Hi everyone. Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing. But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?
(Image found online. Original source unknown.)
I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day. And if this helps anyone else, even better.
Yesterday marked the 74th birth anniversary for a man who reinvented himself too many times to count throughout his extensive career. David Bowie, who was born David Jones in London on January 8, 1947, changed his name when he was 18 so as not to be confused with Davy Jones from The Monkees. Bowie’s nearly 50 year career took us from his debut album in 1967, to his time as a glam rocker via his alter ego Ziggy Stardust in the 1970’s, to “Let’s Dance” in the 1980’s to “Strangers When We Meet” in the 1990’s to “Slow Burn” in the 2000’s to his final album Blackstar in 2016. In between he took to acting on the Broadway stage (as Joseph Merrick in “The Elephant Man” from 1980-1981) and in films (in 1976’s “The Man Who Fell To Earth”, to The Goblin King in 1986’s “Labyrinth” and as Pontius Pilate in 1988’s “The Last Temptation Of Christ”, amongst others). In 1974 he relocated to the US, eventually making New York City his home. He became part of the city’s night life scene as a frequent patron of “Studio 54” and other high profile clubs. He also became a style icon by changing his look a number of times throughout his life.
Tomorrow, January 10, will mark five years since we lost this iconic superstar. Not too many performing artists who started out in the 1960’s went on to have the rich & diverse career Bowie enjoyed, which is another testament to his wealth of talent. So is today’s track which became one of his signature songs.
“Am I sitting in a tin can
Far above the world
Planet Earth is blue
And there’s nothing I can do“.
David Bowie circa 2005. (Image found online. Original source unknown.)
David Bowie: “Space Oddity” (1969, written by David Bowie).
I do not own the rights to anything. I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.
Not even two weeks into the new year and we already have a devastating loss in the world of music. David Bowie, the 1970’s rock icon who transformed himself over and over throughout his illustrious career, died after an 18 month battle with cancer on January 10. He was 69 years old.
Photo by Richard Young 1983
Born David Robert Jones in London on January 8, 1947, he changed his last name to avoid confusion with the other Davey Jones in The Monkees. Bowie’s musical career began with his break through album “Space Oddity” in 1969 and he spent the 1970’s establishing himself as a glam rock, art rock musician like no other with songs like “Changes“, “Golden Years“, “Rebel Rebel” and “Suffragette City“. He easily segued from his Ziggy Stardust persona of the 70’s to the suave, well dressed gentleman in a string of 1980’s videos for hits like “Modern Love“, “Let’s Dance“, “China Girl” and “Blue Jean“.
Not only did Bowie do great work as a solo artist, but his collaborations were stunning as well. Aside from his ground-breaking work with the likes of Lou Reed, Brian Eno and Iggy Pop, Bowie also worked with John Lennon on “Fame“, covered the Motown classic “Dancing In The Streets” with Mick Jagger, joined Bing Crosby for a wonderful collaboration of “The Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth” and teamed up with rock group Queen for “Under Pressure“, to name a few. These collaborations showed how innovative, versatile and truly unique Bowie’s musical genius was.
Bowie also had several acting roles, most notably in the movies (he played Pontius Pilate in Martin Scorsese’s film “The Last Temptation Of Christ” as well as roles in “The Man Who Fell To Earth” and “The Linguini Incident“) and on the Broadway stage (he played the title role in “The Elephant Man” in 1980-1981). He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and in 1996 he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame by David Byrne of The Talking Heads. On January 8 2016, on what was Bowie’s 69th birthday, his last recording “Blackstar” was released.
My two best memories of Bowie after his collaborations are when the TV series “Without A Trace” used “Space Oddity” in Anthony LaPaglia’s signature episode entitled “John Michaels“. The second was Bowie’s performance at the Concert For NYC in 2001. He was humble and grateful to the men and women who kept his adopted home of Manhattan safe and showed that with a stand out performance of “Heroes”. I cannot seem to find that performance online, so here is that song from his “Live By Request” show a year later in 2002.
Rest in peace, David Bowie. “And may God’s love be with you”.
Please note that I do not own the rights to anything. I am just sharing some of my favorite music with you.