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How David Bowie Touched the Seventies' Generation: One Woman's Personal Experience

Updated on January 17, 2016

David Bowie on the Isolar Station to Station World Tour in 1976.

Running from February to May, 1976 the Station to Station Tour (also known as the Thin White Duke Tour or the White Light Tour), played in North America and Europe.  The stage contrasted a dark background with white sheets of iridescent light.
Running from February to May, 1976 the Station to Station Tour (also known as the Thin White Duke Tour or the White Light Tour), played in North America and Europe. The stage contrasted a dark background with white sheets of iridescent light.

Bowie's Music Reached a Generation

My seventeen year old daughter cried when when she heard that the legendary, enigmatic, and dazzling pop star had passed away. Why would a young person today cry over the death of an aging pop celebrity?

Why? David Bowie's music reaches out to the alienated, to the different, to the marchers to a different beat... to the young; ergo, my daughter's tears were not merely superficial.

So, at fifty-something, as I heard the news of his passing, I sat stunned and saddened and looked back through time to the years when Bowie turned my world...watched time run forward through Bowie's ever-changing persona and heard the music that was ever distinctly... Bowie.


Discography 1970s

 
 
Hunky Dory
1971
The Rise of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars
1972
Pinups
1973
Aladdin Sane
1973
Diamond Dogs
1974
David Live
1974
Young Americans
1975
Station to Station
1976
"Heroes"
1977
Low
1977
Note: This is a partial list...albums that I wore out listening to.

The Rebels and Ziggys That We Were

David Bowie, had then, what he has now; the ability to lean in and speak to the inner parts of people that disdain the ordinary and to chord the parts in a person that reach the Rebel Rebel, the Ziggy, the Aladdin Sane, and the Diamond Dog (and weren't parents thrilled to see that album cover; just what he and we wanted to a statement!).

What statement was it that reached us...that drew us in...children of the 70s that we were?

Androgynous sexuality (or at least the appearance of ambiguous gender)

ANY sexuality (see above)

Glam (Predominate in the late 60s to early mid 70s and Bowie was the master of it!)

Nonconformity (Outrageous and mostly of the in your face type)

Unpredictable (Bowie was ever that)

Ever changing and new (You never knew what alter ego would turn up next in Bowie...only that we would love it and embrace it, in him and in ourselves.)

How could the folkies, the hippies, the peace activists of the Sixties ever have imagined the pop/rock impact of Bowie strutting onstage as Ziggy Stardust or Aladdin Sane? Jaw-dropping. Insane. Stunning. That was Bowie. That was us in the Seventies. We own it...it's ours.


Bowie as Ziggy Stardust-Live

Diamond Dogs 1974 Affiliate link

I Got the Roses!

I count myself special and had the privilege to attend a concert on his iconic (Isolar) Station to Station World Tour in the mid-Seventies. I not only attended, but was lucky enough to be the recipient of an armload of yellow roses Bowie handed to me.

Wait...he didn't just hand me the roses; he made eye contact...he smiled THE BOWIE smile... and he was looking right- at -me! I was sitting on a friend's shoulders, stage front and center...what the kids today call the mosh pit (Mother would have died!) I haven't forgotten that amazing life event and I'm not likely to forget it.

Did I take a photo? No...afraid not (The only things I know of that kids brought into that concert with them was a lighter and some grass; and, the quickest way to be labeled a dork was to carry a camera.).

For me, that moment is frozen in time and my memory of it is clear, indeed. I loved him with a passion only the very young can carry off and the moment he looked at me I was dizzy with it. Me. Age fourteen years.


He Led Us to the "Heros" in Ourselves

To some, it may not be much; but to me, it was momentous and indelible and permanent. An event so tremendous during those tender years that it takes me back almost physically to that night. David Bowie and I had a moment. It's true. Others may make a similar claim, but to me I am the only one.

David Bowie transcended generations; hips thrusting through different alter egos whereby we marked moments in our own life and times...Bowie as Ziggy...Bowie as Star Man...Bowie as the White Duke.

The Seventies held my own alter egos; though they were quite less marked than were Bowie's. As I made contact with the “Heroes” in myself through Bowie and his music, I found a place, not alone, where there was understanding and camaraderie.


Bowie "Heroes" Live 1977

Rest Well

Through his music, and simply being who he was; he spoke to us. Today he speaks to my daughter.

By the way, Mr. Jones, thank you for the roses.

Rest well...


Hunky Dory 1971 Available from affiliate.

Comments

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    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      What a nicely written and personal tribute to a legend. Well done.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      A beautiful tribute of respect and admiration for a performer who empowered you. You're blessed to have such good memories for you to cherish. May David Bowie rest in peace..

    • LaurieNunley517 profile image
      Author

      LaurieNunley517 2 years ago from Deep South

      @smcopywrite

      I appreciate your comments. Yes, he was going his own way always. He was constantly remaking himself...unique. Special.

    • smcopywrite profile image

      smcopywrite 2 years ago from all over the web

      My daughter is 25 years old and was upset as well when the announcement was made. As a family we listen to a variety of music and introduced her to this charismatic character years ago. She understood who Ziggy was and the evolution to David Bowie.

      Bowie was an entertainer who performed more for himself than most of singers in the biz. He is an icon ahead of the rest for most of his career and will be sorely missed.

      David is the type of entertainer up there with the single named stars. Imagine the group who Cher, Madonna, Sting and Prince. This is the type of company his music belongs in.

    • LaurieNunley517 profile image
      Author

      LaurieNunley517 2 years ago from Deep South

      Thanks for commenting! Really hate it that he's gone.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      My favorite was 'Major Tom' but he was one of the greatest performers of any generation, thanks for sharing.

      Lawrence

    • LaurieNunley517 profile image
      Author

      LaurieNunley517 2 years ago from Deep South

      Thanks for reading! We are getting to the age now where we will be losing some loved ones along the way. I guess I have listened to Hunky Dory (my favorite) about 5 times this week. Yes, he was definitely ours.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Ah bless! what a lovely memory! and yes I cried buckets too when I found out he had gone. you must be my age. the age when he was on my wall in huge technicolour, when I played all his music, and followed him through the years. He was one of ours, the best, and I did shed that tear, but I wasn't lucky enough to meet him, never forget that moment, its so special, great tribute, loved it!

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