David Bowie’s career strongly influences me. This contains only portions of his portfolio and a couple of highlights of his influence on me.

-His mug shot. (1976 marijuana possession). A year later, released the album “Low”. Art even at what may have been his lowest point.

In a 90s era video, he says that an integral part of his presentations is to leave room for the audience to interpret what they hear and see, so I’ll annotate very little.

Background for the unfamiliar: David Robert Haywood Duncan Jones, b 1947. Jones is still his family name.

His best known early production was a concept album and tour where he wrote and sung of a rock star, who rose to fame and died young in a world on the verge of apocalypse.  When he’s got the red spiky hair and novel costumes, he’s in character.  The LP was “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars”.  He tried to remain in character during interviews and off-stage, but eventually, around ’74, he says the drugs took their hold and the line blurred between reality and character.


Recent past:

Click to see above appearance if there’s a problem with embedded video above. 

Distant past:

Is there Life on Mars?

This one brought tears to my eyes hearing it live and thereafter. In a 90’s interview he says it’s the song he had continued to try to write ever since. Since he wrote it in ’71, his explanation helps me understand why I similarly love “Because You’re Young” from Scary Monsters and Super Creeps.

David Bowie rarely hands us insight or interpretation. When he provides background, his fans and critics highly prize the information.

 “Life On Mars?” (lyrics)

1980 as introduced by Johnny Carson. Sings the above song and Ashes to Ashes which is a sequel to one he wrote 1970, “Space Oddity”. “Ashes to Ashes” includes a line that replays in my head when I’m at a standstill. “I’ve never done good things. I’ve never done bad things. I’ve never did anything out of the blue”.

The most stunning version, in my opinion,  is the original video from ~71  -years before MTV, so I don’t know if anyone but Britons saw it.  

Soundtrack for the suicidal

Rock & Roll Suicide (lyrics)

An excellent rendition. Performed in Tokyo

And life moved on.

Wedding to Iman

Their daughter is Alexandria “Lexi” and his son from his first marriage is

Duncan Jones,  an award-winning independent film director. Here are father and son at Tribeca:

Duncan and David Jones.

And I’ve figured out why I’ve been a bit out of touch with David Bowie for some time. He has performed primarily at individual appearances since I saw him last, in the 90s.

David Bowie now lives in New York raising his daughter and dabbling in the visual arts.

I thought I had read he’d retired and did ongoing charity work with his wife, but those appear to be rather vague generalizations. Although they do charity work, he has performed. He made big splashes in single performances for 1985 Live Aid, at 2005 FashionRocks, 2010 Live at the Beeb.

And the 2005 FashionRocks got so much attention, I thought it was his foundation! But no, he received so much press because it was his return from illness. David Bowie had an emergency angioplasty the prior year, at the age of 57.  He turned 65 this January and got a bit of teasing from the press at being an official OAP (old-age pensioner).  He has released a studio album in 2011, although word of a tour may just be a rumor.

“I’m stuck with a valuable friend” – D. Bowie “Ashes to Ashes”