Sunday, January 17, 2016

Goodbye David Bowie

A lot has been written about David Bowie this past week in newspapers, websites and blogs (He is even on the cover of the latest issue of Time) but you haven't seen anything posted here until now and that’s because I was never really a big fan.

I didn't hate Bowie, I learned to appreciate him more as time went by, but for a long time I just didn't "get" him. Initially, I was put off by his Ziggy Stardust persona and the glitter rock movement in general although I thought T Rex and Mott the Hoople were good bands.

Bowie became a star when I was coming of age and my freshman college roommate instantly became a huge fan of both the Thin White Duke and Alice Cooper at pretty much the same time. We were both big music fans but our tastes didn’t cross paths all that often. I was listening to Yes, most of the Southern California folk-rockers, The Beatles, Beach Boys, and Chicago. Despite our differences we took turns raiding each other's record collection when the mood hit us.

The reason I'm mentioning the androgynous Englishman now is simple. He was always there during a time in my life when all I thought about was music. His passing made me feel old and, as the end of life comes to an ever increasing number of musicians who rose to prominence during the classic rock era, it also makes me feel sad. In the last few months alone we've lost Chris Squire, Natalie Cole, Cory Wells, Allen Toussaint, and now Bowie. (I'm sure I've missed a few big ones worthy of mention.)

The deaths of these famous musicians make me realize how much each generation is culturally alienated from the one that came before it. Most young people don't know many of these artists so I'm not sure how long their legacies will live on. It's a shame most art dies with the generation who created it and the people who grew up with it. Such is the legacy of pop-art, especially music.

WRFY, a radio station in Reading, PA who for years labeled themselves as "Rock Hits Y-102" has dropped the 60s and 70s from their playlist and today advertises themselves as "Y-102, the 80s and beyond."

So, "let's dance" to some Bowie now and, remember, if you are a fan of his music be sure to pass it along to the next generation.

1 comment:

  1. That "Let's Dance" video is fantastic and was filmed here in Australia at various locations including Sydney and in the Outback. There's a serious juxtaposition of three completely different cultures in the opening sequence: a sophisticated and worldly Bowie; some rough Aussie locals drinking in their typical country "pub"; and the two young Indigenous kids dancing to his music amongst them - something that would have never happened back then (or sadly even now for that matter).