David Bowie: Too Cool / Not Cool for School?

Inspired by this thread.

When I was in high school, I thought (and still do!) one of the greatest all-time hard rock albums was Mr. David Bowie’s The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars. Right up there with Led Zeppelin’s Led Zeppelin IV and Black Sabbath’s Paranoid, etc.

However, as often as I encountered classmates who appreciated Mr. Bowie, I seemed to run into guys who thought it was funny to disparage “David Blowie.”

What were (are?) your experiences regarding Mr. Bowie with your peers back in the day?

P.S. FYI The Venture Bros. has a great reference to same in Ghosts of the Sargasso!

still hate that blowie shiite

“Same” being Mr. David Bowie, of course, not Spiders as Major Tom appeared on Space Oddity.

Just wanted to clarify. :slight_smile:

I was class of ’84 and very few of my classmates cared about Bowie one way or another. The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars was and is one of my favorite albums. A few people just thought he was too queer. Most would just dismiss him as glam rock or Who?
I loved Station to Station also.

Many things that were cool back in the day are ridiculous now. Ultimate cool transcends time and Bowie is the epitome of that. Every time I see an interview with him it amazes me at how he went from silly (but cool) to sublime (and waaay cool) An inspiration.

High school in the late 80s – I loved Bowie (still do), and most of his die hard fans at my school were vaguely clueless drama club girls (that would be my set) and the smaller population of guys who hung out with us and wore eye makeup, in other words, the people that are being made fun of on “Goth Talk” :slight_smile: .

Other girls tended to think he was “hot, for an old guy.” Other guys seemed to think that while somewhat on the fey side, Bowie was firmly ensconced in the history of rock music so though they might not be fans, there was no disparaging. Disinterest turned into downright respect when he hooked up with Iman.

huge Bowie fan - loved Fame and Young Americans as a kid; he fell off my radar when I was going through my Aerosmith/Nugent phase. My first love loved Ziggy and I found him again.

As a late 90s high school grad, Bowie’s music was basically unknown to me and my friends. However, in the last year I’ve gained much appreciation for him.

As a late 90s high school grad, Bowie’s music was basically unknown to me and my friends, because they weren’t playing it on the radio. However, in the last year I’ve gained much appreciation for him.

I was a teen in the 80’s. My first exposure to Bowie was the Let’s Dance video. I thought it was great. Then, MTV started doing pieces on how Bowie has changed over the years to become a New Wave artist, but I had no interest in 70’s rock. Other people seemed to like Bowie, but he never really took off with the 80’s crowd like Duran Duran and Madonna did.

Then came China Girl and Modern Love. Good stuff, and still most of my Bowie experience was through MTV. He just had this air about him that was extremely cool.

Blue Jean was another great tune, but the Tonight album kinda sucked. It was essentially a $10 single (when full cassette albums cost $10).

Then came Dancing in the Streets with Mick Jagger. Very cool (back then), especially when Bowie glares at Jagger for being a showboat and camera hog in the video. Now, it’s soooo cheesy, but I like it anyway.

Then came Day In - Day Out and the Never Let Me Down album. I liked it. Critics hated it. Bowie hated it.

Then came Changesbowie (Greatest Hits) and my first appreciation for his 1970’s material. Great stuff.

Then came Tin Machine. I lost interest.

The next thing I remember is the Outside album from round about 1995. This is an excellent album, IMHO. He lost me again with Earthling. Interestingly, I think the worst songs on the album are the ones chosen as singles.

Bowie has since failed to really impress me with anything, unfortuantely. I want so much to like his newer stuff, and I try, but just can’t seem to get into it much.

Though no matter what, I appreciate the Thin White Duke. He will always be cool to me.

Graduated high school in 1978 - a few of the guys said “aw he’s a fag” but they weren’t anyone I wanted to hang out with anyway. All the cool people loved Bowie. I still do!

Anybody who can make Iggy Pop they’re bitch is permanently ensconced in coolsville. And his character in Into The Night was awesome. And I too find The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars to be one of the best albums ever made. To be played at maximum volume.

I never quite got David Bowie. I don’t much like his music and I’m creeped out by his pointy little teeth.

