David Bowie

redneck-stardust-1112

Ziggy Stardust

ziggysd

I was 11 and I was a little boy in England — I was not a happy child – I was an intense and deep thinking young dude.

Music was not a thing to me.

I sorta liked the Beatles and T-rex and Slade (ok, I did like Slade)

But – I didn’t have anything to really connect me.

——– Until the day I would not forget

“Spiders from Mars” arrived at the house.

And it was the Album Cover that mesmerized me.

This was a weak-artsy–deep-thinking-cool-dude. And he had arrived.

The impact of this cover and that day stays with me.

And it had nothing to do with the music – it was this persona – this image —– This ballsy statement of — “I am here, deal with it”

We were waiting for you – This was my pied piper moment – I was hypnotized.

It was my streets with some amazing shift of culture.

If this was ok then I could be ok — We, the new generation had arrived.

This is my last good memory of England; we would soon move to the United States – Ironically – I now live within striking distance from where David Bowie had a home in Woodstock.

This is my upstate NY homage to my hero – yeah…I am not a young dude anymore – And I live in a redneck land.

We become ok with our surroundings and our place in this world or we do not.

David Bowie helped me understand that.

Cheers from the cave!

Just in case you missed what a sublime sense of humor he had.

 

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Space Cowboy 5-play

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After I visited Geoff @ https://1001albumsin10years.wordpress.com/2015/05/27/odyssey-to-2001-top-5-space-tunes/ and briefly chastised him for leaving out Flock of Seagulls with his post —-I thought: “Hey, I got a blog, why not riff off what my Canadian friend is doing and write my own post?”—-and then I saw https://gigisrantsandraves.wordpress.com/2015/05/31/supernova-and-an-unexpected-universefrom-astronomy-picture-of-the-daybeautiful/  over @ Rethinking Life with a cool galaxy pic and thought: “Hey, why not put yourself in space and go for it? – you blogging fool you!”

So here we go!  Space 5-play

  1. Flock of Seagulls –Space Age Love Song

This one sounds spacey more that is spacey – like if I was flying between galaxies test driving a new star cruiser – I would crank this up and drink some tang.

  1. After the Gold Rush – Neil Young —sung by Dolly Pardon and friends.

The abstract imagery of Neil Young’s song writing allows for many interpretations – The core of the sci-fi genre is us getting off this earth and into the stars – sometimes with aliens helping us. Yeah,…mostly they are trying to make us extinct, but sometimes, as in this song, they are our friends.

  1. Space Boogie – Jeff Beck

Jeff Beck always gets forgotten – too jazzy to be rock – too rock to be jazzy. Fusion? Is that what they used to call it? You are not forgotten on the cave my friend. (Using friend for dramatic effect-I have never met the man or seen the man in concert – but he seems like he would be ok and drink a sensible mid-range beer like a Sam Adams or Newcastle Brown Ale).

  1. Rocket Man – Sir Elton John – hit by William Shatner with phaser not set to stun.

Does not matter how much it has been played – as a serious chronicler of popular music I am contractually obligated to include it. It is a great song (even after this fiasco) – which makes the task not difficult

  1. Space Oddity – David Bowie

David Bowie is a space cadet with no equal and this was written at the birth of the space age. We saw the brilliance and he saw the isolation. He was/is ahead of his time.

I challenge all the other bloggers out there to do a space themed blog!

This could be the start of something good.

And as always.

Cheers from the cave!

You are never too old to Rock n’ Roll?

After attending community college part-time for longer than I want to admit and finally finishing my degree, I have learned a couple things about getting old:

  1. I am now old…A.A.R.P wants me as a member! Jamie Lee Curtis wants me to eat Greek yogurt (and I am thinking about it)
  2. So what

When you take classes with kids often half your age, you do reach a point where you just have to get over yourself and get on with it or risk not making it to the end. No one really cares about age more than yourself…As long as you focus on what you have to do and not worry about anything else, you will be O.K. That is basically it. Age only knocks you out if you let it- you can not stop it but you can stare it down until the very end.

So here is my little Rock Opera on the 5 stages of aging according to the Cave

Act  1: Denial- Forever Young

David Bowie.Changes

“Look out you Rock n rollers, pretty soon you’re gonna get older”

I did not believe this wise oracle of rock the first time I heard this line. I thought I would stay young forever. David Bowie saw it coming and tried to warn us.

Act 2: Feel it slipping-try to get it back-Slight desperation-

Weezer.The Good Life

“And I don’t wanna be an old man anymore. It’s been a year or two since I was out on the floor.
Shaking booty, making sweet love all the night…It’s time I got back to the good life”

You sense it is fading but still don’t have a grasp on it

Act 3: Wallow in memories-it may be over

Rolling Stones.Memory Motel

When Keith Richards does his vocal bit-it just takes this to another level- this is my favorite Rolling Stones song and it may be a straight-ahead country music tune. It’s got memories and pick-up trucks in it. This is a drinking song!

Age does build up a reservoir of hurt feelings to go immerse yourself in. It might seem like nice warm water, but you only need a few inches to drown in- and tears and beer can make this get to a level that will break those levees around your heart in no time. …But having said that…Wow!-this is a great song!

Act 4: Acceptance- Oh no- this is real! And happening to a person near me…in fact me, myself!

