The Man Who Fell To Earth

I’ll stick with you baby for a thousand years
Nothings gonna touch you in these golden years, gold
Golden years, gold whop whop whop
Come get up my baby
– Golden Years, David Bowie

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Is there anything more iconic than the bold orange lightning boltstriking down underneath the spiky red hair, to point down to the bottom of his jaw line? Okay so  Campbells Soup, twiggy’s pixie crop and the eiffel tower probably give the face paint a run for its money as far as icons go, but there is no dispute David Bowie embodies the zeitgeist of his time, and has become a symbol of 70s Britain. With the V&A exhibition that is running until August 11th there has been a huge Bowie revivial, an upsurge in memorabilia and nostalgic anecdotes about the avant garde artist’s peak over three decades ago, such as Tracy Emin’s account of her friendship with Bowie in last month’s Harpers Bazaar. This ongoing discussion of the flamboyant and often outrageous performer reveals his influence over contemporary fashion, art and music.

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To recover from the effects of the Champagne at Bubbledogs the night before, Jem and I headed to the exhibition in South Kensington on Saturday morning, to see if the curators had done the rock star justice.

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..thankfully they did.

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The exhibition shows  a few pieces by Alexander McQueen, who designed a lot of Bowie’s wardrobe for his 90’s tours, as well as the Union Jack coat which graces the cover of Bowie’s 1997 album Earthling. 

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The studio space is incredible; large strips of partially-transparent material stretch from the top of the vaulted ceiling to the floor, providing a canvas for motion picture clips of Bowie’s performances to be projected on a huge scale, and providing tantalising glimpses of some of his stage costumes which are exhibited behind. ImageImage

While the exhibition was brilliant, I couldn’t help but feel rather jealous of Mamma Revs’ memories of seeing the real deal live in 1983 in Milton Keynes. To rub salt in the wound she dug out a photo…

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…which, its safe to say, is a fair bit cooler than my geeky V&A poster!
I must admit I feel slightly cheated. The closest thing we have to a musician who has broken all the rules and turned the scene on its head is probably Lady Gaga, but any comparison would be blasphemy. Unlike Gaga’s ostentatious and rather shallow shows of extravagance, Bowie was an artist who had a point to be made. Influenced by the likes of the beat generation, Bowie made revolutionary statements about sexuality and social identity, and proved through the likes of Ziggy Stardust that you can become whoever you want to be.[…while writing this post I’ve just been listening to an 8tracks playlist, and bopping away unconsciously to ‘Bubblegum bitch’. It makes me sad to realise most music is crap these days.]
A disillusioned Revs
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