Archive for the Entertainment Category

Poison Thorns: Flesh and Blood Spectacle of Glam Metal

Posted in 80s rock music, Entertainment, Glam Rock, Glam Rock Musicians, Glitter Rock, Guns N Roses, Metal Rock, New York Dolls, Poison on July 5, 2018 by glamrock4ever

Glamrockstar’s Metal fanbase will either stand up and cheer for this post on the American Glam Metal band Poison; others will give it the almighty “Bronx Cheer” instead! Die-hard Glam Metal fans will sneer at the description of “metal” and Poison in the same sentence. Indeed, many rock critics back in the day ripped Poison to shreds for their “three chord songs,” and lack of originality. But who cares? The original band of Bret Michaels, Rikki Rockett, Bobby Dall, C.C. DeVille is still on tour 30 years later and kicking ass with what is always a phenomenal rock show.

 

 

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So yeah, its more Glam than Metal, but hey, what a damn party. Poison has sold over 45 million records worldwide, had 10 singles off the Billboard Hot 100, with the biggest multi-platinum sellers being Look at What the Cat Dragged in,  and Open Up and Say….Ahh!  Pretty decent for a band that slept in sleeping bags behind a dry cleaning store in Los Angeles for three years before they said to themselves: how can we stand out? Let’s put on lipstick, eyeliner, and pretty boy rags! All right, it did the trick, and world fame was almost more than Michaels, Rockett, Dall and DeVille could handle after that, with their videos in constant rotation on MTV, and numerous write-ups in the main rock magazines of the day, including Circus, Creem, Rock Express, and Hit Parader. GlamRock4Ever lived for the day when the latest issue of Circus or Creem came out to see what these bands were up to! Remember there was no internet, no 24-7 cable, no nothing media-wise in the 1980s but actually it was better! Enough said.

     Poison began in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania and consisted of Bret Michaels (vocals) and childhood friend Rockett (drums),  who formed a band The Spectres in 1980. The two then teamed up with Bobby Dall (bass),  and Matt Smith (guitar), calling the band Paris. After playing local clubs, the band decided in order to really hit it big in the music industry, they had to either head to New York or Los Angeles. According to one band member interviewed on VH1  (“When Metal Ruled the World”) since it was “warmer in L.A. and the women are better-looking” that’s where the group headed after Michaels bought an old ambulance for $700 for their trip. While in Los Angeles, Smith came to the conclusion the group was not going to make it, heading back to Pennsylvania. The rest of the band members auditioned for a new guitarist, narrowing it down to three choices: Steve Silva (Joe Perry Project), Slash (Guns N Roses), and New York city born C.C. DeVille. They decided to go with C.C. DeVille, along with changing their name to Poison.

There is not enough blog space to go over the numerous accomplishments by Poison, so here are highlights of their best-selling albums and singles: Look What the Cat Dragged in (1986) with singles “Talk Dirty to Me,” and “I Won’t Forget You.”  Open Up and Say….Ahh! (1988) with singles “Every Rose has Its Thorn,” and “Nothin’ but a Good Time.” Flesh and Blood (1990) featuring smash singles “Unskinny Bop” and “Ride the Wind.”  There were certain spectacular events in the band’s history:

Backstage fistfight between Michaels and DeVille at the 1991 MTV Video Music Awards; Michaels losing control of his Ferrari in 1994, resulting in numerous injuries; an explicit sex tape made between Bret M and Pamela Anderson in 1998; Bret M starring in a movie with Charlie Sheen called Letter from Death Row, that same year; and after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage, Bret Michaels won NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice.” Here is a partial conversation from that episode between the Donald and Bret:

Mr. Trump said on the broadcast that he had spoken to Mr. Michaels’ doctors, and “they didn’t want you to be here tonight. At all. Believe me, not at all.”

Mr. Trump asked, “Are you risking your life being here? This is a lot of pressure.”

“Lately it seems like me just standing up is risking my life,” Mr. Michaels said, garnering laughs from the audience. He had flown to New York from Los Angeles for the finale.

