Monday, January 08, 2007

David Bowie turns 60 today...

I have often wondered where my fascination with David Bowie lies. Was it mainly his deep, rich, haunting voice or was it the unusual music and nonsensical lyrics? Or was it just the entire bold, cool, unique and complicated package?

I literally have been following this man's career since I first heard of him when I was around 11-years old. I can't believe this musical journey has taken me through 30 years of unmatched fascination.

My first memories were of hearing his song FAME while I was swimming at the local pool in the summer. At this point, I wasn't even aware of his Ziggy persona. I remembered, soon after, catching a very mysterious performance of him while I was watching him on the Sonny and Cher show, and I was captivated.

About that same time, I was totally in love with the squeeky clean and always good, Donny Osmond. Leif Garrett and Shaun Cassidy were just NEVER good enough. Donny was the the best singer PERIOD! Donny's posters graced my walls like nobody else did (well other than Andy Gibb!) It is funny to think about it now, but in a way, David Bowie was the antithesis of Donny Osmond, and I was entranced with both the good and the bad.

In my teens, I was obsessed with a lot of different styles of music, but I was hopelessly obsessed with David Bowie's music style. I would call our local radio stations and ask about certain songs that I had heard, but I didn't even know the names of the songs yet. I would sing to them what I thought I heard.

With money that I saved from babysitting, I would foolishly spend it on David Bowie albums and magazines. As I played his music over and over again with a freakish ferver, I committed each old and new song to memory. In my desperate attempt to find any kind of news relating to Bowie, I would go to our local Farm Fresh store and stand there for hours and hours in front of their magazine rack and pour over their magazines. I am willing to bet that the owners didn't like me much...

I was driving my family crazy with my eclectic taste in music (they can tell you stories!) and I know my close friends, at times, must have thought I had lost my mind. I was lost somewhere between the layers of harmony, saxophone, haunting vibrato, electronica, soul, folk, melodrama, punk, falsettos, violins, glam, heavy metal, piano, ying and yang, lyrics, and much of his work in minor keys... I'm not sure exactly what it is or why I had identified so closely with his music; the complex combination of it all just resonated very strongly within me. The impact of his music helped me lessen the toxic pain and void in my life.

Since then, I have studied a lot of who and what David Bowie is. We share a few things in common:

  • A feeling of isolation, being different and set apart
  • Because mental illness run in our families, I often wondered if I sympathize with him.
  • A vivid and creative imagination
  • A voracious love of music
Regardless of who or what he is, thankfully, I am really nothing like him. I don't think we are on the same side politically or religiously. I am a steretypical introvert, and he's a gregarious and fearless extrovert. The idea that I would want to change or to be in front of people, just for attention, just seems totally abnormal to me. Still, I admire and respect him, and he is the one person that I would really, REALLY want to meet and talk with. Only one word really sums up what I think of him: fascinating

Bowie never seemed to think on the terms of mainstream. Even though he was married and had a child (Duncan) in the 70s, at that time, he actually admitted to the world that he was gay. One would think that he might have admitted this to promote himself, however it was well-documented that he was an openly gay, drug addicted, and a very lost man. For his and his children's sake, I am thankful to GOD that he has turned his life around. He is happily married to supermodel, Iman, and admits that he is strictly heterosexual by choice. They have a beautiful little girl, Alexandria.

If I hear anyone say that gay people don't make choices to be gay, all I have to do is point to David Bowie. He had made that choice.

Anyway, happy 60th birthday, David! I still think you are THE BOMB!

SONG ON MY MIND: There are many songs that I could put on here that I love, but here's a simple song that was made back in the early 70s that's actually a cover song from the Merseys. I don't have any recent songs on mp3s. If I do find something, I'll add it on here... until then, please enjoy a little of his older stuff with me.

SORROW - The Merseys (cover by David Bowie)

With your long, blonde hair and your eyes of blue
The only thing I ever got from you was sorrow... sorrow

You're acting funny trying to spend my money
You're out there playing your high-class games of sorrow... sorrow

You never do what you know you oughta
Something tells me you're a devil's daughter
Sorrow... sorrow

I tried to find her 'cause I can't resist her
I never knew just how much I missed her
Sorrow... sorrow

Purchase Bowie merchandise HERE!


Blogger Weevil said...

David Bowie is the Real Deal. One of a kind. I saw him touring with the release of Glass Spider and Peter Frampton was playing guitar, Ray Collins on percussion. One of the finest shows I have ever seen. A friend of mine, the lead guitarist for the Motels, toured with him and had lots of time to talk with DB, and said that he is one of the nicest guys to hang out with.

Mon Jan 08, 11:22:00 PM  
Blogger Sandy-san said...

I have that video, and I have watched it so many times (with Peter Frampton) over the years. I have been to 4 of Bowie's concerts, and if he tours again, I expect to be there! Thanks so much for your comments!

Tue Jan 09, 12:11:00 AM  
Blogger strem said...

I have never been a huge fan of Bowie, like you. However, I do remember having a huge fight with my cousins about who was the best: Donny Osmond, Leif Garrett, Andy Gibb, or Shawn Cassidy? Oh.... the really tough questions in life! :)

Tue Jan 09, 10:59:00 AM  
Blogger Sandy-san said...

Oh, I wish I had these kinds of tough questions to deal with now! Hands down, Donny is STILL the best! *grin*

Tue Jan 09, 11:07:00 AM  

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