Hey, Mom! The Explanation.

Here's the permanent dedicated link to my first Hey, Mom! post and the explanation of the feature it contains.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #185 - Happy Birthday David Bowie

Bowie's birthday party Madison Square Garden - 1997

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #185 - Happy Birthday David Bowie

Hi Mom,

Again, I know that you, Mom, are listening patiently as I talk about David Bowie. You bought me my first David Bowie album, Mom, in 1980, Scary Monsters, as a gift, which I hated when I first heard it, but something in me was intrigued and later David Bowie became one of my most cherished touchstones for art, inspiration, passion, contemplation, reflection, and growth.

And today, January 8th, is his birthday.

Happy Birthday David Bowie!

I am breaking my own new rule. I have been trying to work a day ahead, and I already have a post mostly finished, but then I realized it is David Bowie's birthday. He is 69 years old today.

So rule break number one is creating a new post today after working on one for much of yesterday and getting it ready to go. Rule break number two is another music post, the day after my previous music post.

But what the Hell. It's Bowie's birthday. Using an online reminder service, I set a reminder annually for Bowie's birthday. I could just reset my Google calendar to do this for me, but I have used birthday alarms for over ten years now, and I am partial to it.

Back in December, I indulged in some furthering of the Bowie gospel by presenting my power point about Bowie to my current LS 1040 before their own team presentations at the exam period. I delivered an abbreviated version of the presentation. I made the presentation during my years teaching media criticism for the Gender and Women's Studies department at WMU. Above is a picture of me in the big class room with four screens, you can see two of them in the picture. I could project two different things as the switch box ran the screens in pairs, so one screen set (the paired screen is to the left of the podium and out of the shot) displays the power point and the other the document camera on which I have one of Bowie's CDs.

Heathen concert
Bowie has been a connection with so many cherished individuals in my life. Many of my close friends and I bonded over love of David Bowie. He has been a fixture in my life since 1980. And though I do not listen to his music every day, or even every week, not too much time passes between treating myself to some Bowie. Though Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) is by far my favorite album, and though I might argue that The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars is his best, I find I listen to Low most often.

David Bowie has given me so much. I have learned so much from his music and lyrics. I have studied Bowie more so than any other artist, musical or otherwise, and I feel that he is my friend. Surely, we would be mates if we knew each other and spent time with one another. I do not feel that way about very many creators or people outside my own friend circle.

During my year of writing the T-shirts blog, I created the idea of THE DINNER PARTY based loosely on the art piece by Judy Chicago. Though I added some fictional characters to the dinner party, I can ignore that advocacy. The one rule was simple: the dinner party would consist of guests to whom I felt some connection and wanted to share time and conversation, and they had to be still alive, so not Shakespeare or Einstein.

Though I never created a finished and formal list (as the list kept evolving), the last version of the list included Suzanne Vega, Ani DiFranco, Margaret Atwood, Laurie Anderson, Bjork, Erykah Badu, David Bowie, Warren Ellis, John Scalzi, Joss Whedon, and George Perez. (Ron Santo, Ernie Harwell, and Lou Reed if I allowed dead people.) As you can see, the list consists of mostly women. But David Bowie is one of the few men on the list.

It's a fantasy. I will never manage to get the dinner party together, even if I had millions of dollars and could pay everyone and arrange it. But it's nice to think about.

this is a quote by Bowie

Here's some videos to celebrate Bowie's birthday and the release of his new album Blackstar, which comes out tomorrow, January 9th.

From the new album...



and my favorite from the previous album...

DAVID BOWIE - THE STARS (are out tonight)

Bowie as the Thin White Duke

Here's text that I already wrote but I feel it should be re-presented on this blog today in honor of Bowie's birthday. Originally presented as part of HEY MOM #122.

Anyone who has ever spent some time with me knows how huge a David Bowie fan I am,
I have written about David Bowie a lot on my blogs, though not as much yet on this one.

Here's my biggest and main tribute to BOWIE:

T-shirt #269.

However, when I searched the T-shirts blog, I found several posts with Bowie content, and this one jumped out at me:

T-shirt #312.

I don't know if you can check out links where you are, Mom. Actually, you probably see all time and space at once, so links are not real to you. But to other readers they may be. Check those links. You will be glad you did.

Last two things, I am grateful for the person who brought David Bowie into my life. I may not spell her name right, but as best I can remember, it's Janiki Kuppuru.

Here's the details. I first remember encountering David Bowie during a cast party following a show my senior year of High School. He was on SNL, and I remember criticizing him because what he was doing was so weird. Now, it's strange that I would criticize him because I liked weird (I still do). However, I was trying to fit in and so I was keying into the vibe in the room, which was judgy and dismissive. Later that same year, on a whim, I bought David Bowie's latest album, Scary Monsters, and I hated it. It was too weird, which again was strange because I liked weird. But mind was not yet fully open and willing to accept difference.

Then I met Janiki Kuppuru in my first quarter at K. She was British, she had been born in Sri Lanka, but she was most recently from California. We stayed up all night one time, and when I told her that I did not like David Bowie, she insisted that I sit and listen to his album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars in its entirety and without speaking. I loved it. (Incidentally, I really liked her, too. She refused to wear shoes and was a free spirit.) She knew I would love it since I liked science fiction and aliens and creative, cool things. I went back and listened again to Scary Monsters, and this time I had a new attitude: I loved it. Though Low has eclipsed it as the Bowie album I find that I listen to most often, Scary Monsters may be my favorite album by David Bowie. I closed my senior theatre project show, Raw, with a singalong by the entire cast and audience of David Bowie's "It's no Game, Part Two," which closes that album. It remains a shining and culminating moment in my memory.

Wherever you are Janiki Kuppuru... Thank you.

Happy Birthday David Bowie. Thanks for all the good times and the memories.

Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.


- Days ago = 187 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1601.08 - 12:11
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