The Daily Bowie #56 - "Criminal World"
"Criminal World" is a song that David Bowie covered on the 1983 album Let's Dance and was written by Duncan Browne, Peter Godwin and Sean Lyons of the band Metro. They released it on their debut album in 1977.
PUSHING AHEAD OF THE DAME on the subject of "Criminal World."
The Pushing Ahead of the Dame entry for this song is a great piece to read on Bowie's recanting of admission of being gay and/or bi-sexual (an admission he made in 1972) in 1983 in the rise of his stardom, which many in the gay community took as a huge betrayal at a bad time for the gay community with the rise of AIDS, which brought a great deal of irrational fear and ignorance down on the gay community. Here's an excerpt:
So Bowie, a man who once worn dresses on his LP covers, who once sang to a cross-dressing kid “hey babe, your hair’s alright,” now seemed to repudiate a culture that had once revered him, and at its bleakest hour. As I’ve written before (see the “John” entry), Bowie apparently wasn’t gay, rather being a mild bisexual who exclusively chose women for long-term relationships. As early as the Young Americans era, he had stopped playing, as the Melody Maker described him in 1972, a gorgeously effeminate boy…camp as a row of tents, with his limp hand and trolling vocabulary. And as I’ve said before, I don’t care to delve into the gossip of who he slept with.
But what did Bowie owe to gay men? He had trafficked in their culture, had pretended (even claimed) to be one for several years, and gays had been some of his oldest and most loyal fans. Had he just always been an opportunist—and, to bluntly put it, being gay in 1983 was no longer “cool,” but rather something to be avoided?
For Bowie, it was a cold, commercial decision. He felt that he had been defined in America for his entire career as a bisexual first, artist second. In 2002, he told Blender: “America is a very puritanical place, and I think [being known as a bisexual] stood in the way of what I wanted to do…I had no inclination to hold any banners or to be a representative of any type of people.” Camille Paglia, interviewed by Marc Spitz for his Bowie bio, agreed: “Bowie, in my view, had no obligation to say “I’m gay.” His obligation is only to his imagination. It’s the extreme view but I think, quite frankly, it’s the authentically gay view.”
"Criminal World" - LET'S DANCE - 1983
Rest in peace, David. We miss you.
- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1603.29 - 9:01
NOTE ON WHY THE DAILY BOWIE IS NO LONGER DAILY: For 53 days, I completed daily Bowie posts. My schedule is too demanding to make a post every day, so this will now be a feature that is called The Daily Bowie, but it will not be daily. I will post as I can. I will post often. But if I miss a day, I will skip it. Otherwise, I get in the position of making five Bowie posts all in one day, and that's a lot of Bowie for people to swallow all at once... (yeah, leaving that badly phrased, innuendo packed statement. I bet Bowie would have laughed at it).