When He Was a Young Dude

A David Bowie list

SEVEN THINGS I LOVE ABOUT DAVID BOWIE

1The man has great taste in guitar players—Mick Ronson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Adrian Belew, just for starters. That shit almost mitigates the whole Brian Eno problem (see "Seven Things I Hate About David Bowie," No. 1).

2 The unforgettable chorus of "All the Young Dudes," the psycho lyrics of "Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed," the moody conceit of "Rock 'n' Roll Suicide," the meat-grinding hook of "Rebel Rebel," and the fact that "Let's Dance" actually made me wanna.

3 He fashioned a career out of the most blatant pole-smoking persona of any major rock star since Little Richard 15 years earlier and, unlike Li'l Dick, never apologized for it or turned to God for salvation.

4 After all that unrepentant pole-smoking, he subsequently married two of the most beautiful women on the planet.

5 It is extremely doubtful that Mott the Hoople, Alice Cooper, Roxy Music, the New York Dolls, the Tubes, T. Rex or Queen would have been what they were had Bowie not first been Bowie. That applies to such precursors as Lou Reed and, arguably, even Mick.

6 His website—davidbowie.com—has been a genuine innovator in artist/fan interaction and the creative potential of cybersville in general.

7 He looks so great for an old geezer that he gives the rest of us hope for future lack of outward decrepitude and almost single-handedly makes up for the world being forced to endure the melting mugs of Keith Richards, Pete Townsend and Steven Tyler.

SEVEN THINGS I hate ABOUT DAVID BOWIE

1 I hold him personally responsible for Eno. And Sparks. Oh, and Lord help us, maybe even Giorgio Moroder.

2 Despite his undeniable innovations in rock & roll theatrics and cyber-interaction, approximately 92 percent of all David Bowie recordings—you know, his actual music—have been overrated, pretentious, artsy-fartsy feculence. Everyone realizes this, including his most ardent fanboys. They just refuse to admit it for fear of being thought of as rednecks.

3 The way he suddenly, for no apparent reason, starts singing in a Cockneyish accent at the end of "Space Oddity"—"Cahn ya hyeah me, Myajah Tahm?" Hey, fuck you, dude.

4 His voice, in general, sounds something like Johnny Rotten sans attitude morphed with Katharine Hepburn after Parkinson's.

5 "Fleas the size of rats sucked on rats the size of cats/And 10,000 peoploids split into small tribes/Coveting the highest of the sterile skyscrapers." Hey, fuuuuuck you, dude!

6 Whatever the deal is with his eyes.

7 David Bowie is the original poseur. Also, he's English—real English. And he hasn't created any important or influential music in something like 30 years, but since that time, he has tried, unsuccessfully, to hop on almost every trendy bandwagon from funk and disco to house and techno. Stick to webmastering, dude; this Thin White Fascist Ziggy thing is getting soooo Foghat.

David Bowie performs at Arrowhead Pond, 2695 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim, (714) 704-2000; arrowheadpond.com/box_office. Fri., 7:30 p.m. $46-$86. All ages.
 
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