In 1984 cable came to Somerset, New Jersey. life as I knew it was about to change. Up until MTV appeared, I had led a sheltered life at a small religious private school. My older siblings didn’t have the same musical taste as I did and I was left with just the music approved by my schools rigorous views of hellfire and damnation. By my 16th birthday, I had seen Amy Grant in concert 3 times. Seriously.
I rushed home to catch an hour of newish music and try desperately to grasp some cool points. I dropped my trapper keeper and le sports sac in front of the family room tv and hunkered down. Oh, crap. MTV was showing creaky old crap from the vintage vault. Whatever. I rolled my eyes and thought about shaker knit sweaters and Matthew Broderick for a few minutes. Then it happened. I saw him. He was magnificent and a little scary. He was singing right to me. From the past. It was an old concert clip of Bowie singing ‘Changes’.
I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream
Of warm impermanence and
So the days float through my eyes
But still the days seem the same
And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They’re quite aware of what they’re going through
(Turn and face the strain)
Don’t tell t hem to grow up and out of it
(Turn and face the strain)
Where’s your shame
You’ve left us up to our necks in it
Time may change me
But you can’t trace time
Strange fascination, fascinating me
Changes are taking the pace I’m going through…..
Ok, it didn’t hurt that I misunderstood the lyrics as ‘turn and face the strange‘ and felt like he was giving me license to not only make art, but in my small way..BE ART! Not fitting in to my tiny surroundings no longer seemed like such a bad thing. It seemed like the goal. Bowie was a gateway drug. I hopped from him to Marc Bolan, to Iggy to Warhol, to the New York Dolls, to Lou Reed- my favorite singer/songwriter of all.
Now I have to admit after al of this that glam rock is not a style that I lean toward, what I lean toward is the stylishness of it all. The sublime crazy- the insane but perfect tailoring and the inability to be pigeonholed with one look. Bowie has swaggered thru so many periods and still been BOWIE. For me the message is, enjoy trends, but be you above all and don’t apologize for the you that you were picked to be. It’s all beyond some, but they don’t matter anyway.
Thank you Tempest for giving us all an opportunity to reflect on some amazing music and some serious style.
I chose to homage ‘The Man Who Sold the World’. The husband doesn’t know its also a little tribute to his love of science fiction- he loves Robert Heinlein. I also loved that its release was very close to my own. 1971. The American album cover featured a generic cartoon- instead of David in what might very well have been one of Angie’s frocks. I’m alot less edgy in this one than he was! Burda 7127 just felt right for this. European and stylish.
On a side note, I love this dress- my Mother referred to this dress as ‘the brown one that you aren’t going to like’ while I was making it. But hey, that just made it perfect for this salute to my angst, right? Nobody understands me! I’m a rebel! Well, a ‘Rebel, Rebel’, if you will……envy my savage footwear!
photo credits: google images, pinterest, meadhawg. All images remain the property of their original source.