Sunday, January 10, 2016

Obituary: David Bowie

I am typing this pretty late tonight, but I am sad to report that rock great David Bowie has passed away after a long battle with liver cancer. He had just turned 69 the other day. He died surrounded by family, including his wife, Iman. They had been married for 23 years. As an aside, I was surprised she is the same age I am, so the age gap wasn't all that big.

Bowie's biggest years were in the 1970s, where his androgynous appearance had fit the times. When he was young, he always looked like something the cats dragged in. He was a living scarecrow. Later on he filled out, and he wasn't a bad-looking guy at all.

In addition to his musical career, he had success as an actor.


"David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer. While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief," read a statement posted on the artist's official social media accounts.

The influential singer-songwriter and producer dabbled in glam rock, art rock, soul, hard rock, dance pop, punk and electronica during his eclectic 40-plus-year career. He just released his 25th album, Blackstar, Jan. 8, which was his birthday.

Bowie’s artistic breakthrough came with 1972’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, an album that fostered the notion of rock star as space alien. Fusing British mod with Japanese kabuki styles and rock with theater, Bowie created the flamboyant, androgynous alter ego Ziggy Stardust.

Three years later, Bowie achieved his first major American crossover success with the No. 1 single “Fame” off the top 10 album Young Americans, then followed with the 1976 avant-garde art rock LP Station to Station, which made it to No. 3 on the charts and featured top 10 hit “Golden Years.”

Cancer just absolutely sucks.

He was born David Jones, but because there was another David Jones, namely DAVY Jones of the Monkees, he went ahead and changed his name.

Here is some vintage Bowie from 1974:

New York Times has an obituary here.

Bowie had been in terrible health in recent years. In addition to the cancer, he had had SIX heart attacks. He spent much of his time with his daughter, even walking her to school. Despite having poor health and spending his time out of the public eye living quietly in his homes in NYC and in upstate NY, he still managed to record. He released his final album on his birthday this last Friday.

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