(Source: New York Times, “Bret Michaels Wins ‘Apprentice’ After Illness, May 24, 2010)

 

On March 1, 2011 Poison announced “Glam-A-Geddon” tour with New York Dolls and Motley Crue. In 2018, Poison is on tour with Cheap Trick and Pop Evil.

Heartthrobs: Glam City Central with Skid Row and Shotgun Messiah

Posted in 80s rock music, Entertainment, Glam Rock, Heavy Metal Music, Metal Rock, New Jersey, Radio, Skidrow, Sleaze Rock Music with tags , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2018 by glamrock4ever

    

 

So what’s up, Glam Metal Fans? You are the most phenomenal fans in the freaking world! Check this out: posting here on two great Glam Metal bands, which feature two ultra-blonde male lead singers, with ultra-Glam rock and heavy metal music: Skid Row, featuring lead singer Sebastian Bach, and Shotgun Messiah. First off, lets take a look at Skid Row, the Glam Rock Metal band with an unparalleled sound, mainly due to the prodigious windpipes of lead singer Sebastian Bach. However, since Skid Row split with Sebastian (back in 1996), the overall fan experience has not yet been the same. To me Skid Row is just not Skid Row without Sebastian.  Still, here is the new Skid Row band write-up from their website “The first rebellion started in 1986. New Jersey kids, punk and metal attitude, determined to conquer the world. All for one, banded together with single-minded purpose. The battlefield was the stage, the songs their arsenal in an us-against-them musical coup d’état. Top Ten singles. Gold and multi-platinum sales. No. 1 on the Billboard album chart. The world was theirs, the rebellion won, until there was nothing left to fight for — so they fought each other. Following an ill-advised South American tour in 1996, the band was finished. But the core camaraderie never died.” http://www.skidrow.com. Can’t help but notice no mention of Sebastian, eh?

Back up, what’s the backstory there? Yeah, well, here it is:  Skid Row formed in 1986 in Toms River, New Jersey, and their main commercial success was with their debut album, Skid Row (1989), and Slave to the Grind (1991). The original members were bassist Rachel Bolans, guitarist Dave “Snake” Sabo, guitarist Scotti Hill, drummer Rob Affuso, and lead singer Sebastian Bach. Dave “Snake” Sabo and John Bongiovi (Jon Bon Jovi) were teenage friends, and Sabo was briefly a member of the Bon Jovi band, until replaced by guitarist Richie Sambora. Skid Row went 5x platinum featuring singles “18 and Life,” and “I Remember You.” Skid Row supported Bon Jovi on their New Jersey tour, after Sabo and Jon Bon Jovi had promised each other that if either one ever made it in the music business they would help the other out. The first to achieve success was Jon Bon Jovi, and true to his word, helped Skid Row get their first record deal.

It was pretty surprising to me to read exactly why Sebastian Bach and Skid Row split up. I thought it was the “bottle incident” that you Glam Rock fans have heard me describe in an earlier podcast, but NO! It was due to Bach and Bolan disagreeing on whether to open for KISS in 1996. Sebastian had booked the gig, but the other band members thought that was beneath them to open for KISS. So the group and Sebastian parted ways, even though later Skid Row opened for KISS in 1998, 1999, and 2000, especially in 2000 for KISS “Farewell Tour.” Well, yours truly saw KISS in concert in 2007, so that was not really a “Farewell Tour” for KISS. True to form, Sebastian left the message on the bands answering machine in 1996 that Skid Row was never too big to open for KISS, sparing none of the choice words and attitude that he is famous for.

Skid Row, without Bach, continues to shoot down any ideas or possibilities of having Sebastian come back, telling Blabbermouth.net:

“Lastly, amidst all of the rumors and speculation, there has been no talk of a reunion [with former SKID ROW singer Sebastian Bach] nor are we opening for GUNS N’ ROSES. That’s it for now. We’ll keep you updated as best we can.”

