David Bowie

Where is David Bowie?

He owned the seventies, sold millions of records in the eighties and got to the 21st century before anyone else but in 2011 is nowhere to be seen… so, just where is David Bowie?

Growing up in the seventies you were growing up in Bowie time. If the sixties was defined by the Beatles with their every innovation and step forward pin pointing the decade the same could be said for the Thin White Duke in the seventies.

He may not have invented glam rock but he made it his with a series of astonishing singles and albums after he hit his stride with Hunky Dory. Each single was like a missive from an exotic space, each one a work of mind blowing genius that was far ahead of the rest of the pack. from Starman to Life on Mars to my own personal favourite Drive In Saturday Bowie was making pure pop with a deeper, darker backdrop. This stuff meant something.

He also ran through a whole gamut of looks a Ziggy chameleon that could change it’s skin at will leading a whole army of youthful droogs into a new land of colorful confusion. The disciples would go on to create punk, new romantic and a whole myriad of their own styles fired up by the breath taking inventiveness of Bowie.

He introduced the willing to the Stooges and the Velvet Underground and redefined alternative rock, perhaps even creating the idea of something beyond the mainstream. Bot only that he saved Iggy Pop from the rock n roll cul de sac and inspired him to pull himself out of the wreckage of a rock n roll career doomed to failure. It may not have been so drastic for Lou Reed but the former Velvets frontman was introduced to a whole army of willing acolytes by the Bowie taste machine.

Bowie’s albums were key moments of the decade and all the way up to and including Scary Monsters were works of pop art, each one redefining just what pop music could sound like and how far it could travel and just where we were all up to. From Lets Dance onwards he concentrated on just making big selling pop records without the kooky element but was still far ahead of the pack. There were glimmers of the old Bowie even until his last album 2003’s Reality. He toyed with drum and bass and proved he still had an ear for the now even if the future was bait more difficult to grasp.

He toured a sort of greatest his package. His voice still sounded wonderful but I’ll health but a stop to that before he slipped into an uncharacteristic silence, the workaholic dropped from the radar…

Where is Bowie now?
Will there ever be another record?
Is it just too difficult to make music when you are always expected to be the future?
Has he lost interest?
Or is this the cleverest move of a clever career? The fade to silence leaving his mystique intact?

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


  1. […] Christmas Mr Lawrence In 1942 British soldier Major Jack Celliers (David Bowie) is incarcerated in a Japanese prison camp in Java. The camp is run by Captain Yonoi (Ryûichi […]

  2. I never got the chance to see Bowie live ,I hope he does do something in the future but what is there to drive him to do it The Hunger is proberley one of his best acting moments and a classic film

  3. Bowie created a breath taking body of work in the 70s and early 80s…..Hunky dory, ziggy stardust, Alladin Sane, Diamond dogs, low, heroes, lets dance.

    The low points being tin machine, that drum n bass album with eno/goldie and that ‘our father’rendition at some charity concert…and all recent albums tarnishing his rep somewhat. but still what a body of work for any artist to be immortalised for. They will be singing his songs still in 200 years.

    But surely once you have to sit down and think about what you are actually doing and creating instead of instinctively knowing, whether drug induced or not the spark has gone and then you are second guessing what might be popular or not, also the pressure as suggested below.

    …..”Is it just too difficult to make music when you are always expected to be the future?”……

    with his heart scare and 65 years has he decided to hand the baton on to a younger generation?….. sadly we get glee and x-factor.

    best left alone now with some mystique intact.

  4. tin machine was great, yes even tin machine 2, heathen is as good as his late seventies work and his last album was savage too, compare his later work to that of his peers and see for your self

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