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Legendary Artist David Bowie Dies at 69

The Hollywood Reporter January 11, 2016

David Bowie has died after a battle with cancer, his representative confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter.

“David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer. While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief,” read a statement posted on the artist’s official social media accounts.

The influential singer-songwriter and producer dabbled in glam rock, art rock, soul, hard rock, dance pop, punk and electronica during his eclectic 40-plus-year career.

Bowie’s artistic breakthrough came with 1972’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, an album that fostered the notion of rock star as space alien. Fusing British mod with Japanese kabuki styles and rock with theater, Bowie created the flamboyant, androgynous alter ego Ziggy Stardust.

Three years later, Bowie achieved his first major American crossover success with the No. 1 single “Fame” off the top 10 album Young Americans, then followed with the 1976 avant-garde art rock LP Station to Station, which made it to No. 3 on the charts and featured top 10 hit “Golden Years.”

Other memorable songs included 1983’s “Let’s Dance” — his only other No. 1 U.S. hit — “Space Oddity,” “Heroes,” “Changes,” “Under Pressure,” “China Girl,” “Modern Love,” “Rebel, Rebel,” “All the Young Dudes,” “Panic in Detroit,” “Fashion,” “Life on Mars,” “Suffragette City” and a 1977 Christmas medley with Bing Crosby.

With his different-colored eyes (the result of a schoolyard fight) and needlelike frame, Bowie was a natural to segue from music into curious movie roles, and he starred as an alien seeking help for his dying planet in Nicolas Roeg’s surreal The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976). Critics later applauded his three-month Broadway stint as the misshapen lead in 1980’s The Elephant Man.

Bowie also starred in Marlene Dietrich’s last film, Just a Gigolo (1978), portrayed a World War II prisoner of war in Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983), and played Pontius Pilate in Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ (1988). And in another groundbreaking move, Bowie, who always embraced technology, became the first rock star to morph into an Internet Service Provider with the launch in September 1998 of BowieNet.

Born David Jones in London on Jan. 8, 1947, Bowie changed his name in 1966 after The Monkees’ Davy Jones achieved stardom. He played saxophone and started a mime company, and after stints in several bands he signed with Mercury Records, which in 1969 released his album Man of Words, Man of Music, which featured “Space Oddity,” a poignant song about an astronaut, Major Tom, spiraling out of control.

In an attempt to stir interest in Ziggy Stardust, Bowie revealed in a January 1972 magazine interview that he was gay — though that might have been a publicity stunt — dyed his hair orange and began wearing women’s garb. The album became a sensation.

Wrote rock critic Robert Christgau: “This is audacious stuff right down to the stubborn wispiness of its sound, and Bowie’s actorly intonations add humor and shades of meaning to the words, which are often witty and rarely precious, offering an unusually candid and detailed vantage on the rock star’s world.”

Bowie changed gears in 1975. Becoming obsessed with the dance/funk sounds of Philadelphia, his self-proclaimed “plastic soul”-infused Young Americans peaked at No. 9 with the single “Fame,” which he co-wrote with John Lennon and guitarist Carlos Alomar.

After the soulful but colder Station to Station, Bowie again confounded expectations after settling in Germany by recording the atmospheric 1977 album Low, the first of his “Berlin Trilogy” collaborations with keyboardist Brian Eno.

In 1980, Bowie brought out Scary Monsters, which cast a nod to the Major Tom character from “Space Oddity” with the sequel “Ashes to Ashes.” He followed with Tonight in 1984 and Never Let Me Down in 1987 and collaborations with Queen, Mick Jagger, Tina Turner, The Pat Metheny Group and others. He formed the quartet Tin Machine (his brother Tony played drums), but the band didn’t garner much critical acclaim or commercial gain with two albums.

Bowie returned to a solo career with 1993’s Black Tie White Noise, which saw him return to work with his Spider From Mars guitarist Mick Ronson, then recorded 1995’s Outside with Eno and toured with Nine Inch Nails as his opening act. He returned to the studio in 1996 to record the techno-influenced Earthling. Two more albums, 1999’s hours … and 2002’s Heathen, followed.

Bowie also produced albums for, among others, Lou Reed, The Stooges and Moot the Hoople, for which he wrote the song “All the Young Dudes.” He earned a lifetime achievement Grammy Award in 2006.

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As I wrote in the other thread in the Football section... while I miss a lot of artists from my youth, this one really hurts.



In the month following the release of Ziggy Stardust it sold 200,000 copies in the USA... a full half were sold in the greater Cleveland area primarily thanks to play it got from the then very popular, very influential, nighttime DJ, Billy Bass.


So when it came time for Bowie to book his first US tour, where was a better place to start than Cleveland's very own Music Hall? And I was there... dead center and halfway up in the lower balcony with my two closest friends from CWRU and the future mother of my only child.


With his different-colored eyes (the result of a schoolyard fight)...

lol... Some inaccuracy or myth seems to come with every famous person. This was Bowie's... at least it's the one I know of. There may be more.


The childhood accident is correctly ID'd as the cause, but the effect of the head blow he sustained was that his left-eye's pupil was blown. Its pupil would be perpetually wide open the rest of his life. The condition does give the appearance of a different eye color, but if you look closely at any reasonably close up photo you'll see it is simply an impression created by the very narrow iris ringing the oversized pupil.



Billy Bass seemed to alternate between the then Cleveland FM-AOR behemoths, WMMS and WNCR(?). In searching for the ID of the station not WMMS I came across the following Fox8.com article. Good to see Billy is still among us. I did not realize his roots were at WIXY 1260.


