The Thin White Duke and the Changes He Made
I posted this piece 1 year ago in tribute to an amazing artist.
Flawless skin, the perfect peaches and cream complexion and eyes that peer sky ward, thoughtfully transfixed on the unseen, a hand gently brushes back flaxen hair. The misty film that covers the entire image helps manifest the far away feeling it tries to evoke.
Is this a work by a famous painter featuring a beautiful model you might ask? No it is in fact the cover art for “Hunky Dory”, David Bowie’s 4th album. Bowie himself was the subject of this picture. A work so significant in the world of music that it was voted by Time Magazine in 2006 as one of the top 100 of all time. First published in 1971 it was and remains an innovative and original collection of songs.
Recorded at the height of his thin white duke era, it is stylish and artistic but most of all energetic and engaging. A precursor to the glamrock style that invaded the British music scene in the early 70’s and eventually the rest of the world. It rises and falls in perfect precision, asking questions he has no answers for and describes in imagery the confusion that abounded in that post flower power time.
I discovered this album much later than it’s release date at a time when I was both the happiest and eventually the saddest I have ever felt. I am inevitably transported by this song in particular to a momentous time. Whenever I am faced with big changes in my life I always find a place for it. So that is why I have chosen this album and in particular this song as my friday night music festival offering of this week. For any of you who have never heard it the link at the bottom of the verse I have included takes you to a you tube post of the song.
Looking forward to paradise
I still don’t know what I was waiting for
And my time was running wild
A million dead-end streets
and every time I thought I’d got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
So I turned myself to face me
But I’ve never caught a glimpse
Of how the others must see the faker
I’m much too fast to take that test
Ch – ch – ch – changes