I write this post with a heavy heart. One of my all time favorite musicians and fashion rule breaker is gone. David Bowie left us with an amazing body of work that spanned over six decades. He was an artist in every sense of the word. An actor, director, performance artist, writer, singer, and musician who challenged the norm.
Some knew him as Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane,The Thin White Duke, The Man Who Fell to Earth, Major Tom, or for most 80’s kids – Jareth, the Goblin King from Labyrinth.
David Bowie had an uncanny way of understanding that music and fashion influenced one another. With each new album, he unveiled a new look, a new source of inspiration. Unlike many artists, his concepts always worked because they were authentic. Nothing ever appeared to be created by a manager or a record company. Bowie controlled his look and sound, right to the very end.
As someone who came of age in the 1980s, his Let’s Dance album is when I grew to appreciate him as a musician. His haunting “China Girl,” the groovy “Let’s Dance,” and rocking “Modern Love” played constantly in my room. I was fascinated by his earlier work, especially “Ashes to Ashes” (the video was SO WEIRD to me – I understood it later on), “Fame,” “Fashion,” and one of my all time favorites, “Changes.” He was one of the first pop artists to play with gender bending in the video for “Boys Keep Swinging,” which for most pop stars could have spelled the end of a career. Not for Bowie. He knew how to push an envelope and still make a point.
During the early part of his career, some dismissed Bowie as bizarre, a flash in the pan looking to make headlines. They couldn’t have guessed that he would release an album on his 69th birthday, Blackstar. Despite fighting cancer, he would his say in his music.
There will never be another David Bowie.
“I, I will be king
And you, you will be queen
Though nothing will drive them away
We can beat them, just for one day
We can be Heroes, just for one day” (from “Heroes”)