Monday, 11 January 2016

A True Progressive

Like many, I woke this morning to the breaking news of the death of another 20th century rock music icon, David Bowie: I suppose that they, and we, are getting to an age where this will become more prevalent, but this does not make his passing any the less important and tragic for family, friends and fans alike.

Bowie was a part of the rock music world for the best part of 45 years: artistic, innovative, at times baffling, but never dull or boring. I have been aware of his work for most of those 45 years, but didn't really begin to fully explore his back catalogue until about 5 years ago. From glam rock, to soul, funk, hard rock & electronica, Bowie explored and even innovated a multitude of musical genres (his 'John I'm Only Dancing' was ahead of the disco boom of the mid-to-late 70s). His collaborations with many on the cutting edge of popular music, such as Iggy Pop, Brian Eno & Robert Fripp, stretched the boundaries of what music could be, and his lasting influence will be evident for the foreseeable future.

Although much of his music was not what one would call 'Prog', Bowie was to my mind a true progressive. He was always willing to take risks, artistically and musically, as his decision at the height of his fame in 1973 to 'kill off' his alter ego, Ziggy Stardust - the ultimate 'Rock 'n' Roll suicide - proved.

Rock music would be a lot blander without the genius of David Jones. Thank you for showing us that there are no limits to this fine artistic format.