Monday, January 11, 2016

RIP David Bowie.

After the news of David Bowie's passing from cancer at age 69 was announced, I turned to the CNN International broadcast where the anchors (and one young employee of THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER) were engaging in "what Bowie meant to me" ruminations

Like a lot of middle-class people in my generation, I was aware of David Bowie in the 1970s (particularly "Fame.""Golden Years" and hearing the DAVID LIVE version of "Changes" on a friend's 8-track car stereo), but my true entry point was in the fall of 1980 when he livened up the generally rock-allergic THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JOHNNY CARSON by performing "Life On Mars" and "Ashes To Ashes" from the then-new SCARY MONSTERS.

Nearly three years later, in an age that reinstated suit-and-tie conservatism, I embraced the bleached-blonde "normal" Bowie and the Nile Rodgers-produced LET'S DANCE.

Fast forward to the fall of 2014 when (with more knowledge of Bowie's music--plus having attended the Shrine Auditorium show on what was to be his final concert tour) my wife Valarie and I had the opportunity to see the DAVID BOWIE IS... museum exhibition in Chicago.

The exhibit, among other things, helped to underline Bowie's stick-to-it work ethic--after all, it took at least five years of trial and error before the breakthrough of SPACE ODDITY in 1969.

I haven't yet heard all of the now-final album BLACKSTAR.  But I do appreciate that, near the end, Bowie was still willing to challenge himself musically, confident that numerous generations of passionate fans would take time to listen and be engaged by his artistry.

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