David Bowie: The Last of the Young Dudes – RIP
David Bowie has died. Finally, I can say that my youth has gone. The ultimate YOUNG DUDE has passed away today. RIP David Bowie. Am I being too dramatic about the passing of one irreverent, gender-phasing pop artist? Sorry. It’s just that when I read that he passed away at the ripe age of 69, quietly with his family around him, the last fight lost, I thought of an artist, an avant-garde of the performance world who exuded originality in a world that has gone stale with gimmickry and mimicry.
Indeed, his themes were not always mainstream. He sang about love and struggle, but he mimed life lessons and extorted personal epiphanies with that shred of other-world, alien and utterly aloneness. There was a whole generation of teens to whom David Bowie had a personal and intimate dialog. In my then-atheistic world, there wasn’t anything about David Bowie that was ever fake; he was the god-head of originality, the voice of sincerity. And man… that day, he saddled up alongside Bing Crosby to croon Drummer Boy! We were all over the place over that. And when he appeared in The Man Who Fell to Earth, some of us walked away convinced that Ziggy Stardust was still living and walking among us.
More than any artist, David Bowie sang to my youth, my struggle for originality, and my won’t for a shred of the avant-garde. And there was the teen-pleasing parental reaction: my mother thought he was a “nice” looking man but silly; my father couldn’t stop making fun of him. They didn’t understand Ziggy, couldn’t wrap their arms around the idea that their son, who came home one day from a concert with a lightning bolt painted on his face, was singing:
Ziggy really sang
Screwed-up eyes and screwed-down hairdo
Like some cat from Japan
He could lick ’em by smiling
He could leave ’em to hang
They came on so loaded, man
Well-hung and snow-white tan
Okay. I may have done that for effect. But it was when David Bowie died, I realized his music spelled out my youth. With my youth all but a memory, I now truly understand the song.
Latest David Bowie Purchase: Blackstar
First David Bowie Purchase: Diamond Dogs
Favorite David Bowie Album: Station to Station
Favorite David Bowie Song: Golden Years
Favorite David Bowie movie: Man Who Fell to Earth
Favorite David Bowie video: Jean Genie
Favorite David Bowie album cover: Low