But the glamorous seeds he sowed back in the Seventies have borne strange and wonderful bisensual fruit, enjoyed by everyone, regardless of gender or orientation.
From the fevered loins of a true demi-god came the first fully saturated media image of the NEW MALE: Metrosexual. Clearly Mr. Simpson has the right of it, while Simpson may have called attention to it way back in 2002, that was simply a debutante ball for the awkward teen-ager that the Mirror Men had blossomed into. Burgeoning on Adulthood in 2002 they’d soon overwhelm us all & become an oft-used phrase to describe this new breed of masculinity and simultaneously a catch-phrase to sell crap to men. Yet in the 1970s long before the world was ready for it, a true pop/rock avant-garde pioneer staked out the territory with aplomb. He created the meme.
David Bowie literally altered my life, my masculinity, my view on the world, and made me the man I am today. In some part, at least, and not a small part I might add. He is one of the few artists for whom owning everything they ever did – no matter how obscure – is a mantra for me. Seeing graffiti scrawled on a college dorm bathroom that read: “David Bowie is God” for an atheist like me in 1984 caused me to bow down & pray.
Yet surely I’m not alone. His beacon for all the lost souls shone very brightly, as was evinced by this lovely speech given by his female-doppelganger Tilda Swinton whom I first swooned to in Caravaggio in her male roughness exactly because she looked like they’d been separated at birth. All this recent fascination around a middle aged man who can still churn out art that is still years ahead of any contemporary artist. He is in a class of his own. Surely Madonna, and others whom aren’t even worthy of mentioning owe a huge debt to the trail he blazed. Both Feminine & Masculine in an unrepentant way.
Thanks to Mark Simpson for remembering ~
For those who can remember such things, it is also a striking reminder of his 1979 Saturday Night Live US performance of ‘Boys Keep Swinging’, with Joey Arias and the late great Klaus Nomi on backing vocals, in which Bowie’s head was superimposed on a dancing puppet (this really happened).
It really did happen, and I may not remember the moon landing or where I was when Kennedy died, but I remember exactly how I felt sitting on the shag rug watching this, it was an epiphany:
And I’d imagine there are a great number of people who also remember. My childhood is filled with David Bowie remembrances and Television appearances.