Monday, 23 October 2017

David Bowie (1948 - 2016)



"I'm always amazed that people take what I say seriously. I don't even take what I am seriously."

"Vždy som prekvapený, keď ľudia berú moje reči vážne. Veď ja sám sa vôbec neberiem vážne."

I went to library looking for books about the paper I needed to write and there he was looking at me with his two different eyes. It was in a music section full of biographies of the famous interprets and I hadn't read any biography for a long long time. I had known about the existence on David Bowie, of course. I knew some songs, mostly the famous ones, but I my overall knowledge about this cult musician was quite inadequate I admit. Now when I have read about and listened to some of his albums I'm still wondering what to say about him. Who is this man?
When I decided to set off to discover David Bowie's music I started from his very first album, whose initial song was Uncle Arthur and I fell in love. Has there ever been a better song with a story more timeless? I doubt it.
Uncle Arthur likes his mommy 
Uncle Arthur still reads comics 
Uncle Arthur follows Batman 
Round and round the rumours fly, how he ran away from Mum 
On his 32nd birthday, told her that he'd found a chum 
Mother cried and raved and yelled and fussed 
Arthur left her no illusion, brought the girl round, save confusion 
Sally was the real thing, not just lust
His image at the beginning of his career and the last time he was a cutie.
However, I prefer the fourth album Hunky Dory with such classics as Changes, Life on Mars or Oh! You pretty things. Especially the last one with catchy melody and lyrics that even the goody-two-shoes-and-sober me understands:
All the strangers came today 
And it looks as though
they're here to stay 
Oh You Pretty Things 
Don't you know you're driving your 
Mamas and Papas insane 
Oh You Pretty Things 
Don't you know you're driving your 
Mamas and Papas insane 
Let me make it plain
You gotta make way 
for the Homo Superior 
Some speak of the philosophy on Nietzsche and maybe they're right or maybe they are wrong, how should I know! But to me it means this: do you remember being a teenager and owning the world? Because I do and it felt awesome.
With Iggy Pop. They were both famous musicians with a number of fans and scandals but why I love this picture is that they look so normal here. Like two friends, freshmen at university maybe, who are just hanging out in their room making silly pictures because they didn't get invited to any party. They look so human.
During that time Bowie was already on a mission to change into an out-of-this-world creature and in one of his most well-known songs gives us a heads-up in case we missed the starting process:
I still don't know what I was waiting for
And my time was running wild
A million dead-end streets
And every time I thought I'd got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
So I turned myself to face me
But I've never caught a glimpse
Of how the others must see the faker
I'm much too fast to take that test
Pictured with his first wife. I don't know what is going on in this picture. Just 70's, I guess.
David Bowie had many personas during the decades he was in the music business. One of the most striking was probably Ziggy Stardust, a Ronald McDonald's cousin from outer space. 70's was a wild decade and glam rock was all the rage back them. David Bowie came up with an omnipotent alien god with a ton of makeup and the most bizarre haircut in this or any other galaxy (by the way the end of 70's was when The Hitchhiker's guide to galaxy was born), which spoke to many:
There's a starman waiting in the sky
He'd like to come and meet us
But he thinks he'd blow our minds
There's a starman waiting in the sky
He's told us not to blow it
'Cause he knows it's all worthwhile
He told me:
Let the children lose it
Let the children use it
Let all the children boogie
Whatever rumours circulated about him (at least half of them he started in the first place - David Bowie, the one man PR machine) in my opinion he was a businessman through and through. Even though he himself explained once that he had to stop being Ziggy Stardust because it was literally driving him insane the truth would probably be his other explanation: how long can you play one character before it gets boring, right?
The next album Aladdin Sane includes a song with the most beautiful piano intro - Lady Grinning Soul. Go listen to it, that's all I can say about it. The Rebel Rebel song, from the Diamond dogs album, has the most recognizable guitar riff, which surprisingly won't get annoying even after hearing it for the millionth time. The songs is about transvestites, transsexuals and other people, whose gender is not easily determined at the first look. Funny how the young generation thinks Lady Gaga invented weird glamour and crossdressing but that couldn't be further away from the truth.
In this nuclear family was David the biggest fashionista.
Our PR whiz did everything in his power to become a star. Shamelessly lied and invented scandals. Surprisingly people didn't mind his crazy antics that included, among others, claiming he was gay while getting married and fathering a child. The lady, who wrote the tabloidy book I've just finished seemed to have quite an obsession with his dubious sex affairs. I'm not complaining, it was an easy reading but I wouldn't rely on anything she seemed to be present so confidently: Lady! If he'd had so much sex, he wouldn't have had any time make music! And he made tons of songs for sure! I've listened to his early albums from David Bowie (1969) to Pin ups (1973), which means seven (!) albums. My journey with Mr. Bowie continues and I might write another blogpost later. Bye for now:-)



Išla som do knižnice pre knihy kvôli práci, ktorú píšem a tam sa na mňa z police pozeral muž z nerovnakými očami. Bola som v hudobnom oddelení, ktoré je plné biografií slávnych interpretov a už dlho som žiadnu biografiu nečítala. O existencii Davida Bowieho som samozrejme vedela. Poznala som pár piesní, hlavne tie nejznámejšie, ale moje vedomosti o tomto kultovom muzikantovi boli biedne, to priznávam. Teraz, keď už som si zopár jeho albumov vypočula a prečítala tú knihu, stále neviem, čo o ňom povedať. Kto to vlastne bol tento muž?
Keď som sa rozhodla vyraziť na objavnú cestu za hudbou Davida Bowieho, začala som od jeho prvého albumu, ktorého prvou piesňou je Strýko Arthur a hneď som sa aj zamilovala. Vznikol niekedy lepší song s nadčasovejším príbehom ako je tento? Pochybujem (texty piesní nebudem prekladať, lebo sa to nie vždy dá bez toho, aby to bolo celé zle). 
Uncle Arthur likes his mommy 
Uncle Arthur still reads comics 
Uncle Arthur follows Batman 
Round and round the rumours fly, how he ran away from Mum 
On his 32nd birthday, told her that he'd found a chum 
Mother cried and raved and yelled and fussed 
Arthur left her no illusion, brought the girl round, save confusion 
Sally was the real thing, not just lust

