too many front men did their best Robert Plant impressions for far too long.

    Plant couldn't really do Plant after 1972, when he lost half a register off the top. His need to shift to deep crooning was subtle at first, but it really had an effect on Zeppelin's later records. On the other hand, I suspect he would have focused on a less teen voice anyway as he got older, especially with his Elvis fixation.
  99. I’m honestly a bit taken aback by the negative/apathetic response from some in the altright community over this, and I say that as someone just shy of 26. Yes, he was a bisexual (seemingly more for shock/rare occasions/English tradition than anything else,) reproduced with an African, and had occasional leftist statements/work, but he was also surprisingly right wing for a rock star, particularly for one in the ’60s-’80s. He was always an open Nietzschean, a Mishima fan, expressed belief in God (particularly in Station to Station,) wrote the fantastic anti-communist anthem Heroes, and was decidedly and proudly British. He might have walked back from his praise of fascism, and I’m sure saying it in public was motivated by cocaine abuse, but it still contributes more checks to the “right wing” category. You probably could even argue that he was able to get away with these conservative signals because he started off as an androgynous, pansexual freak (his consistent talent also helped a lot.)

  100. @nglaer
    Bowie a better Warhol likeness than the person playing the recently deceased Rene Ricard, (in the civil war cap) whom I knew slightly (friend of a friend) in real life. My favorite of Rene's lines, after he gave a talk at Yale in the late 70's: "They have no idea how fortunate they are to sleep with 20 year olds all the time." (Rene then about 35, I was about 25). I still think of it all the time.

    He was eccentric as hell, but he was one of the great pop music innovators, never mind what you think about transvestitism, homosexuality , or miscegenation. Everyone who was anyone intersected with him in the 1970s, 1980s or 1990s or they can directly trace something major to him.

  101. @Gunnar von Cowtown

    In my ignorance I assume that mediocre band singers use a high register to project and because it is easier. Every party drunk can do falsetto turn.
     
    Like you said, it depends on what the music is trying to do. If the goal is to be heard over loud, heavy guitars, then a higher register is probably the path of least resistance. I'm not really sure whether or not it's an issue of technique or talent, but there certainly was a time when too many front men did their best Robert Plant impressions for far too long. Bowie's use of low crooning set him apart instantly.

    I’m not really sure whether or not it’s an issue of technique or talent, but there certainly was a time when too many front men did their best Robert Plant impressions for far too long.

    Plant couldn’t really do Plant after 1972, when he lost half a register off the top. His need to shift to deep crooning was subtle at first, but it really had an effect on Zeppelin’s later records. On the other hand, I suspect he would have focused on a less teen voice anyway as he got older, especially with his Elvis fixation.

  102. Bowie… ehh. Highly over rated. Basically, he was a good singles artist who put out mostly mediocre albums with one or two standouts. In this he was much like Elton John, ELO, The Doors and Paul McCartney after The Beatles.

  103. @Steve Sailer
    I've heard similar stories from other Bowie collaborators: Bowie shows up with an acoustic guitar and plays a little folk melody and then his world class band figures out what to do with it.

    Rick Wakeman (remember him?) was on the radio today recounting how DB asked him to come over and help him work up some some songs musically. “He pulled out (sic) this battered old acoustic guitar and started chunking out some chords”. Wakeman was enthralled and slightly disconcerted by Bowie’s didn’t-see-that-one-coming key changes and chord substitutions, particularly with Life on Mars. Admitted to feeling slightly musically pwned by the Thin White Duke. “A piano-player’s dream, must run though it again” was his verdict for that one. And did.

    “The Laughing Gnome” has only been referred to once today in my hearing. Fake it till you make it. Like a chom, it voiks.

  104. @grey enlightenment2
    Apparently fought a private battle with cancer for the past 18 months, which is why his death came as such a surprise.

    also nearly died of a heart attack

    Since having surgery in 2004 after collapsing backstage at a gig due to a clogged artery, Bowie has stayed largely out of the spotlight and hasn't performed live since 2006.

    Interesting considering he doesn't meet the risk factor of being overweight, in fact they call him the 'thin white duke'. It's just more evidence artery disease is more genetic than lifestyle based. You can be thin, eat healthy, and still drop dead at a relatively young age from a heart attack.

    Smoking is a big risk factor for heart disease. David Bowie was a long-time smoker.

    Also one can eat quantities of food that are bad for you sufficient to maintain a healthy body weight. If his diet consisted of a lot of saturated fat, especially animal body fat, and/or trans fats, that would not have been healthy.

    • Replies: @dirk dagger
    He lived to be 69, that's a good run.
    , @donut
    Certainly smoking , poor diet and no exercise are risk factors for heart disease but in my own humble opinion the biggest risk factors are family history and stress .
  105. Ran out of mod time mid-blather, so preceding comment may be screwed. Should have said it was DB who asked Rick if it was ok to come over to Rick’s (pianos, never mind multi-keyboard Moogs, being what they are).
    A very humble working man, who took his job extremely seriously, according to Tom Conti, and many others. “A very kind man” (Jagger, and others who knew him very very well, like Iggy). “Very shy, even on stage”, according to Ziggy himself.

  106. David Bowie did a good job as Nikolas Tesla in the under appreciated(IMO) movie The Prestige

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    That was a decent movie.
    , @Kylie
    The Prestige is not underappreciated by me. I don't know how many times I've seen it. I quit counting after a dozen.

    It's a brilliant study of the destructive and dehumanizing effects of obsession. Absolutely dazzling. One of the very few films I find genuinely thrilling.

    "Simple, maybe, but not easy."
  107. @Lugash
    David Bowie did a good job as Nikolas Tesla in the under appreciated(IMO) movie The Prestige

    That was a decent movie.

  108. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @JEC
    Just checking in from Mars. I've heard of Mr Bowie and seen his strange picture in the papers, but I've never seen him perform or listened to any of his songs - not one, ever.

    Have I missed something of great 'cultural significance'?

    Have I missed something of great ‘cultural significance’?

    Yes. Pop music was a central part of the cultural milieu in 1960s-1980s (much, much more than it is today) and Bowie was a very significant figure in pop music – through his own creations as well as being an influence/inspiration to scores of other important figures.

  109. So comfortable in his own skin that he could change it at the drop of a hat without missing a beat.

    A man of noble mien, from a time when Britain effortlessly produced them.

    • Agree: PiltdownMan
  110. @grey enlightenment2
    Apparently fought a private battle with cancer for the past 18 months, which is why his death came as such a surprise.

    also nearly died of a heart attack

    Since having surgery in 2004 after collapsing backstage at a gig due to a clogged artery, Bowie has stayed largely out of the spotlight and hasn't performed live since 2006.

    Interesting considering he doesn't meet the risk factor of being overweight, in fact they call him the 'thin white duke'. It's just more evidence artery disease is more genetic than lifestyle based. You can be thin, eat healthy, and still drop dead at a relatively young age from a heart attack.

    Interesting considering he doesn’t meet the risk factor of being overweight, in fact they call him the ‘thin white duke’.

    Cocaine is bad for the heart.

  111. @Anonymous
    As George Eliot wrote, in The Mill on the Floss, "Certain strains of music affect me so strangely that I can never hear them without changing my whole attitude of mind for a time, and if the effect would last, I might be capable of heroism." David Bowie's music had this effect on many of us.

    Well said.

    if the effect would last, I might be capable of heroism

    What a line!

    Perfect for the original post.

  112. @Gunnar von Cowtown

    He had an interesting voice....
     
    Other than Jim Morrison, Bowie was the only baritone (I can think of) in rock/pop until New Wave hit big in the early 80's. It's like he told an entire generation of deep-voiced kids, "It's OK. You don't have to be able hit notes only banshees can hear to sing lead in a rock band."

    Other than Jim Morrison, Bowie was the only baritone (I can think of) in rock/pop

    In his own twisted way, he managed to retain, and even deepen, his manliness against the wave of effeminacy in men.

    He was the picture of “amused mastery.”

    • Replies: @Gunnar von Cowtown
    Good point. I read a few comparisons to ""Caitlyn"" Jenner yesterday, but I didn't think they were fair. Bowie became more masculine as he aged.
  113. He may have said otherwise, but the lyrics in ‘Quicksand’ do seem to refer a temptation with Nazism.

    What else could the line ‘where others see a target, divine symmetry’ mean if not a Swastika?

    • Replies: @anon
    He talked about visions of swastikas in his head in the song "China Girl".

    He also once made the comment that what Britain needed was a Fascist leaded, and hinted that he might be the guy. But I'm pretty sure that that was his heavy drug use period.

    "Ashes To Ashes" is still a uniquely chilling song, and probably my favorite from him, if anyone's curious.
  114. @Bill B.
    The dire singing of the typical rock/etc band has become more noticeable to me the further I drift from my teenage years. Of course it depends on what the music is trying to do: Mick Jagger has never been able to sing for a toffee but is still effective.

    Even David Bowie would have probably struggled with 'Mull of Kintyre'.

    In my ignorance I assume that mediocre band singers use a high register to project and because it is easier. Every party drunk can do falsetto turn.

    But doesn't low quality suit the music business? One wouldn't want to let genuine talent have that unfair advantage...

    AFAICT, the commercially successful baritone is the exception that proves the rule. If you ever try karaoke as a non-tenor, you will either need to carefully select songs by baritones, or offend the ears of everyone in the room by ignorantly inserting the square beg of your voice into the round hole of the typical song.

    • Replies: @Gunnar von Cowtown

    If you ever try karaoke as a non-tenor...
     
    True. After the mandatory three drink minimum, your best options are either Dean Martin or Duran Duran.
  115. @Steve Sailer
    "I see his alter-ego as a high-functioning alcoholic clipper captain in the 19th Century."

    I think Bowie might have appreciated that.

    Once he reached full manhood, there were few men who needed a drink less than
    David Bowie.

  116. Dang, that dude sure had the number one prerequisite for rock stardom: a full head of hair.

  117. @Daniel H
    >> Ok his sixties output was probably his true talent

    He didn't have any sixties output. The 70s was his era.

    Not sure whether it counts, but I know Bowie in 1968 did write lyrics to the French song that would later become My Way in English.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_on_Mars_(song)

  118. @Reg Cæsar
    (Please excuse a repeat of my comment on the other post, but it belongs here as well.)

    How English was Bowie? He was born a Jones, often as not a Welsh name. His adopted name is Celtic, too, as is his son “Zowie”‘s, who is Duncan Jones.

    Davies, too, is a name both Welsh and West English.

    Anglo-Welsh are pretty mixed now especially in the big cities with a few regional exceptions: North Wales mountains (more old welsh), swampy bits of east coast England (more old english) and the upper class (less welsh, more norman).

