Blogpost: David Bowie: A New Career in a New Town
Lifestyle / Mon 11th Jan 2016 pm31 01:08pm
By Michael Casey
IT all started in April 1972. David Bowie was playing at the Harlow Playhouse. The tickets were 25 pence. My brother Gerard went but I was only ten, so I stayed at home.
To me, it was the guy who had a hit a lifetime ago in 1969.
The concert came a few months after the release of Hunky Dory that met with critical acclaim but few sales. He had just launched a new single called Starman which again, was not setting the world on fire.
But something must have piqued my interest. And then, a few months later, there was that appearance on Top of the Pops singing Starman. And yes, I went to Holy Cross Primary next day and asked “Hey, that’s far out, you saw him too?”..Well. something like that…
From that point I was hooked. It really was all about the changes. But each year at school at St Marks was marked from Aladdin Sane until Scary Monsters.
I loved Drive In Saturday, 1984, Fame, Station to Station, A New Career in a New Town, V2 Schneider, Fantastic Voyage, Teenage Wildlife etc.
And there was a message in there. It was about change, it was about being brave enough to try new things, it was about “loving to travel and hating to arrive.”
There was an element of “WWBD..what would Bowie do?”
My first piece of bonding at university was with Clive , where we argued on the merits of Lodger.
As the eighties rolled by, he became mainstream and I remember seeing him at Milton Keynes Bowl in 1983, thinking “This is all very safe.”
But I never lost the faith. I liked Loving the Alien and Day In/Day Out but realised that there was a creative nadir going on here.
But I could see what he was doing with Tin Machine. Have a listen to Goodby Mr Ed or Bus Stop.
I always felt that Black Tie, White Noise did not get the critical credit it deserved as well as Buddha of Suburbia.
But I felt Outside was a joy to behold and it was great to see a man approaching fifty full of ideas and invention.
As a Bowie completist, it was always great to travel the world and pick up Tin Machine 2 in Bend, Oregon or The David Bowie Songbook in Tokyo.
I loved the resurgence in the early 2000’s. The Bowie at the Beeb sessions, Heathen and especially “chubby little man”
When I saw Bowie in 2004 on the Reality Tour, it was such a great combination between his new album (so-so) and great re-workings of the hits. And as the years rolled on, I thought that he had left a great canon of work and so was content if he never recorded again.
We welcomed The Next Day as a treat and if you heard the eleven minute remix of Love is Lost, you felt encouraged that he was more inclined to the avant-garde still.
And that is why Blackstar was also such a joy. And that is why the final song: “I Can’t Give Everything Away” is so poignant.
So, farewell David Robert Jones. David Bowie will live on forever. And if you want to pay tribute to his memory, dare to be different.
And like any typical middle aged bloke in their man cave, masquerading as an office, here is each album and my favourite song.
David Bowie: Love Me Til Tuesday
Space Oddity: Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud
Man Who Sold The World: Conversation Pice
Hunky Dory: The Bewlay Bros.
Ziggy Stardust: Five Years
Aladdin Sane: Drive In Saturday
Diamond Dogs: Sweet Thing
Young Americans: Young Americans
Station to Station: Station to Station
Low: A New Career in a New Town
Lodger: Fantastic Voyage
Scary Monsters: Teenage Wildlife
Lets Dance: Let’s Dance
Tonight: Loving the Alien
Never Let Me Down: Day In Day Out
Tin Machine: Bus Stop
Tin Machine 2: Goodbye Mr Ed
Black Tie/White Noise: Jump They Say
Outside: Through These Architects Eyes
Earthling: I’m Afraid of Americans
Hours: Thursdays Child
Heathen: Everybody Says Hi
Reality: New Killer Star
The Next Day: The Stars are Out Tonight