Tuesday, January 08, 2013
Lightning Bolt Birthday Boys: Elvis Presley & David Bowie
I was pondering this morning what Bowie and the King might have in common, but I couldn't think of a single thing, other than the fact that both are incredibly charismatic. Elvis is American, Bowie is British; Elvis comes from blues and gospel, Bowie comes from Mars; Elvis is unabashedly masculine and heterosexual, Bowie is some sort of futuristic pan- or a- sexual prototype.
page of Bowie trivia that pointed out that there are actually many things that The King and the Thin White Duke have in common.
For one, Bowie was a huge Elvis fan, and in 1972 flew from England to New York on a whim to catch an Elvis show at Madison Square Garden. Bowie caused quite the stir when he arrived mid-show in full Ziggy Stardust regalia, sitting near the front and attracting the attention of the King himself.
But the fact that fascinated most concerns lightning bolt on Bowie's face for his 1973 Aladdin Sane (aka "A Lad Insane") record, his first after The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars catapulted him to worldwide renown. I never gave the bolt much thought, and just assumed it was a way of giving the Ziggy character a fresh coat of paint for his new LP.
When Elvis dreamed up his TCB worldview, he wasn't just Taking Care of Business, he was also Taking Care of Bowie. Rock Turtleneck wrote about TCB extensively in 2010 - you can read it here.
Buy on iTunes:
David Bowie, "Where Are We Now"
Elvis Presley, "Mean Woman Blues"