There have been many shades of Bowie in the past 40 years. From the pale androgynous alien to the Goblin King, Bowie has been a chameleon of sorts. However, I’m going to put images aside and talk about the ever changing face of his music before discussing his films.
Bowie was always a musical ground breaker. I remember how everyone was once talking about a new strange song with a sound so different that it had to be heard. The song was “Fame,” and most youth today would hear it and sarcastically say “big deal.” It was no surprise to me when I later learned that John Lennon was part of the song-writing and recording team for that track.
“Fame” was completely different from his earlier works, and so was the entire album Young Americans. It had some heavy American funk/jazz influence as evidenced by the presence of Luther Vandross.
In the late ’70s and early ’80s Heroes, Scary Monsters, and Let’s Dance firmly established the fact hat Bowie could not only keep up with the times, but also direct them.. His brand of theater rock was always evolving.
His films were iconic as well. My wife’s generation remembers him as the Goblin King from Labyrinth, but for my generation he will always be The Man Who Fell to Earth. Both films were on my lists of favorite films of the ‘70s and favorite films of the ‘80s.
His role of Major Jack Celliers in Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence won him more acclaim. Also, I really liked him as Tesla in The Prestige. Five Years is a documentary about David Bowie’s early years that established him as musical tour-de-force. I caught it on cable a few months ago and I highly recommend it.
David Bowie’s music, film appearances, and changing image transcended generations. Different age groups possess a different iconic image of him. His creative force will be missed.
What type of icon was David Bowie for you?
What’s your favorite Bowie song, album, or movie?
***Put Ragged Souls on your kindle***
***Tell me when the new short story Night Flights is available***
My personal favorite song is Station to Station, my favorite album is Ziggy Stardust, and The Man Who Fell to Earth would be my fav Bowie film.