Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Farewell, David Bowie

I'm not sure I've ever done a post about a pop musician, but I was so shocked yesterday when I turned on NPR as I was getting ready for work and heard them talking about David Bowie in the past tense. I've done a couple of posts on Facebook and I thought that I would just share them here as well.

My first post was simply to share a video that one of my waterfront friends must have shared with me back in 2013 when it first came out. I loved this one because of all the places in the world, Bowie chose the old grain terminal in Red Hook, Brooklyn, as his location. 

My second post was today, after reading a very interesting article (with embedded video) about how Bowie had the nerve to take an interview on MTV as an opportunity to challenge MTV on their tendency to show very few videos by black artists. This shook loose a few more of my own thoughts:

This is an interesting side of Bowie that I didn't know about. Not too surprising, I'm not a huge modern music buff, enjoy all kinds of music but don't get into the histories of the artists like real fans do, so I didn't know a lot about him, just that he's been around for a long time and has repeatedly changed in a way that he never sounded "old".

There are a few things that I've learned about him that made me admire him. For instance, he didn't let the coke habit he had in the Thin White Duke days destroy him, but managed to kick it. From what I've read, he was way down that hole and pulling oneself out of an addiction like that takes a lot of strength. More recently, and maybe more positively, there was his intervention to allow the fabulous Chris Hadfield version of Major Tom to be on YouTube - if I recall correctly, it was mostly because Bowie himself loved that video that the record company lawyers let it be on YouTube for as long as it was, and then of course I thought the Red Hook video...was fantastic.

So I don't know that much about him, but I had a basically solid good impression of him as an artist and a human being, and when I read something like this that just adds to that. My introduction to his music was the Let's Dance album - good heavens, I actually just discovered that I still have that cassette here. Will have to try playing it tonight, that will be a trip down memory lane!

Click here to read that article and see the interview.

And then my third post was a little later today, when a Facebook friend (I wish I could remember who it was to give proper credit!) linked to a Vox article featuring the Chris Hadfield video. The permissions thing that I'd referred to in my "preamble" to the Washington Post article, to the best of my recollection, was that there was some issue with the original posting, but because David Bowie personally loved Hadfield's rendition, first he helped arrange things so that Hadfield could post it for one year, and then when the year was up (easy to spot by the flurry of social media warnings to go watch it quick before it went away), Bowie went back to bat for Hadfield and got the permission extended.

Click here to read that article and see that video.

Back to Sebago fun tomorrow - it won't be a trip in the Wayback Machine, more a trip in the Littlebitback Machine. 

1 comment:

Karen @BakingInATornado said...

Bowie's music is threaded all through my memories of growing up. I actually think it's sad that I'm learning so much more about him because he's gone.