bowie makeup

“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.”





Tony Visconti






“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.”



“I seem to collect personalities.”




David Bowie






I admit.



I can’t really put my finger on how I felt when I heard David Bowie had died.


bowie psychedWhile a huge fan of early Bowie it didn’t create a sense of mourning … or even a sense of sadness … it was more like someone just left the room I was standing in and it was a little quieter because of it.


I cannot claim to be a huge David Bowie fan. But I also cannot claim to know who David Bowie was … Ziggy Stardust? The Thin White Duke? Aladdin Sane? Recluse? Flamboyant? The man who fell to earth or the starman?


Era after era he redefined himself so we never felt comfortable with David but rather whichever incarnation put out a record that year.


Extremely talented as a songwriter, singer & performer. I can unequivocally state that he was cool before I ever knew what cool was.


I can clearly state I wore out record after record during his Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane era.



Ziggy Stardust was just one among a brilliant three album run he had – Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, Hunky Dory – which may rank up with one of the best 3 album stretches of anyone of all time.


Which leads me to my favorite Bowie songs.



There are several hundred songs to choose from a broad portfolio which permits almost everyone of any age and any musical taste to have a Bowie song they love. I could also argue you are more likely to have a favorite Bowie persona than you do a favorite song.



My favorite all time Bowie?



Panic in Detroit from Aladdin Sane:


david bowie aladdin sane

Close second?



All the Young Dudes <which he gave to Mott The Hoople> containing one of the best sing along choruses of that time.



I then throw in a tandem partner songs … Space Oddity & Ashes to Ashes.


“ground control to Major Tom.”


Space Oddity is a dialogue between the men at ground control and Major Tom, an astronaut who is “floating in a most peculiar way” and concludes with the astronaut asking ground control to tell his wife he loves her very much <which they respond is “She knows”>.



Ashes to Ashes” revives the Major Tom character from Space Oddity, within a haunting recording opening with “Do you remember a guy that’s been in such an early song / I’ve heard a rumor from Ground Control / Oh no, don’t say it’s true.”




The rumor … “We know Major Tom’s a junkie / Strung out in heaven’s high / Hitting an all-time low.”






david bowie 1985John I’m Only Dancing” is a wonderful jangly unsteady/steady beat covered by Bowie’s light rap/talk and crooning … and it contains one of Bowie’s most infectious chorus hooks.



And then there is Rebel Rebel which begins with one of the greatest rock guitar riffs of all time <played by Bowie>.



And, lastly, while I could just suggest the entire Ziggy Stardust record <because picking from Ziggy Stardust album is like having to pick your favorite child> I will narrow it down to 2:



Ziggy Stardust. < > It is a frickin’ masterpiece delivered in the distinctive Bowie voice. It also contains one of Bowie’s greatest guitar riffs <played by Mark Ronson>.



“Making love with his ego / Ziggy sucked up into his mind / Like a leper messiah / When the kids had killed the man / I had to break up the band.”



Moonage Daydream <Live> is one of the most beautifully arranged psychedelic rock songs of all time. It has a little bit of something for everyone <including a piccolo>.


That’s it <although I could easily add 6 more>.



His music is awesome … and timeless.

Ziggy ziggy-stardust


But here is what may be Bowie’s true legacy … he rode it to the buzzer <as the rodeo people say>. He released an album maybe 5 days before he died. He wanted to die on his terms … doing what he loved doing. The man didn’t waste a minute of his life … riding life hard as if he was being judged … until the buzzer sounded and not a second before.



RIP Ziggy.




Written by Bruce