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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Death Of A Legend --- JRD's Tribute to Bowie?

He was known by as many names as he gave himself, from the Thin White Duke to the Chicken-Headed Straw Man (as Lester Bangs once called him), the Man Who Fell To Earth, Aladdin Sane, Ziggy Stardust. He was a founding father of glam rock, the godfather of new wave, pioneer in disco and alternative music. Call him what you will, but one of the greatest influences in 20th century pop culture is gone.

I was one of the disillusioned rockers watching rock music sliding down the tubes during the progressive era of the mid-70's. All of a sudden there was the Alice Cooper Band and an eccentric from England named David Bowie. He was doing all this space-themed stuff (Space Oddity, Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars). Behind the scenes, he was hooking up with Velvet Underground founder Lou Reed and garage rock legend Iggy Pop. Next thing we knew, Reed released Transformer alongside Iggy's Search and Destroy. People accused Bowie of manipulating the underground icons, but they laid the foundation for the Punk Revolution thereafter. Who could argue with that?

He went on to put out over a dozen albums between the Seventies and Eighties, riding disco to its grave before jumping on the Next Big Thing and making it happen. Pop, alternative, rhythm and blues, electronic music, you name it, he did it. He appeared in several movies, most recently The Prestige (as Nikolai Tesla) with Bale and Jackman. As the decades passed, we realized he wasn't manipulating anyone, he influenced and enhanced their careers. And no one who worked with him could ever forget him.

Entrepreneur, rock artist, producer, songwriter, actor, cultural icon, the list goes on and on. What do you call someone like David Bowie?

Call him a Legend. A legend who will live forever.

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