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The Birth Of Glam Rock: A David Bowie Story

Written by Robert Byrne All Rights Reserved © VoidMagazines.

Please believe me when I admit I’m not a man to analyse fashion or theorise the process of creating garments, I couldn’t knit a 4 x 4 square if my record collection depended on it Although my understanding of fashion may be shallow, the entertainment and triviality I have analysing and critiquing the topic are indeed quite deep. In particular, like many many other folks, a particular character stands out to me like perfect fitted jeans. Ziggy Stardust portrayed by David Bowie during the 1970 period of glam rock piques my interest à chaque fois I capture a glimpse of them. The presence, the figure and the clothing correlate in harmony, just like the chords they (the spiders) played during his lifetime in the music industry. You could probably ask why I’m choosing Ziggy to base a story about, who else could I choose for the birth of Glam Rock during the 70s other than Ziggy Stardust.

Early during the 1970s, the so-called abstract and artsy type of folk cried out for an abstract and artsy idol to hold their hands up to. Enter David Bowie, releasing a monumental flop that fails to chart. The BBC calls him “devoid of personality“. “[There is] no entertainment in anything they do, an inoffensive pleasant nothing.” … Aaaand a shocking second album (which I tend to quite enjoy).

Suddenly things turned out Hunky Dorey for Bowie for a year as his third album “Hunky Dorey” gains him an audience and planted bums in seats at his shows, he finds the motivation to drive on and the cogs in his brain begin to turn to dust away the cobwebs blocking his view of … Ziggy Stardust. Ziggy was a character Bowie had created to change and influence the way people view and listen to music. Bowie spoke on Ziggy’s creation “I’m very happy with Ziggy. I think he was a very successful character, and I think I played him very well,” and that he did, with the help of Ziggy, Bowie’s career skyrocketed to stardom in the UK.

Despite Ziggy Stardust being developed as a stage persona, his influence exists far beyond that. Ziggy embraced the role of an influential figurehead for the emerging gay male subculture whilst also moulding a new exciting image of a male for straight women. They appeared feminine, which at the time wasn’t quite popular as post-war England refused to adopt an experimentative attitude towards fashion and design, things were black and white and suit and tie and no one dared to publicly step out of line.

Ziggy was bizarre and he owned it, paving the way for an experimentative dress and encouraging the alternative in music, looks and behaviour. Continuously questioning the established notion of masculinity and offending the establishment with his anti-patriarchal approach to music and fashion. As a fan of Bowie, like so many other millions it’s hard to imagine a world in which Bowie is condemned for reflecting a view that is out of the ordinary, as a collective we cherish the impact he made and appreciate the influence Ziggy left not only in the music industry but the creative industry.

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