Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Another Birthday

Bubs has a nice tribute today to birthday boy Elvis Presley here and here. Elvis would have been 72 years old today. Bubs also reminded me of one of the great rock and roll quotes ever: John Lennon's pronouncement "Before Elvis, there was nothing."

Let's not forget one other birthday today, though: David Bowie, the Thin White Duke, who is 61 years old today!

I remember the first time I went to buy records-- yes, vinyl records, with my own money. It was in 1976. One of the records I bought was Bowie's The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars. Backed by guitarist Mick Ronson, the album, a vaguely conceptual one, kicks ass from beginning to end. I finally bought the cd not long ago and still love listening to it.

Try something: run a search on images of Bowie. Other than identical pictures, see if you can find two pictures where he looks alike. "Changes" indeed. He's had more incarnations than Spinal Tap. One band, Bongwater, even kidded about this in their eighties song "David Bowie Needs Ideas."

Bowie's done great work not only as a musician, but as a producer-- he produced some of Iggy Pop's best work, on Lust For Life and other albums.

The Let's Dance album, in 1983, was a big comeback album for Bowie, and on everyone's turntable at my college. I've included the video for the title track, "Let's Dance," his big breakthrough hit for that album.

By the way, you'll notice that he's wearing white gloves and obviously not actually playing the guitar (in last year's song "Hero of Nineteen Eighty-Three," the singer alludes to the subject of the song "finally" taking off his "silly white gloves." I've always assumed he's referring to this vid). The person who actually played that snarling riff was a then-unknown session musican named Stevie Ray Vaughn.

Happy Birthday David!


vikkitikkitavi said...

God, I love Bowie.

If you don't have Bowie's last studio release, "Reality," I recommend it. I think it's a great album that was virtually ignored because it was Bowie, and everyone's bored with Bowie.

Of course I have blogged before of my intense love for one song on that album, "Bring Me the Disco King."

Natalie said...

Bowie is incomprehensibly awesome and the king of cool. I'd take him over The King any day.

Distributorcap said...

i love bowie!
(and really do not like elvis)

Bubs said...

Great post! This is now twice that I've learned that Bowie and Elvis share a birthdate.