Major Tom & the Moonboys

My First Time

My first time hearing of David Bowie. . . . It would have been 1974; between 6th and 7th grade.  I was into a lot of different music, but Three Dog Night were my idols, my all time favorite band, especially one of the three singers and founder Danny Hutton.

A lady friend of my parents was in town and over for dinner and I was excited to learn she was a photographer of rock bands.  No, she did not ever meet or photograph 3DN, but she went on to tell me about this relatively new and most unusual rock star she had just been on tour with and taking pictures--David Bowie.  She said his wife looked just like him and that they were quite the strange couple and a shock to many.  She thought I might like him.

I was intrigued and remember asking her if she thought I could ever love a band or performer as much as I loved Three Dog Night, for instance this "David Bowie" character.  I was doubtful and in a way, it made me melancholy to think that this was it.  My excitement over a musical act had peaked with the purveyors of "Shambala" and "The Show Must Go On", and I had the sense that Danny, Chuck and Cory had seen their best days and were on the wane--which proved true, sadly.  And none could top them in my life, surely . . . I thought. . . .

She urged that I look into this unusual artist "Bowie" and I recall she couldn't stop raving about him that night.  Obviously, SHE had been captured by the spaceman.

Soon afterwards my curiosity got the best of me and I found and bought the RCA release album of "The Man Who Sold The World".

It seemed so dark and mysterious to me at first--the black and white cover (U.S. release) portending mystery and a bit of danger, "forbidden" topics and thoughts; but the more I listened, the more I was enthralled.  Never had I heard such strange and evocative lyrics, music and production, which somehow, even at that young, I related to.

Next I got "Space Oddity" and quickly following, every other album of his I could find.  No one I knew--certainly none my age--seemed to know anything about David Bowie.  I felt I belonged to some secret society where only I, among my peers, had special access to these rare, hidden and fascinating artistic treasures!

Then, by my high school years, I had every word of every song on every album memorized.  I dressed like him, died my hair like "The Man Who Fell To Earth", and managed for the first school dance to find and be wearing near replicas of his parachute pants and tight "muscle shirts" which I saw him wearing in photos of the "Stage" tour of '78.  I recall the great satisfaction I had, when, one night at a party a somewhat startled acquaintance commented, "Every time I see you, you look more and more like David Bowie".

In essence, the whole Bowie catalogue became my vocal training growing up and is likely why, for better or for worse, I "naturally" sound so much like him.  Rather than have to try to "sound like Bowie", I have try hard NOT to . . . if I must.  Which was a bit of problem back when I seeking a record deal--but that's another tale for another day. . . .

 

Comments

Tom, This is an awesome site, & post. My older brother turned me on to Bowie, giving me Ziggy Stardust for Christmas 1972 I was a sophmore in high school. The next year he took me to Radio City Music Hall where I saw what is now on CD as David Live with Earl Slick on guitar. I saw Bowie a 2nd time 1983 for the Serious Moonlight Tour and all the MTV hits. Radio City show for my money was superior and I had to wait to see Ian Hunter before I could enjoy Mick Ronsons awesome talent. I still have my 2nd ticket stub from the Syracuse Carrier Dome, the 1st sadly and ironically was lost 40 years ago 8/15/1976 that same brothers birthday, in the parking lot of the LA Coloseum waiting for Jethro Tull! Thanks for the site and great memories, you too David wherever you may be... Gary
Love your blog, Tom! Glad I finally discovered it.

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