David Bowie – Before He Was Dead
Before They Were Dead
Before Rollingstone ranked him as one the top 100 Greatest Artists Of All Time.
Before he emerged after a short hiatus as alter ego Ziggy Stardust a cross dressing science fiction character that would break boundaries.
Before he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame.
Hailing from a London working class suburb young David Bowie took an interest in music young picking up the saxophone when he was only 13. His father had previous music ambitions of his own but had retired those dreams for a steady 9-5. David grew up idolizing his older half brother Terry whose mental illness resulted in him being institutionalized and later commit suicide. Without his best friend, David pushed forward starting his career as a commercial artist, and made a go at music in a band and as a solo artist. He almost gave up entirely starting a career as a mime before his track ‘Space Oddity’ launched him to worldwide fame. He went on to produce 25 studio albums before a battle with liver cancer took his life in January 10th 2016 at the age of 69.
David Bowie was born David Robert Jones in Brixton, on January 8, 1947 in Brixton, England. His mother Peggy worked as a waitress, while his father, John Jones, was a promotions officer for a children’s charity.
Both his parents had been previously married, in his fathers first divorice John had gone to great lengths to start launch his wives singing career but it failed to happen and the two split. David’s new mom Peggy came from a long line of people suffering from mental illness and depression.
David attended Stockwell Infants School until he was six years old, and earned for himself a reputation as a gifted yet single minded child who would constantly get into fights.
Young David was a bit of a loner, his only friend growing up was his half brother Terry 9 years his senior. Terry took David on under his wing and also introduced him to rock music and beat literature. Terry would struggle with his own mental illnesses and would eventually be institutionalized and then go on to commit suicide.
After graduating from Bromley Technical High School at 16, David started working as a commercial artist. He also continued to play music, hooking up with a number of bands and leading a group himself called Davy Jones and the Lower Third. They put out Several singles but nothing caught on.
David came to the conclusion that his stage name Davy Jones could get him confused with Davy Jones of The Monkees. It was then he changed his last name to Bowie inspired by a famous knife brand known by this name. Then he went at it on his with a solo album, again it didn’t fly.
For several weeks in 1967 he lived at a Buddhist monastery in Scotland. Bowie later started his own mime troupe called Feathers.
By 1969, he was back doing what he loved, he felt inspired after watching Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: Space Odyssey stoned; he was inspired to write and record his song ‘Space Oddity’.
Around this time he also met Angela Barnett who he would marry and divorce 10 years later. Together they had a son, Duncan Jones.
This song struck a chord with the public, also, this was around the same time as the Apollo 11 moon landing.
Following this David Bowie released ‘The Man Who Sold the World’ and ‘Hunky Dory’.
Then he decided to mix things up, although married, he announced the world that he was in fact gay; he then reemerged as Ziggy Stardust with his band The Spiders From Mars. His 1972 album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust was a huge moment in music history.
This would be an alter ego he would soon retire, but the man would re-invent himself again and again and again. Constantly staying in the lime light and maintaining his artistic integrity.
He tried his hand in film the title role in The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976). In 1980, Bowie performed on Broadway in The Elephant Man.
His next breakout success was with his 1983 album Let’s Dance with the title track, as well as “Modern Love” and “China Girl”. In 1985 he teamed up with long time best friend and rumored lover Mick Jagger for “Dancing in the Streets”.
He kept busy taking on projects as a writer, producer, releasing new music and performing. In 2004 he had a health scare suffering a heart attack on stage in Germany.
In recent years he put out a number of albums, in 2013 The Next Day, 2014 his greatest hits ‘Nothing Has Changes’, 2015 Lazurus and 2015 Blackstar. His final album being the gift he leaves for the world and his fan.
On Jan 10th 2016 David Bowie passed after battling liver cancer for 18 months. He died peacefully, at home surrounded by friends and family.
And the rest of the story, well you know the story, because this is Before They Were Dead.
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