Peter Gabriel. My Body is a Cage

‘My body is a cage, it keeps me from dancing with the one I love”

When I saw Peter Gabriel perform this live in 2011, I was knocked right on my ass. The intensity he brought to this Arcade Fire song was something to watch erupt on stage. What I took away was this guy trapped in his 63 year-old body but still giving everything he had. The spirit is strong but the vehicle it operates in is getting worn. You could see it happening, and like only genius artists can do…you could feel it happening. There was this transference of emotion from the stage to the audience.

 Act 5: So what- it happens to the best of us and the worst of us-I still choose to rock n roll

Little Feat.Old Folks Boogie

“You know that you’re over the hill when your mind makes a promise that your body can’t fill”

So you’re old!!—-Enjoy yourself—it will happen to the best of us in the end if we are lucky enough to make it that far.

The passage of time and the relentless scourge of gravity will hunt us down like dogs. We will be history to future generations. So let us rock while we still can!

Dude looks like a Lady? Not on this list of best 5 Androgyny Rock Interpretations.

Cover of "The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Star...
Cover of The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust

I went for substance over glitter for these classics. The gender lines get blurred and the yin yang smudges together for some of the best music produced in the rock era.  The glitter and high heels kicking you in the face is the proverbial tip of the iceberg when having a bit of free swim time in this part of the pool. The first couple I added were such strong works that I challenged myself to keep them all of the same quality. This date night went in a different direction than it started, kind of like my number 1 pick for this category.

#5

Your Song-Elton John

“What are you doing Mr. Cave guy, this is just a sweet innocent love song by Elton John?” And you are right. Elton John and Bernie Taupin were just sweet innocent kids when they wrote this.  The striking part – it is so innocent that it has no male and female parts at all. Like a toy doll with no bits that are going to make the kids ask questions. It has all the sexuality completely sanitized. A man could be singing about a woman- a woman could be singing about a man- it works with a man singing about a man and woman about a woman. It works with any combo deal on the menu.

#4

Ziggy Stardust – David Bowie

The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars is one of the great records of rock music and David Bowie became an androgynous alien alter ego for the ages. Maybe some obscure bands were dressing like chicks before he did…but he smashed the doors wide open to let all the cows and horses out of the barn to go play in the fields and roll in the mud. He took it from

a “strange” thing and turned it into an “edgy” thing. The song itself really does not reference any gender blurring but it is impossible to separate the song from the act. You get the package deal with David Bowie.

#3

Me and Bobby McGee- Janis Joplin

Kris Kristofferson wrote this song originally about a woman and in the Janis Joplin version it changed to a man. Even the name Bobby can fit both sexes so it was not a big deal to make a switch. That makes something written from the male perspective get transformed into something from a female perspective. It gives it a weird toughness that Janis Joplin was made to sing.

#2

Angel from Montgomery-Bonnie Raitt

To write this song John Prine imagined himself as a middle aged woman doing dishes and gazing upon the ashes of a burnt-out life. Like an artist that freezes a scene in a painting; he gets all the colors and lines in correct coordination and perfection. I don’t care if you are a woman or a man- this song is powerful. As a man you feel bad about this woman and you should hate the man that drove her down this highway and hope you ain’t him…you should be affected by the emotion if you have anything at all in your soul that feels emotion. This song has a way of making people cry like Ray Lewis in a post game speech after a football game.

#1

Lola- The Kinks

“Well, I’m not dumb but I can’t understand Why she walked like a woman but talked like a man”

How in good conscious as a fan of Rock Music do you not make this the Number one song in this category?  And just like the naïve soul in this piece of music-How long did it take you to listen to the words and have that “Sixth sense” movie moment…Oh…man…he is a ghost!…I mean..Oh man, he is a transvestite! And how as a regular guy trying to write a music blog do I take so long to get to a song by Ray Davies…the quintessential everyman and icon of popular music…plus he seems  like just one hell of a nice guy.

A little androgyny goes a long way.

New York Dolls (album)
New York Dolls (album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am almost ready to do a Top 5 of Gender Blender Rock songs -but letting the years of music run through my brain, I hit a little stumble block.

As a fan, it is easy for me to go back to David Bowie and Spiders from Mars as the start of the androgyny soul train. I consider that record  the first popular push for the male/female alter ego.

Immediately- I hear that voice in my head going… “All the music critics will say  The New York Dolls were the first androgynous rock band“. In fact the critics will say that the New York Dolls were the first… (Hang on to your seats, here we go!), the first glam band, the first glitter band, the first metal band and even the first proto-punk band. Proto-punk?? They also invented stage diving when David Johansen (NY Dolls lead singer- I have heard some of his stuff) lost his wig and jumped in the crowd to retrieve it….and …and  a guy who played  triangle on their second record invented the Wham-O Frisbee!!

Music I never heard is supposed to be so influential? I have nothing against these guys but you would think that something of them would be played somewhere I listened at some time if they did in fact, start everything.  I am going to admit that I have never knowingly heard a song from this infamous N.Y.C band. I was not hip enough to be in to them at anytime and I am not going to Google my way around them now and take a crash course. I am not a music critic; I am just a fan of Rock music. That is not an excuse, it is just a fact- So get ready for the Androgyny Top 5 coming to the Cave soon…and No New York Dolls will be harmed (or referenced in any other way) in the making of this list.