“By far, he is the greatest 'clinger on' in Music history.”
- ~ Lauren Laverne (Foxy critic/band reject) on David Bowie
David "give it here" Bowie (January 23 1889 - August 12 2016) is the pseudonym of former London second-hand car salesman David "Yeah, course it has an MOT" Jones. His chief claim to fame was his portrayal of a bi-sexual Alien in the early seventies.
Currently, Bowie has ceased to produce any of his 'own' music. He has, however, continued to cling to popular up-and-coming acts and perform a string of duets with them. Most recently Bowie has performed with alt-rockers Arcade Fire and Kashmir. Bowie, however, made the mistake of failing to realize that these acts were far from up-and-coming or popular with even the most nerdish of music aficionados.
Early Years (1920-1963)
David Bowie landed on earth in the 1920s, a turbulent time for Britain and the world. His early years were characterized by being bored and talentless and indulging in whatever sexual endeavours he could find. Bowie would later admit to being "Try-Sexual", much to the astonishment of 90's media. It had been assumed that Bowie was a 'Butch Hetero' type that would "never partake in any of those homo shenanigans", as reported MOJO on the matter in 1997.
At age 15 Bowie took up a job with his Mother's fourth husband as a second-hand car salesman. He quickly became known as the number one seller of poor automobiles in London. By 1962, the young Bowie could sell anything. It was commented by industry leaders at the time that Bowie was able to repackage unconvincing arguments about the "quality" cars he claimed to be selling.
Whilst he was at school, Bowie changed from 'Jones' to 'Bowie', apparently for the numerological significance of "Bowie". He found that his new name opened doors throughout his career, particularly with music industry leaders. Bowie would later comment that "it's not who you know, it's who you blow" in reference to cooperate managers and distributors.
The Bob Dylan tribute act era (1964-1968)
Bowie's first foray into music was in the tribute band, "The Lower Terd". It was breakthrough for the young Bowie and allowed him to play music at his local gay bar "The Swallow." The band broke up after a week due to 'communication problems', something very common for the argumentative and capricious Bowie.
It was around this time that the young Bowie met emerging music producer Tony Visconti. Visconti was just starting out and needed a front man for the band he was starting - "someone to put on a bit of a show". Bowie promptly accepted Visconti’s offer and they began cutting their first album.
These early works were defined by the heavily Bob Dylan influenced "Laughing Pedognome". It was an interesting and controversial piece dealing with paranoia and drug addiction with a distinct, pronounced nasal tone (pronounced "nas-al tone").
Alien phase era (1969-1974)
David Bowie's experiments with sodomy along with masquerading as an "alien" thrust him into the public eye. He sought to capitalise on his new found fame and began a drag act called Ziggy Stardust. Bowie sacked Visconti to pursue this more commercial approach to his music. With Tony gone, Bowie was able to frequent strip clubs and partake in the general debauchery that Tony Visconti hampered. It was well known amongst inner circles the Bowie found Visconti "tedious" and "complains all the time about excess noise in bars".
|It was great to see David as Ziggy, better still that I was able to see the back of David and produce T-Rex...Of course, at the time I had no idea of the impact Ziggy would have, or how my earlier contributions would be marginalized though the live shows and publicity.|
Bowie proved an instant hit with the British press due to his controversial lifestyle. Headlines such as "Bowie, Bolan and Jagger in Three-in-a-Bed Chocolate Bar Eating Marathon" regularly screamed out from newsstands. Revelations came in 1970, which quoted Bowie as enjoying "shitting in a tin can".
The then-emergent Bowie was also able to conquer America. The raving homosexuality and anti-Christian sentiments within the album lyrics were lost on American audiences. At the time, audiences were captivated by the bright colours of Bowie's live shows and gay conditioning within the backmasking of his albums. These would become standard features common to all of Bowie's future releases and concerts.
The Nazi era (1974-1976)
In 1974, Bowie was faced with a terrible decision to become a full time cocaine addict or continue in the circus act. There was an obvious choice. Sadly, as he was off his head on cocaine at this time, it probably wasn't the right choice. Bowie developed a nervous tic which forced his legs to goose-march in a dramatic fashion. He also began throwing a full salute with his right arm at inopportune moments, as well as developing a fake German accent.
His affiliation with Tony Visconti began again in 1975 when Bowie decided that soul music would be a good bandwagon to jump on (John Lennon, at the time, agreed.) 1975's "Spunky Americans" was the result. The album's controversial themes of nihilism and general artistic failure with age was something both Lennon and Bowie could empathize with. Throughout the album, lyrics of discontent and self pity perhaps explained Bowie's decision to relocate to Los Angeles, where other performers shared Bowie's "coked-out predicament". Visconti did his best in the studio and Bowie managed to cut the entire album with minimal personal involvement.
Tony Visconti does the lot era (1977-1979)
Brian Eno, who was being prosecuted at the time for a bogus sleep therapy device (later used as a makeshift synthesizer) also moved to Berlin to flat share as his finances were 'poor.' They set about working on three "concept albums." Iggy Pop was also present at that time, trying to revive his career by cashing in on the whole tax dodge, and released the mediocre album I'm an Idiot with Freudian Complexes. He soon became a regular contributor to Bowie's work.
