David Bowie: A Legendary Fandom
Here at fanpage.com, our hearts go out to the family and friends of David Bowie. May he rest in peace.
When in the car, who doesn’t crank it up when you hear the song, “Under Pressure”? When you’re watching a movie and the song, “Space Oddity” comes on, who doesn’t know the words? Or, if there’s anyone like me – who doesn’t have “Let’s Dance” in the playlist of their I-Pod.
These, and so many, many others, were classic hits of the legendary musical artist, who passed away on January 10, 2016. There is very little doubt that everyone on the planet knows or has at the very least heard the name, David Bowie. He is one of the most famous of his generation, and one of the most talented musicians of the 20th, and 21st centuries. Most of us remember the David Bowie from the early ’70s and ’80s. The electric red hair, blue eye shadow and glittery bell-bottoms, right? Or maybe the David Bowie with the handsome well-quaffed blond hair? There was so much more to Bowie though than his signature looks. More to him even than just his music – though that’s what most of us will always remember him for.
Born in London, England in 1947, Bowie – whose real name is David Robert Jones – made an impression on his teachers at a young age. They noticed early on that he had a musical style and dance interpretation that most children did not possess. By age 15, Bowie started his own band, and by 1967 he had enrolled at the London Dance Centre.
Spending several of his young adulthood years as a composition writer for theatrical pieces, his natural talent was unbounded. In April of 1969 he met and soon after married his first wife, Angela Barnett who he remained with until 1980. Around 1969, a band called “The Hype” was formed, and each member created characters for themselves – which were all unorthodox to some degree.
In 1972 Bowie went on his “Ziggy Stardust” tour, an alternate persona he’d invented, with the intent of wanting a character looking like he’d landed straight from Mars. He was successful. Boosting him to a level of stardom he could never have imagined, he toured across the UK that year for six months – engaging audiences everywhere with his new found sound, style and androgynous appearance. The latter of which caught the attention of many a reporter and average man on the street. Some to delight, others to dismay.
In 1974, Bowie found himself now living in the United States – first moving to New York, until finally ending up in L.A.. That same year, he released the album, Diamond Dogs, featuring one of his better known hits, “Rebel Rebel”, later that year he went on the album’s tour. While performing, audiences were aware of his emaciated body, but were perhaps unaware of what was going on behind the curtain. Bowie had become addicted to drugs – namely, cocaine – which had resulted in paranoia, emotional issues and physical debilitation.
In 1975, David Bowie released his first US number one hit album, Young Americans, which featured one of the greatest songs of his repertoire, “Fame” which was co-written by none other than John Lennon. Who doesn’t love that song?
When 1976 rolled around, Bowie curbed his cocaine addiction once outside of the hustle and bustle of city life, by moving to Switzerland – just outside of Lake Geneva. He focused more on painting, and even produced several pieces, taking his mind off of his chaotic and crazed life.
In 1981, after having some stints of other hits here and there in the late ’70s, Bowie returned on the mainstream scene in probably the most profound way of his career. He teamed up with ultra-famous band Queen and together they created what is now his most well-known, and what the majority of us at least consider to be, the best of his songs, “Under Pressure”. As many of us know, there was an out-of-court settlement regarding the lawsuit that Queen and Bowie mutually filed in 1990 against Vanilla Ice, who had released the song “Ice Ice Baby”, the riff and beat to which was questionably similar to “Under Pressure”‘s.
In 1989, Bowie temporarily gave up a solo-career and retreated back into the band lifestyle, teaming up with a talented guitarist by the name of Reeves Gabrels. This was a short-lived transition as he returned to his musical independence in 1993, by releasing another album entitled, Black Tie White Noise. The album did well in the UK, as it reached the charts’ number one spot that year.
Experimenting in different sounds, styles and techniques Bowie stayed active for decades, creating new albums left and right it seemed, until he released his very last one just days before his death. Bowie, artist to the end, created a rather disturbing and yet poignant farewell to his fans in the music video, “Lazarus” . Having been diagnosed with cancer just eighteen months prior to the release of his final album Blackstar, Bowie, as always, wanted to do what he wanted to do – and what he wanted to do was go out with a bang. Two days after the release of the album and music video, he died in his Manhattan home.
With awards, recognition, and a vast array of timeless hits to his name, David Bowie’s contemporary classics which will forever remain in our hearts, are ones that we can also keep close to our ears forevermore. With much gratitude to a man who, while he may have brought a great deal of controversy over the years, is one we will not soon forget. He is survived by his wife – now widow – Somalian-American model, Iman, and his two children, Duncan Jones and Alexandria Zahra Jones.