We all have that one moment in our development when we fall in love with music. It’s the right song at the right time in your life–usually in your early teens–and you can’t get enough of it. For me, it was “Let’s Dance” by David Bowie. It came out when I was in the seventh grade, and I was hooked. I’d never heard anything like it, and I saved my allowance to go to Record Bar in the Newgate Mall to buy the seven-inch single. When I heard the news that David Bowie had passed away this morning, I went through my boxes of vinyl to find it.
That old record still sounds good, too, despite the many hundreds of times I played it. Of course, at age thirteen I had no idea who David Bowie really was and had no idea of his previous work. At the end of the school year, my parents bought me the Let’s Dance album as a reward for making the honor roll. I had to have the full seven-minute version of the song along with the rest of the hits that ended up on the radio. After that, I learned that Mr. Bowie had been making music for a long time, and soon discovered other tracks like “Fashion”, “Fame”, and “Space Oddity.” It is easy to see now that David Bowie introduced me to alternative music.
Through the years, he worked with many other legends like Iggy Pop, Nile Rodgers, Peter Murphy, Trent Reznor, and more. If you can trace the history of alternative music through the years (and this is highly subjective, mind you) it is hard to ignore David Bowie as one of the obvious pioneers of the format that we enjoy today. His influence is everywhere, from Marilyn Manson to Tyler Glenn of Neon Trees. Even as I type this blog at my home, my iTunes is on shuffle and “Modern Love” just started playing. Bowie is part of all of the great music that I enjoy. After a rather private battle with cancer, David Bowie passed away at age 69. We will never forget the beautiful contributions he made to music.
His birthday was Friday, and I was messing around on YouTube and stumbled across this video of Nile Rodgers explaining how the song “Let’s Dance” came to be. I want to share it with you.
Here are a few of my favorites from the legendary David Bowie.