Jeho image na začiatku kariéry bol cukríčok:-) To sa bohužiaľ už niekdy nezopakovalo. 
No viac sa mi páčil album Hunky Dory s klasikami ako napríklad Changes, Life on Mars alebo Oh! You pretty things. Hlavne ten posledný má nielen chytľavú melódiu, ale aj text, ktorému aj ja ako slušné a triezve dievča rozumiem:
All the strangers came today 
And it looks as though
they're here to stay 
Oh You Pretty Things 
Don't you know you're driving your 
Mamas and Papas insane 
Oh You Pretty Things 
Don't you know you're driving your 
Mamas and Papas insane 
Let me make it plain
You gotta make way 
for the Homo Superior 
Niektorí hovoria o Nietzscheho filozofii - možno majú pravdu a možno sa mýlia, ako to ja už môžem viedeť! Ale pre mňa osobne tu ide o toto: pamätáte si ešte na ten pubertálny pocit, keď vám patril celý svet? Lebo ja hej a bolo to super!
S Iggym Popom. Obaja boli slávni muzikanti, ale táto fotka sa mi páči, lebo tu vyzerajú tak normálne.
Ako dvaja prváci na výške, ktorí sedia v piatok večer na izbe a robia smiešne fotky, lebo ich nik
nepozval na párty. Také ľudské.
Počas tohto obdobia sa Bowie začal meniť na stvorenie z iného sveta a jeden z jeho najznámejších songov nám to pekne zhŕňa, aby nám to náhodou neušlo:
I still don't know what I was waiting for
And my time was running wild
A million dead-end streets
And every time I thought I'd got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
So I turned myself to face me
But I've never caught a glimpse
Of how the others must see the faker
I'm much too fast to take that test


Bowie so svojou prvou ženou. Neviem, čo sa na fotke deje. Ale odpoveď bude zrejme sedemdesiate roky.
David Bowie vystriedal počas dekád strávených v hudobnom biznise mnoho postáv či perzón. Jednou z najnápadnejších a najkultovejších postáv bol Ziggy Stardust, vesmírny bratranec Ronalda McDonalda. Sedemdesiate roky boli bráznivé a gram rock fičal na plné obrátky. David Bowie prišiel s perzónou všemocného mimozemského boha z kvantom make upu a najbizarnejším účesom v tejto, ale aj akejkoľvek inej galaxii (mimochodom koncom sedemdesiatych rokov sa zrodil aj Stopárov sprievodca po galaxii), ktorý z nejakého dôvodu oslovil mnohých: 
There's a starman waiting in the sky
He'd like to come and meet us
But he thinks he'd blow our minds
There's a starman waiting in the sky
He's told us not to blow it
'Cause he knows it's all worthwhile
He told me:
Let the children lose it
Let the children use it
Let all the children boogie
Akékoľvek chýry vtedy o Bowiem kolovali (a to ich aspoň polovicu vymyslel on sám - David Bowie, jednočlenný marketingový team) podľa mňa to bol v prvom rade biznismen. Aj keď sa vyjadril, že s hraním Ziggyho musel prestať, lebo mu vraj z toho začínalo šibať, pravda bude pravdepodobne v jeho neskoršom vyhlásení: Ako dlho môžete fungovať s jedným imidžom, kým sa to okuká?
Nasledujúci album Aladdin Sane (Sane = duševne zdravý) obsahuje to najúžasnejšie klavírne intro - Lady Grinning Soul. Choďte si ho vypočuť, to jediné vám k tomu poviem. Rebel Rebel z albumu Diamond Dogs, má asi najslávnejší gitarový riff v hudobnej histórii, ktorý sa na prekvapenie neopočúva ani na miliónty krát. Pieseň je o tranvestitoch, transsexuáloch a ľuďoch, ktorých pohlavie nie je zrejmé na prvý pohľad. Vtipné je, že mladá generácia si myslí, že Lady Gaga vynašla podivné kostými a prezliekanie sa za muža, čo však nie je pravda ani náhodou.

V tejto rodine bol najväčšia módna diva David.
Náš PR génius urobil všetko, čo bolo v jeho silách, aby sa stal hviezdou. Bez hanby klamal a vymýšľal škandály. Prekvapivo ľuďom jeho bláznivé praktiky nevadili, aj keď spočívali v takých paradoxoch ako napríklad: vyhlásiť, že je gay, následne sa oženiť a splodiť syna. Pani, ktorá napísala hore spomínanú knihu bulvárneho charakteru, mi pripadala ako posadnutá jeho sexuálnymi eskapádami. Nesťažujem sa, lebo to bolo vtipné a ľahké čítanie, ale na fakty, ktoré ona tak sebavedomo prezentovala, by som sa vôbec nespoliehala. "Vážená! Ak by mal Bowie toľko sexu, ako to vy opisujete, nemal by vôbec čas na žiadnu hudbu!" A tej on nahral požehnane! Vypočula som si jeho najstaršie albumy od Davida Bowieho (1969) po Pin Ups (1973) a to je sedem (!) albumov. Moja cesta s pánom Bowiem pokračuje a možno napíšem ešte nejaký článok neskôr. Zatiaľ príjemné počúvanie:-)

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