 

Skid Row will be releasing “United World Rebellion” record in 2019. Sebastian Bach’s most recent record was with the 2014 release of “Give ‘Em Hell” and is currently on tour, with upcoming July concert dates in Poughkeepsie, NY, Cleveland, Ohio, and Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Finally, check out the latest from Shotgun Messiah, a Sleaze Metal band from Sweden, recently re-united in 2012, with live album released in 2016. Sweden Rock Magazine named Shotgun Messiah #38 on “Best Rock Bands of Sweden Ever.”

And of course, the only true Messiah is J.C.: Jesus Christ, our Lord. That’s obvious.

 

 

Glam Rock Podcast April 2018 YEAH

Posted in Entertainment, Glam Rock, Glam Rock Musicians, Heavy Metal Music, Kix band, Metal Rock, Music, Podcast, Radio, RATT with tags , , , , , on April 6, 2018 by glamrock4ever

Here IT IS! to my loyal fanbase. Chain yourself to your desk or laptop or car because this music will blow you OUT THE DOOR and DOWN THE STREET! YEAH

Featuring KIX band, Bon Jovi, and RATT

KIX band from Rock Your Face Off  “Cant Stop the Show” “All the Right Things” “Tail on the Wag”

Bon Jovi from This House is Not for Sale  “House is Not for Sale” “Knockout” “Not Living with the Ghost”

RATT from Invasion of Your Privacy  “Never Use Love” “Got Me on the Line” “You should Know by Now”

KIXRockFacePicBonJoviHousePicRattInvastionPic1

KIX Band Struts Their Stuff in Amazing Glam and Hard Rock Groove

Posted in Entertainment, Glam Metal Rock Music, Glam Rock, Glam Rock Musicians, KIX, Kix band, Music, Podcast, Radio, RATT with tags , , , , , on March 16, 2018 by glamrock4ever

KixBand1KixBand4KixBand3

 

KIX is an American hard rock and glam metal band that was formed in Hagerstown, Maryland in 1977. KIX has earned the indisputable title of Baltimore’s most exciting live rock band, which is why KIX is a constant headliner at the M3 concert series in Maryland each year. KIX are vocalist Steve Whiteman; drummer Jimmy “Chocolate” Chalfant; guitarists Brian “Damage” Forsythe; Ronnie “10/10” Younkins; and bass guitarist Mark Schenker.  KIX has earned the reputation as one of the hardest-working bands all up and down the East coast, playing almost every club or bar six days a week for three solid years before they were “discovered” by Atlantic records. Or as lead singer Steve Whiteman often would say in a classic taunt: “We are coming to a dump near you!”  KIX band released their self-entitled album in 1981, featuring crowd favorites “Atomic Bomb,” “Yeah Yeah Yeah,” and “The Itch.”

   Ultimately, what makes KIX unique? Check out the reviews by some in the rock music press: Stereogum writes, “Historically, KIX were a total footnote, and their one real national hit “Don’t Close Your Eyes” was a B-level power ballad. At their commercial peak, they were opening for RATT on tour.  In their hometown, though, KIX were total gods, rulers of the legendary downtown Baltimore white-trash rock club Hammerjacks.”   Loud and Proud records owner Tom Lipsky adds, “What I have always loved about KIX is they make rock ‘n’ roll fun.”  And All Music writes, “The truth is, KIX were different. They were different because they were much better—they had better hooks, rocked harder, and they could write songs” -later adding their “albums sounded like a constant party.” So yeah of course, it’s a bitchin’ great time, always, with KIX!

     KIX achieved significant commercial success with the release of Midnite Dynamite in 1985 (“Midnite Dynamite,” “Cold Shower”); but Midnite Dynamite did not come close to the ascendancy of 1989’s Blow My Fuse (“Get it While its Hot,” “Don’t Close Your Eyes,” “She Dropped the Bomb”) which went Platinum.  The single “Don’t Close Your Eyes” with lyrics attempting to stop suicide (of a girlfriend?) entered the Hot 100 at number 11. In 1989, KIX released Blow My Fuse: The Videos which had the band’s official videos and behind-the-scenes footage. Also, KIX release a live album from -where else- Baltimore in 1993, which at first was entitled Contractual Obligation Live.  When KIX were touring arenas, they opened for AC/DC, Aerosmith, David Lee Roth, as well as RATT.  (See Wikipedia and AllMusic.com for this band history.)

