Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Angie Bowie Tribute: ZIGGY STARDUST in French by NUIT D'OCTOBRE

From inside a British reality TV madhouse, Angie Bowie cried, "The Stardust is Gone!"

She wasn't referring to the eye shadow on David Gest. She was referring to the death of her ex, David Bowie, aka Ziggy Stardust, The Thin White Duke, Aladdin Sane and The Avant Garde Anthony Newley. The news was so sad she eventually quit the show. Which was too bad, because before that, Gest had also quit, and she probably had a good chance of winning the grand prize. Which I think was a box of Kit-Kats without the wafers.

Longtime readers know that this is the "blog of less renown." (Some might even get the obscure Les Brown band reference). No way a guy as famous as David Bowie needs a tribute here.

But…how about Nuit D'Octobre? The scant album notes on the obscure "Dark Side of David Bowie" album only say of the Swiss band: "Still not well known, they really deserve more attention." So let's take the death of Bowie to give it to them. And let's also take a moment to offer a kind word or two for Angie.

It was 20 years ago today, give or take a day or a year, when a German record label got the idea to do a tribute to Bowie. They cobbled together indie, goth, alternative and heavy metal acts who covered the songs in various sober, artsy and sludgy ways. The band names were certainly a lotta fun: Crimson Joy, Syria, Dreadful Shadows, Gallery of Fear, Burning Gates, Kill the Audience, etc.

It was probably around that time that I met Angie Bowie for the first and only time. I was at a party with my better half (there has to be one!). She (the better half) was getting bored trying to identify the D-list celebrities (I think she was tempted to include me as one). We noticed a very gregarious (ie, over-served) lady who seemed to find everything hilarious, and who seemed to know everyone. We didn't want to know her. Happy people make us irritable.

Happenstance and no other available seating got us next to her, and to our surprise, when she turned her extroverted joy in our direction it changed our mood. She was really good company. It was maybe an hour before we made the connection that the lady who introduced herself simply as "Angie," was in fact, Angie Bowie. We figured it out the more the conversation turned to our mutual tastes in music.

While she is often treated with scorn and derision, for me, the name Angie Bowie conjures a memory of warmth and joy.

As for David Bowie, I'll agree he influenced just about every publicity-seeking artist in the world. After his death, dozens of unlikely rock and pop stars insisted he was a major influence. Madonna conspicuously wanted to make the connection in the days after his death, to the point of hilariously fainting face-first after doing "tribute song" to him.

No question the guy legitimately influenced many struggling bands who began by covering a particular look of his, and ultimately forge a more original identity to create new and worthy songs. I just can't think of any. After all, whatever became of the people on the "Dark Side of David Bowie" album, like NUIT d'OCTOBRE? Oh, "Ziggy Stardust is Gone..." but here, their French language cover version lives on.


1 comment:

Timmy said...

(On THIS Post): I understood it. I agree with it. I find it exactly what the doctor ordered.