I came to appreciate David Bowie a little late. I was 16, it was Saturday morning, and I was driving my ’86 Mercury Sable to pick someone up for a cross-country meet when Space Oddity came across the radio. I listened to the whole thing, and thought to myself, what the hell was that? The radio station I heard it on posted their playlists online, so I was able to find out who sang the song later in the day. That’s David Bowie?
I knew China girl and Young Americans, but was totally ignorant to the scope of Bowie’s work. I decided to dig in. Why? I though Space Oddity was ridiculous, but I liked it, it was….not boring. I was into used records at the time and went and bought the first Bowie record in the bin, Ziggy Stardust. I liked the title track, and it was easy to play on the electric guitar (bonus). But Starman did it for me:
There’s a starman waiting in the sky
He’d like to come and meet us
But he thinks he’d blow our minds
Again, ridiculous lyrics that I wanted to listen to. Then I discovered Hunky Dory, and I was a Bowie fan. I was probably the only person who had Oh! You Pretty Things on their workout playlist. I am still shocked that someone could sing the lyrics “Homo Sapiens have outgrown their use” in a way that made me want to sing along.
I could go on and on, as there is so much more. But I’ll just say the key to great art, and to great artists (in my opinion) is to never be boring. David Bowie was never boring.