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Archive for January, 2016

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David Bowie by Ralph STEADman

Greetings GONZO lovers!

I’ve had the privilege of being able to dialogue with Mister Ralph STEADman via email over many different subjects in the last few months. MANY subjects.

Most of these conversations between him and I will remain private until the time comes when I decide to eventually publish an autobiography on all my life’s adventures, risks, and shenanigans in travel, music, art, events, sabbaticals, women, people, substance-abusing, solitude-seeking, near-death experiences and bouts with the loss of freedom and sanity that life has sum-totaled for me.

HOWEVER, until that time comes, I feel I obligated to share the following:

On my learning of the passing of David Bowie at 0630 on Monday, 11January, I emailed my GONZO mentor buddy, Ralph STEADman, and said: “Ralph! What is your greatest memory or influence you experienced from David Bowie? I’m sure you’ve heard the sad news by now…(also sending him a link to David Bowie’s “Lazarus” video)

And not long after I send that email, Ralph replies back – with a very recent painting he did of David Bowie / Ziggy Stardust – and says:

“Listening to him as I type – he was never a Rat Pack Crooner like Frank – but I doubt he ever wanted that baggage. His free Spirit was far too restless and he just kept moving on. Ziggy Stardust was the child inside him and played Guitar pretty good….in fact, he sounds just like a 5 year old enjoying the sound of his own voice!  He scattered his personalities everywhere – like it was all a big game!!  He cared – and he didn’t care a DAMN!!  He was having FUN!!! I tried to pull him out of a Dirty Water SPLAT as an experiment…… and he pulled a silly face at me!!! -SO – I computerized him!!!

He played a lot of Bum notes just to see what would happen – and some of them were magic – because of that – Like splatting ink all over the Goddamn place!!!  Creatively – we are from the same kind of curiosity stable…..”

**This interview also published at GonzoToday.com

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Blackstar_album_coverAlbum Review: Blackstar by David Bowie
Produced by: David Bowie and Tony Visconti
Released: January 8, 2016
Label: ISO Records (Columbia/RCA)

His final composure.
His last recorded album.
His magic show is over, folks.
He knew it.
His band knew it.
His family knew it.
We now all know it.

From the opening note on the title track the vibe is immediately established this album is a mixture of David Bowie’s death opus, and his celebratory last lap in the studio. The final recording from over five decades worth of work. Both his fans and the musically-inspired will celebrate his catalog for many more decades to come.

Bowie’s now among the stars on his own space oddity, except he’s the Blackstar out there, NOT the white star, as he candidly points out midway through the title track. And, yes, the stars will forever now look different today because of it…

Lazarus was the last video he made a song into, recorded only days before he came to pass, and it shows. It’s one artfully spooky song that is just mind-boggling when you realize the song’s message. I don’t want to spoil anyone’s first impression till they’ve heard it, so that’s all I’m gonna say about it for now…

Girl Loves Me, with its layers of funky synth beats leaves you contemplating who cheena is, and where the Fuck did Monday go? Questions unanswered is a typical Bowie song trait, we must remember. 

The entire album is essentially beautifully arranged recorded cries of despair masked equally in joy and sorrow mixed amongst doses of artsy, jazzy, avant-garde synth rock, and beats and melodies that tease all your human emotions. He is one of music’s TRUEST musical composures of our generation by every measurable quality. He was a perfect combination of both God-given and self-developed natural talent any real artist could hope to have within them.

And we now find ourselves, holding in our hands, or programmed into our iTunes/mp3 player, what may be the greatest thing the man ever composed for us.

Thank you, David Bowie, for the weirdness.



**This review also published at GonzoToday.com

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