David Bowie, RIP. He moved the Overton Window in the right direction, towards weirdness & experimentation.
— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) January 11, 2016
From the Guardian:
… Bowie’s 25 albums produced a string of hits including Changes, Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes. He was known for experimenting across diverse musical genres, and for his alter egos Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane and the Thin White Duke. He also had a notable acting career.
His latest album, Blackstar, was released last week to coincide with his 69th birthday, and had received widespread critical acclaim…
Tributes were paid on social media. In a heartfelt Facebook post, Tony Visconti, who produced a series of Bowie’s albums, including Young Americans and his seminal Berlin trilogy, Low, Heroes and Lodger, wrote: “He always did what he wanted to do. And he wanted to do it his way and he wanted to do it the best way. His death was no different from his life – a work of art.
“He made Blackstar for us, his parting gift. I knew for a year this was the way it would be. I wasn’t, however, prepared for it. He was an extraordinary man, full of love and life. He will always be with us. For now, it is appropriate to cry.”…
“I am not a natural performer,” Bowie said in a rare interview in 2002. “I don’t enjoy performing terribly much. Never have. I can do it and, if my mind’s on the situation, do it quite well. But, five or six shows in, I’m dying to get off the road and go back to the studio.”
In the same interview, he said: “My entire career, I’ve only really worked with the same subject matter. The trousers may change, but the actual words and subjects I’ve always chosen to write with are things to do with isolation, abandonment, fear and anxiety, all of the high points of one’s life.”
— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) January 11, 2016
Possibly Bowie's most charming incarnation: narrating Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf w/ Philadelphia Orchestra https://t.co/Q0kp04X19S
— Peter Ginna (@DoctorSyntax) January 11, 2016
I loved this when I was a kid. It must have been the first time I heard David Bowie. https://t.co/wxqybgLMAW
— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) January 11, 2016
“Don’t you love the Oxford Dictionary? When I first read it, I thought it was a really really long poem about everything.” ― David Bowie
— John Fugelsang (@JohnFugelsang) January 11, 2016
Vanity Fair asked #Bowie "What is your idea of perfect happiness?" His reply: #Reading. His Top 100! @DoctorSyntax https://t.co/wIBz9f2JqM
— Carol Weston (@carol_weston) January 11, 2016
I find that I am really feeling a loss with this one. OTOH, the last photos of Bowie – taken by his wife, Iman – on his birthday, Jan. 8, show someone looking happy. Maybe there is comfort in that.
I have been listening to his music all day and realizing how many of his songs are somehow woven into my memories. There were a couple I didn’t even remember were his! But I keep going back to Lazarus. He’s singing his own death and yet it’s like watching… I don’t know how to put it… some starship getting ready to launch. I think I’ll be processing this one for a while.
Typical Obama. Throwing money at a problem instead of letting Beau Biden’s widow pull herself up by her bootstraps.
I believe that your comment is snark.
But if it is or if it isn’t, it’s still in bad taste.
@Ruckus:NYT panned The Producers saying it was bad taste. I m sorry you can’t see the actual target.
A different kind of Bowie anecdote.
@Ruckus: Yes, the comment was snark. And no, not in bad taste, in fact very pointed and hit the intended target. In case you are unclear about the target, think “bootstraps”.
This one has been a blow to the heart. It’s like someone took the colours out of the world. I can’t really listen to the classics right now. I’m going to give myself a day and start off with some lesser known stuff until I can listen to Blackstar. Least I can do is listen to his farewell song. But it does seem a poorer world without him.
@David Koch: Zing.
I have been playing albums and watching live performances on U-tube and reading stuff on the web all day and still feel completely gutted. He was such a musician.
I read that title as “Far Flung Mammories”….
Nice to see one more thread referencing David Bowie as well as all of the great commentaries I read earlier.
Bowie is one of the Big 6 in my pantheon of rock icons – the others being Frank Zappa, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and Van Morrison.
I was a fan, but not a fanatic, so I’m surprised at how unsettling this one is for me, too. He retained a boyish and youthful appearance until the very end, and he always reminded me of Peter Pan; he should never grow up, let alone grow old and die.
Only saw him live in concert once, but he was dynamite (and the crowd was far more interesting than a typical rock ‘n roll audience).
I remember at first being shocked at seeing he was 69, and then thinking–of course he must have been; I’ve been listening to him since I was 12….
No celebrity death has hit me this hard since Lennon’s. Bowie was a huge presence in my life, especially when I was a teenager, a kid who never felt she fit in. He was an icon to me. My parents couldn’t figure out why I had posters of him and Freddie Mercury all over my bedroom walls. They would have felt better about it if the pics were of Jagger or someone a bit more masculine ;-). His music took me places I’d never been and wouldn’t have gone without him and he made me feel that it was a good thing to be different. I’ll always be thankful to him for that.
Holy shit, this is a great piece. I’m surprised at myself for being surprised at how how well-executed it is, visually and musically. Typically Bowie. Such an ARTIST.
There was one almost nobody will remember. Bowie appeared on Bing Crosby’s Christmas show a few years back. The duet they sang, Bing doing The Little Drummer Boy And Bowie singing the Peace on Earth.
It was magical.
And for fun, Bowie and Mick Jagger: Drinking in the Street. Or was it Dancing? Anyway it was just played on TV here in Boston this evening.
I’m surprised how hard it’s hit me. I thought he was forever.
Signs you are too wrapped up in the meaningless theater of online political discourse: the nicest thing you can think to say about Bowie is “he moved the Overton Window.”
I felt like an absolute misfit in my teen years. Bowie was such a comfort because he made experimentation, creativity, and being weird (from the perspective of the socially acceptable) so beautiful. I loved him and his music so much. In a way he was showing by example that all of us who felt different could make a place for ourselves in the world and stay different. It wouldn’t suck to be different forever. Like others here, I too am surprised how hard this has hit me. Just Friday I texted my son with the happy news that he had released new music. I hope I follow his example of being so alive right up to the moment he was no longer. If I’m honest, I just do what I have to do to get through far too many of my days. Time to turn myself to face me.
jake the antisoshul soshulist
I thought about the Bing Crosby Christmas song duet. It was possible the most surreal performance in Bowie’s career.
By chance, I bought a second hand copy of the Man who fell to Earth last week. I thought I’d watch a little last night before going to bed. Ended up watching it all the way through. It was as strange and wonderful, and Bowie was as compelling, as I remember them being from my last viewing as a teenager some time in the 70s.
Bowie was never at the front of the line in my music enjoyment. Knew him, admired him, but that Peter and the Wolf album I knew by heart and it served more than once as the score to in-home dance productions featuring me and two of my sisters.
Rasputin's Evil Twin
@jake the antisoshul soshulist: It was certainly
among the strangest in Bing’s career.