Tag Archives: Bowie songs

A Lad Insane?


“Pop music is acting: it always has been. Yet only David Bowie got the rap for being rock’s pantomime artiste, its greatest pretender. He happily owned up to the charge, calling himself “The Actor” on the sleeve of Hunky Dory, “the faker” in “Changes.” Today, with Bowie a cross-national cultural icon (one can imagine his face on a Euro note someday), it may be hard to believe he was once considered the epitome of weedy English decadence. That he was seen as a fraud, as an affront to the “realness” of Sixties rock and roll. That he was suspect. He agreed with his critics, of course. There had never been so self-conscious an act as Bowie’s  in pop before. In part this was because he’d had such a lengthy incubation, as a marginal act in the mid-Sixties — it’s still strange to realize his first single predates A Hard Day’s Night — and as a struggling folkie and rocker at the turn of the decade. Bowie spent the Sixties in the audience, standing in the corner of a club or perched off stage, always taking mental notes. There was something unique about Bowie, in his assimilative capabilities (and his pack-rat instincts), in his way of imagining himself as his own audience, and so working to entertain himself, first and foremost. And his long internship made him a consummate pro, ready to grab opportunities.” This is from the introduction to Rebel Rebel a fascinating new book by talented author Chris O’Leary, who cleverly details with wit and dedication all of David Bowie’s recorded output from his first single in 1964 to Station to Station. Make sure you don’t miss the next edition of Life Elsewhere, when Chris O’Leary joins Norman B to explore Rebel Rebel and play samples of rare and obscure David Bowie recordings and ask if he really was Aladdin Sane.

Life Elsewhere airs Sundays, at 12 noon ET at The Source WMNF HD3  and Mondays, at 5.00pm PT at NWCZ Radio

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Life Elsewhere is now available at Soundcloud


The Elvis & Bowie Birthday Special

LE 49 Promo

If it’s your birthday on January 8th, we wish you many happy returns and you probably already know you share a birth-date with two of the most important and influential figures in modern culture. Yes, January the 8th is the birth-date of Elvis Presley and David Bowie. In the next edition of Life Elsewhere you’ll hear edited excerpts of Norman B‘s intimate and exclusive interview with Bowie. You’ll hear Bowie himself pay tribute to the king; music journalist, Gillian Gaar will talk about her forthcoming book, “100 Things Elvis Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die”; Helen Ma, the president of the International Elvis Presley Fan Club will explain the long-lasting popularity of the man in in Hong Kong and mainland China; pop culture expert Maura Johnson of Maura Magazine will talk about the two legendary artists and author, Chris O’Leary will join us to talk about his soon-to-be published encyclopedic anthology of David Bowie songs.

Here is a small sample of Norman B’s exclusive interview with David Bowie

Life Elsewhere airs 9.00am EST, Monday, January 6

WMNF 88.5 fm

streaming at: http://www.wmnf.org

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