  119. @Daniel H
    >> Ok his sixties output was probably his true talent

    He didn't have any sixties output. The 70s was his era.

    His first album, David Bowie, came out in 1967. The second, Space Oddity, was released in the summer of 1969.

  120. @JLoHo
    So basically he was a fraud picked for stardom because of his Running Bisexuality joke?

    No surprise there.

    At least he wasn't a true believer! (based upon certain other comments)

    Take it easy there, young lady. By the tone of your posts, it sounds like you’ve been reading too many by Corvinus.

  121. @JLoHo
    Did he help the culture or help the culture die?

    My impression is that Bowie was always a face for the 'New' culture we are dealing with now.

    I'm not crying guys.

    Would he have become famous if he didn't have the whole male/female persona?

    Or did he need to have the male/female persona to get his talent past the Gatekeepers (this I understand)?

    Or was he talented-enough and just strange so the GateKeepers held him up as genius while other people did the real work?

    There are very few real legends in the world....most are just manufactured...and the true geniuses languish in obscurity.

    It's like Cate Blanchett...she's a great actor...but you never want to watch one of her movies twice...cuz at the end of the day...they just aren't good enough.

    : Are you a troll?

    According to Wikipedia, David Bowie successful music career spanned six decades; he had five Platinum and seven Gold selling albums in the US; two US Billboard Number 1 hit singles and six Top Tens. Bowie was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.

  122. A true “English” eccentric whose early stage personas were toned-down versions of a Jewish kid from Brooklyn and a particular piece of trailer trash from Michigan, and whose most successful albums were R & B.

    What a lot of people forget is that Bowie was the driving force and producer of said trailer trash’s seminal album, Raw Power, the record that, more than any other, gave birth to punk. They also put on a great show together at Harvard Square Theater when they toured together in 1977.

    • Replies: @yaqub the mad scientist
    Listening to Raw Power when I was 14 messed me up for life.
    , @Former Darfur
    Referring to James Jewell Osterberg as "trailer trash" is a little disingenuous. He was in fact raised in a trailer (mobile home), but his parents were quite functional people.
  123. @black sea
    Way back when, a great many people thought Bob Dylan had covered Hendrick's "All Along the Watchtower."

    To be fair, Dylan himself has said that Hendrix had the superior arrangement.

    • Replies: @David on a cell phone
    Not only that, Dylan started to sing, "There must be some kind of way out of here" vs "some way out of here" after Hendrix covered the song.
  124. I never really got the Bowie thing. Truth is, my first introduction to Bowie made me recoil with shock and disgust. Backstory: I was a big Who fan in my teens. I thought that Townshend and Co. were the first and last on manly, artistic, literate musical expression. And they could rock like no other. Well, one night circa 1975/76, after a useless night out drinking beer with my buddies I came home, flipped on the TV and tuned to Ron Delsner’s Midnight Special and beheld this:

    I didn’t know what to make of this pansy freak, traducing one of the anthems of my heroes. I was convinced that Bowie had to be some kind of truly deviant homosexual, the kind that none of us had ever seen or would see in my prole New York suburb. In fact, in 99.9% of NYC at the time presenting oneself as such would have gotten one’s ass kicked on sight. Disgusting. Of course I have learned through the years that this was just one of Bowie’s acts, and I am now convinced that Bowie is not gay or bisexual, never was gay or bisexual and has never committed an act of sodomy with another man, ever. But I could never shake this image of Bowie. I was wondering if my mind was making it all up, but I found the performance on Youtube. Anyway, in sum, Bowies seems to have been a decent dude.

    • Replies: @BB753
    Well it turns out Townsend your hero was a homosexual for real, unlike Bowie.
    , @yaqub the mad scientist
    I thought that Townshend and Co. were the first and last on manly, artistic, literate musical expression.

    Not always.
  125. @JEC
    Just checking in from Mars. I've heard of Mr Bowie and seen his strange picture in the papers, but I've never seen him perform or listened to any of his songs - not one, ever.

    Have I missed something of great 'cultural significance'?

    Ironically, Mars was referenced by Bowie in his songs.

  126. I generally have no opinion on celebrities, as the lies told about them are exponentially greater than the lies told about the fortunately obscure people like me. Sometimes I try to figure things out, without getting carried away – for example, Sinatra’s kids liked him, so the negative comments were probably exaggerated: Reagan’s kids didn’t, but Reagan was a friend of a friend of a friend who thinks he was kind at heart, so I mistrust the negative comments. Bowie had a hard life – funny looking skinny kids often do – and while he could have been a real man, with a sexy wife in his twenties and a big happy family thereafter, he was, as Steve said, enticed by the glamour of eccentricity. Understandably, I guess. I find it hard to like him as he was full of insults for moral people who follow the Gospel (and he said very unkind things about good Christians, in prominent places like the New York Times, and did not have the minimal love in his wealthy heart to say one word against abortion and fornication-derived divorce) , and I really like music and I recognize his lack of talent, and pity him for it. It is, basically, not fun to be almost good at something, and to spend your life at it. I like music too, and lack the talent to get paid for it, so I would have enjoyed his company as a fellow failed musician. That being said, who knows but that there were moments in his life – towards the beginning and the end – where he repented of his sins and recognized why we were put on earth. I would be happy, and I would not be surprised, if some future biographer tells us he was much kinder than he seemed.

    • Replies: @BB753
    In this video he looks kind enough mentioning his six year old boy and then singing a Christmas carrol with Bing Crosby.

    http://youtu.be/n9kfdEyV3RQ
  127. This guy a fruiter?

  128. @Daniel H
    I never really got the Bowie thing. Truth is, my first introduction to Bowie made me recoil with shock and disgust. Backstory: I was a big Who fan in my teens. I thought that Townshend and Co. were the first and last on manly, artistic, literate musical expression. And they could rock like no other. Well, one night circa 1975/76, after a useless night out drinking beer with my buddies I came home, flipped on the TV and tuned to Ron Delsner's Midnight Special and beheld this:

    https://youtu.be/BMQOlVU-yQU

    I didn't know what to make of this pansy freak, traducing one of the anthems of my heroes. I was convinced that Bowie had to be some kind of truly deviant homosexual, the kind that none of us had ever seen or would see in my prole New York suburb. In fact, in 99.9% of NYC at the time presenting oneself as such would have gotten one's ass kicked on sight. Disgusting. Of course I have learned through the years that this was just one of Bowie's acts, and I am now convinced that Bowie is not gay or bisexual, never was gay or bisexual and has never committed an act of sodomy with another man, ever. But I could never shake this image of Bowie. I was wondering if my mind was making it all up, but I found the performance on Youtube. Anyway, in sum, Bowies seems to have been a decent dude.

    Well it turns out Townsend your hero was a homosexual for real, unlike Bowie.

  129. @Jloho
    Don't forget his white son married Asian....so much for that genetic lineage!

    Bowie’s son with his model wife is a good argument against the notion that looks are genetic:

    • Replies: @MEH 0910
    Duncan Jones is the son of David Bowie's 1st wife, Angela Barnett, not his 2nd wife, the fashion model Iman.
  130. @Brutusale
    A true "English" eccentric whose early stage personas were toned-down versions of a Jewish kid from Brooklyn and a particular piece of trailer trash from Michigan, and whose most successful albums were R & B.

    What a lot of people forget is that Bowie was the driving force and producer of said trailer trash's seminal album, Raw Power, the record that, more than any other, gave birth to punk. They also put on a great show together at Harvard Square Theater when they toured together in 1977.

    Listening to Raw Power when I was 14 messed me up for life.

    • Replies: @Clyde
    http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2016/01/muskegon_native_iggy_pop_on_la.html
    Iggy Stooge is still in fine fettle.
  131. @middle aged vet
    I generally have no opinion on celebrities, as the lies told about them are exponentially greater than the lies told about the fortunately obscure people like me. Sometimes I try to figure things out, without getting carried away - for example, Sinatra's kids liked him, so the negative comments were probably exaggerated: Reagan's kids didn't, but Reagan was a friend of a friend of a friend who thinks he was kind at heart, so I mistrust the negative comments. Bowie had a hard life - funny looking skinny kids often do - and while he could have been a real man, with a sexy wife in his twenties and a big happy family thereafter, he was, as Steve said, enticed by the glamour of eccentricity. Understandably, I guess. I find it hard to like him as he was full of insults for moral people who follow the Gospel (and he said very unkind things about good Christians, in prominent places like the New York Times, and did not have the minimal love in his wealthy heart to say one word against abortion and fornication-derived divorce) , and I really like music and I recognize his lack of talent, and pity him for it. It is, basically, not fun to be almost good at something, and to spend your life at it. I like music too, and lack the talent to get paid for it, so I would have enjoyed his company as a fellow failed musician. That being said, who knows but that there were moments in his life - towards the beginning and the end - where he repented of his sins and recognized why we were put on earth. I would be happy, and I would not be surprised, if some future biographer tells us he was much kinder than he seemed.

    In this video he looks kind enough mentioning his six year old boy and then singing a Christmas carrol with Bing Crosby.

    http://youtu.be/n9kfdEyV3RQ

    • Replies: @middle aged vet
    BB753 - As celebrities go, he seems to have been one of the kinder ones. Four Bowie-like English eccentric examples - Churchill was nasty and rude to his valet and excused himself, saying but "I am a great man"; Larkin was nice to his secretary but refused to marry any woman who was not much much prettier as a woman than he was handsome as a man; Betjeman was not nice to his secretary; Dickens was inexcusably and selfishly rude to his wife after she put on a little weight after faithfully having 10 of HIS babies. All four of them would have been intolerable sons-in-law. As "rock musicians" go, Bowie seems to have been one of the best. Would not want him as a son-in-law, though, probably. And I have fairly low standards.
  132. @Daniel H
    I never really got the Bowie thing. Truth is, my first introduction to Bowie made me recoil with shock and disgust. Backstory: I was a big Who fan in my teens. I thought that Townshend and Co. were the first and last on manly, artistic, literate musical expression. And they could rock like no other. Well, one night circa 1975/76, after a useless night out drinking beer with my buddies I came home, flipped on the TV and tuned to Ron Delsner's Midnight Special and beheld this:

    https://youtu.be/BMQOlVU-yQU

    I didn't know what to make of this pansy freak, traducing one of the anthems of my heroes. I was convinced that Bowie had to be some kind of truly deviant homosexual, the kind that none of us had ever seen or would see in my prole New York suburb. In fact, in 99.9% of NYC at the time presenting oneself as such would have gotten one's ass kicked on sight. Disgusting. Of course I have learned through the years that this was just one of Bowie's acts, and I am now convinced that Bowie is not gay or bisexual, never was gay or bisexual and has never committed an act of sodomy with another man, ever. But I could never shake this image of Bowie. I was wondering if my mind was making it all up, but I found the performance on Youtube. Anyway, in sum, Bowies seems to have been a decent dude.