     Fast forward 19 years to 2014 when KIX released their newest CD, Rock Your Face Off after signing with Loud and Proud Records.  What makes this all so truly astonishing, according to the press release from Loud and Proud, is that the group still consists of the original members! Witness just how dynamic and HOT this band still is. The video in HD is intoxicating, and the DVD set “Can’t Stop the Show: The Return of KIX” entered Billboard Top Music Video Sales at # 3 on October 26, 2016.  KIX tested the waters in 2008, according to Loud and Proud, at “two of the biggest rock festivals in the U.S.: Rocklahoma in Oklahoma and Rock the Bayou in Texas, where they earned ‘Best Performance’ among the fans there, playing alongside Alice Cooper, Tesla, Queensryche, RATT, and more.” Check it out, and watch these kick-ass dudes bring the house down at M3 in Maryland this coming May.

Cinderella Defy the Odds with Legendary Glam Metal Music

Posted in Cinderella band, Entertainment, Glam Metal Rock Music, Glam Rock, Heavy Metal Music, Metal Rock, Music, Rock Music with tags , , on April 27, 2017 by glamrock4ever

     Lead singer, composer, guitarist, and front man for Glam Metal rock group Cinderella, Tom Keifer, has a theme running through his press interviews where he takes issue with the group being labelled under Glam Rock or Glam Metal, but with a name like Cinderella, along with the huge hair, glitter costumes, and onstage posturing, how could it not be that? For the record, Tom Keifer has said many times to rock mag interviewers this statement, (as captured by Classic Rock magazine in 2013), “Some people listen with their eyes, and not their ears.” It’s hard not to hear the sarcasm and/or irritation behind that statement. But get this: even die-hard Cinderella bloggers and fans, such as www.nolifetilmetal said that Cinderella has often been “lumped into the hair bands of the 80s due to their glam look, especially on their first album.”

Here are the key elements to Cinderella’s history, which have been repeated so many times within the metal community, one wishes band members would give more details on the group’s amazing backstory:

Cinderella was formed in 1983 by Tom Keifer, and bassist Eric Brittingham. The initial make-up of the band included guitarist Michael Smerick and the late Tony Destra. Smerick and Destra left in 1985 to form another Glam Metal band, Britny Fox. As legend has it, Jon Bon Jovi saw Cinderella perform at the Empire Rock Club in Philadelphia, which in the 1980s held a metal music night every Sunday. Bon Jovi convinced one of his contacts in the industry, Scottish-born record executive Derek Shulman to go and hear the band. Shulman was not convinced of the band’s selling potential at first, but after much negotiating signed them. The result was Cinderella’s first album Night Songs (1986) which achieved triple platinum status and at one point sold 50K copies per week. (Record Industry RIAA states Platinum equals one million in sales.) Cinderella’s second album, Long Cold Winter, was released in 1988 and was accompanied by a 254-show tour, one of which was in Moscow, Russia, alongside other metal bands such as the Scorpions, Motley Crue, Bon Jovi, and Skid Row. The core members of Cinderella remain Tom Keifer, lead vocalist, composer, keyboardist and guitarist; Eric Brittingham, bass guitar; Jeff LaBar, lead and rhythm guitars; Fred Coury, drums. (For more information see Wikipedia and the band’s website www.cinderella.net.) Overall, the band has sold over 20 million albums. The other studio albums are: Heartbreak Station (1990) and Still Climbing (1994).  Given the fact that most music albums/CDs/ in the 21st century do not exceed the one million mark in sales, that is quite astonishing. It’s why metal fans almost always harken back to the era of the 1980s as the “gold standard”  -the music then was exemplary by today’s standards. What’s that? Don’t like that comment? Uh, well, it’s my blog (GlamRock4Ever), so screw off! Cinderella1Cinderella2Cinderella3

