Date of Birth : Jan 8th 1947
David Bowie is widely regarded as one of the most influential writers of pop music. Born ‘David Jones’ he changed his name to Bowie in the 60s, to avoid confusion with the then well-known Davy Jones (lead singer of the Monkees).
The 60s were not a happy period for Bowie, who remained a struggling artist awaiting his breakthrough. He dabbled in many different styles of music (without commercial success), and other art forms such as acting, mime, painting, and playwriting. He finally achieved his commercial breakthrough in 1969 with the song ‘Space Oddity’, which was released at the time of the moon landing. Despite the fact that the literal meaning of the lyrics relates to an astronaut who is lost in space, this song was used by the BBC in their coverage of the moon landing, and this helped it become such a success.
Towards the end of the 70s, he finally kicked his drug habit, and recorded the album many of his fans consider his best, the Japanese-influenced ‘Scary Monsters’. Around this time, he played the Elephant Man on Broadway, to considerable acclaim.
The next few years saw something of a drop-off in his musical output as his acting career flourished, culminating in his acclaimed performance in Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (1983). In 1983, he recorded ‘Let’s Dance’, an album which proved an unexpected massive commercial success, and produced his second number 1 hit single in the US. The tour which followed, ‘Serious Moonlight’, was his most successful ever.
After the comparative failure of Labyrinth (1986), the movie industry appears to have decided that Bowie was not a sufficient name to be a lead actor in a major movie, and since that date, most of his roles have been cameos or glorified cameos. He himself also seems to have lost interest in movie acting. Tin Machin