    I thought that Townshend and Co. were the first and last on manly, artistic, literate musical expression.

    Not always.

  133. @ScarletNumber
    To be fair, Dylan himself has said that Hendrix had the superior arrangement.

    Not only that, Dylan started to sing, “There must be some kind of way out of here” vs “some way out of here” after Hendrix covered the song.

  134. I was never a fan of Bowie. Some of his music was okay, but he seemed to be more interested in being a media phenomenon than in being a musician. Actually I liked Zoe Poledouris’ cover of “I have not been to Oxford town” (which she made for the movie “Starship Troopers”) than the Bowie original.

  135. @BB753
    In this video he looks kind enough mentioning his six year old boy and then singing a Christmas carrol with Bing Crosby.

    http://youtu.be/n9kfdEyV3RQ

    BB753 – As celebrities go, he seems to have been one of the kinder ones. Four Bowie-like English eccentric examples – Churchill was nasty and rude to his valet and excused himself, saying but “I am a great man”; Larkin was nice to his secretary but refused to marry any woman who was not much much prettier as a woman than he was handsome as a man; Betjeman was not nice to his secretary; Dickens was inexcusably and selfishly rude to his wife after she put on a little weight after faithfully having 10 of HIS babies. All four of them would have been intolerable sons-in-law. As “rock musicians” go, Bowie seems to have been one of the best. Would not want him as a son-in-law, though, probably. And I have fairly low standards.

  136. @BB753
    I'm surprised nobody's mentioned his best acting performance, in Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence. www.imdb.com/title/tt0085933/

    “I’m surprised nobody’s mentioned his best acting performance, in Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence……..”

    Or in what has to the all-time greatest lesbian vampire movie: “The Hunger”

  137. Former rock musician/composer from L.A. here. I was the first in my neighborhood to buy a Bowie album, Ziggy Stardust. Saw him at the Long Beach Arena in ’73. He whored himself out with the aggressively decadent schtick. But that put himself in a position to make some really good music, and millions. He did have a devastating effect on youth culture in the West for awhile. Was it worth it? I guess he’s finding out right now.

  138. @snorlax
    Bowie's son with his model wife is a good argument against the notion that looks are genetic: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/af/Duncan_Jones_and_David_Bowie_at_the_premiere_of_Moon.jpg

    Duncan Jones is the son of David Bowie’s 1st wife, Angela Barnett, not his 2nd wife, the fashion model Iman.

    • Replies: @MEH 0910
    Okay, yeah, Angela Barnett was a model too.
  139. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @al gore rhythms
    He may have said otherwise, but the lyrics in 'Quicksand' do seem to refer a temptation with Nazism.

    What else could the line 'where others see a target, divine symmetry' mean if not a Swastika?

    He talked about visions of swastikas in his head in the song “China Girl”.

    He also once made the comment that what Britain needed was a Fascist leaded, and hinted that he might be the guy. But I’m pretty sure that that was his heavy drug use period.

    “Ashes To Ashes” is still a uniquely chilling song, and probably my favorite from him, if anyone’s curious.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    John Mulaney quoted it last night.
    https://twitter.com/mulaney/status/686478349028294656
  140. @Reg Cæsar
    (Please excuse a repeat of my comment on the other post, but it belongs here as well.)

    How English was Bowie? He was born a Jones, often as not a Welsh name. His adopted name is Celtic, too, as is his son “Zowie”‘s, who is Duncan Jones.

    Davies, too, is a name both Welsh and West English.

    His mom was 100 percent Irish. (Sorry) Not a big fan myself. But it was interesting to read about what a horn dog he was. Cool. Why he married Imam? Didn’t get that,’specially considering her “situation”.

  141. @Brutusale
    A true "English" eccentric whose early stage personas were toned-down versions of a Jewish kid from Brooklyn and a particular piece of trailer trash from Michigan, and whose most successful albums were R & B.

    What a lot of people forget is that Bowie was the driving force and producer of said trailer trash's seminal album, Raw Power, the record that, more than any other, gave birth to punk. They also put on a great show together at Harvard Square Theater when they toured together in 1977.

    Referring to James Jewell Osterberg as “trailer trash” is a little disingenuous. He was in fact raised in a trailer (mobile home), but his parents were quite functional people.

  142. @Jonathan Mason
    Bowie was surprisingly American influenced, both in his choice of name, and musically, having been given a plastic saxophone as a gift by his mother since she and he were both fans of John Coltrane, so there was already a musical/avant garde background.

    Many UK musicians of the era were more middle class than they let on. It was usually the middle class kids who went to private schools who had music education, or owned their own instruments.

    Not many people know that Mick Jaggers father Joe was a Phys. Ed, teacher and a very successful one who had written a popular textbook and had his own TV show on which young Michael made his first media appearance. So that is where the prancing around came from!

    A friend of mine played bass guitar on the recording of Bowie's first hit Space Oddity. My friend was offered a cash payment of 5 pounds or a share of royalties. As he knew the song was garbage, he took the cash. (Later he became a successful physician.)

    Many UK musicians of the era were more middle class than they let on.

    Especially in the London orbit, where middle class kids loved to pretend to be sharecroppers, while working class stiffs up north preferred to soften their hardscrabble lives with a gentler, more poppish sound.

    Screaming Lord Sutch and the Zombies are examples of those taken to be of a higher class than they were. The latter came from the town of St Alban’s, not the school, and Colin Blunstone said his father was a hairdresser. About their toff accents, “That’s just the way we talk in Hertfordshire.”

    Way, way up north, Eric Burdon was quite middle class, as raw as he sounded on record. His Animal bandmates Hilton Valentine and Alan Price grew up poor, Price hailing from notorious Byker. (That may explain why Price stiffed the rest of the band on royalties to “House of the Rising Sun”.) I’d read somewhere that they’d have heated political arguments before concerts, Burdon taking the socialist side, the poor guys the Tory, or at least to the right of Burdon.

    I remember being surprised a few years back to be reminded that the Animals wore matching three-piece suits onstage. It was only the Stones who dressed like trash, though Manfred Mann and the Zombies would do a beatnik look.

    • Replies: @Clyde
    Animal's “House of the Rising Sun” was an amazing work of art for some twenty three year old's from Newcastle upon Tyne to produce in 1964. The Gods were smiling that day it was recorded. Sheer genius, with opening notes that almost send a shiver down my spine. I hear it a lot because I have it on my Sansa Clip I listen to when taking a walk and the local classic rock station had it in rotation.
    Also interesting to see Jagger/Richards were all of twenty two when they started writing some great tunes for "Out of Our Heads"
  143. @MEH 0910
    Duncan Jones is the son of David Bowie's 1st wife, Angela Barnett, not his 2nd wife, the fashion model Iman.

    Okay, yeah, Angela Barnett was a model too.

  144. Last year I saw a kid about 20 from a local music school perform “Space Oddity”. I kidded him afterwards by saying he was most unconvincing. His voice was too good, and he lacked Bowie’s pretension.

    He impressed me with a quick retort: “It takes years of practice to develop that pretension!”

    • Replies: @Desiderius

    Bowie’s pretension
     
    No, I think he had naturally that to which others pretend.
  145. Did you ever notice that some people have the commenter’s version of Tourette’s Syndrome? They are compulsive, incapable of stopping, comment after comment. It’s like a twitch. And they never, ever, ever have anything interesting to say. Repellent people, usually.

    BTW, I’m always amazed that anyone thinks it’s a problem to have relationships with a person of another race–much less judge that person. Really? People do that? I’m so naïve.

    • Replies: @SFG
    As they used to say on Slashdot in its glory days, you must be new here.
    , @dirk dagger

    Did you ever notice that some people have the commenter’s version of Tourette’s Syndrome? They are compulsive, incapable of stopping, comment after comment. It’s like a twitch. And they never, ever, ever have anything interesting to say. Repellent people, usually.
     
    In my defense I'ld like to say at least I keep them short.
    , @ben tillman

    BTW, I’m always amazed that anyone thinks it’s a problem to have relationships with a person of another race–much less judge that person. Really? People do that? I’m so naïve.

     

    Poorly written.
    , @Dirk Dagger
    Hmm? Like Reg Cæsar, 3,764 comments in 2015? 5,948 lifetime? And a good number of those are puns. ¡Ay Caramba! Or SPMoore8, 1,384 comments in 2015? But at least no puns. ¡Viva Lo-sabe-todo!
  146. @Anonymous
    As George Eliot wrote, in The Mill on the Floss, "Certain strains of music affect me so strangely that I can never hear them without changing my whole attitude of mind for a time, and if the effect would last, I might be capable of heroism." David Bowie's music had this effect on many of us.

    I know of nothing better than the Appassionata and could listen to it every day. What astonishing, superhuman music! It always makes me proud, perhaps with a childish naiveté, to think that people can work such miracles! … But I can’t listen to music very often, it affects my nerves. I want to say sweet, silly things, and pat the little heads of people who, living in a filthy hell, can create such beauty. These days, one can’t pat anyone on the head nowadays, they might bite your hand off. Hence, you have to beat people’s little heads, beat mercilessly, although ideally we are against doing any violence to people. Hm — what a devillishly difficult job!

    – Vladimir Lenin

    That’s right. Beethoven almost made Lenin not want to do bad things.

  147. @education realist
    Did you ever notice that some people have the commenter's version of Tourette's Syndrome? They are compulsive, incapable of stopping, comment after comment. It's like a twitch. And they never, ever, ever have anything interesting to say. Repellent people, usually.

    BTW, I'm always amazed that anyone thinks it's a problem to have relationships with a person of another race--much less judge that person. Really? People do that? I'm so naïve.

    As they used to say on Slashdot in its glory days, you must be new here.

  148. “As they used to say on Slashdot in its glory days, you must be new here.”

    That’s a joke, right?

  149. @Reg Cæsar

    He was great in that. Really good movie too.
     
    Though a Bowie detractor for 45 years, I'll gladly concede that he was quite the actor!

    Also, there will be a few sadder Somali-Americans today. His widow and daughters. (One a step-.)

    I’m with you. I did not care for Bowie’s music and his voice made my fillings ache.

    But he was a talented actor. Low-key but charismatic. Great screen presence.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    I did not care for Bowie’s music and his voice made my fillings ache.

    But he was a talented actor.
     
    Actually, I was referring to his act as a pop star.

    Cher is another instance of a singer who was born to act. Has anybody ever put "Cher" and "Bowie" in the same sentence before?

