"I don't know where I'm going from here, but I promise it won't be boring" - David Bowie

Today is David Bowie's birthday, and he's probably turning 87 or something old and gross and weird. But he was extremely influential in his heyday, and I'm a big fan.  For those of you who don't follow the careers of '70s crypto-homo-androgynous-glam rockers as closely as you should, David Bowie is his generation's Lady Gaga (and before you say I'm being insulting or reductive, I think they'd both revel in that comparison).  Like Gaga, Bowie is a pleather-wearing, spectacle-worshiping, tranny-looking, unbelievably talented musican whose performances look like an acid trip at the greatest drag show on Earth. 

Somehow it all adds up to greatness: Bowie was named "The #1 Most Influential Musician of All Time" by his peers, in 2000 (England's New Music Express magazine polled famous artists).  And Bowie was named "The #5 Most Influential Person in Fashion" by Vanity Fair in 2008.  Bowie cha-cha-changed (sorry guys, it had to be done) the way music, gender roles, and fashion interact, and inspired more than one generation of artists. Your take away: David Bowie did for liquid eyeliner what herpes did for the condom: made straight men want to wear it. 

So, in tribute, my top 5 favorite Bowie pop-culture references:

5. Douglas Adams, in So Long and Thanks for All the Fish (the 4th in the Hitchhiker's Guide series) describes a character as:

"If you took a couple of David Bowies and stuck one of the David Bowies on the top of the other David Bowie, then attached another David Bowie to the end of each of the arms of the upper of the first two David Bowies and wrapped the whole business up in a dirty beach robe you would then have something which didn't exactly look like John Watson, but which those who knew him would find hauntingly familiar."

That's vivid imagery.

4. Bowie judging the "Walk Off" in Zoolander

3. Seu Jorge's acoustic, Portuguese versions of Bowie songs in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

2. Bowie burns Ricky Gervais on Extras

1. And the very best, and perhaps most accurate Bowie portrayal ever - Flight of the Conchords video for "Bowie's in Space"

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Write comments
January 9, 2010 at 2:43 AM delete

Hey love,

Enjoying the blog, but -not to go all geekout on you here- your HTML formatting on your Bowie post is making your page go all wonky. I have to say, I can't believe there was no mention of Labyrinth!


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