When you turn on the morning news and you hear an old David Bowie song, you know it can’t be good.
There is no shortage of news articles talking about the life and career of David Bowie so I’ll just touch on some points on why he was so cool.
He was a constant experimenter.
As someone who was part of the pop music industry (whether he liked it or not), there is always the pressure to stay with the proven formula. He could have milked Ziggy Stardust but gave it up when he felt that it no longer offered a meaningful path of expression. The idea of Bowie as the “Reinventor” was a facet of his need to explore new ideas and new ways to present them. The very idea of reinventing one’s public persona was itself a new concept to what was rock music in the Seventies.
He went down swinging.
While battling cancer for the past 18 months, Bowie worked on what is his final album, Blackstar, while concurrently working on the Off-Broadway musical Lazarus, a “sequel” to the 1963 novel The Man Who Fell to Earth by Walter Tevis, that inspired the 1976 Nicolas Roeg film he starred in. The album Blackstar was made with the Donny McCaslin Quartet, a jazz rock group that I’ve seen play at the 55 Bar here in NYC. These are challenging works that deal with themes of mortality and loneliness. Not easy stuff. It’s a testament to Bowie’s uncompromising vision that he went out with a bang.
Great taste in guitarists.
Mick Ronson, Carlos Alomar, Earl Slick, Adrian Belew, Robert Fripp, Stevie Ray Vaughan. Wow. Check out the link below for an article from Guitar Player magazine that discusses Bowie’s guitar collaborators.
Five Words: “Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am!”
Suffragette City – David Bowie: