The World According to Keitho

Just another weblog


Posted by keithosaunders on January 11, 2016


I’ve been thinking about Diamond Dogs.  This was the first David Bowie record to be released after I had started listening to him. (Ziggy and Aladdin Sane already felt like ancient history even though they were only one and two years old) I remember counting down the days until DD came out and finally taking it home, playing it and loving it instantly.

There was this strange dichotomy with Bowie – here was this effeminate androgynous person who appeared more alien than human, yet his music was as muscular and substantial as anything heard before or since. Growing up in the staid, conforming, tract-home infested San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, listening to Bowie felt simultaneously thrilling and subversive.

Less than a year after Diamond Dogs Bowie would  help kick-start disco with Young Americans and I summarily rote him off.  This  was convenient for me since I had begun studying and playing jazz and wouldn’t listen to rock music for another three years.  When I did get around to checking out rock again my brother played me the Eno-produced records that Bowie had made in the interim – Low, Heroes, and Lodger – and they blew my mind.  Scary Monsters came out a few months after I had rediscovered him and it was like a satisfying coda to the frenetic and schizophrenic seventies.  Soon Bowie would don a suit and tie for the conservative 80s only to reemerge in the 90s as a cutting-edge post-punk industrial rocker.

Bowie is the most important pop artist we’ve lost since John Lennon.  He was like a rock version of Miles Davis.  He stayed relevant and innovative no matter how old he got and he influenced every generation that was lucky enough to have heard him.
 It’s a sad day.

3 Responses to “Starman”

  1. sportsattitudes said

    Philadelphia definitely feels the loss hard because he recorded his first live album here and also frequented a local studio as well during the early part of his career. “Young Americans” was in large part recorded here. Sad day indeed.

  2. I like the energy and readability of your posts. Sorry you don’t have at least something to look forward to during holiday season.

    I’m a casual Bowie fan from way back but you inspire me to learn more about the person. Also, my wife and I will be in SF next fall and will come hear you play. Would you recommend a particular venue?

    (Thanks for your comment on my Gifford post. I wasn’t aware of his book and will take a look.)

    • Thanks Alex. This was actually one of my more enjoyable holiday seasons, if not exhausting. I gigged almost every night of December, even Christmas Eve, Christmas night, New Years Eve, and New Years night.

      I play with a really good band every Tuesday at this bar in the Haight called Club Deluxe. I recommend it even if I’m not there — they almost always have good music.

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