Today there is a Glammer in the night sky, as David (Jones) Bowie joins the Astral Galaxy.
He past this way yesterday at the age of 69, same as me, yet I remain grounded to write this sort-of-a Rayquiem.
I recall my 1st exposure
to him was hearing ‘Space Oddity’ (1969) quite a bit of Derring-do for the time.
He later embedded my interest with ‘Changes’
and ‘Is There Life On Mars?’ from Hunky Dory (1971); I liked it.
Most of his RCA outpouring was pre-Me as I didn’t join the Dog
Pound til Aug 16 1977.
In 1972 he issued Ziggy followed by Aladin Sane, Diamond Dogs, Young Americans, and I recall, as a RCA Canada Rep working
‘Lodger’ later in 1979. I recall using ‘Lodger’ in an ad promoting Punk music, identifying him as The Godfather of Punk for his adventuresome Musical spirit, breaking new ground, altho that Mantle may have been better worn by Lou Reed.
Mick Ronson was his defacto Six String Savant for a while, who also worked with Lou Reed (HIM again!), Elton John, Van Morrison, Ian Hunter (independent of..)
AND Mott the Hoople collectively, who recorded Davids ‘All the Young Dudes’ which he also produced in 1972 which effectively launched them internationally after a long residency on Island Records in England.
I ran into Mick Ronson one foggy night at The Commodore of all places, then the night got foggier.
Bowie was very experimental, pushing the boundaries of what was considered safe; at one point he wrote lyrics by jotting down words/phrases on paper, cutting them up and scattering them, then picking them up at random to form them into song lyrics, perhaps
not the best way to form a complete thought, but GREAT Fun if one is fond of puzzles!
Our Boy then moved on to Capitol/EMI (we used to call them
EMU just to show how superior we were, working for a dog! Don’t get me started on Weiner Brothers) in 1983, his Thin White Duke period and he invited us all to dance!
In 1989 he stepped out of the spotlight and formed a band with the Sales Brothers, only those of us that remember Soupy Sales will get any significance from that, right Fang? This was dubbed Tin Machine, a back-to-basics Rock Group. David didn’t stay
with this too long as being a Man of the Future he was looking to see where his NEXT meal was coming from.
I rather thought that trading the limelight
for the footlights was an odd choice, not unlike John Lennon’s whimsical aberration planning to put Ringo out in front when THEY played, until somebody Yoko’d that Brainchild.
David returned to the RCA kennel in 1993 (See? You CAN go home again!) with his Black Tie/White Noise release (on Savage Records distributed by RCA) and we all had GREAT hopes for the fruit of this reunion until we read the head of Savage, addressing the RCA
Sales force in New York told them all not to get too excited, this wasn’t any ‘Let’s Dance’! Seriously; Hey, Cheer down!
To clarify (You may take your seat Mr Enthusiasm, in fact take it to the parking lot and STAY there, I got this!) Black Tie/White Noise is not the Thin White Duke stepping onstage in formal evening wear, it’s a tie-in with Black Music & what
you get when it’s played thru white people, Yeah.
As I write this, I just came across my Black Tie/White Noise Special Packaging Promo Only
CD, which I’ve never played, largely because the packaging is like one of those Box in a Box in a Box in a…puzzles, and it’s pretty much another career just to get it open!
A few other fond Music Memories of The David include his duet with fellow Androgynist Mick Jagger in ‘Dancing In the Street’ (1985) as well as his other duet with Bing Crosby singing ‘White Christmas’ (The Thin White Christmas?), and
who could forget the ongoing Pissing Match between Bowie and Mark Bolan (TRex) much to the British Medias delight until Mark got in the last word by driving his car into a parked tree, effectively ending the acrimony, and himself in one fell swoop or one swell
poop if you prefer, on Sept 16 1977.
I too experienced Mark and TWrecks, read My Special Music People #31.
….and finally, Altho at the time this happened, David was off RCA and onto EMI, RCA had re-issued a new pressing of his hits, and being a jolly good fellow, I took a copy to CFOX
(this was Pre-Fox) to give to the MD so they’d have a nice clean copy to play, the MD eyed me suspiciously and advised me quite bluntly that ‘I think Vancouver is Bowied-out, either that or I’m full of shit’ leaving a pause for
effect I replied that either way, I thought he was right; how very correct of me.
That’s it for my Day to Dave David retrospective.
Thank you David, for you, whoever you happened to be, it was time well spent.
Ray Ramsay/Author of ‘I Did It My Ray’
The material herein remains the property of Ray Ramsay / ALadinLadner Publishing:The Written Werd and Dirty Book Store is not intended for Publication, Reproduction, or Broadcast
without the Authors permission. Yeah.