Of my many nerdinesses one that is probably closest to my heart and one we don’t discuss that much on this site is music. I love music, in fact long before I read my first comic or played my first video game I was immersed in music and not just you average kid’s Sesame Street songs, but artists like The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, The Who, and of course David Bowie.
I was first introduced to Bowie through his collaboration with Bing Crosby on the Little Drummer Boy, but of course it would grow from there. My mom was a David Bowie fan, which is still odd to me given her other music tastes and how far out there Bowie could get, but through her I learned more and more about Bowie and loved every second of it. I remember one time my mom said to me, “no matter how crazy Bowie got, he always had one of the best voices I’ve ever heard.”
That’s the thing about Bowie, he could be normal or weird, but he was never the same person twice. From Ziggy Stardust to The Goblin King, Bowie never ceased to amaze his fans and constantly attracted new ones.
Bowie’s music didn’t just inspire other musicians, no, his music had a profound influence on game creator Hideo Kojima and many of Bowie’s songs, including those from 1984’s Diamond Dogs heavily influenced the acclaimed Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. In fact Kojima originally wanted to open the game to “The Man Who Sold The World” but instead chose to close the game to that song, and given everything that happens during that story that song is very fitting to close it out. For the last two days Kojima has mostly just been tweeting out photos of whatever Bowie song he’s listening to or retweeting tributes to Bowie.
Two interesting notes about the album Diamond Dogs, your unit you lead in MGS5 are called the Diamond Dogs after that album, and my dearly departed Beagle was also named Diamond after that very album.
Director James Gunn, best known for writing and directing Guardians of the Galaxy, was also a huge Bowie fan. Moonage Dreamer was included on the sound track for that film, and Gunn and producer Kevin Feige were wanting to offer a cameo role to Bowie in the sequel, as noted by Gunn in this touching post he wrote about Bowie yesterday. Alas that will never happen, but I bet it would have been awesome.
Bowie, much like the Beatles, for me was an artist who I enjoyed differently as I grew up. My younger self liked his more poppy tracks, teenage me was really into his psychedelic Ziggy Stardust phase, and now adult me likes his deeper tracks like “The Man Who Sold The World” and “Heroes”. Because Bowie was so eclectic in his style that I’m convinced there is at least one David Bowie song for everyone. They might not be a fan but there is a Bowie song they like.
Bowie wasn’t just satisfied with music either. His voice, his good looks, and awesome hair (as a teen, and probably today as well, I’ve always wondered how I could get my hair to look like Bowie’s) allowed him to move into the world of acting. His most memorable role probably being that of The Goblin King from Jim Henson’s Labyrinth where he starred alongside Jennifer Connely, however, my favorite role of his was that of Nikola Tesla in his small role in Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige. Like I said Bowie’s role was small but he stole the show with it, and that’s saying something considering the movie also starred Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, and Michael Caine.
Bowie’s acting range was vast, from the above mentioned roles to playing Andy Warhol to a role on Sponge Bob Square Pants as Lord Royal Highness, the man just never stuck with a type.
David Bowie was truly a visionary and the world is just a little emptier and the sky has one less star with him gone. Mr.David Robert Haywood Jones we here at the Clash raise a glass in your honor, you will be missed by many. Goodbye Ziggy Stardust January 8, 1947 – January 10, 2016