Am I sitting in a tin can
Far above the world
Planet Earth is blue
And there’s nothing I can do”
I woke up this Monday morning while mentally preparing myself for the usual start of the work week grind only to hear some very sad and unexpected news-legendary songwriter and performer David Bowie has died of fucking cancer?!!?? I was taken aback to the extent that there was “something in my eye “.
This sobering feeling is a deja vu to Joey Ramone and before him, Jack Kirby, as their contributions also had a big impact on my life. People often say that songs are like the soundtrack of one’s life and they are correct!
Bowie also known as the Thin White Duke and of course Ziggy Stardust was one of the more influential musicians who, no doubt, helped pave the way for the alternative scene.
Bowie’s music career also led him to a few acting gigs, most notably The Labyrinth (1986). And his impact on pop culture wasn’t limited to film. In the Metal Gear Solid series beginning with MGS Snake Eater, the protagonist Big Boss reports to his commanding officer with an English accent- Major Tom (Zero).
Obviously the character’s name was referencing to Bowie’s alter ego, Ziggy Stardust, who performed the breakthrough-song “Space Oddity”. And it didn’t stop there either. In future installments of the hugely popular videogame series (The Phantom Pain), Boss and his fellow soldiers formed a private army under the name “Diamond Dogs”! It’s obvious that Metal Gear- creator Hideo Kojima is a fan of Bowie and understandingly so.
What’s also interesting is how Albert Wesker, the main antagonist of the Resident Evil series, especially RE5, sounds a bit much like David. But if you’re gonna be a fictional diabolical mass murderer and mastermind, at least emulate a pop culture celebrity who was the epitome of cool.
Here are my top favorite songs from The Thin White Duke:
“This is not America”
“I’m afraid of Americans”
Often celebrated as one of England’s greatest musicians Bowie was not without controversy .
According to his ex-wife Angie Bowie, he was caught in bed with Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger, the two of which would later “pair up” again in this hauntingly bad music video “Dancing in the Sheets”.
Many, if not most back then, were aware of the Duke’s bisexuality as he had mentioned it back during a September 1976 interview with Playboy. Ergo such a reveal shouldn’t be of no big surprise.
And to be honest, who really cares about this? Bowie was coy at times but underneath he knew that his sexual orientation shouldn’t matter to anyone. However, Bowie mentioned that he was going through a phase that reflected the early Glam Rock era.
Although Bowie had made a few gaffs during the early stages if his career by supporting the ideas of fascism, he was perhaps the first popular artist to call MTV out for their homogenization programming that did not feature any black recording artists.
This was perhaps the turning point in the history of the music channel due to perhaps taking Bowie’s inquiries under consideration. This would make sense when you weigh in the fact that David, and many other recording artists, were heavily influenced by black musicians and in Bowie’s case it was Little Richard. The Duke is simply paying it forward. Truly without question, a legend!
Thanks to the collaboration of Chic’s Nile Rodgers, Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” was another breakout hit that shattered the radio airwaves and gained plenty of notoriety from urban (as in black) radio stations.
Originally “Let’s Dance” was supposed to be some folksy guitar acoustic song until Nile got on board and added much needed funk in order to make the single a Chart topper that it was during the 80’s.
There is not enough that I can’t say about Bowie’s accomplishments and even after learning that his time among us will be short, like the late Joey Ramone, he tenaciously released his final album titled Blackstar as a gift to his most ardent fans.
The album was released on his birthday only two days before his passing. Thank you so much for all you have done Ziggy, and now there truly is a Starman “waiting in the sky”.