As for Bowie... I had no idea he had a son who attended The College of Wooster.




Remembering David Bowie: Cleveland helped launch career of music icon into American spotlight


Posted 11:57 am, January 11, 2016, by Darcie Loreno, Updated at 12:16pm, January 11, 2016



CLEVELAND, Ohio -- People all over the world are mourning the loss of music icon David Bowie and remembering his more than 40-year career with deep roots right here in Cleveland.


Bowie's publicist announced Monday that he passed away after an 18-month battle with cancer. He was 69.


When Bowie was a young man, it was Cleveland listeners and a local radio station that launched him into the American spotlight.


Rock station, WMMS, was the first American station to play Bowie's music. Legendary WMMS DJ Billy Bass said the station was looking for something artsy and new that would appeal to its alternative music audience.


"We were in a crisis we were in a crisis because it was the 1960s, the beat generation, the hippies, and then along came 1970 and things changed and we needed a change," said Bass.


That's about when Bowie released two albums, "Hunky Dory" and "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars." The station played the songs, and the listeners loved Bowie.


"Wow, that just changed everything," said Bass. "Because of that, David Bowie's 'thing' spread across America."


Because of that, Bowie kicked off his first U.S. tour right here in Cleveland. It was a sell-out. A month later, he performed two more sell-out shows at Public Hall.


"He came to Cleveland before anywhere else," said Bass. "His music was so fresh, so arty, so new, so different from anything you could hear on the radio, that it was perfect for our alternative audience."


Bass also credits the foundation of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on those same two albums.


Bowie was inducted into the Rock Hall in 1996. He wasn't able to make the ceremony, but Madonna accepted the award for him.


"He was always looking for something new," said the Rock Hall's Carl Harp. "Bowie was really somebody who was doing an incredible amount of art. What he was really doing...was finding a way to take rock and roll and make it mean something, make it say something."


Bowie's roots in Ohio didn't end there.


His son, Duncan Jones, was among the 1995 graduating class at the College of Wooster. Jones later attended London Film School and is now a director and producer.


The College of Wooster's website includes an entry on Jones, in which he said the following:


"Wooster hit me at just the right time in my life. I was just starting to get excited about what I could do with my life. I took creative writing and art classes, and tried to spread out as much as possible…One of the wonderful things about Wooster was it gave us all a sense of empowerment...We wanted to make a difference and do things that people would notice."



After news of his death, many celebrities and family members of Bowie took to social media. See below for some of their messages:


Very sorry and sad to say it's true. I'll be offline for a while. Love to all. pic.twitter.com/Kh2fq3tf9m — Duncan Jones (@ManMadeMoon) January 11, 2016


David Bowie was one of my most important inspirations, so fearless, so creative, he gave us magic for a lifetime. — KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 11, 2016


Talented . Unique. Genius. Game Changer. The Man who Fell to Earth. Your Spirit Lives on Forever! ❤️ #rebelheart pic.twitter.com/k3k3lfL3Bv — Madonna (@Madonna) January 11, 2016


God bless David Bowie peace and love to all his family ✌️ — Ringo Starr (@ringostarrmusic) January 11, 2016


I realized I'm getting old when I learned #DavidBowie passed away, but I'm so #grateful that I'm old enough to know why he mattered so much. — Donnie Wahlberg (@DonnieWahlberg) January 11, 2016


Thank you #DavidBowie for all the incredible entertainment. Esp how uneasy you made me feel as a kid watching Labyr… https://t.co/1iJJgBDFTp — Lance Bass (@LanceBass) January 11, 2016

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I saw him with nine inch nails on the outside tour in 1995. That was a killer show and he was doing some very adventurous stuff for a guy from that generation to even try something like that took a lot of balls.


As my wife would say David Bowie was the soundtrack to our love story. What a horrible loss.

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He was a freak singer. Nothing special. I pay respects to my brother and friends who died in combat for this country. Not some cross dressing bisexual freak who died of cancer at age 69, older by one year then my father who died of cancer.

Dont you have a deck to swab? You are a sad little man.

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Some folks just get off to pissing on other folks' memories...


I put DieHard on ignore a couple months ago. Every once in a while someone quotes him and I see the wisdom of my decision affirmed.




Sorry for your losses... including your Dad... I lost mine to colon cancer years ago as well.

But your losses don't excuse posts like you made here...

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The first concert I went to was David Bowie in 74 at Dayton Hara arena. I was disappointed with his show because he had the band behind a curtain out of view of the audience while he put on a one man show. I wanted to see the band. He was a showman. It was standing room only in front of the stage (where I was) and I remember at one part of the show he was sitting on a hydraulic cherry picker type prop which extended out and went out right over my head while he was singing.


When I think about it now it probably was a much better show than I realized but I was into rock and roll as a youngin and wasn't prepared to see a one man show.

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He was a freak singer. Nothing special. I pay respects to my brother and friends who died in combat for this country. Not some cross dressing bisexual freak who died of cancer at age 69, older by one year then my father who died of cancer.

And perhaps we will all think the same about you when it is your time.

Nothing special.

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I have never put a personal agenda on a SIGN............



WTF does when you were born have to do with your personality?

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Dude come in your whole fucking life you've never heard of astrology? Come on.


I have heard of it, and I know people that look at that stuff when their coffee is brewing EVERY morning


I just can't understand why someone would believe something that is arbitrarily written in a newspaper, strictly because they were born on such and such a date

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