So long, David Bowie

by Kyle Eagle with Jenna Ipcar and Gregory Cason

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David Bowie illustration by Andrew Spear.

David Bowie illustration by Andrew Spear.

 

So long, David Bowie!

Since the dawn of the Space Age, several cosmic souls have too briefly graced our presence—Sun Ra, Syd Barrett, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Daevid Allen, Moondog, and certainly David Bowie, who has joined this illustrious group in the hereafter.

Not to discredit his earthly life, for his was a  varied and accomplished one. He danced to all his different drummers—be as a zonked-out androgynous alien rocker, a sexually charged soul singer, or a left-of-center thespian. He gave all things avant-garde a dose of style, not to mention a sense of cerebral primping and preening with the intensity and integrity of an artist, or perhaps a madman. For a gent who worked as a mime, Mr. Bowie certainly made a lot of noise. Bless him for it.

Memories of Bowie flooded the airwaves, the Internet, and conversations worldwide since his passing. Reflections and recollections about Bowie the man and the musician have poured out of the likes of Nile Rodgers, Brian Eno, Peter Murphy, Tony Visconti, Kanye West, and even Senator James Seward.

His influence can be seen in those young and old. His message defied time, reaching out directly to those conscience enough to be curious. An old English teacher of mine who would play Bowie in his classroom remarked, “He made every musical genre he explored better.” I always found he also made you want to learn about every musical genre. Follow the path of his influences and collaborators and those who were in turn inspired by him and it will lead you to some amazing places.

No Bowie, no Bauhaus

No Bowie, no Bjork
No Bowie, no Bolan

Know Bowie, Know Music!!!

Where in the world would Prince be without the Thin White Duke? What if Gary Numan hadn’t drawn upon Bowie’s Plastic Soul? Imagine the life of Siousxie, Arcade Fire, Madonna, Luther Vandross, and Placebo if the Urban Spaceman never landed. Pretty bleak, huh?

Life imitates art, and the singer is now the subject of his song. Bowie, now the literal “Starman,” never was afraid to show us and knew he’d blow our minds. Bless him again for it. A life brilliantly lived and created.

A Playlist of Influence:

 

Moondog “Stamping Ground”

There’s a bit I heard about when Bowie, possibly still David Jones, first came to New York he sought out Moondog, aka the Viking of Sixth Ave. aka Louis Hardin, a street musician who wore Viking regalia and was revered for his composing style in which he drew from every possible source around him. See a connection? Think he made an impression?

 

 

David Bowie “Starman”

Case in point? Classic number, great ’70s groove, and an ode to the mic share of olde with Mick Ronson.

 

 

David Bowie “Holy Holy”

A B-side from The Man Who Sold the World era. A powerful tune that takes flight the longer it plays.

 

 

David Bowie “Black Country Rock”

Another from The Man Who Sold the World era. A badass tune with an even badder-ass guitar riff. Like a beautiful serpent running up and down your body.

 

 

David Bowie “That’s Motivation” from the film Absolute Beginners

A story about the jazz boom of ’50s-era London. As mentioned earlier, Bowie made a lot of acting appearances, and all them, good movies or not, were interesting, original portrayals, and he gave it his best.

 

 

Tin Machine “I Can’t Read” 

From 1989, when Bowie was part of a much-maligned group.

 

 

David Bowie and Arcade Fire “Five Years”

A very inspiring stint with the band proved Bowie was still open to new ideas and audiences.

 

 

David Bowie and Damon Albarn

Blur and Gorillaz leader teams up with Bowie.

 

Flight Bowie

Flight of the Conchords “Bowie’s in Space”

Flight of the Conchords have a few spot-on parodies of the Señor Bowie, in good fun, and this one is certainly a lovely poke but of genuine affection.

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