Hey, Mom! The Explanation.

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

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Not so often Formerly Daily Bowie #78 - "All the Madmen" - THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD - 1972


The Not so often Formerly Daily Bowie #78 -  "All the Madmen" - THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD - 1972

If Bowie was still alive, he might be going quite mad right now given the state of America and its politics.

We are entering a time period of total madness, and so this song seemed very appropriate for the first few in my relaunch of this Bowie feature.

I miss your words of wisdom, David. I wonder what you would say about the current state of affairs if you were still with us.


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The following text all from the brilliant PUSHING AHEAD OF THE DAME by Chris O'Leary (see link below)

Reissues: All the Madmen

January 29, 2016

The unearthing of a never-before-published interview [which I believe is legit, not a clever fiction] with Bowie from February 1971 inspired this reposting. In it, when asked about “All the Madmen,” Bowie said:
“The guy in that story has been placed in a mental institution and there are a number of people in that institution being released each week that are his friends. Now they’ve said that he can leave as well. But he wants to stay there, ’cause he gets a lot more enjoyment out of staying there with the people he considers sane. He doesn’t want to go through the psychic compromises imposed on him by the outer world. [Pauses.] Ah, it’s my brother. ’Cause that’s where he’s at.”

The book revision of this post goes more into Nietzsche, R.D. Laing, the  song’s bizarre and very Bowie chord progressions, the (possible) influence of flamenco on Visconti and Ronson here, and other fun things.

In a closet of that church, there is at this day St. Hilary’s bed to be seen, to which they bring all the madmen in the country, and after some prayers and other ceremonies, they lay them down there to sleep, and so they recover.
Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy.

In a general way, then, madness is not linked to the world and its subterranean forms, but rather to man, his weaknesses and illusions…There is no madness but which is in every man, since it is man who constitutes madness in the attachment he bears for himself and the illusions he entertains…In this delusive attachment to himself, man generates his madness like a mirage.
Michel Foucault, Madness and Civilization.

Everyone says, ‘Oh yes, my family is quite mad.’ Mine really is.
David Bowie, to Cameron Crowe, 1975.

Bowie’s family, on his mother’s side, was riddled with mental illness: his aunt Una had been institutionalized for depression and schizophrenia, was given electro-shock treatment and had died in her late thirties; another aunt had schizophrenic episodes; a third had been lobotomized.

Most of all there was his mother’s son, his older half-brother Terry Burns, who eventually was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. In 1966, while Bowie and Burns were walking to a Cream concert, Burns fell to the street and screamed, claiming he saw flames rising up from cracks in the pavement. By the time Bowie recorded The Man Who Sold the World, Burns had been confined to London’s Cane Hill Hospital.

So Bowie believed, at the age of 23, that he had perhaps even odds of going mad. The prospect naturally terrified him and would lie behind much of his work in the ’70s—writing songs about identity, control, lunacy and fear; devising personae as various means of escape, as conduits for insanity (Ziggy Stardust was partially based on the mad rock & roller Vince Taylor—Bowie once saw Taylor on his hands and knees outside Charing Cross, using a magnifying glass to pinpoint UFO landing sites on a city map he had spread on the pavement).
“All the Madmen” is Bowie’s first attempt to grapple with what he regarded as his sad inheritance, but it also reflects broader cultural movements; in the quarter century since the war, how society regarded and treated the insane had begun to change, in some cases radically.

(Two films stand on either end of the divide: Hitchcock’s Spellbound (1945), where the asylum is a stately Vermont manor, the “mad” are the misdiagnosed, the repressed and the malformed, and the face of modern psychiatry is the gorgeous Ingrid Bergman in a white lab coat; and Milos Forman’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), where the asylum is a jail, and the insane are no longer puzzles to be solved or worthy citizens to be rehabilitated, but truth-tellers, the last honest men, who society hates and demands silenced and locked away. The face of mental illness treatment is now the sadistic bureaucrat Nurse Ratched.)

Ken Kesey’s Cuckoo’s Nest was just one of several 1960s books that questioned the treatment of the mentally ill and helped drive the anti-psychiatric movement: along with Foucault’s Madness and Civilization and Erving Goffman’s AsylumsCuckoo’s Nest showed the asylum as society’s means of isolating the mad from mainstream life, so as to streamline and better enforce cultural norms (e.g., sending homosexuals to be “cured” in asylums via shock treatment). Asylums were hypocrite’s prisons, in which the quiet compromises the “sane” made to conform with society were replaced by brute force.