    A British record catalogue of about 1964 listed five different David Joneses, including the future Bowie and the future Monkee. Musicians don't care (there are at least two Mick Joneses, for instance), but actors' unions are very strict about credits and demand distinguishable names.

    I wonder if his name change was an early sign of his acting ambitions.
  150. @JEC
    Just checking in from Mars. I've heard of Mr Bowie and seen his strange picture in the papers, but I've never seen him perform or listened to any of his songs - not one, ever.

    Have I missed something of great 'cultural significance'?

    Just checking in from Mars. I’ve heard of Mr Bowie and seen his strange picture in the papers, but I’ve never seen him perform or listened to any of his songs – not one, ever.

    Please ask your elders about Mr. Bowie. He left your home planet for Earth with a group of spider musicians. The black hole beings consumed him. Perhaps the tale was too shocking for your tender ears.

  151. @Lugash
    David Bowie did a good job as Nikolas Tesla in the under appreciated(IMO) movie The Prestige

    The Prestige is not underappreciated by me. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen it. I quit counting after a dozen.

    It’s a brilliant study of the destructive and dehumanizing effects of obsession. Absolutely dazzling. One of the very few films I find genuinely thrilling.

    “Simple, maybe, but not easy.”

  152. @yaqub the mad scientist
    Rick Wakeman says he took the 5 pounds, too.

    My acquaintance who told me that he had played bass on the recording of Space Oddity in 1969 told me about that in 1970 or 1971, so to me it is a very old story. When I knew him in Liverpool he played bass in a jazz trio.

    However, having now done a little research on Wikipedia, I suspect that this was not true. However since he is now a very distinguished person in his own field on both sides of the Atlantic, I shall not name him.

  153. @yaqub the mad scientist
    Listening to Raw Power when I was 14 messed me up for life.
  154. @Reg Cæsar

    Many UK musicians of the era were more middle class than they let on.
     
    Especially in the London orbit, where middle class kids loved to pretend to be sharecroppers, while working class stiffs up north preferred to soften their hardscrabble lives with a gentler, more poppish sound.

    Screaming Lord Sutch and the Zombies are examples of those taken to be of a higher class than they were. The latter came from the town of St Alban's, not the school, and Colin Blunstone said his father was a hairdresser. About their toff accents, "That's just the way we talk in Hertfordshire."

    Way, way up north, Eric Burdon was quite middle class, as raw as he sounded on record. His Animal bandmates Hilton Valentine and Alan Price grew up poor, Price hailing from notorious Byker. (That may explain why Price stiffed the rest of the band on royalties to "House of the Rising Sun".) I'd read somewhere that they'd have heated political arguments before concerts, Burdon taking the socialist side, the poor guys the Tory, or at least to the right of Burdon.

    I remember being surprised a few years back to be reminded that the Animals wore matching three-piece suits onstage. It was only the Stones who dressed like trash, though Manfred Mann and the Zombies would do a beatnik look.

    Animal’s “House of the Rising Sun” was an amazing work of art for some twenty three year old’s from Newcastle upon Tyne to produce in 1964. The Gods were smiling that day it was recorded. Sheer genius, with opening notes that almost send a shiver down my spine. I hear it a lot because I have it on my Sansa Clip I listen to when taking a walk and the local classic rock station had it in rotation.
    Also interesting to see Jagger/Richards were all of twenty two when they started writing some great tunes for “Out of Our Heads”

  155. @Jloho
    He bears an uncanny resemblance to my mother which is pretty scary

    Wait……. What?

  156. @Reg Cæsar
    Last year I saw a kid about 20 from a local music school perform "Space Oddity". I kidded him afterwards by saying he was most unconvincing. His voice was too good, and he lacked Bowie's pretension.

    He impressed me with a quick retort: "It takes years of practice to develop that pretension!"

    Bowie’s pretension

    No, I think he had naturally that to which others pretend.

  157. @Anonymous Nephew
    Can't stand the somewhat turgid Heroes, but stuff like Golden Years is great. And Kooks is an endearing and enduring love song.

    BTW, should not the invaders of Germany be known henceforth as "Colognisers" ?

    Another vote for Kooks an under-rated track off his best album (imo), the tremendous Hunky Dory.

  158. …was an amazing work of art for some twenty three year old’s… to produce in 1964.

    Surely that is what is remarkable, looking back from the vantage point of 2016, about all of the enduring music from the Sixties? That it was created by artists mostly in their early 20s, and that it showed an unusual depth of taste and sophistication inconsistent with their lack of years?

    And indeed, that those same artists, with the exception of Bowie and a few others, never reached those heights of artistic insight subsequently, as they matured?

  159. @Jonathan Mason
    Bowie was surprisingly American influenced, both in his choice of name, and musically, having been given a plastic saxophone as a gift by his mother since she and he were both fans of John Coltrane, so there was already a musical/avant garde background.

    Many UK musicians of the era were more middle class than they let on. It was usually the middle class kids who went to private schools who had music education, or owned their own instruments.

    Not many people know that Mick Jaggers father Joe was a Phys. Ed, teacher and a very successful one who had written a popular textbook and had his own TV show on which young Michael made his first media appearance. So that is where the prancing around came from!

    A friend of mine played bass guitar on the recording of Bowie's first hit Space Oddity. My friend was offered a cash payment of 5 pounds or a share of royalties. As he knew the song was garbage, he took the cash. (Later he became a successful physician.)

    Funny story especially because doctors are notorious for making bad financial decisions.

  160. To his credit, he was prescient with regard to panicking in Detroit.

  161. @Anonym
    Smoking is a big risk factor for heart disease. David Bowie was a long-time smoker.

    Also one can eat quantities of food that are bad for you sufficient to maintain a healthy body weight. If his diet consisted of a lot of saturated fat, especially animal body fat, and/or trans fats, that would not have been healthy.

    He lived to be 69, that’s a good run.

  162. @anon
    He talked about visions of swastikas in his head in the song "China Girl".

    He also once made the comment that what Britain needed was a Fascist leaded, and hinted that he might be the guy. But I'm pretty sure that that was his heavy drug use period.

    "Ashes To Ashes" is still a uniquely chilling song, and probably my favorite from him, if anyone's curious.

    John Mulaney quoted it last night.

  163. @education realist
    Did you ever notice that some people have the commenter's version of Tourette's Syndrome? They are compulsive, incapable of stopping, comment after comment. It's like a twitch. And they never, ever, ever have anything interesting to say. Repellent people, usually.

    BTW, I'm always amazed that anyone thinks it's a problem to have relationships with a person of another race--much less judge that person. Really? People do that? I'm so naïve.

    Did you ever notice that some people have the commenter’s version of Tourette’s Syndrome? They are compulsive, incapable of stopping, comment after comment. It’s like a twitch. And they never, ever, ever have anything interesting to say. Repellent people, usually.

    In my defense I’ld like to say at least I keep them short.

  164. Ashes to Ashes
    Ziggy Stardust
    Rebel Rebel
    Changes
    Space Oddity
    Moonage Daydream

  165. @education realist
    Did you ever notice that some people have the commenter's version of Tourette's Syndrome? They are compulsive, incapable of stopping, comment after comment. It's like a twitch. And they never, ever, ever have anything interesting to say. Repellent people, usually.

    BTW, I'm always amazed that anyone thinks it's a problem to have relationships with a person of another race--much less judge that person. Really? People do that? I'm so naïve.

    BTW, I’m always amazed that anyone thinks it’s a problem to have relationships with a person of another race–much less judge that person. Really? People do that? I’m so naïve.

    Poorly written.

  166. Dirk Dagger [AKA "Chico Caldera"] says:
    @education realist
    Did you ever notice that some people have the commenter's version of Tourette's Syndrome? They are compulsive, incapable of stopping, comment after comment. It's like a twitch. And they never, ever, ever have anything interesting to say. Repellent people, usually.

    BTW, I'm always amazed that anyone thinks it's a problem to have relationships with a person of another race--much less judge that person. Really? People do that? I'm so naïve.

    Hmm? Like Reg Cæsar, 3,764 comments in 2015? 5,948 lifetime? And a good number of those are puns. ¡Ay Caramba! Or SPMoore8, 1,384 comments in 2015? But at least no puns. ¡Viva Lo-sabe-todo!

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    Even I'm not as obsessed with me as you apparently are.

    I gotta work fast, sharing one device with my family, and snagging a few minutes at work here and there.

    But Priss Factory… he can put more words into a single comment than I do in a week of drive-by ad libs. Most of which try to make a point.
  167. David Bowie must have been a real gentleman (aka gentle man), based on the comments I have been reading from those who knew him best. Unfortunately for the numerous race-obsessed haters here he was a SJW and the love of his life was a woman from sub-saharan Africa:

    http://us.hellomagazine.com/celebrities/2016011129165/david-bowie-tribute-hello-exclusive/

    Not being a hard core music aficionado I can name only two songs that I associate with him: Let’s Dance and Ground Control To Major Tom.

    • Replies: @V Vega

    Bliss Said:

    Not being a hard core music aficionado I can name only two songs that I associate with him: Let’s Dance and Ground Control To Major Tom.
     
    You don't have to be a hard core music aficionado to know that "Ground Control to Major Tom" isn't the name of the song, you inbred bumpkin. This is the sad outcome when you travel in space without a helmet.
  168. “Civilisation can survive dictatorship, but it cannot survive rock music.” – Theodore Dalrymple

  169. @Desiderius

    Other than Jim Morrison, Bowie was the only baritone (I can think of) in rock/pop
     
    In his own twisted way, he managed to retain, and even deepen, his manliness against the wave of effeminacy in men.

    He was the picture of "amused mastery."

    Good point. I read a few comparisons to “”Caitlyn”” Jenner yesterday, but I didn’t think they were fair. Bowie became more masculine as he aged.

    • Replies: @Formerly CARealist
    But he never got his teeth straightened. that was the one thing I remember about him from the 80's.

    Guys! Pay the money, go to the orthodontist!

    And don't get into fights where your teeth get knocked out. There was a fight in my youth between two young male workers at a restaurant. One guy spit out a tooth after a vicious hit and it was over. Everybody just rolled their eyes at these two idiots.
  170. @Anonym
    AFAICT, the commercially successful baritone is the exception that proves the rule. If you ever try karaoke as a non-tenor, you will either need to carefully select songs by baritones, or offend the ears of everyone in the room by ignorantly inserting the square beg of your voice into the round hole of the typical song.

    If you ever try karaoke as a non-tenor…

    True. After the mandatory three drink minimum, your best options are either Dean Martin or Duran Duran.

  171. If you’ve been on social media, surely you’ve noticed (Sailerian noticed) the vast number of people who never mentioned or acknowledged Bowie suddenly sharing their profound regrets about his untimely passing, and revealing a henceforth never before seen admiration for his works.