The preceding begs the question: why hasn’t Cinderella recorded any more albums since Still Climbing? Tom Keifer gave an answer to that to Classic Rock magazine (2013), “We toured hard in the past three years so we decided to take a break. We’ll still tour but as for new music, every time we’ve tried there’s been a roadblock.” He may be alluding to legal troubles between the band and the mega music giant Sony corporation that was an ongoing headache to the band in years past and an obstacle to recording. The band has toured ferociously since 1986, including the 1990-1991 Big Joint tour (with Bon Jovi, Skid Row, Quireboys), the 20 Years of Rock tour in 2006 with Poison, and the 25th anniversary tour in 2011. You can also usually always catch Cinderella on the Monsters of Rock cruise, including 2017’s show.

     The biggest complication to the band’s recording was the dilemma of Tom Keifer’s vocal cord issue. In 1991, Tom Keifer lost his voice due to paresis of his vocal cords and underwent corrective surgeries. Then in the year 2008, just before Cinderella was to start another tour with Warrant, Lynch Mob, and Lynam, Cinderella’s lead man woke up one morning to the unimaginable discovery that he could not sing! In a press release at the time, the band’s manager Tim Heyne said: “It is with unbelievably deep regret that I must announce Tom Keifer’s left vocal cord has hemorrhaged, thereby making it impossible for him to sing in the immediate future.” It wasn’t until 2009 after enduring more vocal cord surgery (total of six) that Keifer’s voice returned to normal. Here is what Keifer told Classic Rock magazine (2013): “My left vocal cord is partially paralyzed. But the bottom line is I was told I would never sing again, and I’ve done seven successful tours with Cinderella and made this record.” He’s referring to the 2013 release of his solo album “The Way Life Goes.” Check it out.

 

 

Loudness: Japanese Taste of Glam Metal

Posted in Entertainment, Glam Metal Rock Music, Glam Rock, Loudness, Music with tags , , , , on August 2, 2016 by glamrock4ever

Loudness1Loudness4Alive and kicking today, Loudness–a Japanese heavy metal and glam metal band–has a stellar thirty-five year history having been formed in 1981 by guitarist Akira Takasaki and drummer Munetaka Higuchi.  They are the first Japanese glam metal music band signed to a major U.S. label, and have produced 26 studio albums, along with nine live albums.  Loudness rocked their audiences hard throughout the 80s and 90s, garnered by their breakout hit “Crazy Nights”. According to Wikipedia, the original line-up reunited in 2001, producing seven more albums until drummer M. Higuchi’s untimely death from liver cancer on November 30, 2008.  Higuchi died in an Osaka hospital at age 49 and was mourned throughout Japan. 

 Loudness claimed as their roots other Japanese glam rock and shock rock acts such as Bow Wow, and Anthem. Other acts linked with them are Lazy, Sly, Ezo and X Japan. After forming the essence of the group, Loudness signed with record label Nippon-Columbia in 1980 and released The Birthday Eve.  Most would agree, however, that the absolute metal star in this band is the astounding shred-guitar virtuosity of Akira Takasaki: the trademark sound of Loudness for decades. And the album that all metal fans recognize from this band as a “must-have” is Thunder in the East. It was in 1985 through the Twisted Sister co-manager Joe Gerber that Loudness signed a record deal with Atco, and made history as the first Japanese heavy metal band to have a major recording contract. Thunder in the East was recorded in the USA and was quite notable, receiving heavy rotation on MTV with “Crazy NIghts”. These albums followed:  Lightning Strikes (1986), Hurricane Eyes (1987), Soldier of Fortune (1989), and On the Prowl (1991). More recent strong releases include Metal Mad (2008) and King of Pain (2010).  One more thing: glam metal and heavy metal music fans still debate the meaning of “MZA” in that video! Some say it has a secret meaning; others say it is just filler. What do you say? MZA! What??

