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John

David Bowie

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As we've all been reminding each other over the last several months, OB has been a lot of different things to a lot of different people. One of the things it was to me was a threshold leading into a lifelong love of music. Through people like James, Tony, Shinmaru and Alan, I was introduced to whole new worlds of artistic expression, worlds that to a sheltered 14 year old boy seemed often inscrutable, sometimes dangerous, and always irresistibly thrilling. For me, the supreme leader of these worlds was David Bowie, the human optical illusion, shapeshifting atop his throne with every slight movement of my eyes; always changing, always the same in his shrewd splendor.

 

As you probably know, yesterday he took on a new form that most of us didn't expect and don't quite understand. It's been a lot to process for me today, and since my love of Bowie has its origins so wrapped up in this community, I thought I'd post a thread where we can talk about what the Duke meant to us, or just post our favorite song of his.

 

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Though I'd read OBers singing his praises for a while before, the first time I actually heard a David Bowie song was in high school gym class, 2004. At that time, gym mostly consisted of lifting weights and listening to the same Lil Jon album day in and day out, which sounds pretty dope to me now but was an exercise in torment for the insufferable zit-golem that was Freshman John. The bog-standard classic rock radio station was offering a welcome reprieve between the "yeahs" and "okays", and as I stood around staring at the clock, the daydreamy opening chords of "Starman" came into the room.

 

 

It had me from the get. The song was like a foppish, sentimental wind that blew away the mire of boneheadedness and dude-stink around me. I felt about this singer just the same way the song's narrator felt about that man in the sky. As soon as I got home, I got on AIM and asked either Shin or Tony to direct transfer Ziggy Stardust to me (YOU WHIPPERSNAPPERS GOT IT EASY), and looped that album so constantly for so long that I couldn't stand to listen to it for years after.

Edited by John

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 Through people like James, Tony, Shinmaru and Alan, I was introduced to whole new worlds of artistic expression, worlds that to a sheltered 14 year old boy seemed often inscrutable, sometimes dangerous, and always irresistibly thrilling.

Aww. These are kind words.

David Bowie always brings to mind riding to school in the mornings -- I wasn't a particularly adventurous kid, so much of the music I knew growing up came from the one radio station my mom listened to. I liked a lot of songs on that station, but the times I heard "Changes" or "Life On Mars?" were always extra special.

I listen to, um, a lot more music now than I did then, but Bowie's always stuck with me. Just last month I ripped through a bunch of his albums for the hell of it. He made so many great ones, but the sheer, wild variety of Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) might mark that as my favorite Bowie album.

The title track is fantastic!

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It may have been a weird cognitive connection to our upcoming reunion day, but when I heard of Bowie's passing, one of my first thoughts was with Tony, who gave me my appreciation for all things Bowie.

It struck me that the last single released while he was alive was titled Lazarus. Tony's gaming website was called Orange Lazarus, I believe. It's somehow fitting and I wonder at what he might think of this uncanny connection.

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Ironically, Tony also got me interested in David Bowie as well with his fervent admiration of him.  At least I'm not the only one Shinje!  Wonderful artist who will truly be missed. He had just released an album too.

 I was so surprised when I read the news. I didn't even know he was sick. I hate cancer.

 

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It was a big shock, indeed. A very inspiring artist for so many others! He possessed a versatility and resilience that's rare any more. I think that no matter what you listen to, there are just some artists that have a respect--regardless if you're a fan or not. 

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I never really became a fan of him till I watched Labyrinth for the first time back in 2009. I always knew he was a legend however. I was more of a Queen fan growing up. Thanks to that this song is all the more chilling. 

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He had just released an album too.

 I was so surprised when I read the news. I didn't even know he was sick. I hate cancer.

Oh man, you don't know the half of it. Apparently, the whole album was written as his way of coping with his death and saying goodbye (this was confirmed by Tony Visconti). The theme runs through almost every song, and it's really affecting to listen to an artist using his medium to stare his own leering mortality right in the face, and we didn't even realize it until it was too late.

I mean.. what a hell of a high note to leave on. What a genius.

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