    TL;DR: Most people are sheep. The Narrative tells them to mourn Bowie as a deceased legend, and that’s exactly what they do.

    • Replies: @Anonym
    I suspect many of these (women) who are only familiar with a Bowie best of, if at all, are Labrynth fans.
  172. @Gunnar von Cowtown
    Good point. I read a few comparisons to ""Caitlyn"" Jenner yesterday, but I didn't think they were fair. Bowie became more masculine as he aged.

    But he never got his teeth straightened. that was the one thing I remember about him from the 80’s.

    Guys! Pay the money, go to the orthodontist!

    And don’t get into fights where your teeth get knocked out. There was a fight in my youth between two young male workers at a restaurant. One guy spit out a tooth after a vicious hit and it was over. Everybody just rolled their eyes at these two idiots.

  173. @Dirk Dagger
    Hmm? Like Reg Cæsar, 3,764 comments in 2015? 5,948 lifetime? And a good number of those are puns. ¡Ay Caramba! Or SPMoore8, 1,384 comments in 2015? But at least no puns. ¡Viva Lo-sabe-todo!

    Even I’m not as obsessed with me as you apparently are.

    I gotta work fast, sharing one device with my family, and snagging a few minutes at work here and there.

    But Priss Factory… he can put more words into a single comment than I do in a week of drive-by ad libs. Most of which try to make a point.

  174. @JLoHo
    Female, 30ish:

    I have no idea who David Bowie is. I cannot name a song he sung or wrote. All I know is that there are a shitload of Caitlyn Jenner-esque photos of him hanging in weird places like my old ballet studio.

    I just checked and he was also a miscegenator.

    So?

    Should I be crying?

    Was he the creepy guy in Labrynth? I hated that movie :)

    It sounds like to me David Bowie became famous more because of his messing around with men then anything lasting.

    Was this written by a man acting like he was a woman?

  175. @Kylie
    I'm with you. I did not care for Bowie's music and his voice made my fillings ache.

    But he was a talented actor. Low-key but charismatic. Great screen presence.

    I did not care for Bowie’s music and his voice made my fillings ache.

    But he was a talented actor.

    Actually, I was referring to his act as a pop star.

    Cher is another instance of a singer who was born to act. Has anybody ever put “Cher” and “Bowie” in the same sentence before?

    A British record catalogue of about 1964 listed five different David Joneses, including the future Bowie and the future Monkee. Musicians don’t care (there are at least two Mick Joneses, for instance), but actors’ unions are very strict about credits and demand distinguishable names.

    I wonder if his name change was an early sign of his acting ambitions.

    • Replies: @V Vega

    Cher is another instance of a singer who was born to act. Has anybody ever put “Cher” and “Bowie” in the same sentence before?
     
    I'll do it.

    I'm not afraid

    Ladies and Gentlemen, Bowie and Cher:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPlN8RBP-Ws
    , @5371
    I prefer homonym Joneses who are easier to tell apart, like the Johns Pauls.
    , @Kylie
    Cher is an excellent actress. Great screen presence, very appealing.

    Dwight Yoakum is another musician who's a very fine actor. I'm not the only woman who hated him for years after watching him play the abusive boyfriend in Slingblade.
  176. David Bowie’s genius as a singer/songwriter and performer outshone his contemporaries as the sun eclipses the moon. The Beatles were mediocre on their own , even the charismatic Jagger needs the Rolling Stones as stage props. Bowie did it alone and ventured into creative realms other musicians could not even conjure up in their wildest drug trips. A pioneer of glam rock using his alter ego Ziggy Stardust, he set about devising a series of exotic characters that not only ensured that his audience would never succumb to boredom but that he would leave a lasting imprint on the ever-evolving music scene. Thank you David for showing the world another dimension. You are now truly a starman in the sky and will forever blow our minds. RIP.

    • Replies: @Former Darfur
    What made the Rolling Stones unique was not as much Mick as it was the rhythm engine of Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman. In fact, when Brian Jones was alive, it was he that was considered the leader of the band, not Jagger.
    , @Reg Cæsar
    I won't speak ill of the recently departed, but will note that no other "artist" had more annoyingly pretentious fans. And in the world of quasireligious rock hype, that's saying something.
  177. @Bliss
    David Bowie must have been a real gentleman (aka gentle man), based on the comments I have been reading from those who knew him best. Unfortunately for the numerous race-obsessed haters here he was a SJW and the love of his life was a woman from sub-saharan Africa:

    http://us.hellomagazine.com/celebrities/2016011129165/david-bowie-tribute-hello-exclusive/

    Not being a hard core music aficionado I can name only two songs that I associate with him: Let's Dance and Ground Control To Major Tom.

    Bliss Said:

    Not being a hard core music aficionado I can name only two songs that I associate with him: Let’s Dance and Ground Control To Major Tom.

    You don’t have to be a hard core music aficionado to know that “Ground Control to Major Tom” isn’t the name of the song, you inbred bumpkin. This is the sad outcome when you travel in space without a helmet.

    • Replies: @Bliss
    What's sad is that your very first post at Unz.com is so juvenile. You were actually inspired to sign up here so you could make such a pathetic diss? Get a frickin life stupid, sleazy Sue...

    Getting the name of a song wrong does not make one a bumpkin you imbecile. Besides, if you were actually anal about it you would have given the correct name of that song.
  178. @Reg Cæsar

    I did not care for Bowie’s music and his voice made my fillings ache.

    But he was a talented actor.
     
    Actually, I was referring to his act as a pop star.

    Cher is another instance of a singer who was born to act. Has anybody ever put "Cher" and "Bowie" in the same sentence before?

    A British record catalogue of about 1964 listed five different David Joneses, including the future Bowie and the future Monkee. Musicians don't care (there are at least two Mick Joneses, for instance), but actors' unions are very strict about credits and demand distinguishable names.

    I wonder if his name change was an early sign of his acting ambitions.

    Cher is another instance of a singer who was born to act. Has anybody ever put “Cher” and “Bowie” in the same sentence before?

    I’ll do it.

    I’m not afraid

    Ladies and Gentlemen, Bowie and Cher:

  179. http://www.space.com/31571-david-bowie-tribute-astronauts-scientists.html

    Astronauts, scientists and members of the spaceflight industry are joining people all over the world in mourning the death of music icon David Bowie, who passed away Sunday (Jan. 10)

    Among them is Mars-obsessed Elon Musk. No surprise that Musk is a big fan. I think Elon even looks a bit like (a robust version of) Bowie.

    Coincidentally, Bowie played the role of Tesla in a movie:

  180. @V Vega

    Bliss Said:

    Not being a hard core music aficionado I can name only two songs that I associate with him: Let’s Dance and Ground Control To Major Tom.
     
    You don't have to be a hard core music aficionado to know that "Ground Control to Major Tom" isn't the name of the song, you inbred bumpkin. This is the sad outcome when you travel in space without a helmet.

    What’s sad is that your very first post at Unz.com is so juvenile. You were actually inspired to sign up here so you could make such a pathetic diss? Get a frickin life stupid, sleazy Sue…

    Getting the name of a song wrong does not make one a bumpkin you imbecile. Besides, if you were actually anal about it you would have given the correct name of that song.

  181. @HugeSteveFan
    If you've been on social media, surely you've noticed (Sailerian noticed) the vast number of people who never mentioned or acknowledged Bowie suddenly sharing their profound regrets about his untimely passing, and revealing a henceforth never before seen admiration for his works.

    TL;DR: Most people are sheep. The Narrative tells them to mourn Bowie as a deceased legend, and that's exactly what they do.

    I suspect many of these (women) who are only familiar with a Bowie best of, if at all, are Labrynth fans.

  182. @Reg Cæsar

    I did not care for Bowie’s music and his voice made my fillings ache.

    But he was a talented actor.
     
    Actually, I was referring to his act as a pop star.

    Cher is another instance of a singer who was born to act. Has anybody ever put "Cher" and "Bowie" in the same sentence before?

    A British record catalogue of about 1964 listed five different David Joneses, including the future Bowie and the future Monkee. Musicians don't care (there are at least two Mick Joneses, for instance), but actors' unions are very strict about credits and demand distinguishable names.

    I wonder if his name change was an early sign of his acting ambitions.

    I prefer homonym Joneses who are easier to tell apart, like the Johns Pauls.

  183. @Kat Grey
    David Bowie's genius as a singer/songwriter and performer outshone his contemporaries as the sun eclipses the moon. The Beatles were mediocre on their own , even the charismatic Jagger needs the Rolling Stones as stage props. Bowie did it alone and ventured into creative realms other musicians could not even conjure up in their wildest drug trips. A pioneer of glam rock using his alter ego Ziggy Stardust, he set about devising a series of exotic characters that not only ensured that his audience would never succumb to boredom but that he would leave a lasting imprint on the ever-evolving music scene. Thank you David for showing the world another dimension. You are now truly a starman in the sky and will forever blow our minds. RIP.

    What made the Rolling Stones unique was not as much Mick as it was the rhythm engine of Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman. In fact, when Brian Jones was alive, it was he that was considered the leader of the band, not Jagger.

    • Replies: @Kat Grey
    I happen to be a lifelong Rolling Stones fan and Keith Richards is my particular favourite. They are also the greatest rock band in the world : in the studio but especially live. Howeved as individuals they demonstrated tbat they are more successful as a group rather than single artists. Bowie's genius was that he could create miracles without sidekicks.
    , @keypusher
    When Brian Jones died (1969) he was no longer a member of the Rolling Stones. He stopped being its leader in 1964-65, which is when they started writing songs. He couldn't or wouldn't do that.
  184. @Reg Cæsar

    I did not care for Bowie’s music and his voice made my fillings ache.

    But he was a talented actor.
     
    Actually, I was referring to his act as a pop star.

    Cher is another instance of a singer who was born to act. Has anybody ever put "Cher" and "Bowie" in the same sentence before?

    A British record catalogue of about 1964 listed five different David Joneses, including the future Bowie and the future Monkee. Musicians don't care (there are at least two Mick Joneses, for instance), but actors' unions are very strict about credits and demand distinguishable names.

    I wonder if his name change was an early sign of his acting ambitions.

    Cher is an excellent actress. Great screen presence, very appealing.

    Dwight Yoakum is another musician who’s a very fine actor. I’m not the only woman who hated him for years after watching him play the abusive boyfriend in Slingblade.

  185. No other solo star can match Bowie. Other artists think of music as a ticket to an easy life, but Bowie took it seriously. He was also very good at picking collaborators. I think he was dedicated to the ‘final form’ of the art, even almost sacrificing his sense of self in the process.

