Bowie’s Dark Children

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Portrait of David Bowie from his Aladdin Sane era. Watercolor, glitter watercolor, ink and pen. Done in 2012 by Michele Witchipoo.

Exactly one month ago, legendary rock singer David Bowie passed away. After fighting a private battle with cancer, Bowie passed away two days after the release of his 25th album, ‘Blackstar.’ He was 69 years old.

After five decades of creating music, no one can ever deny his massive influence. Along the way, Bowie experimented with various genres. As a musical artist, he was never afraid to think outside the box. One can say he taught his audience that it was okay to explore, to evolve, to be the ever changing chameleon.

Who would’ve thought with the arrival of his Ziggy Stardust creation, that his impact would be felt for generations to come. From Ziggy, to the Thin White Duke, his experimental ‘Berlin Trilogy’, to his Scary Monsters era, even with the Pop inclined ‘Let’s Dance’ album,  and beyond, Bowie’s creations spawned children in the form of other creatives.

Although Bowie never truly labeled himself, he had a definite impact among early Gothic subculture. You can hear traces of Bowie’s influence in such seminal Goth, Industrial and Post-Punk bands like Siouxsie and The Banshees, Bauhaus, The Cure, Cabaret Voltaire, etc. If it wasn’t apparent within the image, you could hear traces within the music. No, David Bowie didn’t create Goth – but he was significant. In turn, these fore mentioned bands passed the torch down to other creatives, thus creating a lineage.

Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie in a scene from the 1983 film The Hunger.

One example of the crossover between David Bowie and the early Goth bands could be seen in the 1983 vampire film The Hunger. Here Bowie, one of the main leads along with actresses Catherine Deneuve and Susan Sarandon engage in a twisted love triangle. The first scene, John (Bowie) and Miriam (Deneuve) enter a New York City nightclub. As they pick fresh victims to seduce and eventually kill, Bauhaus is performing on stage.

Speaking of Bauhaus, one of their best known songs was a cover of Ziggy Stardust.

It becomes apparent that Bauhaus and other musicians within that similar vein were Bowie’s dark children. In fact, as Bowie broke boundaries with music, art, gender, sexuality, fashion, etc., it shows how we were all his children.

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