The world has lost many great music icons over the past few years but I don’t think any of them has hit me as hard as this one has. I just found out that one of the musicians who shaped me into the person I am today has passed away, David Bowie.
When I was about 14 years old I had been into music for a couple years. Back then there was no internet and my main source of information was the radio and rock music magazines. I would go to the local drug store every Monday with my mom are head straight to the magazine rack to see if there was a new issue of Circus, Hit Parade or Cream Magazine. I would take these books home and read them cover to cover, soaking in as much info as I could.
One name that I kept seeing was David Bowie. He was a rather strange looking chap for the time. Bright red hair and heavy make-up and very odd clothing. One day I was with my mom at a local dept. store looking at their selection of records and I came face to face with one of the albums I had been reading about in those magazines, The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars.
I pulled out my 4 dollars (yes kiddies that is how much an album cost back then) and walked to the check out counter to pay for the record.
I can remember it like it was yesterday, dropping the needle on the record and being amazed at the music coming out of the speakers. Songs like Moonage Day Dream, Starman and Ziggy Stardust reached out and grabbed me. Little did I know at the time, I was getting my first taste of music that would totally change me life and the way I listened to music. I studied every inch of that 12 inch album cover. One the back of the album were the words “To Be Played At Maxium Volume” and I did just that. I can’t remember how many time my mom would yell at me to turn that music down. I would tell her “But it says on the back…..”, that was when the headphones would come in handy.
I went back and got two of Bowie’s previous albums “Space Oddity” and “The Man Who Sold The World”. They were totally different than the music on “Ziggy” but equally as good.
Bowie would go on to release album after album in the next few years and I would get them as soon as they came out. “Diamond Dogs”, “Aladdin Sane”, “Pin Ups” “Young Americans” and many more. The album covers were always works of art. My favorite was always the Pin Ups cover which featured Bowie with British Super Model Twiggy on the front. The photo was supposed to be used for the cover of Vogue Magazine but at David’s request was used as the album cover art work.
I was lucky enough to see Bowie live 3 times in the 70’s. The best show being The Diamond Dogs Tour which was a mind blowing full stage production with props and dancers.
The thing about Bowie back then was, you never knew what the next album would sound like. One album would be hard rocking and the next would have more of a soul sound to it. In 1976 he was one of the few white artists to appear on the show “Soul Train” singing his hits “Fame” and “Young Americans”.
Bowie released albums after album though out the years always changing and some how predicting the type of music the world would be listening to next.
He also appeared in several movies as well, “The Man Who Fell To Earth”, “The Hunger”, “The Last Temptation Of Christ” and the Jim Henson film “Labyrinth”. The latter became an instant classic thanks to Bowie’s amazing role as Jareth The Goblin King.
David Bowie passed away January 10, 2016 after an 18 month battle with cancer.
Bowie has left the world with a legacy of music that will live on for music fans in the coming generations. He was an innovator, a trend setter and a true legend of our time.
Good bye Mr Bowie, Major Tom, Ziggy……May God’s love be with you!
David Bowie January 8, 1947 – January 10, 2016