David Bowie Still Inspires In 2012

David Bowie Hunky Dory album coverDavid Bowie is not active in music at the moment, but this year he has inspired three movies, a ballet and much more, including both Tommy Lee and the 2012 Pulitzer Prizewinning poet, an assistant professor at Princeton.

Professor Tracy K. Smith’s book of poetry, Life on Mars, won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for poetry.  Now that’s cred! The book’s title of course named after Bowie’s hit song from the Hunky Dory album.

Tracy K Smith 2012 Pulitzer Prizewinner

Tracy K Smith 2012 Pulitzer Prizewinner

She calls Bowie the ‘Pope of Pop’ and credits him with inspiring her:

“What was so powerful about Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust era to me was the sense

that the imagination is capable of creating a whole new world

and a whole new sense of self and

I really have always just been so grateful for that.

I wanted to find a way of acknowledging that in my work”

Tracy K Smith Life On Mars CoverPoetry Excerpt

Bowie will never die. Nothing will come for him in his sleep

Or charging through his veins. And he’ll never grow old,

Just like the woman you lost, who will always be dark-haired

See also the link at the bottom of the post to read the full poem.

Bowie-Influenced Movies

David Bowie’s work has inspired three movies this year, Hunky Dory (named after his 1971 album as pictured above) is set in 1976. Minnie Driver stars as a teacher, who with her high school students, stages a production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest with rock and pop music. (Yes, the producers claim that the movie was dreamed up before Glee.)

The movie uses Bowie’s ‘The Man Who Sold the World’ and ‘Life on Mars’. The director wanted ‘Memories of a Free Festival’ in the closing sequence of the movie, but Bowie declined permission. Apparently, he felt that two songs were enough.

Director Marc Evans said, “I hope people see the film, get into the music and it makes them go back to get the original track.”

Other music used in the movie includes Pink Floyd, Beach Boys and Nick Drake.

Mott The Hoople All The Young Dudes original cover

All The Young Dudes album

The second new movie is director DJ Chen’s Young Dudes named after the hit song, ‘All the Young Dudes’, which Bowie gave to British band Mott the Hoople

The film features slackers who are preparing for an apocalypse and has the Bowie song as its theme.

And announced for future release is a movie called Ground Control to Major Tom, the title being the first line of Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’.

It will be directed by Seth Gordon, the director of 2011’s hit comedy Horrible Bosses.

Prometheus David8 android

Michael Fassbender in Prometheus

Also, in the forthcoming sci-fi movie Prometheus (prequel to 1979’s classic Alien), one of the stars, Michael Fassbender, has an android character named David, based in part on David Bowie.  The movie also stars Oscar-winner Charlize Theron.

In novels, award winning novelist Steve Erickson in his new book These Dreams of You has one of his characters possibly conceived by Bowie in his Berlin apartment in the late Seventies.

Bowie Ballet

Bowie’s influence extends also to ballet. Ballet Nouveau Colorado in Denver last month produced Rock Ballets, a collection of three ballets, one of which was set to Bowie’s music.

The designer, Sir Peter Blake, has honored Bowie by including him in a 2012 re-creation of his sleeve for The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper album.

David Bowie New Sgt Pepper

Recreated Sgt Pepper with detail on right showing David Bowie

Shirley Manson 2012

Shirley Manson

Turning to music, the magnificent Shirley Manson has said that this month’s comeback album, Not Your Kind Of People, by the re-united Nineties band Garbage is inspired by David Bowie, Siouxsie Sioux and the Cocteau Twins, who had “built my musical fabric”.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers covered Bowie’s  ‘Suffragette City’ on an EP released last week to mark their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Paul Weller Pop Art

Paul Weller

British rock star Paul Weller is not a household name in the States, but in Britain he and his bands have had a staggering 28 Top Ten albums.

Earlier this year, Weller named one of his new-born twins after David Bowie.  Did he call him David? No, he named him Bowie!

David Bowie Lullaby VersionsPaul can settle his twins to the sound of this year’s Lullaby Versions Of David Bowie from Twinkle Twinkle Little Rock Star. How’s that cute album cover. Aww.

Tommy Lee And His Puppy BowieMeanwhile, Mötley Crüe’s Tommy Lee has settled for naming his new puppy Bowie. Tommy says, “I love David Bowie.”

So does Professor Smith. Here’s a link to her poem, Don’t You Wonder, Sometimes? (the title is the first line of Bowie’s ‘Sound And Vision’).

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25 Responses to David Bowie Still Inspires In 2012

  1. John S says:

    Bowie always inspires. His run of albums in the 70s and into the early 80s is unequalled. I shall shortly be attempting to post my top ten. Close to impossible with so many contenders, but I’ll do my best! I think “Station To Station” will be No1, but it is challenged by “Heroes”, “Sound and Vision” and “Panic In Detroit”.

  2. Nancy Nauman says:

    Station to Station is a good choice, but I agree. I’ve always found it hard to put one above the other when it come to Bowie. They’re all great.

  3. leiulf says:

    Top 10? GOOD LUCK!
    As I mentioned in my Bowie inspired blog “About sound and Vision” when I got the bootleg of the 1996 loreley festival, I told my brother, “this is my favorite Bowie CD!” to which he deadpanned…”they’ve ALL been your favorites” Touche!
    If I had to pare down to just one studio release, I have to pick “RARE”. The 1974 original mix of the live version of Panic in Detroit is indispensable to me. When it was announced that David Live was being re-mixed by Tony Visconti and only one new track had been “discovered” I contacted him and reminded him of the above mentioned track. “you better not leave it off yet again!, it has one of the greatest lead guitar solos in the history of rock IMO.” We once entered into a battle of the bands competition on KGB F.M. and it held it’s own even against such stalwarts as “Stairway to Heaven” and “Free Bird”

  4. unitrapped says:

    David Bowie- The Tribute Album [Full Album]:

  5. I loved that poem! It’d be cool if David Bowie inspired my poetry or any of my writing. I’m going to feature Bowie in a post next week as one of my favorite eclectic musicians.

  6. tj says:

    Fab site! Followed! x

  7. Tony Perini says:

    It’s impossible to name my favorite top 10 Bowie songs. One thing for sure, a day doesn’t go by without my listening to several times mind you what I call ‘The Trilogy’. These three works of art play in order on Bowies ‘Young Americans’ album. “Win”, “right” and “Somebody Up There Likes Me”………After several listenings my day can then begin.

  8. Tony Perini says:

    It’s impossible to name my favorite top 10 Bowie songs. One thing for sure, a day doesn’t go by without my listening to, and several times mind you, what I call ‘The Trilogy’. These three works of art play in order on Bowies ‘Young Americans’ album. “Win”, “Right” and “Somebody Up There Likes Me”………After several listenings my day can then begin.

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