My journey with David Bowie

by eirenehogan

I was about 13 years old, in 2nd form at high school.  I lived in a small town lost in the ziggy_stardustmiddle of NSW, Australia, lost in the early 70s.  I’d spent some time listening to the Best of the Bee Gees and some Johnny Farnham.  I could remember back to 1970 and the Beatles breaking up.  I sort of knew it was the end of an era.  I had enjoyed Elton John’s Crocodile Rock, but didn’t get inspired by a stubby balding bespeckled piano player.

 

Then my best friend told me about an intriguing song called ‘Space Oddity’.  It was a re-release apparently, of a song from 1969 or 70, back in the walking on the moon era.  Apparently the same guy had a song sitting low on the Australian charts, called ‘Starman’.

 

I was also buying American teenage magazines, full of pictures of David Cassidy and Donny Osmond.  Boring!  A small black and white photo with a paragraph or two spoke of this David Bowie and his Starman.

 

So what the heck, I gave him a try.  Bought ‘Space Oddity’, and ‘Starman’.  50c for a single.  I really liked the ‘Starman’ song.  You would be lucky if you ever heard that on a radio station in country NSW in 1973.  And there was no such thing as ‘Countdown’.

 

I then branched out and spent my pocket money on the album that ‘Starman’ came from.  Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.  It was like stepping into a parallel universe.  Another world opened up to me that I have never escaped from. I became a total Ziggy and David Bowie fanatic.  I lived and breathed him.

 

By the time he had finished with his Ziggy era and moved on to Berlin and Heroes, I had branched out to many other artists.  I didn’t ever really take up the music from his later personas, (although I think ‘Heroes’ is one of the greatest songs ever) but I will always cherish my teen years with my David Bowie and Ziggy Stardust obsession.

 

And the result of it?  I not only developed a love of good quality rock music, and a love of creativity, but an awareness of gay liberation and transgender issues.  Sure, it was the era, but David Bowie certainly opened up the doors to an awareness that gender and sexuality can be very fluid, and with that comes a wider understanding that people do not fit into preconceived little boxes according to the narrow views promoted by our commercial world.  People are varied and have a great variety of needs and desires that often take a lot of exploration to understand.

 

Thank you David Bowie for all you have given me.

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2 Comments to “My journey with David Bowie”

  1. Cool, I like Prince too. Another gender blender. lol David Bowie’s songs (like the Bee Gees) had really “catchy” tunes, and also Ol’ Elton had very catchy tunes (a cymbal of great music writing and performance). The Beatles, the same. They managed to make us turn our heads when we heard their songs on the radio. A lot of music in the 70’s was pretty crappy, but I liked a lot of the 70’s stuff, like Glen Campbell, Melony and stuff It was a melting-pot of different kinds of music, country&western, jazz, r&b, you name it. It was all accepted. lol “Little Arrows” by Leapy Lee and “Sadie” by Johnny Farnham were NOT very good songs. lol

  2. Yeah, there were lots of different genres of music. But I think Little Arrows, and definitely Johnny Farnham’s Sadie were late 60s songs. I can remember listening to Sadie as a kid. 🙂

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