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Monday, 18 January 2016

Twilight of the Great Rock Gods

Things must and do move on. Though it is with some measure of sadness and nostalgia that we look upon the twilight of the Great Rock Icons. Every year another one dies from those heady times when the music was sensational and took the world by storm.

During the heady times of the 60s, 70s, and early 80s so many of the Rock icons were anti-establishment in their appearance and their lyrics. I remember my grand parents bemoaning with words like; "Awe my bleeding Gawd! What does he look like?" 

Then these iconic musicians/artists grew in stature and even though we sometimes stepped back in shock and amazement, we were also compelled by them. At first they seemed twisted and deranged, yet we were still compelled to look and listen. Eventually these demi Gods became respected for their unique styles and presentations. 

When I was an eleven year old kid, I remember seeing David Bowie in TV singing Starman. He and the other guitarist, Mick Ronson looked effeminate with their dyed hair and glittering girl-type clothes. Yet through all of that, I was compelled to watch that totally 'out there' look.

I remember my cousin Debbie had a picture of him on her bedroom wall and he was wearing a skirt on stage. I could not understand how a girl liked this, but she was rebellious as well. In time I found that I always liked David Bowie's music. I thought he was still 'off the radar' with his Ziggy Stardust phase and I started to like the stage act and become a casual fan. 

I remember my friend telling me the meaning of 'John I'm Only Dancing' lyrics and was gob smacked by such audacity as we walked around Romford Market on a Saturday among the normal people doing their normal things.

"Why did you buy that record then?" I asked with my nose probably wrinkled.

"Because he's cool and doesn't care," He replied.

I think I might have replied "Oh!" or something else flumaxed. Hey! That was that then. I got over it and move on. The song was great and he continued to make more. 

Then he metamorphosed into a new persona. He had a neat hair cut and was wearing suits and things. The Sound and Vision song, Golden Years were so un-Ziggy Stardust yet so David Bowie still.

David Bowie could always be different and go against the grain, but David always had a signature. It is sad that he has moved on like so many of the icons of that wonderful era when the music was so good - from the time when my much loved grand parents would say things like; "We fought a war for the likes of people like this."

I think in David Bowie's case and many other icons like him; fighting that dreadful war was so worth it. Freedom of speech and expression moved a long way during this time and I sincerely believe some of the Rock Gods helped in this way.




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