KEEP YOUR 'LECTRIC EYE ON ME, BABE.

January 13, 2021

KEEP YOUR 'LECTRIC EYE ON ME, BABE.

This week marked 5 years since we lost David Bowie, rock's most impressive chameleon, a man who was and always will be - The Greatest.
 
Discovering Bowie was life-changing for me, although he was first and foremost an amazing musician, it was the whole package for me. His creativity, his groundbreaking experimentation with fashion and makeup, his ability to be completely and unapologetically everything and anything that he wanted and his unwavering artistic lense.

He was an artist until the end. In an age of oversharing, he was an enigma. His death was a surprise to most, something he did quietly and without fanfare. But he finished his final chapter with Blackstar, and it's all in there. His final gift to us all. The term icon is one of the most overused and misapplied words. But it's a word that defines David Bowie. 
I actually named Electric Eye Apparel after one of my favourite Bowie songs; Moonage Daydream. It's taken from the lyric 'keep your 'lectric eye on me, babe' which was a lyric that always stood out to me. You can interpret it in many ways, but for me it says 'keep watching, don't underestimate me, see what I can do'. And it never fails to spur me on when I'm in need of some motivation.

So as I reflect on The Man Who Fell To Earth, here are 8 Reasons Why David Bowie is The Absolute Greatest;

1. His Enviable Fashion Sense

It's safe to say that Bowie had a huge impact on the fashion world and remains a strong influence on fashion designers today. He broke the rules, challenged gender stereotypes and had the ability to transform and shock people with his ever changing wardrobe. He has notable fans in the industry from Saint Laurent, Kate Moss, Jean Paul Gaultier, Gucci and Alexander McQueen. 

2. His Ability to Reinvent Himself

There aren't many musicians who can span the decades like Bowie did. He went from a very modest David Jones to global superstar David Bowie and stayed there. He studied art, music and design before embarking on a professional career as a musician in 1962. The shape-shifting musician would change his persona many times throughout his career. After starting his music career, he wanted to avoid confusion with The Monkees star Davy Jones, so he changed his stage name to David Bowie. Why Bowie? Well, because just like the versatile American knife, the name “cut both ways.”

3. He Inspired the Art World

There is no doubt about it, David Bowie was an artist. He was the subject of the V&A's fastest selling exhibition of all time. The 2013 Bowie Is… exhibition showed 300 pieces from his personal archive, including clothing, instruments, photos, doodles and handwritten lyrics. Bowie's work inspired artists, photographers, fashion designers and creatives all around the world.
He painted for most of his life, creating post-modern and surreal works of art. For Bowie, like most, it was a form of meditation. In 1998, he told The New York Times that painting “was about problem-solving. I’d find that if I had some creative obstacle in the music that I was working on, I would often revert to drawing it out or painting it out. Somehow the act of trying to recreate the structure of the music in paint or in the drawing would produce a breakthrough.”

4. He Inspired Future Generations of Musicians

Back in 1972, a whole generation saw Bowie perform Starman on Top of The Pops and knew immediately their lives were changed forever. Here was someone who was not afraid to be odd, a 'kook' you could say. There are countless musicians who name check Bowie as their inspiration including; Nirvana, Blur, Suede, Madonna, Florence & The Machine, Arcade Fire, Sex Pistols, The Cure, Joy Division, The Smiths, Pulp, Placebo, Pixies. Bowie's back catalog continues to inspire musicians today. 

5. He Brought Us The Labyrinth

David Bowie X Jim Henson was pure magic. This 1986 classic is one of my absolute favourite films! The Musical Fantasy was directed by Jim Henson, with George Lucas as Exec Producer and was based on conceptual designs by Brian Froud. Bowie nailed it as Jared, the Goblin King (I had a weird crush on his character as a kid). He is scary, cool and kinda sexy - I can't think of a better singing, dancing, super tight pant wearing villain!
Bowie also appeared in numerous films through the years, earning praise for his roles in The Man Who Fell to EarthThe Last Temptation of ChristTwin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, and The Prestige, in which he played the enigmatic Nikola Tesla

6. He Loved Having a Laugh

How Ricky Gervais got Bowie to agree to 'Extras' I don't know, but it made for TV gold! His little ditty 'Chubby Little Loser' still cracks me up. He also owned his not so cool moments and could take the piss out of himself... Dancing in The Street, anyone?

7. He Supported Charities, Causes and Events

David Bowie was unique among famous figures. Not only was he a superstar in the music world, he was also a superstar in the world of helping the hungry, sick and poor. His death in January 2016 came as a blow to both worlds.
David Bowie’s charity work involved supporting causes related to disadvantaged children and youth, human rights, poverty and hunger women’s issues, disaster relief and AIDS relief/reduction.
According to Look to the Stars, David Bowie took part in many charity activities, including 21st Century Leaders/Whatever It Takes, Every Mother Counts, Keep a Child Alive, Save the Children, the Lunchbox Fund and War Child.

8. He Was The King Of Collaborations

Bowie worked managed to team with the best and brightest throughout his career. Here are a few of his most iconic collaborations;
  • Mott the Hopple "All The Young Dudes" 1972, this was his second try with the band after they rejected "Suffragette City".
  • Lou Reed "Transformer" 1973. Bowie and Ronson's production on Transformer made the album Reed's first post-Velvet's hit.
  • John Lennon "Fame". This was Bowie's first No.1 hit in the USA, the song was recorded at New York's Electric Ladyland studio shortly after the pair first met in 1975.
  • Cher "Can You Hear Me?". This was performed on Cher's CBS Variety show in 1975.
  • Iggy Pop "The Idiot" and "Lust For Life" Bowie produced "The Idiot" and helped Iggy reconnect with his primal punk-rock side on "Lust For Life". When Bowie died Iggy tweeted "David's friendship was the light of my life. I have never met such a brilliant person. He was the best there is."
  • Queen "Under Pressure". Like so many great musical moment, this pairing came about by chance. Both Bowie and Queen were recording in a Swiss studio, Bowie agreed to add some backing vocals on a different song "Cool Cat" (which was scrapped) then they went on to jam and the rest is history.
  • Bing Crosby "Peace on Earth / Little Drummer Boy". Bowie's mum always adored bing so he was keen to participate on his 1977 taping of Merrie Olde Christmas. Bing said of Bowie 'A clean-cut kid and a real fine asset to the show. He sings well, has a great voice and reads lines well'

26 studio albums over a 47 year career. Scores of ingenious classic songs. Unique, moving and truly dazzling. We can learn from his life's work and journey and he will always matter. The Greatest Rockstar Ever.

Check out my Bowie inspired edit below, an ode to some of my favourite Bowie lyrics;
Or create your own by shopping 'custom' at electriceyeapparel.com

David Bowie 8th Jan 1947 - 10th Jan 2016

 

 

 




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