  186. David Bowie’s genius as a singer/songwriter and performer outshone his contemporaries as the sun eclipses the moon.

    Ground Control to Major Kat,

    If the sun ever eclipses the moon, you’ll have a far bigger problem than justifying how Bowie is greater than the Beatles.

    • Replies: @Kat Grey
    The Beatles was a group comprised of four different men; each one brought his own special talent to create a musical phenomenon that sadly did not extend to their individual careers despite McCartney's commercial success and Lennon's ocassional gem. David Bowie was out in the stratosphere on his own. He needed neither the Spiders from Mars nor a collaborating songwriter to create musical masterpieces and his accompanying persona. He rarely incorporated social issues into his compositions like Lennon nor did he command a stage with the same energy and magnetism as Jagger (although he came pretty damned close) however his creativity as an artist expanded all musical parameters and blurred the horizon that separated earth from space. We will never see his like again.
  187. @Bill B.
    I saw Bowie once - in Hong Kong in about 1983.

    He had an interesting voice, some effective dances steps, a terrific suit and an extremely competent band.

    If memory serves the highlight was China Girl which had just been released.

    My impression was of a modest but genuine talent carefully sheparded and teased out to maximum effect. In other words another hard-working ambitious wasp who, in his case, managed to affect being a 'rebel rebel' for half a century; dropping dead on the job.

    I see his alter-ego as a high-functioning alcoholic clipper captain in the 19th Century.

    To my surprise it appears that Bowie’s stage suits in Hong Kong were made there the day before if you believe this:

    https://www.google.co.th/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjH362lxqXKAhXFkpQKHRS4BkMQqQIIHDAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.scmp.com%2Fnews%2Fhong-kong%2Farticle%2F1900089%2Fdavid-bowies-tailor-hong-kong-icon-fit-prince-presidents-and-thin&usg=AFQjCNFqiO7fcCU0M9D0Hl1GLUuoOK12ww&sig2=oRDrZrFXrJqZFEGJHBwJSg

    I have had a Mr Sam suit made for me once and although I thought it was pretty natty for a while it later became clear that you get what you pay for. And Mr Sam’s stuff is really not that great and easily spotted as such once you know.

    I am sceptical about all these world historic figures flocking to be dressed in serviceable but mediocre clothing but I guess the ‘idea’ of Mr Sam has resonance.

  188. @JLoHo
    Female, 30ish:

    I have no idea who David Bowie is. I cannot name a song he sung or wrote. All I know is that there are a shitload of Caitlyn Jenner-esque photos of him hanging in weird places like my old ballet studio.

    I just checked and he was also a miscegenator.

    So?

    Should I be crying?

    Was he the creepy guy in Labrynth? I hated that movie :)

    It sounds like to me David Bowie became famous more because of his messing around with men then anything lasting.

    Miscegenator? Sounds so…clinical.

  189. I was a Bowie fan in my younger days when such things seemed important . Thought he was a very smart performance artist who especially appealed to the beta crowd . Liked his ( seemingly ) good manners ,politeness and non preaching style .Have no idea what his real views are on anything -which is the way it should be . I commend his approach to publicity and dying .

    Note ( approvingly ) that he sent his son to Gordonstoun School ( which you may have heard of if you have Outward Bound associations )

    • Replies: @MEH 0910

    Note ( approvingly ) that he sent his son to Gordonstoun School ( which you may have heard of if you have Outward Bound associations )
     
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-2024724/David-Bowies-son-Duncan-Jones-Ive-needed-use-fathers-name.html

    At 14, Bowie sent Jones to Scottish public school Gordonstoun – nicknamed ‘Colditz in kilts’ by one former inmate, Prince Charles.

    ‘I was there for five years before I was asked to leave one week before we were meant to after I had slept through most of my A-levels. I was so stressed out. I’ve never really gone into it with Dad as to why he decided Gordonstoun was the right place for me to go. If I’m honest, it wasn’t a great fit for me. It was fairly austere and they still maintained that disciplined regime – the morning runs and the cold showers. I didn’t feel comfortable. I was just trying to survive.’

     

  190. @JLoHo
    Female, 30ish:

    I have no idea who David Bowie is. I cannot name a song he sung or wrote. All I know is that there are a shitload of Caitlyn Jenner-esque photos of him hanging in weird places like my old ballet studio.

    I just checked and he was also a miscegenator.

    So?

    Should I be crying?

    Was he the creepy guy in Labrynth? I hated that movie :)

    It sounds like to me David Bowie became famous more because of his messing around with men then anything lasting.

    He had some decent songs. That’s his lasting legacy- some have been popular for decades and we’ll likely be hearing them for decades to come.

    I also am not a fan of the flaky glam and flamboyance, but I suspect a lot was just him riding the wave of what many popular musicians were doing at the time.

  191. @Veracitor
    Gonna miss him.

    BTW, did you notice that Florence King just passed away (a few days ago, reported yesterday)?

    Gonna miss her too; perhaps the wittiest writer of my time.

    Agreed:

    One of the last great writers of National Review.
    A very unconventional Southern writer.

    I hope Mark Steyn does some kind of obituary on her.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    I hope Mark Steyn does some kind of obituary on her.
     
    The New York Times did. Respectfully. Even called her "Miss King". Imagine that.
  192. @sb
    I was a Bowie fan in my younger days when such things seemed important . Thought he was a very smart performance artist who especially appealed to the beta crowd . Liked his ( seemingly ) good manners ,politeness and non preaching style .Have no idea what his real views are on anything -which is the way it should be . I commend his approach to publicity and dying .

    Note ( approvingly ) that he sent his son to Gordonstoun School ( which you may have heard of if you have Outward Bound associations )

    Note ( approvingly ) that he sent his son to Gordonstoun School ( which you may have heard of if you have Outward Bound associations )

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-2024724/David-Bowies-son-Duncan-Jones-Ive-needed-use-fathers-name.html

    At 14, Bowie sent Jones to Scottish public school Gordonstoun – nicknamed ‘Colditz in kilts’ by one former inmate, Prince Charles.

    ‘I was there for five years before I was asked to leave one week before we were meant to after I had slept through most of my A-levels. I was so stressed out. I’ve never really gone into it with Dad as to why he decided Gordonstoun was the right place for me to go. If I’m honest, it wasn’t a great fit for me. It was fairly austere and they still maintained that disciplined regime – the morning runs and the cold showers. I didn’t feel comfortable. I was just trying to survive.’

  193. @Name Withheld
    Agreed:

    One of the last great writers of National Review.
    A very unconventional Southern writer.

    I hope Mark Steyn does some kind of obituary on her.

    I hope Mark Steyn does some kind of obituary on her.

    The New York Times did. Respectfully. Even called her “Miss King”. Imagine that.

  194. @Kat Grey
    David Bowie's genius as a singer/songwriter and performer outshone his contemporaries as the sun eclipses the moon. The Beatles were mediocre on their own , even the charismatic Jagger needs the Rolling Stones as stage props. Bowie did it alone and ventured into creative realms other musicians could not even conjure up in their wildest drug trips. A pioneer of glam rock using his alter ego Ziggy Stardust, he set about devising a series of exotic characters that not only ensured that his audience would never succumb to boredom but that he would leave a lasting imprint on the ever-evolving music scene. Thank you David for showing the world another dimension. You are now truly a starman in the sky and will forever blow our minds. RIP.

    I won’t speak ill of the recently departed, but will note that no other “artist” had more annoyingly pretentious fans. And in the world of quasireligious rock hype, that’s saying something.

    • Replies: @Daniel H
    >>....but will note that no other “artist” had more annoyingly pretentious fans.

    Bowies fans were middle-brow pretentious, and that is what makes Bowie so endearing.
  195. @Reg Cæsar
    I won't speak ill of the recently departed, but will note that no other "artist" had more annoyingly pretentious fans. And in the world of quasireligious rock hype, that's saying something.

    >>….but will note that no other “artist” had more annoyingly pretentious fans.

    Bowies fans were middle-brow pretentious, and that is what makes Bowie so endearing.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    I had breakfast at the diner around the block from me Tuesday. Big spread on Bowie in the local, unpretentious newspaper, Let's Dance on the CBS FM oldies station the diner's speakers played (when Let's Dance came out, that oldies station was playing Doo-Wop).

    People who focus on the artsy, semi-transgressive nonsense of early Bowie sort of miss the point. Take a look at that video I linked to above of Bowie opening the Concert For New York after 9/11, in an auditorium full of firemen. Those guys were his audience too. The ones who cheer when he sings, "Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike".

    Probably most of them never even saw Bowie in his Ziggy Stardust getup, but they've heard the song a thousand times in their cars, in bars, etc. He was a mainstay of classic rock, and part of the soundtrack of the '70s and '80s.

    https://twitter.com/dpinsen/status/686919936636235777
  196. @V Vega

    David Bowie’s genius as a singer/songwriter and performer outshone his contemporaries as the sun eclipses the moon.
     
    Ground Control to Major Kat,

    If the sun ever eclipses the moon, you'll have a far bigger problem than justifying how Bowie is greater than the Beatles.

    The Beatles was a group comprised of four different men; each one brought his own special talent to create a musical phenomenon that sadly did not extend to their individual careers despite McCartney’s commercial success and Lennon’s ocassional gem. David Bowie was out in the stratosphere on his own. He needed neither the Spiders from Mars nor a collaborating songwriter to create musical masterpieces and his accompanying persona. He rarely incorporated social issues into his compositions like Lennon nor did he command a stage with the same energy and magnetism as Jagger (although he came pretty damned close) however his creativity as an artist expanded all musical parameters and blurred the horizon that separated earth from space. We will never see his like again.

    • Replies: @V Vega

    The Beatles was a group comprised of four different men; each one brought his own special talent to create a musical phenomenon that sadly did not extend to their individual careers despite McCartney’s commercial success and Lennon’s ocassional gem. David Bowie was out in the stratosphere on his own. He needed neither the Spiders from Mars nor a collaborating songwriter to create musical masterpieces and his accompanying persona. He rarely incorporated social issues into his compositions like Lennon nor did he command a stage with the same energy and magnetism as Jagger (although he came pretty damned close) however his creativity as an artist expanded all musical parameters and blurred the horizon that separated earth from space. We will never see his like again.
     
    My condolences on your serious head injury.

    Bowie collaborated all the time, and unlike the Beatles in their heyday, he could pick and choose his collaborators. That's why he chose Nile Rodgers: a genius.

    If you were to bother reading this comments section, or many other comments sections, people most often refer to "Let's Dance" as a major achievement of Bowie. Without Nile Rodgers, there is no "Let's Dance." Nothing even approaching it. McCartney and Lennon would share a riff here, a line there, but Lennon never gave McCartney one of his very rough ideas, then watched as McCartney composed it, turning it into a hit, as Bowie was known to do.