“All the Madmen” falls in this line. In the lyric, Bowie casts his lot with the insane, following Kerouac’s lines in On the Road (a favorite of Terry Burns) that “the only people for me are the mad ones…the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow Roman candles.” Bowie’s madmen, locked in their asylums, are “organic minds” hidden in a cellar. Bowie first acts like a lunatic to escape detection and show solidarity, as he’s realized he lives in a society of lunatics. It’s no use: his captors (his doctors, one and the same) remove pieces of his mind, until he truly descends into madness. He ends the song by chanting, over and over, the Dadaist refrain: “Zane zane zane! Ouvre le chien!!”

Aversos Compono Animos

“All The Madmen” is one of the more intricately-arranged tracks on The Man Who Sold the World, opening with Bowie on his acoustic (a brusque, scattered intro with several ringing open strings), leading into the first verse. A descant recorder appears in the second verse, played by Tony Visconti and Mick Ronson (it’s eventually supplanted by synthesizer in the final chorus), and the ominous quiet of the early verses is shattered when Mick Ronson kicks in to lead the band into the long bridge (three separate sections, 24 bars in all).

The chorus (one of the catchiest on the record) is dominated by Ronson’s guitar in its first appearance, with Visconti’s freely-roaming bass as a counterweight, and it leads to a brief two-harmonized-guitar solo. A spoken interlude reminiscent of “We Are Hungry Men” follows, but soon enough it’s Ronson’s show again, with another harmonized-guitar solo replacing the first section of the bridge. The track ends in glorious chaos: Ronson repeating a riff from his first solo, Bowie chanting “Ouvre le chien,” madmen voices swirling around, Woody Woodmansey keeping on ride cymbals ’til the fadeout.

Recorded 18 April-22 May 1970. While Bowie’s American label Mercury released it as a promo single in December 1970 to accompany Bowie’s first-ever American press tour, the only contemporary live recording of “All the Madmen” was captured at a party by the Los Angeles DJ Rodney Bingenheimer in early 1971—part of the poor-sounding recording turned up in a 2004 documentary on Bingenheimer’s life, Mayor of the Sunset Strip. Bowie let “Madmen” lie fallow for the rest of the ’70s, but garishly revived it for his Glass Spider tour in 1987. He’s left it alone since.



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LINKABLES

DAVID BOWIE

PUSHING AHEAD OF THE DAME: "All the Madmen"

There's a book named for this song about David Bowie.

All the Madmen by Clinton Heylin

THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD (album)

"THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD" (song)

PUSHING AHEAD OF THE DAME: "THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD"

THE ALBUM COVER GALLERY

FROM PUSHING AHEAD OF THE DAME: Bowie’s third LP was going to be called Metrobolist, a play on Fritz Lang’s Metropolis: it was the title of Mike Weller’s proposed cover illustration, a Letterist cartoon (below) in which a man (whose image was based on a photo of John Wayne) walking past Cane Hill Asylum and carrying a rifle offers an aside in a speech bubble whose words have been erased. It originally read, according to Weller, “ROLL UP YOUR SLEEVES, TAKE A LOOK AT YOUR ARMS.”

The lyrics' forcibly-spontaneous origins also created its uncanny resonance. Metrobolist could be a play on somnambulist, and “The Man Who Sold the World” could be a sleepwalker’s journal entry, a piece of automatic writing.


............DO READ the rest, it's rather awesome. Here it is again.

PUSHING AHEAD OF THE DAME: "THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD"






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Since I have not posted this feature in some time, here's the complete list so far and the link to the playlist on You Tube.

