Monday, January 11, 2016

Aladdin Sane

"I guess it's flattering that everyone believed I was those characters, but it also is dehumanizing. I meet people all the time and I can see the mistrust in their eyes, like calculation is my middle name."
David Bowie

I had the fortune of seeing David Bowie twice, once on the Glass Spider tour and once on Broadway. Andrea Harmon and I scored a third or fifth row ticket for like no money (which was it Andrea?), and got to see him play the lead in the Elephant Man. What a masterful performer! A brilliant man.

But he was nothing if not calculating. I have never felt as manipulated by a performer as I did during the aforementioned concert performance when he pulled the blushing girl out of the audience and it turned out that she was a professional plant. When you are gamed like that, you start looking around with a bit more suspicion. Tull did something similar once.

I came up in the early seventies blue jean era of Dead, Band and Allman Brothers and when Glam hit we were all a bit bewildered. But it was hard for even us hardened hippies not to acknowledge Bowie's brilliance and the chops of the fantastic late Mick Ronson.

I had a high school classmate who was so infatuated with the thin white duke that he changed his name to Star Man and lived in an airstream.

I had no idea that Bowie was suffering from cancer. I have heard two songs from the new album Blackstar, Lazarus and Sue (Or in a season of crime.) They are powerful and as a cancer experiencer myself, I can relate to the potency of the message. Heavy shit as they say.

David Bowie largely created his own genre, with a unique message and his art rarely failed to inspire. He will be missed.

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