Happy David Bowie Birthday to you...

I expect that a number of people I know will feel I'm being remiss if I don't make mention of the fact that today is David Bowie's 65th birthday, so I guess I'll add this entry to the million and two tributes that are being posted all over the blogosphere today.  To say that his music has had an impact on me is quite an understatement, rather I would suggest that his music has been an influence and an inspiration for much of who and what I am today. 

Growing up in the 80s (that long ago fairy tale age before the internet, when music came out on big vinyl things called records and you had to watch television to see videos), Bowie's catalog of work was a constant source of magic, wonder, and discovery, and in the confusion and angst and existential torment of adolescence (and beyond), his songs were a constant companion to me, more so than any others, assuring me that there were beautiful and wonderful things that existed beyond what I knew.  Most of all, I learned that it's okay to be different and strange and kind of a little off kilter. David Bowie taught me not to be afraid of who I am.

As I look back upon the years I'm hard pressed to think of a time in my life when his music hasn't been part of my personal soundtrack, when his songs weren't associated in some way with what I was doing, who I was with, what I was feeling at the time.  I expect that many of you feel the same way.

So take a minute today and appreciate how awesome David Bowie is, and how much he's influenced all of us in one way or another.  Maybe the first single you ever bought was "Let's Dance", or maybe you had a sexual awakening watching Labyrinth (I have personal accounts from twelve of you on my friend's list..).  Maybe you learned a little bit more about art and culture and literature listening to his lyrics, or maybe you were inspired to become a musician yourself because you thought "Ashes to Ashes" was the best song ever written (it is by the way).  Maybe you painted your face with a lightning bolt, or maybe you were a HUGE fan of Tin Machine (I guess it could happen).  Maybe you don't even know who David Bowie is, but you're a fan of any one of a million musicians that look to him as their musical inspiration, the person who made them realize what they wanted to do.  Maybe you just think that "Ziggy Stardust" song is pretty cool.

Whatever your connection to Bowie is, take a moment to appreciate it, and think about how much of a better place your world is for having it.

Happy David Bowie Birthday to You.

rik - ping things

Views: 100

Comment by Igneous Flame on January 8, 2012 at 5:19pm

Indeed Rik, well said. I'm in total agreement.

As an example, I find the lyrics to 'Heroes' to be very uplifting:

We could be heroes - just for one day.

Comment by rikm on January 9, 2012 at 8:59pm

Glad you liked the post, and I must say that Heroes is one of my favorite songs as well.  The whole album is brilliant, a particular favorite of mine, though Scary Monsters will always be my absolute favorite.

Comment by g.a.b. on January 9, 2012 at 10:33pm

I was a huge Bowie fan from my junior year in H.S...through college, have seen him in concert numerous times as well as catching him on Broadway in 'Elephant Man'. During my Sophomore year in college, I won 2nd place by dressing up as Aladin Sane (whited out face, spray dyed red hair..complete with the red/white/blue face bolt & a white & silver jump suit (heh - my girlfriend @ the time insisted we "do it" with my Bowie make up still on!).

I even wrote a position paper in college comparing Bowie's "Cracked Actor" (Aladin Sane again) to Robert Frost's poem "Provide, Provide" (a poem about aging Hollywood star's paying for companionship) - & got an "A" for the paper & had it videotaped.

I have a lot of favorite songs (Cracked Actor, Panic in Detroit, Joe the Lion, Starman, Heroes, the title track from the first Tin Machine album, Sound & Vision, Red Sails, Queen Bitch & Andy Warhol...to name a few). Bowie led me into Robert Fripp & the Exposure album & from there to experimental & Ambient (where I reside today). I know he hasn't been in the best of health lately & will likely make no more music (a bummer as i had hoped that Brian Eno could squeeze one more pairing out of David).

Here's an article I read last week about him turning 65:

Happy Birthday, David Bowie...& thanks for the great tunes!

Comment by Igneous Flame on January 14, 2012 at 5:08pm

Thinking about it a bit more, I think listening to the instrumental tracks on 'Low and 'Heroes' got me into listening to Eno's ambient works.


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