    Bowie's music catalogue will always stand in the shadows of McCartny, same with Lennon and Bowie would be the first to admit it. A lot of McCartney and Lennon songs were written with little to no collaboration in later years. On the White Album, everyone did their own thing for the majority of songs.

    After the Beatles, you won't find many people who would call McCartney or Lennon "great collaborators." They did most of the work themselves, unlike Bowie.

    If you take the best of McCartney, or the best of Lennon, anyone with half a brain would have to conclude that, as talented as he was, Bowie was not nearly as prodigious as either of them. As far as hits in general, Bowie is not a peer of either of them.
  197. @Former Darfur
    What made the Rolling Stones unique was not as much Mick as it was the rhythm engine of Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman. In fact, when Brian Jones was alive, it was he that was considered the leader of the band, not Jagger.

    I happen to be a lifelong Rolling Stones fan and Keith Richards is my particular favourite. They are also the greatest rock band in the world : in the studio but especially live. Howeved as individuals they demonstrated tbat they are more successful as a group rather than single artists. Bowie’s genius was that he could create miracles without sidekicks.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    They are also the greatest rock band in the world…
     
    Mick told a reporter back in the '60s that the Stones weren't a rock ('n' roll) band at all, but a rhythm and blues combo. He also said he wouldn't be singing "Satisfaction" at forty. He went back on both of those.
    , @Former Darfur
    He's the best rock and roll rhythm guitarist in the world. Very limited in lead work. But within his wheelhouse, he's great.

    I doubt Keef would have been very successful, or at least would have been able to develop into the style he had without a drummer like Charlie who could follow him.

    Keith's solo work has been somewhat more successful than Mick's. But he has been very picky about drummers and bass players. Part of what makes sucessful bands successful is that the right people find each other. KR and Keith Moon would have been, as they say, a non-starter.
  198. @Daniel H
    >>....but will note that no other “artist” had more annoyingly pretentious fans.

    Bowies fans were middle-brow pretentious, and that is what makes Bowie so endearing.

    I had breakfast at the diner around the block from me Tuesday. Big spread on Bowie in the local, unpretentious newspaper, Let’s Dance on the CBS FM oldies station the diner’s speakers played (when Let’s Dance came out, that oldies station was playing Doo-Wop).

    People who focus on the artsy, semi-transgressive nonsense of early Bowie sort of miss the point. Take a look at that video I linked to above of Bowie opening the Concert For New York after 9/11, in an auditorium full of firemen. Those guys were his audience too. The ones who cheer when he sings, “Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike”.

    Probably most of them never even saw Bowie in his Ziggy Stardust getup, but they’ve heard the song a thousand times in their cars, in bars, etc. He was a mainstay of classic rock, and part of the soundtrack of the ’70s and ’80s.

    • Replies: @Matra
    He was a mainstay of classic rock, and part of the soundtrack of the ’70s and ’80s.

    Yes, the first time I saw him was in 1987 in a full-sized Toronto football stadium, but he was also playing in similar venues throughout the US, so even if they weren't always full he was definitely a part of the mainstream. He was one of the few performers who got regular airplay across the North American pop/rock radio spectrum - FM mainstream rock and alternative/college, plus chart-oriented AM pop.

  199. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bowi

    Bowi was the first EP released on Stiff Records. Recorded by Nick Lowe, who had also released the first Stiff single, the title and cover were a humorous response to the David Bowie album Low, released earlier in the year. Lowe decided that as Bowie had made an album with his name, but without the final e, he would make a record with Bowie’s name, also lacking the final e.

  200. @Kat Grey
    I happen to be a lifelong Rolling Stones fan and Keith Richards is my particular favourite. They are also the greatest rock band in the world : in the studio but especially live. Howeved as individuals they demonstrated tbat they are more successful as a group rather than single artists. Bowie's genius was that he could create miracles without sidekicks.

    They are also the greatest rock band in the world…

    Mick told a reporter back in the ’60s that the Stones weren’t a rock (‘n’ roll) band at all, but a rhythm and blues combo. He also said he wouldn’t be singing “Satisfaction” at forty. He went back on both of those.

  201. Work with several midwest bands here, solo acts, duos, trios, full bands w. lights ,dancers, I see 200 shows a year, probably 200K paid admissions and nobody wants to hear any Bowie, and probably don’t even remember who he was. There are profitable tribute acts for Stones, ACDC, Beatles ,Who, Monkeys ,Almons, even Bob Wills, but put Bowie into a set list and people will head for the exits: no more beer sales. Boomers (I am one)fondly remember a quirky personality, but his “great” music does not register with anyone today who actually goes out and pays to see live music.

  202. @Kat Grey
    The Beatles was a group comprised of four different men; each one brought his own special talent to create a musical phenomenon that sadly did not extend to their individual careers despite McCartney's commercial success and Lennon's ocassional gem. David Bowie was out in the stratosphere on his own. He needed neither the Spiders from Mars nor a collaborating songwriter to create musical masterpieces and his accompanying persona. He rarely incorporated social issues into his compositions like Lennon nor did he command a stage with the same energy and magnetism as Jagger (although he came pretty damned close) however his creativity as an artist expanded all musical parameters and blurred the horizon that separated earth from space. We will never see his like again.

    The Beatles was a group comprised of four different men; each one brought his own special talent to create a musical phenomenon that sadly did not extend to their individual careers despite McCartney’s commercial success and Lennon’s ocassional gem. David Bowie was out in the stratosphere on his own. He needed neither the Spiders from Mars nor a collaborating songwriter to create musical masterpieces and his accompanying persona. He rarely incorporated social issues into his compositions like Lennon nor did he command a stage with the same energy and magnetism as Jagger (although he came pretty damned close) however his creativity as an artist expanded all musical parameters and blurred the horizon that separated earth from space. We will never see his like again.

    My condolences on your serious head injury.

    Bowie collaborated all the time, and unlike the Beatles in their heyday, he could pick and choose his collaborators. That’s why he chose Nile Rodgers: a genius.

    If you were to bother reading this comments section, or many other comments sections, people most often refer to “Let’s Dance” as a major achievement of Bowie. Without Nile Rodgers, there is no “Let’s Dance.” Nothing even approaching it. McCartney and Lennon would share a riff here, a line there, but Lennon never gave McCartney one of his very rough ideas, then watched as McCartney composed it, turning it into a hit, as Bowie was known to do.

    Bowie’s music catalogue will always stand in the shadows of McCartny, same with Lennon and Bowie would be the first to admit it. A lot of McCartney and Lennon songs were written with little to no collaboration in later years. On the White Album, everyone did their own thing for the majority of songs.

    After the Beatles, you won’t find many people who would call McCartney or Lennon “great collaborators.” They did most of the work themselves, unlike Bowie.

    If you take the best of McCartney, or the best of Lennon, anyone with half a brain would have to conclude that, as talented as he was, Bowie was not nearly as prodigious as either of them. As far as hits in general, Bowie is not a peer of either of them.

    • Replies: @Matra
    McCartney's post-Band on the Run output was mostly embarrassing. Such generic adult contemporary music doesn't belong in the same category as 'Ziggy Stardust', Aladdin Sane, Heroes, Low, and Bowie's decent 80s music. Even lesser Bowie like Lodger had its interesting moments. The thing about Bowie is that even his mistakes were interesting unlike this type of thing, one of McCartney's biggest hits.
    , @Kat Grey
    I shall ignore your rude ad hominen attacks to concentrate on the topic at hand which is David Bowie's music. Let's Dance was not the zenith of his career; he reached that with his two ground-breaking LPs The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane. Then there were his later Ashes to Ashes and Heroes. Both songs were IMHO superior to Let's Dance although the accompanying video was excellent.

    A pity one cannot express an opinion re personal taste without having to first don a suit of armour from the firestorm of criticism. At the end of the dag The Beatles were a brilliant quartet which lasted less than a decade. David Bowie was a multi-talented singer/songwriter, performer and actor - a transforming One-Man show whose career spanned five decades. I shall close this by pointing out that David Bowie broke a taboo by being the first singer to directly refer to masturbation in one of his Aladdin Sane tracks "Time".

  203. @Dave Pinsen
    I had breakfast at the diner around the block from me Tuesday. Big spread on Bowie in the local, unpretentious newspaper, Let's Dance on the CBS FM oldies station the diner's speakers played (when Let's Dance came out, that oldies station was playing Doo-Wop).

    People who focus on the artsy, semi-transgressive nonsense of early Bowie sort of miss the point. Take a look at that video I linked to above of Bowie opening the Concert For New York after 9/11, in an auditorium full of firemen. Those guys were his audience too. The ones who cheer when he sings, "Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike".

    Probably most of them never even saw Bowie in his Ziggy Stardust getup, but they've heard the song a thousand times in their cars, in bars, etc. He was a mainstay of classic rock, and part of the soundtrack of the '70s and '80s.

    https://twitter.com/dpinsen/status/686919936636235777

    He was a mainstay of classic rock, and part of the soundtrack of the ’70s and ’80s.

    Yes, the first time I saw him was in 1987 in a full-sized Toronto football stadium, but he was also playing in similar venues throughout the US, so even if they weren’t always full he was definitely a part of the mainstream. He was one of the few performers who got regular airplay across the North American pop/rock radio spectrum – FM mainstream rock and alternative/college, plus chart-oriented AM pop.

  204. @Former Darfur
    What made the Rolling Stones unique was not as much Mick as it was the rhythm engine of Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman. In fact, when Brian Jones was alive, it was he that was considered the leader of the band, not Jagger.

    When Brian Jones died (1969) he was no longer a member of the Rolling Stones. He stopped being its leader in 1964-65, which is when they started writing songs. He couldn’t or wouldn’t do that.

  205. Lord’s Prayer … the “sophisticated” music press in UK ridiculed Bowie for this

  206. @Kat Grey
    I happen to be a lifelong Rolling Stones fan and Keith Richards is my particular favourite. They are also the greatest rock band in the world : in the studio but especially live. Howeved as individuals they demonstrated tbat they are more successful as a group rather than single artists. Bowie's genius was that he could create miracles without sidekicks.

    He’s the best rock and roll rhythm guitarist in the world. Very limited in lead work. But within his wheelhouse, he’s great.

    I doubt Keef would have been very successful, or at least would have been able to develop into the style he had without a drummer like Charlie who could follow him.

    Keith’s solo work has been somewhat more successful than Mick’s. But he has been very picky about drummers and bass players. Part of what makes sucessful bands successful is that the right people find each other. KR and Keith Moon would have been, as they say, a non-starter.

