“Did you always wear a cross?” I ask. “No.” Bowie murmurs. “I only started wearing one a couple of years ago. It came around that same LA period. I just felt I’d been pretty godless for a few years. It’s no great thing, just a belief, or let’s call it the usual force. Or God? […]Read More Bowie’s Cross: A Tool for Psychic Self-Defense?
The release of Blackstar and its videos has generated speculation (again) on Bowie’s interest in the occult. Yes, there are allusions to so-called occult symbols, as there are to Christianity, as well, and to Bowie’s own ouevre. That the allusions to the occult are so obvious means that the occult isn’t any longer — hidden, […]Read More Bowie and Dion Fortune’s Psychic Self-Defense, Part 1
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
At times I’ve found the emphasis on the Ziggy years to be puzzling. Pick up any of the biographies or most of the obituaries, and you’ll see what I mean: the 1970s are covered at much greater length than the whole of 1980 to 2016 (36 years!), and even within these pages, Ziggy gets a […]Read More Ziggy in the UK and US: What Americans Missed
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?
Last January while waiting for Serious Pleasures: The Life of Stephen Tennant, I chanced upon Philip Hoare’s, The Sea Inside, and enjoyed it so much that after Serious Pleasures I returned to Hoare, this time The Whale (UK Leviathan), and hence to Melville’s Moby Dick, a wonderful book to live in for several weeks, when […]Read More Bowie Sighting: Philip Hoare. Public and Personal Bowies
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
Updated: Since I wrote this, I got hold of the Criterion DVD with the extras, including interviews with Production Designer Brian Eatwell and Costume Designer Mary Routh. Additions in green. Trying without success to figure out how astronaut Capt. Jim Lovell landed in The Man Who Fell to Earth (Hallo Spaceboys), I came across a […]Read More The Man Who Fell to Earth in White Sands [Updated]
How do things like this happen? How does an Eagle Scout, US Navy Captain, and retired Apollo astronaut end up in a movie with David Bowie that initially was rated X for full frontal male and female nudity*? What did they do, these retired astronauts, place ads?: “Wanted. Man who came closer to walking on […]Read More Hallo Spaceboys
“If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life…” “The truth was that Jay Gatsby of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself. He was a son of God — a phrase which, if it means […]Read More Jimmy Gatz & David Jones