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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Bowie & Iggy!


I must say, I was surprised by how much David Bowie's death affected me. I have been a "fan" for a long time, but I reacted as if I really knew the man, and had a personal connection to him. Of course, I only knew and know him through his work. One of those odd pop culture illusions.

Obviously he had been sick for awhile, but that wasn't the image projected into the world. And he did seem to be doing the work even in his last days. Pretty amazing and inspiring. Death comes to us all. It's a hard lesson.

I was thinking about all the records I've listened to over the years, and maybe the one that most impressed me was the album that Bowie produced and collaborated on with Iggy Pop, "The Idiot." It's a dark, icy, strange record. It was one of Bowie's little experiments.

The Bowie/Pop collaboration was an odd beast. Bowie was at the top of his game, and Iggy was pretty much down and out. They went off to Berlin and made some really cool music together. Trying to kick their nastier drug habits together.

One of my favorite books (I've read it a couple times), is called "Bowie in Berlin," and it describes the period of their Berlin adventure together. A remarkable series of records were spawned from their artistic bond - "The Idiot," "Lust for Life," "Low," and "Heroes."

A very, creative, fertile period. So influential over the years for so many other bands. "The Idiot" might be the oddest duck of the bunch. And it's a work that Iggy ended up distancing himself from, thinking maybe the Bowie influence was too great. But it's a phenomenal record. Icy and emotional. Cold and hot. Spiky and dark. So good.

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