Transcending Ziggy: A Tribute to David Bowie
It's your job, boys and girls and others, to know your icons. The pioneers who came before you that make it easier for you to be wild, be a king, be a queen, be goth, be fucked up, be an artist, be a feminist, be an anarchist, be yourself, are the lights that shine bright above you.
On Sunday, January 10th, 2016, an icon left this earth. Out of anyone from the 20th century, with him it's safe to say he returned home to the stars.
If you think you don't know David Bowie, I guarantee that you do. Your parents or even grandparents might consider him their rock icon but he is everyone's icon. He emerged in the late 60's with Space Oddity. It is a unifying song about man's journey into the stars. Keep in mind: we had NEVER been there before.
In the early 70's Ziggy Stardust was born; the androgynous alien being from outside it all and with the Spiders from Mars came the creation of what we know today as the theatrical rock show. Yes, Bowie is the essential ingredient to music even for Beliebers and Little Monsters. He reinvented himself again in the late 70's as Aladdin Sane...The Thin White Duke...Halloween Jack...Thomas Jerome Newton...he took a sabbatical and came back with the Berlin Trilogy, and I know you have heard 'Heroes.' He entered the 80's with a pop sound and a new generation knew him as the Goblin King from Labyrinth. He went rogue in the 90's, creating rock band Tin Machine, then created an album dedicated to his new wife, Iman, and then got dark and surprising by teaming up with Nine Inch Nails on the perfection piece 'I'm Afraid Of Americans.' Then he went techno. THEN he took a step back with the album Hours which was very contemplative. Each subsequent album was his own, screw what critics said, and we found diamonds in each one.
David Bowie Through the Decades
And this last album, Blackstar...it was his goodbye gift to the world. A visionary artist who didn't waste a second of his remaining time and used it to create a final piece of art.
He was and will continue to be an epicenter of culture with reaches beyond his music. Do you know Morrissey? Lady Gaga? Dita Von Teese, Kate Moss, Tilda Swinton, the soundtrack to Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, have you cried to Moulin Rouge, do you drool over Alexander McQueen...Pablo Picasso, Marc Bolan, Lou Reed, Studied the pop art of Andy Warhol, Iggy Pop, Elvis Presley, John Lennon, Carl Jung...Madonna constantly reinventing her look? Guess who did it first. Vivienne Westwood designed, Kansai Yamamoto became known worldwide...
Do you follow your favorite celebrities on social media and interact with them in some small way? David Bowie was the first to use the internet to connect with his fans via davidbowie.com in the late nineties. Jean Paul Gaultier's 2013 collection, the mullets of Haider Ackermann's Spring 2016 collection, genderbending, fa-fa-fa-fashion, American Horror Story: Freak Show, Club Kids, Andrej Pejic...ALL of these things and many more either inspired Bowie or were inspired by David Bowie. The allure of androgyny, the ethos of reinvention, the creation for the sake of creating. David Bowie.
His fingers have been at the pulse points of music and culture and artistic transcendence for so many decades, influencing and inspiring, that it is hard to contemplate what direction the next steps should be in now that he is gone.
Send your love, send your thoughts, destroyers, it would do this Bowie fan's heart some good.