The music has died with the death of David Bowie. He was Alpha and Omega of popular music. Lets dance around Black artists and take a look at the white faces who took up black music for a moment. These faces became iconic, representations, masks. Bowie got that straight away. He understood fame, the name of the game, and he knew masks becomes art. Begin so with art, begin with the mask.
In the beginning when the teens screamed their thunderous storms there was Elvis, The Beatles, and the Rolling Stones. That was it. Every one else since is a mash-up of any or all or each of The King, the Good Sons and the Bad Sons. Its a pyramid, its biblical, it is western narrative tradition, it is the Great Code of Northrop Frye.
In Marshall McLuhan's tetrad of media effects Elvis popularized Black music. The Beatles came along and replaced him. The Stones brought back the original rhythm and blues Elvis popularized and then Bowie came and pushed everything out until sound became vision and his vision became art.
Bowie had to be Art. The throne was taken and the heirs apparent, either the good sons or the bad sons would take the seat. What was left, what options are available for anyone wanting a walk on role in rock 'n roll? Well, for the answer, one has to go further than the sons, past the king to the outsider, the come-from-away, The Alien, the Messiah, to the man who fell to earth, the sage, the shape-shifter, the shaman, the mixer, the trickster, the joker and the jester. - I heard there was a secret chord and David played it for his lord. the David, the Bowie. He was the word made flesh.
He was never just an icon. He was never just a picture. He was the word worth a thousand pictures, a flurry of photos, all sides, all facets, he was the diamond dog and each of us saw ourselves reflected in him. He contained multitudes. He took the black and white, the clean lines that divided and he drew over them in an explosion of colour, vitality, life, creativity, no boundaries, no limits, no perimeters, just endless edges.
He travelled to the edges, he came from the edges, he looked back from the edges and saw planet earth in all its blues and greens and reds and sunsets, dawns, lives and times. He was the eye in the sky, the satellite of love, and he made us; the weird seen inside the velvet goldmine. Because he was beyond all of the edges, all of us at the edge, he made us insiders, inside his sphere, inside the world he built. He made architecture of radio and theatre of TV. He was an archeologist of world culture and what he found in the past he brought back as the future. He saw lovers kiss by the wall as if nothing would fall, as if love and only love can save us all, but all falls, all fails, all crumbles, all disintegrates in the media landscape. Character becomes caricature, even love </3.
He floundered some when video killed the radio star. His many images became stills on an endless loop, he couldn't change fast enough but he found his footing by becoming black and white. He removed the colour, the cartoon show on MTV and stepped back from the spotlight. He became quiet while everyone else yelled. He took back his fame. He boxed it and put it in the back of a wardrobe. He put on a suit. He shut down until all was that was left was his fame in the frame. The Starman became the star he wanted to be. He took back himself and left a black star-shaped hole. Bowie, the man of a thousand faces, had the the final word on his life of pictures and the word is void.
"And the rest is rust and stardust" - Lolita, Nabokov