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Thin White Duke

niedziela, 24 kwietnia 2011 15:11

 

 

The Thin White Duke was David Bowie's 1976 persona and character, primarily identified with his album Station to Station (released that year) and mentioned by name in the title track, although the 'Duke' persona had been adopted during the Young Americans tour and promotion. At first glance, the Duke appeared more "normal" than Bowie's previous incarnations, wearing a stylish, cabaret-style wardrobe, but the massive amounts of cocaine the rock star consumed during this period made his personality, or at least the personality he displayed during interviews, more alarming than it had ever been. At this time in his life, he said that he lived on "red peppers, cocaine and milk".

 

 

Impeccably dressed in white shirt, black trousers and waistcoat, The Duke was a hollow man who sang songs of romance with an agonised intensity while feeling nothing, "ice masquerading as fire". The persona has been described as "a mad aristocrat", "an amoral zombie", and "an emotionless Aryan superman". For Bowie himself, The Duke was "a nasty character indeed", and later, "an ogre for me".

 

 

As his drug habit ate away at his physical and mental health, Bowie decided to move from Los Angeles to Paris and then West Berlin, where he began recording the groundbreaking Berlin Trilogy (Low, "Heroes", and Lodger) with Brian Eno.

 

 

This persona has greatly inspired David Sylvian in creating his Japan-era style.

 


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the Ziggy Stardust story

piątek, 22 kwietnia 2011 15:59

 

 

The time is five years to go before the end of the earth. It has been announced that the world will end because of lack of natural resources. Ziggy is in a position where all the kids have access to things that they thought they wanted. The older people have lost all touch with reality and the kids are left on their own to plunder anything. Ziggy was in a rock-and-roll band and the kids no longer want rock-and-roll. There's no electricity to play it. Ziggy's adviser tells him to collect news and sing it, 'cause there is no news. So Ziggy does this and there is terrible news. 'All the young dudes' is a song about this news. It's no hymn to the youth as people thought. It is completely the opposite. [...]

 

 

The end comes when the infinites arrive. They really are a black hole, but I've made them people because it would be very hard to explain a black hole on stage. [...]

 

 

Ziggy is advised in a dream by the infinites to write the coming of a Starman, so he writes 'Starman', which is the first news of hope that the people have heard. So they latch onto it immediately...The starmen that he is talking about are called the infinites, and they are black-hole jumpers. Ziggy has been talking about this amazing spaceman who will be coming down to save the earth. They arrive somewhere in Greenwich Village. They don't have a care in the world and are of no possible use to us. They just happened to stumble into our universe by black hole jumping. Their whole life is travelling from universe to universe. In the stage show, one of them resembles Brando, another one is a Black New Yorker. I even have one called Queenie, the Infinite Fox...Now Ziggy starts to believe in all this himself and thinks himself a prophet of the future starmen. He takes himself up to the incredible spiritual heights and is kept alive by his disciples. When the infinites arrive, they take bits of Ziggy to make them real because in their original state they are anti-matter and cannot exist in our world. And they tear him to pieces on stage during the song 'Rock 'n' roll suicide'. As soon as Ziggy dies on stage the infinites take his elements and make themselves visible.

 


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"This is major Tom"

piątek, 22 kwietnia 2011 12:23

Major Tom is a fictional astronaut created by David Bowie, heard in his songs "Space Oddity," "Ashes to Ashes," and "Hallo Spaceboy." Bowie's own interpretation of the character evolved throughout his career. 1969's "Space Oddity" depicts an astronaut who casually slips the bonds of a crass and material world to journey beyond the stars. In the 1980s song "Ashes to Ashes," Bowie reinterprets Major Tom as an oblique autobiographical symbol for himself. Major Tom is described as a "junkie, strung out in heavens high, hitting an all-time low". This lyric was interpreted as a play on the title of Bowie's 1977 album Low, which charted his withdrawal following his drug abuse in America. A short time later, there is another reversal of Major Tom's original withdrawal, turning 'outwards' or towards space.

 

 


Bowie would later revisit his Major Tom character in the songs "Ashes to Ashes" and "Hallo Spaceboy".


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