Breaking into the largest English-speaking music market meant the native Japanese members had to learn English! Here is how Akira Takasaki described it in an interview with MyGlobalMind.com heavy metal online magazine:

     Shadow Editor:  “How much of a challenge was it to make a complete record in English for the first time?”

Takasaki:  “I think it was difficult for a Japanese speaker to master. It took us over a month to record a song. Even if the song performance was good, the pronunciation wasn’t right or vice versa. It was tough.”

Akira Takasaki also briefed MyGlobalMind about Loudness’ seasoning in the infamous Los Angeles Glam Metal Scene. Here is how Takasaki described it: 

Takasaki: “At that time LA metal was in its prime when we were there. Every night after recording at Sound City we would go to drink at the Rainbow. Drink every night, party dude style like a typical living in that scene.
I also went to the beach and to music stores a lot. When it comes to playing live, wherever we go it’s not that much different even now. The reaction from American fans is easier to read compared to fan from other countries.  “

Despite the loss of drummer Higuchi, Loudness announced in 2009 the release of The Everlasting, which included drum tracks by Higuchi before his death. The new drummer, Masayuki Suzuki, is featured on King of Pain and subsequent albums (See Wikipedia) Loudness is on tour in 2016.  Go to: http://www.loudnessjp.com.

ROCK ON 

Japanese:  生きていると蹴る今日は、ラウドネス – 日本の重金属やグラム・メタルバンドは – 恒星三〇から五年の歴史は、ギタリスト高崎晃、ドラマー樋口宗孝により1981年に形成されたました。彼らは主要な米国のラベルに署名した日本初のグラム・メタルの音楽バンドであり、9ライブ・アルバムと一緒に、26のスタジオ・アルバムを生産しています。ラウドネスは「クレイジー・ナイツ」をヒット彼らのブレイクアウトによって集め、80年代と90年代、全体にハード彼らの観客を揺るがしました。ウィキペディアによると、元のラインアップは11月30日に肝臓癌からのドラマーM.樋口さんの早すぎる死まで7枚のアルバムを生産、2001年に再会し、2008年樋口は49歳で大阪の病院で死亡し、日本全国嘆きました。

More Japanese translation: ラウドネスは、バウワウ、及び国歌としてのルーツ他の日本のグラムロックとショック岩行為として主張しました。彼らと一緒にリンクされているその他の行為は、レイジー、スライ、蝦夷とX日本です。グループの本質を形成した後、ラウドネスは、1980年にレコードレーベル日本コロンビアで署名し、誕生日イブをリリースしました。何十年もラウドネスの商標音:ほとんどは、このバンドにおける絶対的な金属スターは高崎晃の驚異的なシュレッド・ギター妙技であること、しかし、同意するだろう。そして、すべての金属製のファンは「なくてはならない」として、このバンドから認識したアルバムは、東でサンダーです。これは、ラウドネスがAtcoのとレコード契約を締結し、主要なレコーディング契約を持っている日本初のヘビーメタルバンドとしての歴史を作ったことトゥイステッド・シスター共同マネージャージョー・ガーバーを通じて1985年にありました。東サンダーは、米国で記録され、「クレイジー・ナイツ」とMTVでヘビーローテーションを受け、非常に顕著でした。これらのアルバムは続く:落雷(1986)、ハリケーン・アイズ(1987)、フォーチュン(1989)の兵士、およびプロール(1991)で。より最近の強力なリリースでは、メタルマッド(2008)と痛みの王(2010)が挙げられます。もう一つ:グラム・メタルやヘビーメタルの音楽ファンはまだその映像で「MZA」の意味を議論します!いくつかは、それが秘密の意味を持っていると言います。他の人はそれだけで充填剤であると言います。あなたは何を言っていますか? MZA!何??

