DAVID BOWIE: FROM DUST TO STAR

When David Robert Jones adopts the stage name "David Bowie", he does not receive great applause at first and some call him lacking in personality and out of tune.
It revolutionized music in the second half of the twentieth century. One of his concerts became part of the film "Boys from the Berlin Zoo" inspired by the book of the same name by Christiane F., emblem of a generation.
It's been five years since David Bowie passed away and why is he considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century? He had learned to play the saxophone when he was very young, and has gone down in history as a representative of glam rock, a musical genre in which the guitar meets theatricality: captivating music accompanied by stage presence and references to sexuality.
The saxophone was the symbol of the Beat Generation of the US West Coast, for David an emblem of freedom. Work experiences in a record store and also in an advertising agency as a junior visualizer and in high school musical groups are his beginnings. The passing of David Bowie marked the end of a musically unrepeatable journey. His work has had a huge impact not only on the music scene, but also on the social one, influencing the habits and customs of entire generations. With his numerous alter egos, among which Ziggy Stardust, Halloween Jack and The Thin White Duke stand out, he has given vent to his multifaceted talent, sometimes identifying himself to the point of not being able to divide reality from the fiction of his masks.
More than an innovator Bowie was an "initiator" able to grasp the spirit of the years he was living to convey it to his audience with unusual performances halfway between theater and music, often going beyond convention. A continuous daring that has led him to be a prominent figure in the queer environment, clearing androgyny in a macho society.In 1967 he released his first album with the same title David Bowie, which did not achieve the hoped-for success. Despite the disappointing debut, Bowie does not give up and decides to join the theater company of Linsday Kemp, mime and director, from which the artist learns notions of Kabuki and Noh theater, as well as gestures and a stage presence that will characterize each performance of the singer thereafter. The month spent in a Buddhist monastery in Scotland also contributes to the definition of his multifaceted identity, a period in which he considers fully embracing the precepts of Eastern doctrine and becoming a monk. However, the call of the stage prevails and Bowie returns even more determined to London where he composes the first hit, Space Oddity, achieving national recognition thanks to the decisive support of the BBC, which uses the song as a soundtrack during the live landing on the moon.
Bowie's true consecration came in the 1970s thanks to records of undisputed value such as The Man Who Sold The World and Hunky Dory and the creation in 1972 of his most famous alter ego, the androgynous alien Ziggy Stardust, who came down to Earth to save the world. planet from destruction. On February 10th Ziggy debuts in London conquering everyone thanks to his original style, a hint of what will quickly become his iconic image with the fiery red mullet, the marked makeup, the shaved eyebrows, the futuristic - and feminine - designed clothes for him by the stylist Kansai Yamamoto. Ziggy is the classic Pirandello mask in which Bowie identifies himself fully, allowing him to finally feel at ease on stage and to free his personality. Roxy Music and Marc Bolan had already cleared the gender bending, but Bowie with Ziggy managed to convey a delicacy different from the others, giving life to a character with feminine fragility. This series of elements helps to make it not only a musical icon, but also a reference for the stylists of the time.
Despite Ziggy's imperfections due to his nature as an experiment, it was precisely these that made him a bulky and transversely appreciated media figure, allowing many to live their sexuality freely and without dogma, in a country that was highly conservative at the time.

The avatar has become more important than Bowie could have imagined, absorbing him to the point of wishing for his death, which he staged on July 3, 1973 during a concert at the Hammersmith Odeon, performing the song My Death (English version of La Mort by Jacques Brel) and concluding the show with the interpretation of the iconic Rock'N'Roll Suicide.
The explosion of funk and soul music brings David Bowie to the United States, where he lives one of his most turbulent times. If from a musical point of view he collects great successes with Young Americans and Station to Station, what happens during the interval between the recordings of the two albums seriously undermines Bowie's sanity and life. He is passionate about the occult and the texts of Aleister Crowley, readings that compromise his health already destabilized by a diet based on peppers, milk and cocaine, which led him to the brink of anorexia. Bowie becomes addicted to cocaine for its stimulating effect that allows him not to sleep a wink for days and continue his research in the field of occultism, the main theme of the album Station to Station, but it triggers a sense of persecution that makes him easily susceptible. and can be influenced. In the song Cracked Actor, Bowie's mental fragility is evident, an almost alien behavior that convinces director Nicolas Roeg to entrust him with the role of Newton, the extraterrestrial protagonist of the film The Man Who Fell to Earth.
In this phase, his most controversial character comes to life, the Thin White Duke, who presents himself as a 1930s dancer, cold, austere, with his hair pulled back, an Aryan figure who approaches Bowie, due to some misunderstandings, to the Nazi ideals. The appearance of the White Duke is what he shows in The Man Who Fell to Earth and on the album covers of Station to Station and Low. His less flashy look compared to Ziggy and Halloween Jack mirrors the purging process that leads him to take off the shoes of another to expose himself firsthand. The evolution of his mask parallels Bowie's detoxification process, who leaves California and decides to return to Europe. 
Brian Eno proves to be a pivotal figure in Bowie's career, offering him creative support he never had before. In addition to unconventional solutions in the musical field, he introduces Bowie to the use of oblique strategies, a deck of cards, created by Eno himself, to solve problems thanks to lateral thinking. This approach gives new vigor and vitality to Bowie's sound, marking an intellectual rebirth of the singer who after years of drug addiction and paranoia manages to reinvent himself artistically, performing on stage only as Bowie, without wearing masks. It is no coincidence that the Berlin period, a symbol of resurrection, is the trait d’union that in 2013 marks the musical return of Bowie on the scene.
David Bowie was one of those characters you believe to be immortal, superior to all daily miseries, able to always travel new and unpredictable paths in rock as in cinema, in painting, in theater. Yet he died, as everyone does. It is difficult to imagine him suffering, broken up, enticed, helpless and passive. Perhaps his image as a global and unattainable rock star is so cumbersome that it is impossible to think of him dying, attacked and defeated by cancer at 69.

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