WHAT THE HELL

Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

When we were young: David Bowie edition

Here’s Ziggy Stardust before he had even thought up Ziggy Stardust, winning some kind of pop music award for creativity and originality. They liked “Space Oddity” enough to give its 23-year-old creator a nice paperweight. Of course they could have had no idea that Bowie was only getting warmed up.

Now, DB has never been on my top ten list of faves, but when I look back at his catalogue I can see that he was (is) a genuine force to be reckoned with. Once, back in ’78, I met a woman who claimed to have been his girlfriend for a while, and I thought, “Bowie? That has-been?” Boy, was I wrong.

Just wondering if anybody knows… Did Major Tom ever make it back to planet Earth?

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9 comments on “When we were young: David Bowie edition

  1. sknicholls
    May 9, 2015

    I think he died in space. Made me rethink my plans on becoming an astronaut. Though I still feel somewhat alien some days.

    • Kevin Brennan
      May 9, 2015

      Someone reminded me of the later song, “Ashes To Ashes,” which says: “Ashes to ashes, funk to funky, we know Major Tom’s a junkie.”

      Could be metaphorical, I guess. 😉

  2. islandeditions
    May 9, 2015

    Did you see the video version Canadian astronaut, Chris Hadfield, made when he was last in space (with Bowie’s permission) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaOC9danxNo

    • Kevin Brennan
      May 9, 2015

      That was awesome! I hadn’t seen it before, but it really evokes the feeling of isolation in the song. Cool!

  3. pinklightsabre
    May 11, 2015

    Lovely clip – I think like you perhaps, tried to be a fan but never really dug in. Own lots of his records but it’s probably Ziggy Stardust I like most, or Low. But so much admiration for him, and how he visualized his records as like theatrical sets. The dude really knows how to write songs.

    • Kevin Brennan
      May 12, 2015

      I blame myself, as a sheltered Midwestern kid: I was queasy about the whole androgynous, bi-sexual, what is that guy wearing? thing. My loss! Over time a few of his songs stuck with me, like “Young Americans.” That one still slays me. And now, looking over some of his lyrics, I’ve come to realize there’s a lot to rediscover in his oeuvre.

      I hardly ever get to say oeuvre. Feels good.

      • pinklightsabre
        May 12, 2015

        I had some similar queasiness — our loss. Yes, on Young Americans. It’s one of my recent, most favorite opening lines to a song — and such a cool, unexpected turn (–‘he frowns’). He did a very odd video about a year ago for his latest record. I wasn’t sure if I liked it but it really struck me in that sort of upsetting way some of his videos did (like Ashes to Ashes) that, as a kid, kind of freaked me out in a not-good way. But what a legacy there, and still going.

      • Kevin Brennan
        May 13, 2015

        Remember the one where he’s kind of a creepy clown in the pointy hat? Maybe that was Ashes to Ashes, now that I think about it. Still can’t get it out of my head!

      • pinklightsabre
        May 13, 2015

        That’s the one. Deeply disturbing. Probably not always a fun guy to party with if you get me.

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This entry was posted on May 9, 2015 by in Music and tagged , .
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