Monday, January 11, 2016

Watch That Man: David Bowie, 1947-2016

David Bowie died yesterday.  Here’s an incomplete timeline of his impact on my life:

1978-80: As a misfit kid in the pre-internet era, determining who and what I was became easier once I discovered David Bowie.  I studied his back catalog as if it was a musical hidden treasure map.  The aggressive glam-rock of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars blew my mind.  The application of jazz on Aladdin Sane made a profound impression on me.  Low remains my favorite Bowie album.

1980-81: Two or three of my high school friends insisted that Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) be utilized as the soundtrack for several hazy high school experiences.  (Maybe that’s why I never acquired a taste for the album.)

1982: I talked my way into a Stevie Ray Vaughan rehearsal for Bowie’s Let’s Dance project at Billy Bob’s Texas.

1983-84 Bowie’s Let’s Dance became a mainstream pop sensation.  I was thrilled when “normal” girls would dance with me as Bowie songs played.

1990-93: I was a sales rep for Rykodisc as the record label rolled out reissues of Bowie’s catalog.  I was awarded the autographed poster pictured above at a sales conference.

2015: I was pleased but not surprised upon learning that Bowie was collaborating with the jazz musician Donny McCaslin for what would become his final album.

(Original image by There Stands the Glass.)

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