 

 

 

 

 

Glam Rock Inventor and Innovator: the Androgynous, Eclectic World of David Bowie

Posted in David Bowie, Entertainment, Glam Rock, Glitter Rock, Music, Queen on January 12, 2016 by glamrock4ever

 
    The world of Glam Rock music lost its principle originator and pioneer when David Bowie died on January 10, 2016, leaving behind hundreds -if not hundreds of thousands- of imitators and purveyors of his extraordinary sound and style, an eclectic Rock N Roll vision. Bowie’s music was a fusion of Warhol art decadence, Campbell’s-soup-meets Mao Zhe Dong; intergalactic sexual encounters with an alien that oddly, bore a strong resemblance to Bowie himself; drug-induced disappointments adding to an addictive despair: “Major Tom’s a junkie”! and of course, Androgynous style that brought about the metrosexual power-chord rock star, Pretty Boy revolution. There is no higher honor in the realm of rock music than to be called revolutionary and Bowie was that. The planet was shocked to its seismic core when Bowie’s alter-ego “Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars” sang “Suffragete City” and “Rebel Rebel”. Anyone who had the excellent fortune to be a teen ager in the 1970s will never forget the opening guitar chords and lyrics of “Rebel Rebel”: it is part of our radical, subversive DNA.

You’ve got your mother in a whirl

She’s not sure if you’re a boy or a girl

Hey Babe, your hair’s alright

Hey Babe, let’s go out tonight

You like me and I like it all

We like dancing and we look divine

You love bands when they’re playing hard

You want more and you want it fast

They put you down, they say I’m wrong

You tacky thing

You put them on.

Rebel Rebel you’ve torn your dress

Rebel Rebel your face is a mess

Rebel Rebel how could they know

Hot tramp, I love you so.

( “Rebel Rebel” Lyrics courtesy of Diamond Dogs May 1974 on RCA records Producer David Bowie)

David Bowie was born in Brixton (South London) England as David Robert Jones. He was a songwriter, singer, record producer, actor and painter whose artistic career spanned four decades. (see Wikipedia).  Bowie changed his name to the recognizable name of a knife in order to avoid being confused with David “Davy” Jones of the bubblegum group, The Monkees. Bowie took up the saxophone and began leading various bands in the 1960s as a teenager without success. During a physical altercation, his left eye was permanently damaged. (New York Times, “David Bowie Dies at 69: Chameleon in Music, Art and Fashion Jan.10th, 2016) Bowie went onto become the architect of glamour rock -the style of rock music that originated in the United Kingdom in the early 1970s and performed by musicians who wore outrageous clothes, makeup, hairstyles, many times with platform-soled boots and glitter (see Wikipedia). Sexual orientation was often blurred, androgynous, “camp”. Other Glam Rock artists of that time included Marc Bolan and T-Rex, Sweet, Roxy Music, the Alice Cooper band, and New York Dolls, to name a few. 

However, after being influenced by Lindsay Kemp-a British dancer and mime artist who formed his own dance troupe in the 60s, Bowie “experimented with mixed media, cinema, mime, Tibetan Buddhism, acting and love.The album, originally titled David Bowie, then Man of Words, Man of Music, pays homage to all the influences of the London artistic scene. It shows the early song-writing talent that was yet to yield some of Rock-n-Rolls finest work, even if it would take the world a few years to catch up with him.” (http://www.davidbowie.com/bio)

Hey man oh leave me alone, you know
Hey man oh Henry, get off the phone I gotta
Hey man I gotta straighten my face
This mellow thighed chick just put my spine out of place
Hey man schooldays insane
Hey man my work’s down the drain
Hey man she’s total blam-blam
She said she had to squeeze it but she….then she…

Chorus:
Oh don’t lean on me man, cause you can’t afford the ticket
I’m back on Suffragette City
Oh don’t lean on me man,
Cause you ain’t got time to check it
You know my Suffragette City
Is outta sight…she’s all right

(“Suffragette City” lyrics courtesy of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust June 1972 on RCA records producers: Ken Scott, David Bowie)

