My bud Cristin mentioned a blurb about finding David Bowie in Watchmen. I loved that flick so I had to check it out. Here’s the scene in question:
Not exactly David Bowie. But, that is definitely Aladdin Sane. Even got him hanging out with Mick Jagger and The Village People. Given the other historical references in the sequence, it strikes me as being a little odd, and a little out of place.
Will Ferrell is such a cut-up I never know what to expect from him. As such, when he does something not looney, I often sit waiting for the punch line. Sometimes it never arrives and you realize there never was one. Sometimes he’s just serious. I think this is one of those times. I might be wrong. It’s just done too well to be his usual farcical self.
According to NASA administrator Maj. Gen. Charles F. Bolden, Jr., the highly experimental glam space program—dubbed Project Starman—has been in development for exactly five years. Though engineers initially feared the mission might blow our minds, the historic launch ultimately proceeded without incident.
“Admittedly, this is a very bold and risky departure for the agency,” said Bolden, later adding that Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust period and other outer-space-related work has been a major influence on NASA’s direction since the early 1970s. “Those familiar with NASA’s previous, more conventional research and exploration sensibilities are going to be in for quite a shock. Many are likely to be confused and threatened by the boundary-pushing nature of the project.”
And it only gets better from there. Love The Onion!
OK, so I got to see The Spy Next Door this weekend with my now seven year old boy. It was a fun movie in a cute childish way. Definitely made for kids. This is standard Jackie Chan kid stuff here. It was fun, definitely a thumbs up, but still kid stuff. Except for one odd thing: the plot centers around a bootleg of David Bowie and Iggy Pop performing together. Now, that’s cool and all, but I don’t get why it’s in this movie. Now, the person this performance means something to is a ten year old boy. He was born in 1999. Bowie hasn’t really done a lot since 1999. He’s done a lot of cool things, but musically, not so much. Now, granted, retro and alternative radio plays a lot of Bowie, but not a whole lot of ten year old boys sit around listening to those stations. So, bottom line, they may have heard Bowie, but I sure don’t see how a ten year old boy would be a fan. They hear a lot about Elvis too. I’ll put it this way, think back to when you were ten. How many of your idols then were over the age of 20?
And lastly, and certainly least profound, Jackie Chan is 55. According to him he saw the Bowie/Pop performance that we have to assume was 1977 or so. According to the movie, Bob Ho was living in China. Bowie and Pop never performed in China.
Just a note to the future movie makers, we all know Bowie’s the coolest thing to ever hit pop music. That’s a given, and that’s documented by his work. However, to make a movie the least bit believable, keep Bowie in perspective. If it’s a movie about 30 to 50 somethings, Bowie’s fine. If it’s a movie about little kids, Bowie’s not. It’s a distraction that doesn’t need to be there. Scour the latest teen magazines and you’ll find plenty of fillers for the movie. And, quite frankly, I think most 40 somethings don’t really appreciate the fact some people think their music is on the same level as something a ten year old would listen to. Music’s just not what it was thirty years ago.
Ever since I’ve been blogging here, I’ve lamented the fact that The Stooges were not in the Rock’n'Roll Hall of Fame. The Rolling Stones were the original bad boys of rock. But, they did it in a typical PR kinda way. It seemed contrived. Then, along came Iggy and the Stooges. They were bad. Real bad. There wasn’t much to like about them. Their music was very basic. It was recorded in a way that made it sound like someone literally sat a mic in front of the entire band. Iggy was prone to cut himself on stage, not terribly appealing. He was prone to make musical statements that didn’t really make a lot of sense. Basically, everything about Iggy was chaos. The staple that seemed to keep him from going completely over the edge were The Stooges. There are several legacies left in the aftermath of The Stooges. The most obvious being:
Although bands like Pearl Jam attributed Neil Young with being the godfather of grunge, they’re way off. Iggy made being stupid cool. While other bands were becoming more and more studio oriented, The Stooges stripped it all back down again, paving the way for The Ramones and punk.
While other bands were pretending to be bad:
That’s not fake blood. While others pretended to push sexuality to new levels:
Iggy did it on stage.
That may be Iggy in white.
Now, ya gotta keep in mind that Iggy did all this before the Beatles broke up. Michael Jackson wasn’t even a teenager yet. While major acts were polishing their images, Iggy did everything possible to destroy his. It became very uncomfortable to watch. Everything punk aspired to be, Iggy took it over the top while laying the groundwork. Iggy went solo at some point. He had some minor hits along the way. He teamed with Kate Pierson to have his biggest hit in 1990. The Stooges basically went nowhere and didn’t do much. In 2003 Iggy re-joined them toured with them since.
Iggy was pretty emotional about finally getting in. They had been passed over seven times while performers who had obviously less of an impact on rock got it. For Iggy, it was vindication. For guitarist and bassist Ron Asheton, it was meaningless. He died earlier this year.
There are so many bands that performed for nothing more than to sell a few records, maybe score some babes, or even better, make lots of money. Then there were true musicians and performers who felt music was something different, something special. The Hall of Fame is for special performers. They need to think long and hard about how they select their members. Ron Asheton never had the limelight, never made a bunch of money, and could have scored chicks without all the aggravations and notoriety of performing with Iggy. But, he seemed to know something special was happening. He’ll never know that the rock world knew it was special too.
I don’t really think so. Here’s the performance that got everyone all worked up:
And, here’s the glam I enjoyed as as kid:
Now, the difference being primarily, for me, that in Bowie’s glam days, it was the music that initially set Bowie apart. Then you tossed in the odd outfits and sometimes bizarre stage shows. Toss in a gay reference occasionally to keep them guessing. But, with Bowie, it was more of a WTF moment than a statement on sexuality. With Lambert, particularly this song and performance, it seemed to be purely a sexual statement. The music is lame. And, I mean, way lame. This guy can sing, but doesn’t at this time. Then you’ve got gay, S&M, bondage, blah, blah, blah. If you can’t figure what these people are emulating, you never will. This is no WTF moment.
People just don’t get what glam was. Sure, it was some outlandish costumes, but the music was what set it apart. As rich as the visual experience was, the music was much moreso. Until a Lambert or someone gets it, I’ll be disappointed. Quite frankly, I don’t think Lambert ever will.