David Bowie passed away earlier this week after a battle with cancer, but his legacy, his music, and his spirit still live on.
It’s hard to imagine the inner workings of this creative genius, but luckily we have Bowie’s own words to bring us into his world.
The fabulous PBS series Blank on Blank takes long forgotten interviews with cultural icons and brings them back to life by pairing them with animation. David Bowie’s interview comes from 1988 as he talked with retired music executive Joe Smith. Bowie’s insights into his lifestyle, his writing, and his personas shine a new light on the rock star as an artist and a creator.
(Editor’s note: This video does contain one instance of profanity at 2:56)
Very often we forget that performers are, to a great degree, performing. They have to become actors, and the personas they take on are not representative of them as a complex person.
Perhaps the beauty of Bowie was that he was able to take on so many different characters and live them so genuinely that the stories each one had to tell became a part of our collective culture in an unprecedented way.
David Bowie and Possibility…
The real artists, from the moment they realize that they have the ability to move people with how they interpret the world, live their lives as art.
David Bowie was no different, a few days before his death, he released his final album Blackstar and the incredible, haunting, and poignant video for his song Lazarus. Bowie lived his life as art, and in doing so changed what it meant to be a musician. He challenged culture to be self-reflective at a large-scale, and rewrote the book on possibility.
If you are up for one more David Bowie tribute, here is David Beck’s incredible rendition of “Sound and Vision,” in a visually, and musically stunning performance.
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Or, if you want to hear the words of more thought leaders from history check out our Blank on Blank archive!
- “David Bowie on Stardust | Blank on Blank | PBS Digital Studios.” YouTube. Blank on Blank, 20 May 2014. Web. 11 Jan. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFIDXXDsxAo>. ↩
- Bowie, David. “David Bowie – Lazarus.” YouTube. DavidBowieVEVO, 7 Jan. 2016. Web. 11 Jan. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-JqH1M4Ya8>. ↩