When David Bowie was alive, he spent his time in NYC living in the SoHo neighborhood; specifically, in a luxury apartment building located at 285 Lafayette Street. Since Bowie’s passing in 2016, various pieces of street art have popped up on the block as a continuing homage to the late icon. The mural above is the latest. At first glance, it looks like just a random collage of images with the featured one being some sort of monster or alien being. But if you stop to take a closer look, you can’t miss the visage of David as Ziggy Stardust over on the right. Continue reading Homage to David Bowie Mural on Lafayette Street
Nothing says ‘Have a Glam Holiday” like a couple of David Bowie ornaments on the tree. I spotted these beauties last summer at the NY Now gift show and have been holding onto them since then, just waiting for the seasonally appropriate time to share! The ornament above depicts Bowie in his “Life On Mars” Suit. Designed by Freddie Burretti, Bowie’s go-to fashion designer (as well as lover and protege) between 1970 and 1974, this turquoise “ice-blue” suit was featured in the music video for “Life On Mars” from the album Hunky Dory released in 1971. It’s a bit lame that the ornament’s designer has added the facial lightning bolt from Aladdin Sane to this piece, but I guess they were going for maximum icon appeal.
On the far left in the photo above, you’ll see another ornament that’s a bust-only attempt at a likeness of Bowie where he’s probably meant to be wearing the “Space Oddity” space suit, with its flared shoulder pads. Bowie wore that suit in the early days of the 1972–73 Ziggy Stardust tour. Once again, they added the lightning bolt adornment to Bowie’s face, which is historically inaccurate, but kind of necessary for identification purposes, since the face looks nothing like Bowie at all. These ornaments are available from Cody Foster & Co on Amazon for $24.99 each.
Stars T-Shirt with “Space Oddity” lyrics, designed by Butcher Billy, is available on a T-Shirt in Turquoise or Black for just $19.95, and in a variety of other shirt styes as well, at This Link!
Bonus: All T-Shirts on the Site are 20% off Through May 8th!
Planet Earth is Blue, and There’s Nothing I Can Do…
It seems hilarious to think that I was six years old when David Bowie released his self-titled debut album, which would have been on June 1st of 1967. Coincidentally, and in an act of incredibly bad timing on Bowie’s part, that was the shared release date of another album you may have heard of: The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. What a way to ensure that your most heartfelt artistic efforts are completely and totally eclipsed by another act! Bad Timing! In hindsight, also hilarious.
Point being that David Bowie has been part of the soundtrack for me since childhood. Surprisingly, in 2014 (four decades on) I learned more about the guy than I ever imagined I didn’t know. First, Showtime aired David Bowie: Five Years, a fantastic documentary spanning five key years in Bowie’s music career that was just one mind-blowing revelation after another. For example, I had no idea that Legendary keyboardist Rick Wakeman played piano all over Hunky Dory. Who even pays attention to stuff like that? Mind blowing. Five Years definitely deepened my respect and admiration for the man, his music and his insane contribution to global pop culture. David Bowie was a Musical Genius!
If you have ears and eyes and you are a David Bowie fan, then you also probably heard about David Bowie Is; the universally critically lauded, career retrospective that became the fastest-selling exhibition in London’s Victoria & Albert Museum’s history. The David Bowie Is exhibition — which featured over 300 items including photos, costumes, artwork, hand-written lyrics, stage props, videos and other items from David Bowie’s Personal Archives toured Toronto, Sao Paulo and Berlin, and Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art — its only stop in the US, among other destinations. At that same time, a documentary film about the touring art exhibition, also called David Bowie Is, had a one-night only screening in various theaters across the country. I saw the film in NYC and it was so exciting that it made me want to spend a thousand dollars just to go to Chicago and see the exhibit. Directed by Hamish Hamilton, the film was an excellent primer and would certainly have greatly enriched your visit, should you have had exhibit tickets at the ready. For those who wwere never able to view the exhibition in person, this film is the next best thing.
In addition to a detailed tour of the exhibition’s key features, the film included tons of back-story and insights from curators Victoria Broackes and Geoffrey Marsh who serve as onscreen hosts and narrators. And let me tell you, they know their shit. One of my favorite parts of the film is a viewing and explanation of extensive, illustrated storyboards that Bowie created for a film to be based on the Diamond Dogs album. It is unreal. You’ll also hear conversations with exhibit-goer-fans, and commentary about Bowie’s far-reaching influence with pop taste-makers such as Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker and fashion designer Kansai Yamamoto, who created the iconic costumes from the Aladdin Sane tour that you’ve been looking at in photos for years.
Everybody who loved him has a David Bowie Story, but I was never so fortunate as to meet him in person or even interview him over the phone, and the only time I saw Bowie play live was when he toured with Nine Inch Nails; a show which I recall absolutely nothing about. So, my story is to recommend watching these two films, if you have not yet seen them. David is gone now, and all we have are our shared memories of him and a life well-lived. Godspeed.