I don’t know if you guys know this about me, but I am a HUGE David Bowie fan. I actually started a new job the day he died, and cried on the drive in to work. I must have looked awful when I walked in to my new office to meet my team that day. I think the reason why it got to me so much (normally I have the emotional range of a Vulcan), was the fact that David Bowie always represented a sense of belonging to the people that loved his music. He was a symbol and an icon for the misfits, outsiders, and rejects. He tore down the walls of societal, and gender norms and made the people that were on the outside feel like they finally had a voice.
On top of his general awesomeness, he managed to stay musically, and socially relevant for the entirety of his almost 50 year career. I mean really, what’s not to love? Everything from his music, to his roles in movies (Labyrinth anyone?), to his style was just amazing, and the definition of originality.
As someone who loves fashion, and uses it to express themselves, its hard not to love and look up to David Bowie. He 100% expressed himself through what he wore, and it didn’t matter what anyone else thought about it. I think it’s easy for us now to look at his style, and maybe say things like “big deal, men wear makeup and odd costumes all the time”. For his time though, it was completely unheard of to do such things. Wearing makeup, dresses, and even things like having long hair were all things that men, even eccentric ones just didn’t do. Long hair right? I’m not even kidding, here is a video of a 17 year old David Bowie (then Davy Jones) talking about his “Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Long-Haired Men”.
I think one of the things that got to me the most when he died though, was listening to Black Star, the album that he released (on his 69th birthday) two days before his death. It was such an obvious reflection on his life, and a farewell to the world. The album on its own is amazing, but to listen to it in the context of his death gives it so many more layers, and makes it so meaningful. The single, Lazarus, is a basically a self-epitaph. The song itself is great, but the music video adds so much more to it. Don’t even get me started on the video for Black Star, and how he basically lays Major Tom to rest.
Anyways, I could go on and on. I really meant to write about a couple different things in this post. Like the fact that when Kiersten and I shot the photos it took us around forty five minutes, and in that time the weather went from pouring and freezing, to sunny and warm and back again about four different times (dammit, Washington spring!). I suppose it did make for some fun puddles. Or about how excited I am to have finally, once again found a perfect black leather moto jacket after mine got stolen last year (once again, I had to go through like four different jackets before finding a winner). None if it happened though, because I started listening to Bowie, watching his music videos and interviews, and the music lover portion of my brain just took me off on a tangent.
Are you any of you guys David Bowie fans? If not, who is a musician that you super admire for more than just their music?
I’m just going to leave the videos for Lazarus, and Black Star here. If you are a fan of Dark Crystal, or Labyrinth, I’m betting you’ll like the Black Star music video!