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David Bowie: A Fan's Perspective

Updated on February 29, 2020

The icon of an era, every girl's dream guy in the days of big hair and flashy new music videos, David Bowie is a worldwide legend unlike any other.  He represented the height of abstract and outlandish fashion, and was a super sexy rock star even with his bad teeth and sunken cheeks.  So what if he was chicken legged, as the gratuitous crotch shots in every movie he's starred in will attest, everyone loves David Bowie! 

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Young BowieDavid, close upBowie in crazy makeupAs Jareth, villain of Labyrinth
Young Bowie
Young Bowie
David, close up
David, close up
Bowie in crazy makeup
Bowie in crazy makeup
As Jareth, villain of Labyrinth
As Jareth, villain of Labyrinth

As an Actor

David Bowie is a man of many talents, there is no doubt about that.  His filmography is lengthy, but notably filled with numerous documentaries.  The projects he has worked on have been fantasy and fact, in liberal doses of both, but even in his cameo roles (such as his appearance in the 2001 movie Zoolander) he struts his stuff and leaves a lasting impression on the work.

However, having lived through the 80's, there is one movie that stands as a monolith of fantasy, drama and fairy tale.  The name of the movie is Labyrinth, and if the three worn out VHS tapes I've owned have anything to say about it, this movie defined for a new generation the wonder that touches the souls of young and old, as shown through the performance of Bowie as Jareth, the Goblin King. 

As a Musician

More impressive than the movies David Bowie has starred in are his albums, beginning with his self-titled debut, David Bowie.  Bowie, a baritone, wasn't known for his vocal quality, but rather was the influence of musical movements like glam rock, pop, soul, and anything that could be tweaked or experimented with - including his own image!  Chart toppers from Bowie included:  

  • Space Oddity - "Ground Control to Major Tom..."
  • Let's Dance! - "Put on your red shoes and dance the blues..."
  • Little China Girl - "I feel a wreck without my, little china girl"
  • Magic Dance - "Nobody knew what kind of magic spell to use!"

 Artists like Nine Inch Nails, The Sex Pistols, Bauhaus, Joy Division, Madonna, Placebo and more can count David Bowie as a source of inspiration for their work - oddly enough, or maybe not odd for David Bowie, his work was inspired in later times by work performed by the same artists who found inspiration from him.  The inventive, revolutionary styles of these artists twist and bend and break barriers all around one another, proving the truly complex influence that icons like Bowie have had on the industry. 

Rolling stone's top fifty, UK's pop charts, BBC polls, they all speak with great compliments about David Bowie, but his works speak for themselves.  Whether it was his role as Ziggy Stardust - the androgynous, heavily makeup covered glam rock role that got Bowie discovered and was the inspiration for a variety of acts afterward - or his role (and my personal favorite) as the Goblin King, which truly defined clever and deep villains in fantasy movies for it's time - there is something everyone can love about David Bowie.  Yes, even you.


David Bowie's "Space Oddity"

Little China Girl

image by ProCW
image by ProCW

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