Just like the rest of the world, we're mourning the loss and celebrating the life and work of David Bowie this week. Last night I listened to a rebroadcast of an interview with Fresh Air's Terry Gross from 2002, in which Bowie spoke candidly about leaving characters in his songs, his love of Tibetan horns, and his childhood desire to write musicals and play saxophone in Little Richard's band. He also touched on why he never wore t-shirts and jeans onstage...
"I never believed it. It always felt like you were trying too hard to look like the audience or something. That whole thing about the artistic integrity, which of course I've never bought into, with any artist, it's just not a real thing. ... I didn't say that wearing a glamorization of the rock artist was any truer. ... It's all artifice. I think my main point is that the T-shirt and denims thing, in my mind, was also an artifice. I didn't feel comfortable in that, because I didn't feel like one of the working men. I mean, I could never be a blue collar-y kind of Springsteen-y type artist because I don't believe I am that, and I don't believe I could ever represent that, and it is merely representation."
And so I ask myself, "Will the ghost of David Bowie appreciate the irony of a post full of photographs of him wearing that most humble of garments?" Perhaps the photo above, ya know, the one where Bowie sports a Bowie t-shirt with a little wink and a nod, answers my question...
Stardust era Bowie wearing Brian Jones from the Rolling Stones, ca. 1972
Bowie showing his support for charity supergroup Band Aid's efforts (hear Bowie's spoken message on the B-Side of "Feed the World"), ca. 1984
Bowie wearing an era-appropriate, overzised "Death to the Pixies" shirt, ca. 1997
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