THE DAILY BOWIE YOU TUBE PLAYLIST

THE DAILY BOWIE LIST
1601.20 - The Daily Bowie #0 - "Space Oddity" - SPACE ODDITY - 1969
1601.21 - The Daily Bowie #1 - "Ashes to Ashes" - SCARY MONSTERS - 1980
1601.22 - The Daily Bowie #2 - "Cat People" - LET'S DANCE - 1983
1601.23 - The Daily Bowie #3 - "Sons of the Silent Age" - HEROES - 1977
1601.24 - The Daily Bowie #4 - "Running Gun Blues" - THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD - 1970
1601.25 - The Daily Bowie #5 - "Sound and Vision" - LOW - 1977
1601.26 - The Daily Bowie #6 - "Fill Your Heart" - HUNKY DORY - 1971
1601.27 - The Daily Bowie #7 - "We Are The Dead" - DIAMOND DOGS - 1974
1601.28 - The Daily Bowie #8 - "Yassassin" - LODGER - 1979
1601.29 - The Daily Bowie #9 - "Time" - ALADDIN SANE - 1973
1601.30 - The Daily Bowie #10 - "Where Are We Now?" - THE NEXT DAY -2013
1601.31 - The Daily Bowie #11 - "Sunday" - HEATHEN - 2002
1602.01 - The Daily Bowie #12 - "Loving the Alien" - TONIGHT - 1984
1602.02 - The Daily Bowie #13 - "The Loneliest Guy" - REALITY - 2003
1602.03 - The Daily Bowie #14 - "Young Americans" - YOUNG AMERICANS - 1975
1602.04 - The Daily Bowie #15 - "Thursday's Child" - 'HOURS...' - 1999
1602.05 - The Daily Bowie #16 - "Buddha of Suburbia" - THE BUDDHA OF SUBURBIA - 1993
1602.06 - The Daily Bowie #17 - "Please Mr. Gravedigger" - DAVID BOWIE - 1967
1602.07 - The Daily Bowie #18 - "Sorrow" - PINUPS - 1973
1602.08 - The Daily Bowie #19 - "Golden Years" - STATION TO STATION - 1976
1602.09 - The Daily Bowie #20 - "I'm Afraid of Americans" - EARTHLING - 1997
1602.10 - The Daily Bowie #21 - "Pallas Athena" - BLACK TIE WHITE NOISE - 1993
1602.11 - The Daily Bowie #22 - "Glass Spider" - NEVER LET ME DOWN - 1987
1602.12 - The Daily Bowie #23 - "The Heart's Filthy Lesson" - OUTSIDE - 1995
1602.13 - The Daily Bowie #24 - "Rock 'N' Roll Suicide" - THE RISE AND FALL OF ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS - 1972
1602.14 - The Daily Bowie #25 - "Lazarus" - BLACKSTAR - 2016
1602.15 - The Daily Bowie #26 - "Tin Machine" - TIN MACHINE - 1989
1602.16 - The Daily Bowie #27 - "Baby Universal" - TIN MACHINE II - 1991
1602.17 - The Daily Bowie #28 - "Changes" - DAVID LIVE - 1974
1602.18 - The Daily Bowie #29 - "Fame" - STAGE - 1978
1602.19 - The Daily Bowie #30 - "SENSE OF DOUBT" - HEROES - 1977
1602.20 - The Daily Bowie #31 - "John, I'm Only Dancing" - CHANGESONEBOWIE - 1990
1602.21 - The Daily Bowie #32 - "London Bye Ta Ta" - BOWIE AT THE BEEB - 2000
1602.22 - The Daily Bowie #33 - "Real Cool World" - BLACK TIE WHITE NOISE - LIMITED ED - 2003
1602.23 - The Daily Bowie #34 - "Five Years" - THE RISE AND FALL OF ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS - 1972
1602.24 - The Daily Bowie #35 - "Speed of Life" - LOW - 1977
1602.25 - The Daily Bowie #36 - "I'm Deranged" - OUTSIDE - 1995
1602.26 - The Daily Bowie #37 - "Fall Dog Bombs the Moon" - REALITY - 2003
1602.27 - The Daily Bowie #38 - "I Can't Give Everything Away" - BLACKSTAR - 2016
1602.28 - The Daily Bowie #39 - "Diamond Dogs" - DIAMOND DOGS - 1974
1602.29 - The Daily Bowie #40 - "The Laughing Gnome" - THE DERAM ANTHOLOGY 1966-1968 (r.1997)
1603.01 - The Daily Bowie #41 - "Fascination" - YOUNG AMERICANS - 1975
1603.02 - The Daily Bowie #42 - "Panic in Detroit" - ALADDIN SANE - 1973
1603.03 - The Daily Bowie #43 - "Modern Love" - LET'S DANCE - 1983
1603.04 - The Daily Bowie #44 - "Fashion" - SCARY MONSTERS - Deluxe - 1980
