Here’s a list of songs and albums mentioned in Sailor’s Journals. Many fit into one of several divisions: songs that influenced a young Bowie (the topic of his journal entries for Christmas Week 1998) and those he was working on during the period covered by the journal entries, most notably, those from Hours and Heathen. […]Read More Sailor’s Journals Indexed, Part 2: Songs & Albums
I am deeply grateful to Noel Barretto for his help in improving this. See comments. In the early days of bowienet, when he chatted with fans using the screen name Sailor, David Bowie posted fairly regularly on a page he called Sailor’s Journals. These entries were for the most part not personal reflections but rather […]Read More Sailor’s Journals Indexed, Part 1: 200 Musicians
“This way or no way/ You know, I’ll be free” Two Lazaruses: a song and a play; a beggar who stays dead, and a youth who walks out of his grave and into legend. If Bowie’s last works were a parting message to his fans, why were there two of the same name but so […]Read More Liminal Lazaruses 3: Do You Want to Be Free?
“Love the alien as you love yourself; for you were once aliens in the Land of Egypt… “(Leviticus 19:34) “Thinking of a different time Palestine a modern problem Bounty and your wealth in land Terror in a best laid plan. . . ” (Bowie, “Loving the Alien”) “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled […]Read More Liminal Lazaruses 2: Loving the Alien
I was flipping through Jean Cocteau by Patrick Mauries recently and came across this photo of the character Death in his film, Orphée, based on the myth of Orpheus, a poet so in love with Death he follows her into the underworld. Here we have Death (María Casarès) [photo by Roger Corbeau/Ministère de la Culture/AFDPP]. […]Read More Echoes of Cocteau
Nothing about the Thin White Duke, the last of Bowie’s characters or personas, makes sense. There’s no story line to him, as there is with Ziggy, just the one song, “Station to Station.” And what an odd song it is: There seems to be a narrator in the first two lines (“The return of the […]Read More The Thin White Duke Laid to Rest and Psychic National Defense
The video of “Lazarus” isn’t the first recent Bowie video to allude to the Station to Station era. That would be “Love is Lost [Halloween Version]” from 2013, the one Bowie made himself with help from Coco Schwab and Jimmy King, using images from previous or planned videos. Remember the sad projected face of “Where Are […]Read More Lazarus’s Pajamas and the Return of the Thin White Duke
The “androgynous Ziggy Stardust” is so commonplace a description of the leader of the Spiders from Mars that it seems to be indisputably correct. But repetition of a characterization doesn’t make it right. On the covers of The Man Who Sold the World and especially Hunky Dory, Bowie’s appearance is androgynous. With no prior knowledge, […]Read More Why is Ziggy Stardust Labeled Androgynous?
I think one of the bravest things Bowie did in the last seven years was to perform “Wake Up” with Arcade Fire on September 8, 2005, during the televised “Fashion Rocks” awards show not 15 months after his heart attack. It’s not that Bowie is more than 33 years older than Arcade Fire’s lead singer […]Read More Wake Up to The Next Day
David Robert Jones was born within walking distance of the house where William Blake (1757-1827) did much of his greatest work. London seems a remarkably small town in some ways: so much has happened there in so little space over so many hundreds of years’ time. South of the Thames River, at Hercules Road, London […]Read More Lambeth to Brixton, or Poetry and Painting, Sound and Vision, William Blake, and The Institute of Imagination