David Bowie is a chamaleonic guy who is an excellent singer, but is also a very good actor, who has played some roles that were memorable, at least for me.

He played a british hitman in Into the Night, with Michelle Pfeiffer, a vampire alongside Catherine Deneuve in The Hunger and well, Andy Warhol in Basquiat, and many, many others.

So, do not overlook this facet of this bloke.

David Bowie was born David Robert Jones in a low-rent section of London to a publicist father and a movie-theater usher mother on January 8, 1947. (EDITOR'S NOTE: David Bowie passed away on January 11, 2015 at the age of 69.) His parents did not marry until after David was born. When David was 12, his parents bought him a saxophone and he performed in a series of small-time groups while in high school. He learned to play guitar while a student at Bromley Technical High School, and was composing songs by the time he dropped out in 1964.

His first couple of bands achieved minimal success, some of the names included: Davie Jones and the King Bees, The Manish Boys, and The Lower Third. Frustrated with the groups lack of success, Davie Jones renamed himself David Bowie -- he wanted to avoid being confused with the lead singer of the Monkees. His first solo album The World of David Bowie (1967) generally escaped notice of any kind, and Bowie dropped out of the music scene altogether. He pondered Buddhism, acted in community theatre, and spent more that two years as a member of the Lindsay Kemp Mime Troupe.

During this time, Bowie met the girl he would marry in 1970, Angela Barnet, who convinced a friend at Mercury Records to listen to some of Bowies music. Bowie then found himself with his first U.K. Top 10 hit with 1969's "Space Oddity." After knowledge of the American moon landing, the album was released in the U.S. and the BBC even played it during coverage of the moon landing.

His next album The Man Who Sold the World (1970) raised many eyebrow's with the cover of Bowie in a dress, and because it failed to win a wide audience, Mercury parted ways with Bowie. RCA Records quickly signed Bowie and his next album Hunky Dory (1971) was released. During that same year, Angela, gave birth to their son: Zowie Duncan Heywood Bowie. Quickly after Hunky Dory came the album that made Bowie a legend: The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars (1972).

David Bowie, international rock superstar spanning across 4 decades, is finally releasing a new album.

The new album is called Heathen, and will be released on June 11th by Columbia Records. This is very exciting news for Bowie fans.

His last album, ...hours, was released in 1999. It thrilled many fans, and disappointed others. It was a sentimental album with a lot of songs from the broken heart. The songs really had nothing to do with Bowie.

Then, sometime last year, Bowie announced that he had a new album coming out called Toy. It was to be a remix of his old songs from the sixties. Noone has heard about it since.

So in a surprise announcement, Heathen was born to Bowie fans. It was produced with Tony Visconti, who has worked with Bowie on some of his other albums, such as Heroes, Low, and Scary Monsters and Super Creeps.

David Bowie is now 54 years old. His popularity peaked in the seventies and eighties, with legendary albums such as Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars and Diamond Dogs. His image changes often, and dramatically, and his personality leaves a powerful impact on the music community before it transforms into something new. Many believe his career is over, that he is too old to continue performing; while others compare him to a fine wine -- getting better with age.

So, Bowie fans, or fans of music in general, watch out for Heathen, hitting stores on June 11th. And always remember: listen to yourself before you listen to others opinions. Don't let trends or peers affect your better judgement.

David Bowie will always live in my memory as his character Jareth, the Goblin King, in the 1986 Jim Henson movie Labyrinth. The film was written by Terry Jones of Monty Python and largely designed by Brian Froud, a rather strange fiction writer and artist who literally believes in most of the faeries and other strange creatures he paints and brings to life in film.

Bowie was a sinister and ultra-cool villain, the god-like master of this realistic fantasy world. As well as starring, Bowie contributed extensively to the soundtrack, writing some of the songs and singing at least a little on all of them.

More recently Bowie has contributed works to two other soundtracks: 1997's The Saint and 2003's Underworld, as well as collaborating with Nine Inch Nails for "I'm Afraid of Americans".

His track on The Saint soundtrack, "Dead Man Walking," is a poppy techno song, which fits in with the rest of the album. Bowie, though, uses strange operatic singing samples and a driving melody to make his music more palatable and interesting then your average rave music. The lyrics are better, too. I particularly like the line "And I'm gone, like I'm dancing on angels, and I'm gone . . . through the crack in the past."

For Underworld Bowie did a song called "Bring me the Disco King," featuring Maynard James Keenan (of Tool and A Perfect Circle), actress/singer Milla Jovovich, and John Frusciante (guitarist for The Red Hot Chili Peppers). All the singers contribute powerful and dark performances, and the accompaniment consists only of one otherworldly guitar riff and a powerful chorus of strings. One of the best songs of all time.

In 1999, for the Mini Cooper's 40th anniversary, David Bowie designed a mirror-plated mini. Shiny silver chrome plating covers the car top to bottom, excluding lights and tires. The chrome reflects light and surrounding objects and people. The mini's curves distort the reflections like a fun house mirror, creating something that inspires interaction, wonder, vanity, self-consciousness... The metallic skin and plated windows evoke a sense that the car is wearing a suit of armor. You cannot penetrate; you cannot see inside. But the armor is fragile, beautiful, and restrictive rather than protective. The car is blind and un-driveable. It has no sense of self because its form is always made from dramatically displayed manipulations of cultural context.

Still, it's the coolest thing in the room. Singular and spectacular. Quintessential Bowie.

In 2010 a fellow named Grice bought a chrome-plated mini from a London showroom as a Valentine's Day gift for his wife. Unfortunately, even with regular glass windows, the couple's car can't be taken on the road. Insurance companies consider the car too vulnerable to scratches and attractive to thieves to insure. 'I've been left with the world's most expensive mirror,' Grice complained. 'No one will touch it with a barge pole.'


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