“Space Oddity” was Bowie’s first five entry onto the UK Singles chart in 1969. Bowie later said that the song came to him after seeing Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: Space Odyssey, that “I went stoned out of my mind to see the movie, and it really freaked me out, especially the trip passage.” The song coincided with the Apollo 11 moon landing in the U.S. and added to sales of the song. (http://www.biography.com) David Buckley, Bowie’s biographer, said that David “challenged the core belief of rock music of its day” and “created perhaps the biggest cult of popular culture.” Ziggy Stardust was a glam, androgynous, emotionally disturbed (or distraught?) persona that characterized musical innovation. It broke all the molds of what popular music could be. Every teenager in the 1970s owned at least one of Bowie’s life-altering music albums, whether it was: Hunky Dory (1971), The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972), Aladdin Sane (1973), Pin Ups (1973), Diamond Dogs (1974) or Young Americans (1975).Bowie was also a prolific cinema actor, appearing in 23 films, most notably The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976), Just a Gigolo (1976), The Hunger (1983), Last Temptation of Christ (1988), and Zoolander (2001). David Bowie dressed in brazen,flagrant costuming, and told the mainstream press he was bi-sexual. Ziggy Stardust had become a counter-culture icon to the dismay of the “establishment” (as everyone over 30 was called back then) who saw him as ignoble and shocking.

    Bowie moved to the U.S. in 1974, first staying in New York city, then settling in Los Angeles. Diamond Dogs was based on a post-apolcalyptic perception whereby George Orwell’s 1984 would be set to music. Bowie launched a Diamond Dogs tour which had high-budget stage productions, while the singer himself slid into cocaine addiction.

    Young Americans (1975) was characterized by the singer as “plastic soul”, with Bowie’s distinctive baritone voice poured over soul and funk-infused tracks such as “Fame” (co-written with John Lennon),  “Golden Years” and “Station to Station” as well as the title track. Hunky Dory (1971) featured two hits: the title track that was a tribute to Andy Warhol, Lou Reed’s Velvet Underground and Bob Dylan.(http://www.biography.com) The main hit from the album, “Changes”, communicated to the public what Bowie himself was and would always be about. A collaboration with Brian Eno in Berlin produced “Heroes”.

This was the era of the “Thin White Duke” -another persona, this one an extension of Thomas Newton, the extraterrestrial being he portrayed in “The Man Who Fell to Earth”. Bowie’s addiction to hard drugs such as cocaine led to the unravelling of his mental and physical state: physically he was pale and emaciated; mentally, his verbal interviews with the rock press at the time were incoherent. And then there was the “Victoria Station” incident, where Bowie waved to the crowd from an open-air vehicle in a gesture that was published in the NME (New Musical Express) as a Nazi salute, and the singer had also announced “Britain could benefit from a Fascist leader.” Later Bowie acknowledged “I was out of my mind, totally crazed. The main thing I was functioning on was mythology. I’d found King Arthur.” (see Wikipedia)

Note from GlamRock4Ever/Weblog author: In that this is a blog post on one of the top five legendary musicians of all time, it is part one,and in reality, all true Rock music fans could write their own book on the genius of David Bowie’s art and music. The next blog post continues in a couple days to cover Bowie’s career from 1990-2016. Although some famous rock mags rank David at “39th” “(Rolling Stone 100 Greatest Rock Artists), GlamRockStar puts Bowie at number 5 after The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley, Motown Artists. It is then after that: David Bowie, Michael Jackson. That is our list. Throughout Bowie’s career he sold 140 million record albums: 

    U.K.  9 Platinum  11 Gold  8 Silver

    U.S.  5 Platinum  7 Gold

As the BBC Writer and music reporter Mark Savage put it: “David Bowie changed music forever. Throughout his career, he reinvented not just his sound, but his persona over and over again.”  (BBC Music News “David Bowie: A Career that Shaped Pop January 11, 2016)

The entire planet is in mourning. Our hearts ache at the death of the Glittering Starman.