Tuesday, 02 May 2017 14:19

The Five Best Faces of David Bowie

June will mark 45 years since the release of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars – an album that tells the story of arguably the most beloved of David Bowie’s many alter-egos. Although Ziggy has some strong competition; After All, Bowie went through many Changes in his career, so It Ain’t Easy to decide on a favourite look (I feel obliged to here give fair warning that I’m starting with the Bowie song/album puns as I mean to go on, if that’s not Hunky Dory, best stop reading now).

Here are five of his best, as featured in David Bowie: Starman:

Ziggy Stardust

The character: a bisexual rock star alien sent to earth to warn us of the coming apocalypse. The look: skin-tight pantsuit, cherry platform boots, heavy make-up, thin as a rake. Rock 'n' Roll Suicide, surely? Well, only in so far as in that Ziggy completely redefined an entire era of music, with his androgynous appearance as much as with his music.

Major Tom

Technically, I’m cheating here; Major Tom was a recurring character in Bowie’s songs, rather than an on-stage persona. But he was an awesome one; ‘Space Oddity’ is tied with ‘Moonage Daydream’ as my all-time favourite Bowie song, and though Tom is apparently dead by its end, he still manages to bounce back to feature in ‘Ashes to Ashes’, ‘Hallo Spaceboy’, and the music video to Bowie’s farewell, ‘Blackstar’.


Thin White Duke

Personally, this one has always freaked me out. Impeccably dressed in white shirt, black trousers and waistcoat, the Duke was a hollow man who sang songs of romance with an agonised intensity, yet felt nothing. In Bowie’s words, he was "a nasty character indeed", and a reflection of Bowie’s own troubles – he spent the period subsisting on a diet of peppers, milk and cocaine. Yet for all that these were certainly not Bowie’s Golden Years on a personal level, the Duke brought him more commercial success with Station to Station (1976) and remains one of his most iconic personas.

Halloween Jack

Half man, half dog; all rebel. "A real cool cat" who lives in the decaying "Hunger City", Jack was the star of Diamond Dogs, the 1974 album that, with tracks such as ‘Rebel Rebel’, cemented Bowie’s status as a Future Legend. Maintaining Ziggy’s spiked mullet but dying it a shockingly red color, Bowie donned an eye patch, platform heels, and scarves - a look that would later inspire innovators of punk rock.

Jareth, the Goblin King

Bowie also made several forays into cinema, most famously when he donned the wig of the Goblin King for his role as Jareth in the 1986 fantasy epic Labyrinth. The movie's cult status was cemented with Bowie's performance of the song ‘Magic Dance’.

David Bowie: Starman is the perfect tribute to the ultimate chameleon, featuring illustrations of Bowie’s most iconic looks for the reader to colour in themselves, alongside facts, quotes and memories of Bowie from those who knew him best. Buy it here.
Published in We Are Live!
Friday, 13 January 2017 11:01

David Bowie: Starman: A Colouring Book

‘I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.’ – David Bowie

Ever true to his promise, David Bowie’s life was anything but dull…

Brilliantly creative and wonderfully weird, Bowie was not only a talented musician, but an artistic visionary. It is for this reason that he has maintained such a loyal fan base. There was something strangely other worldly, almost immortal about David Bowie, which is perhaps why his death just over a year ago today impacted fans, friends and family in such a major (pun intended?) way. Many have taken to social media to express their sadness over the loss of such an iconic figure, who dedicated his life to art.

David Bowie: Starman celebrates the life of David Bowie in all its glory and colour. The book serves as a kind of anthology or tribute, including illustrations of Bowie (for readers to colour in) alongside info on his life and works, as well as a selection of quotes from various musicians, actors and comedians. Rebellious in his weirdness, Bowie’s refusal to tick boxes and conform to society’s idea of normal helped to reassure a new generation of young people that it’s ok to be odd. Highlights include a section from a particularly touching speech by actor and fan, Tilda Swinton, given at the V&A, who recalls her feelings of affinity towards Bowie:

‘The image of that gingery, bony, pinky-whitey person on the cover with the liquid mercury collar bone was – for one particular young moonage daydreamer – the image of planetary kin, of a close imaginary cousin and companion of choice.’

Of course, Starman could not be a true celebration of Bowie without any words of wisdom from the man himself. The text includes quotes from interviews, in which David Bowie describes the creative and lyrical process behind his most successful albums, as well as the inspiration for his various onstage personas, including the formidable Ziggy Stardust. Starman highlights Bowie’s artistry through his talents as a musician and a performer as well as the inspiration behind his outlandish fashion sense, exploring what it was that made this super human-being quite so extraordinary. 

Below is just a small sample of the wonderful colourings fans have sent in!

Get it here
Published in We Are Live!
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