Bowie is simply near the top of the short list of Unassailable Gods of Rock. You just do not get any cooler than Bowie. I totally rocked out to him during my college days in the late '70s and early '80s. Anybody who could make such a mindbending album as Low by playing Oblique Strategies with Brian Eno (“Eno is God”), has totally achieved rock-‘n’-roll immortality.

Bowie is the Great Rescuer, giving of himself unto his fellow rockers. He wrote “All the Young Dudes” for Mott the Hoople and handed them their one big hit. He produced Transformer for Lou Reed. When he did “Fame” with John Lennon, I had an eargasm. He rejizzed Iggy’s career by producing The Idiot for him. Let’s Dance brought Stevie Ray Vaughan to prominence, a master blues guitarist (even though I didn’t think Stevie’s playing actually fit in with Bowie’s music, Stevie was a great musician in his own right, R.I.P.).

But when Bowie and Eno collaborate, stand back. Genius at play. When they planned Low, the story goes, Bowie drew a card saying “Make everything different” and Eno drew a card saying “Make everything the same.” They proceeded without each knowing the other’s card.

I think his strongest period was 1975-1980, from Young Americans through Scary Monsters (although Lodger was a bit weaker than the others in this era). This is when he made his most challenging, groundbreaking, progressive, romantic innovations. Scary Monsters was just awe-inspiring and for me is the pinnacle of his creativity. He sort of lost me with Let’s Dance (too cold and alienated) and Blue Jean (too dull), and after that I quit paying attention to his new stuff, although his demented acting in Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me caught my attention.

Hehe :smiley:

Ha! That’s a perfect description. It also reminds me of when we rented The Man Who Fell to Earth – a room full of fifteen year olds trying to pretend that we understood the artistic vision and everyone secretly wishing we could just turn it off and watch Friday Night Videos instead.

If they knew who Mick Ronson was, I knew they were cool. :wink:

Anyone like Bowie covers? Go to this page and scroll down not quite halfway. There’s an AMAZING live cover of “Space Oddity” there. Also “Ashes to Ashes.” I realize, disclaimer, that nothing will touch the originals, but if you’re going to have covers, those are two pretty darn good ones.

The Space Oddity is an audience recording, so be kind to the sound quality.

I remember going to see Christiane F. - Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo in Huntsville, AL at the University Six (?) shortly after its release in the early 80’s. If I remember it correctly, they sort of alternated it with midnight showings of Rocky Horror for a while, so we showed up one night in Picture Show makeup and noone batted an eye. :wink:

Ahhh, those were the days.

Also: Rock-‘n’-roll Bowie did classical music (Peter and the Wolf by Serge Prokofieff). How cool can you get?

Everybody remembers The Man Who Fell to Earth. Bowie’s ephebic, sexless nude body was a standout in a deeply enigmatic film. The sex scene in which he and his wife exude cum from every pore in their bodies was a weird triumph of visionary filmmaking. Do not watch this movie if you are susceptible to contact lens removal paranoia.

My personal favourite Bowie movie is Just a Gigolo with the legendary Marlene Dietrich (just how cool can you get?! Marlene Dietrich!). He plays a disoriented young veteran in Weimar Germany. He is stalked by a sinister character with a gay undertone who utters a groaner of a double entendre (“We will have you in the end.”) The surprise ending is absolutely chilling… chilling to the bone. When you see it, you will go, “Of course! I should have seen that coming!” Bowie’s acting in this film rules.

Bowie’s role in The Hunger is notable only for his extreme old-man makeup job. The movie was stolen by the lesbian scene with Susan Sarandon and vampire Catherine Deneuve, with the soundtrack an achingly beautiful duet from Lakmé by Léo Delibes. There’s that classical music again.

In Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me all Bowie did was look haggard and scream at the camera.

The first concert I ever went to was one of Bowie’s stops on The Glass Spider Tour. It was a massively overproduced, high budget, heavily co-ordinated stage production, especially the first half where Bowie danced around the stage in a red leotard. The second half he came out in different clothes and carried a guitar (thus limiting his dancing). It was much better than way. The encore had him standing on top od the stage with a pair of extending silver wings on his back (or near his back).

It was unbelievably bombastic, but it was the 80’s.

The next thing I was aware of from Bowie was the much more humble and down-to-earth Tin Machine. But that didn’t produce anything popular enough for me to be aware of it. I referred to TM as Bowie’s apology for the masturbation of the GST.