The first album began with Bowie singing about his addiction to high air pressure, leading to the very experimental sound involving Eno's device. The results garnered Bowie some accolade at the time. Audiences were apparently blown away by the sound of something that seemed to be a cross between Kraftwerk and an angry squirrel.
Bowie was able to make his albums before the legendary Hanza studio turned him and his drug crazed cronies out. Bowie promptly managed to relocate to Mexico before U.S. tax enforcement officers were able to capture him. Iggy Pop, however was captured and was judged "unfit for trial" and sectioned. Brian Eno crammed himself in Tony Visconti's rucksack and the pair fled to East Germany and on to Russia.
The albums released were called, Dave’s feeling Low, Beauty and the Beast (rumoured to be a jibe against Visconti) and last but not least, Lodging with Weirdoes. None of them achieved the kind of success Bowie craved.
Eighties trash era (1980-1988)
The eighties were an unfortunate era for Bowie: adjusting to middle age the hard way was his move on the matter. Creatively, he adopted the wicked "persona" of an old drag queen, Jareth the Goblin. Audiences cringed at Bowie's live performances and have continued to do so since.
Bowie's work at the time was characterized as being full of music videos paying tribute to the cigarette adverts that began Bowie's fifty-a-day habit, and attempts to reconcile Live-Aid with his lifelong obsession with Aleister Crowley and money.
Throughout the eighties, Bowie was able to accrue serious commercial assets when the Thatcher Government was well underway. With his new-found prosperity, Bowie left for Switzerland, as he felt "disillusioned," and "too loaded to stay in that craphole Britain."
Tin Machine era (1989-1993)
With a new decade dawning, Bowie attempted to reverse the trend of mediocrity by "going classical" with Philip Glass. These attempts sank into yet more obscurity, as the classic albums were heavily based on previous releases.
With another career mishap under his belt, Bowie decided to fleece his fans once again with yet another "Best Of" collection in 1992. The fifteenth of its kind in as many years and it was seen as evidence that his marriage to supermodel Iman slowed the 'creative process'.
The distinctive style of music Bowie subsequently experimented with led to notoriously controversial performances wherein David Bowie dressed up like a "person of colour" and sang duets with Lenny Kravitz - the album that was haphazardly cut was called "Black Shag, White Noise". It proved to be yet another unsuccessful venture into Black music, the first being "Spunky Americans" in 1975.
Trent Reznor era (1994-1998)
Trent Reznor's industrial take on "music" led Bowie to release his seminal 1995 album "Not Going Outside but Staying Indoors and Becoming Peculiar." The album proved to be yet another artistic and commercial failure for the ageing Bowie.
|He was so grumpy on tour...and he kept bugging me for ideas on his next album-all in all, the tour with Bowie was one of the worst I have ever done.|
The poor 1997 release, "My Little Wonder" bombed throughout the globe commercially, and signified an end to any new groundbreaking material. Bowie decided to try and revive his flagging career by sacking his entire band, something he had become generally accustomed to doing, especially when the controversy caught up to Bowie though heavy press coverage. Bowie always, however, kept the odd token geriatrics to give a "pastiche" value to his music. These old-timers however had decided by the late nineties to quit Bowie for good. Many report finding Bowie's "Draconian handling of band members and studio staff" too unpleasant to tolerate any longer.
Dirty old queer era (1999-Present)
The middle-aged rebellion and ginger hair revival caused the final backlash from fans. Most had grown weary of Bowie's Internet scams and repeated '"best of" releases'. Bowie, being resourceful, decided to tour with Placebo to shift the critical contempt from himself to the annoying Brian Molko. This collaboration led to yet another botched reinvention, from Industrial to wannabee Morrissey, something fans had noted in previous Drum and Bass albums where Bowie was seen to whine pathetically amidst pounding drum machines.
In 1999, David Bowie's contract expired. In order to counter the threat of album retractions, Bowie signed a deal allowing all of his music to be used for incidental soundtracks for low-quality BBC dramas. Reportedly, Bowie found the deal agreeable from EMI.
During 2002, Bowie began a comeback from the terrible obscurity and critical contempt. He hired Tony Visconti to produce two albums to bring him out of exile. The results were alright, however Bowie developed the unpleasant habit of hurling abuse at fans during concerts. This recent rejection from "fans" have put Bowie off producing any of his "own" music ever again.
- MOJO was forced to retract it's statements made about bowie in 1997 as New Labour flak would have prevented them from a successful run of the issue.
- Brian Eno blacklisted after several telemarketing scams were busted by police in 1975.
- It is thought both Eno and Visconti drove a reconditioned LADA across Alaska and into the States illegally.
- The album was apparently not influenced by Nine Inch Nails; rather, Bowie came up with the "distinctive" sound after listening to his blow dryer for a while.
- Bowie wanted to catch up on Paul McCartney’s "astronomic royalties."
- Sony/Colombia have said categorically, that they will never fund another Bowie release.
- David Bowie - A career wasted in the Seventies, Second Edition, Zombie John Peel, 2003, Shirtlifter Publishing
- My Hell with Bowie, Tony Visconti, 1992, Puffinphonies Publishing