1603.05 - The Daily Bowie #45 - "Life On Mars" - HUNKY DORY - 1971
1603.06 - The Daily Bowie #46 - "London Boys" - THE DERAM ANTHOLOGY 1966-1968 (r.1997)
1603.07 - The Daily Bowie #47 - "Fantastic Voyage" - LODGER - 1979
1603.08 - The Daily Bowie #48 - "The Man Who Sold the World" - THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD - 1970
1603.09 - The Daily Bowie #49 - "Stay" - STATION TO STATION - 1976
1603.10 - The Daily Bowie #50 - "Starman" - THE RISE AND FALL OF ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS - 1972
1603.11 - The Daily Bowie #51 - "Crystal Japan" - SCARY MONSTERS - Deluxe - 1980
1603.12 - The Daily Bowie #52 - "An Occasional dream" - SPACE ODDITY - 1969
- FOUR DAY BREAK
1603.17 - The Daily Bowie #53 - "Miracle Goodnight" - BLACK TIE WHITE NOISE - 1993
- TWO DAY BREAK
1603.20 - The Daily Bowie #54 - "5:15 The Angels Have Gone" - HEATHEN - 2002
1603.22 - The Daily Bowie #55 - "Queen Bitch" - HUNKY DORY - 1971
- SEVEN DAY BREAK
1603.29 - The Daily Bowie #56 - "Criminal World" - LET'S DANCE - 1983
- ONE DAY BREAK
1603.31 - The Daily Bowie #57 - "Move On" - LODGER - 1979
1604.01 - The Daily Bowie #58 - "Rebel Rebel" - DIAMOND DOGS - 1974
- TEN DAY BREAK
1604.11 - The Daily Bowie #59 - "Telling Lies" - EARTHLING - 1997
1604.12 - The Daily Bowie #60 - "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)" - THE NEXT DAY -2013
- THREE DAY BREAK
1604.15 - The Daily Bowie #61 - "Jean Genie" - ALADDIN SANE -1973
- SEVEN DAY BREAK
1604.22 - The Daily Bowie #62 - "The Dreamers" - HOURS - 1999
1604.23 - The Daily Bowie #63 - "Breaking Glass" - LOW - 1977 - and STAGE - 1978
1604.24 - The Daily Bowie #64 - "Tonight" - TONIGHT - 1984
1604.25 - The Daily Bowie #65 - "Up the Hill Backwards" - SCARY MONSTERS - 1980
- SEVEN DAY BREAK
1605.02 - The Daily Bowie #66 - "I'd Rather Be High" - THE NEXT DAY - 2013
- SEVEN DAY BREAK
1605.09 - The Daily Bowie #67 - "A Better Future" - HEATHEN - 2002
1605.10 - The Daily Bowie #68 - "Strangers When We Meet" - BUDDHA OF SUBURBIA - 1993
- TWO WEEKS OFF
1605.24 - The Daily Bowie #69 - "She'll Drive the Big Car" - REALITY - 2003
- SIX DAYS OFF
1605.31 - The Daily Bowie #70 -"Days" - David Bowie - Reality - 2003
- SEVEN DAYS OFF
1606.07 - The Daily Bowie #71 - "Under Pressure" - NOTHING HAS CHANGED - D2 - 2014
1606.09 - The Not Quite Daily Bowie - #72 - "Moonage Daydream" - THE RISE AND FALL OF ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS - 1972
- BIG BREAK - 12 days
1606.21 - The Not Quite Daily Bowie - #73 - "Don't Let Me Down & Down" - BLACK TIE WHITE NOISE - 1993
1606.22 - The Daily Bowie - #74 - "If You Can See Me" - THE NEXT DAY - 2013
1607.23 - The Not Quite Daily Bowie - #75 -  "Warszawa" - LOW (1977) and STAGE (1978)
- MONTH BREAK-
1608.25 - The Not so often Formerly Daily Bowie - #76 - "Zeroes" - NEVER LET ME DOWN - 1987
MANY MONTHS OFF
1701.10 - The Not so often Formerly Daily Bowie - #77 -  "Somebody Up There Likes Me" - YOUNG AMERICANS - 1975
1701.11 - The Not so often Formerly Daily Bowie - #78 -  "All the Madmen" - THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD - 1972




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Rest in peace, David. We miss you.

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1701.11 - 8:05

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).
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