    • Replies: @Kat Grey
    I have to disagree with you regarding Keith Richards' limited skill as a lead guitarist. Just listen to Gimme Shelter.He will go down in rock history for his weaving serpentine leads on this track.
  207. @V Vega

    The Beatles was a group comprised of four different men; each one brought his own special talent to create a musical phenomenon that sadly did not extend to their individual careers despite McCartney’s commercial success and Lennon’s ocassional gem. David Bowie was out in the stratosphere on his own. He needed neither the Spiders from Mars nor a collaborating songwriter to create musical masterpieces and his accompanying persona. He rarely incorporated social issues into his compositions like Lennon nor did he command a stage with the same energy and magnetism as Jagger (although he came pretty damned close) however his creativity as an artist expanded all musical parameters and blurred the horizon that separated earth from space. We will never see his like again.
     
    My condolences on your serious head injury.

    Bowie collaborated all the time, and unlike the Beatles in their heyday, he could pick and choose his collaborators. That's why he chose Nile Rodgers: a genius.

    If you were to bother reading this comments section, or many other comments sections, people most often refer to "Let's Dance" as a major achievement of Bowie. Without Nile Rodgers, there is no "Let's Dance." Nothing even approaching it. McCartney and Lennon would share a riff here, a line there, but Lennon never gave McCartney one of his very rough ideas, then watched as McCartney composed it, turning it into a hit, as Bowie was known to do.

    Bowie's music catalogue will always stand in the shadows of McCartny, same with Lennon and Bowie would be the first to admit it. A lot of McCartney and Lennon songs were written with little to no collaboration in later years. On the White Album, everyone did their own thing for the majority of songs.

    After the Beatles, you won't find many people who would call McCartney or Lennon "great collaborators." They did most of the work themselves, unlike Bowie.

    If you take the best of McCartney, or the best of Lennon, anyone with half a brain would have to conclude that, as talented as he was, Bowie was not nearly as prodigious as either of them. As far as hits in general, Bowie is not a peer of either of them.

    McCartney’s post-Band on the Run output was mostly embarrassing. Such generic adult contemporary music doesn’t belong in the same category as ‘Ziggy Stardust’, Aladdin Sane, Heroes, Low, and Bowie’s decent 80s music. Even lesser Bowie like Lodger had its interesting moments. The thing about Bowie is that even his mistakes were interesting unlike this type of thing, one of McCartney’s biggest hits.

    • Replies: @anon
    Oh come on, My Love is a jam. No, I'm not sure if it is or not. But to me, since it came out probably when I was 9 or 10 and was just becoming aware of something called pop music, it always sounds good to me.
    , @empty
    about Bowie's mistakes, well, one of the cards in Brian Eno's "Oblique Strategies" pack ( that was extensively consulted when the Berlin Trilogy was done) states "Embrace/cherish(?) your mistakes as hidden intentions" ... but you probably meant songs that were total misses ... but I agree ...

    to read here that Bowie was a "talentless hack compared to Elton John", and the Beatles were "mediocre" ... " - man, it's like your opinion ..."

  208. Calling Bowie a miscengenator for marrying Iman is….stupid.

    Anyway, Somalis have a very high degree of Eurasian genes. There was a back TO Africa migration concentrated in the Horn.

  209. Bowie is one of those rock artists like Peter Gabriel. People who love him love him madly. The rest wonder why so much fuss about an obvious B-lister.

    • Replies: @BB753
    Of course, Bowie was in love with himself, just like Peter Gabriel or Sting. Unlike these two, he was humble enough to work with other great musicians and have a lasting and fruitful solo career with their input.
    For example, Peter Gabriel only published two good albums on his own, because without Genesis he's a b-lister. To my knowledge, Sting has only produced crap since leaving The Police.
    Por inflated egos. Bowie was smarter than them.
  210. A lot of McCartney and Lennon songs were written with little to no collaboration in later years.

    And it showed. Once they stopped trying to impress (and police) each other and George Martin, they started to go to pot. They were also tough with Harrison. Lennon said they weren’t trying to shut him out, but that too often his work wasn’t “up to scratch”.

  211. @Matra
    McCartney's post-Band on the Run output was mostly embarrassing. Such generic adult contemporary music doesn't belong in the same category as 'Ziggy Stardust', Aladdin Sane, Heroes, Low, and Bowie's decent 80s music. Even lesser Bowie like Lodger had its interesting moments. The thing about Bowie is that even his mistakes were interesting unlike this type of thing, one of McCartney's biggest hits.

    Oh come on, My Love is a jam. No, I’m not sure if it is or not. But to me, since it came out probably when I was 9 or 10 and was just becoming aware of something called pop music, it always sounds good to me.

  212. @Matra
    McCartney's post-Band on the Run output was mostly embarrassing. Such generic adult contemporary music doesn't belong in the same category as 'Ziggy Stardust', Aladdin Sane, Heroes, Low, and Bowie's decent 80s music. Even lesser Bowie like Lodger had its interesting moments. The thing about Bowie is that even his mistakes were interesting unlike this type of thing, one of McCartney's biggest hits.

    about Bowie’s mistakes, well, one of the cards in Brian Eno’s “Oblique Strategies” pack ( that was extensively consulted when the Berlin Trilogy was done) states “Embrace/cherish(?) your mistakes as hidden intentions” … but you probably meant songs that were total misses … but I agree …

    to read here that Bowie was a “talentless hack compared to Elton John”, and the Beatles were “mediocre” … ” – man, it’s like your opinion …”

  213. @Former Darfur
    He's the best rock and roll rhythm guitarist in the world. Very limited in lead work. But within his wheelhouse, he's great.

    I doubt Keef would have been very successful, or at least would have been able to develop into the style he had without a drummer like Charlie who could follow him.

    Keith's solo work has been somewhat more successful than Mick's. But he has been very picky about drummers and bass players. Part of what makes sucessful bands successful is that the right people find each other. KR and Keith Moon would have been, as they say, a non-starter.

    I have to disagree with you regarding Keith Richards’ limited skill as a lead guitarist. Just listen to Gimme Shelter.He will go down in rock history for his weaving serpentine leads on this track.

    • Replies: @Former Darfur
    It's a great track, but it's an open tuning riff over one or two chord forms.
    The song is written around the riff.

    It wouldn't be tough to stump Keith with something he'd be incapable of even playing the changes to, let alone soloing over. What has made the Rolling Stones successful is that they know what they can do and they make what they want to do fit those parameters.
  214. @V Vega

    The Beatles was a group comprised of four different men; each one brought his own special talent to create a musical phenomenon that sadly did not extend to their individual careers despite McCartney’s commercial success and Lennon’s ocassional gem. David Bowie was out in the stratosphere on his own. He needed neither the Spiders from Mars nor a collaborating songwriter to create musical masterpieces and his accompanying persona. He rarely incorporated social issues into his compositions like Lennon nor did he command a stage with the same energy and magnetism as Jagger (although he came pretty damned close) however his creativity as an artist expanded all musical parameters and blurred the horizon that separated earth from space. We will never see his like again.
     
    My condolences on your serious head injury.

    Bowie collaborated all the time, and unlike the Beatles in their heyday, he could pick and choose his collaborators. That's why he chose Nile Rodgers: a genius.

    If you were to bother reading this comments section, or many other comments sections, people most often refer to "Let's Dance" as a major achievement of Bowie. Without Nile Rodgers, there is no "Let's Dance." Nothing even approaching it. McCartney and Lennon would share a riff here, a line there, but Lennon never gave McCartney one of his very rough ideas, then watched as McCartney composed it, turning it into a hit, as Bowie was known to do.

    Bowie's music catalogue will always stand in the shadows of McCartny, same with Lennon and Bowie would be the first to admit it. A lot of McCartney and Lennon songs were written with little to no collaboration in later years. On the White Album, everyone did their own thing for the majority of songs.

    After the Beatles, you won't find many people who would call McCartney or Lennon "great collaborators." They did most of the work themselves, unlike Bowie.

    If you take the best of McCartney, or the best of Lennon, anyone with half a brain would have to conclude that, as talented as he was, Bowie was not nearly as prodigious as either of them. As far as hits in general, Bowie is not a peer of either of them.

    I shall ignore your rude ad hominen attacks to concentrate on the topic at hand which is David Bowie’s music. Let’s Dance was not the zenith of his career; he reached that with his two ground-breaking LPs The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane. Then there were his later Ashes to Ashes and Heroes. Both songs were IMHO superior to Let’s Dance although the accompanying video was excellent.

    A pity one cannot express an opinion re personal taste without having to first don a suit of armour from the firestorm of criticism. At the end of the dag The Beatles were a brilliant quartet which lasted less than a decade. David Bowie was a multi-talented singer/songwriter, performer and actor – a transforming One-Man show whose career spanned five decades. I shall close this by pointing out that David Bowie broke a taboo by being the first singer to directly refer to masturbation in one of his Aladdin Sane tracks “Time”.

  215. @peterike
    Bowie is one of those rock artists like Peter Gabriel. People who love him love him madly. The rest wonder why so much fuss about an obvious B-lister.

    Of course, Bowie was in love with himself, just like Peter Gabriel or Sting. Unlike these two, he was humble enough to work with other great musicians and have a lasting and fruitful solo career with their input.
    For example, Peter Gabriel only published two good albums on his own, because without Genesis he’s a b-lister. To my knowledge, Sting has only produced crap since leaving The Police.
    Por inflated egos. Bowie was smarter than them.

  216. @Kat Grey
    I have to disagree with you regarding Keith Richards' limited skill as a lead guitarist. Just listen to Gimme Shelter.He will go down in rock history for his weaving serpentine leads on this track.

    It’s a great track, but it’s an open tuning riff over one or two chord forms.
    The song is written around the riff.

    It wouldn’t be tough to stump Keith with something he’d be incapable of even playing the changes to, let alone soloing over. What has made the Rolling Stones successful is that they know what they can do and they make what they want to do fit those parameters.

  217. @Wyrd
    Here's King Crimson performing Heroes back in 2000:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcuXYlzxmF4

    Adrian Belew is no Bowie on vocals but you do get Fripp's stellar guitarwork.

    Robert Fripp is a case study in his own right and maybe more fascinating than Bowie. Certainly a damn sight more eccentric.

  218. @Anonym
    Smoking is a big risk factor for heart disease. David Bowie was a long-time smoker.

    Also one can eat quantities of food that are bad for you sufficient to maintain a healthy body weight. If his diet consisted of a lot of saturated fat, especially animal body fat, and/or trans fats, that would not have been healthy.

    Certainly smoking , poor diet and no exercise are risk factors for heart disease but in my own humble opinion the biggest risk factors are family history and stress .

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