Gothic Council Debates David Bowie's Gothness

Categories: Gothtopia

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Last week we asked the Council about their favorite goth lyrics, and the whole thing degenerated into a conversation about how awesome David Bowie's penis is. Since it came up so hard (Ha ha, we kill us), it seemed appropriate to debate whether or not Bowie can be declared goth or not.

While Bowie obviously predates the movement proper, his style and genius have always resonated with the spooky set, and many great artists steal shamelessly from him. However, is being an inspiration to the same thing as actually being what you inspire? That's what we aim to find out.

Joining us this week is fashion designer Batty, blogger at Night's Plutonian Shore Sarah Fanning, co-founder of the Age of Decay festival Alethea Carr, Toby Rider of Ending the Vicous Cycle, artist Darla Teagarden, dollmaker Ugly Shyla, and DJ Martin Oldgoth.

Batty: David Bowie is beyond terminology in my book, like some super being of the music world, he is the Grandfather of so many forms of the modern music we love. He took glam rock to a new level, he helped spawn goth and post punk and hell evem some punk bands took cues from Bowie. His fashion help define a era, and he's constantly been able to successfully reinvent himself, I think he has a deep brooding part of him that appeals to the goth aesthetic, but I really hold him on a higher plane than subculture references. He is one of the godfathers all of good music, seeing as goth is good music, he certainly had a part in it, but he's a lot more.

Sarah Fanning: I think he is definitely one of the forefathers of goth. His sound definitely influenced many early goth bands, as did his aesthetics. I know Robert Smith claims Bowie as an influence, and I believe they have collaborated on a song. Bauhaus covered Ziggy Stardust. Bowie and Trent Reznor have done a duet. And the book Goth: Unread Subculture has a whole section devoted to Bowie's influence on goth.

Alethea Carr: Well, certainly not goth, but ever so much more than "goth-friendly" and "goth-compatible." I see him, as an artist, as an essential gateway to the blurring of the line between play and reality, both in music and in film. As goths, we blur that line on an individual level, as a community, and in various artistic ways. You could almost say that although Bowie is not goth, he made it possible for goth to exist as it does. Plus, who of us didn't feel a revolutionary surge of hormones on first seeing him, at a crucial age?


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sgath92
sgath92

His appearance in The Hunger is worth mentioning as well. That's got to be worth something.

Karen
Karen

One listen to Diamond Dogs and my inner Goth child was born even though it didn't realise it until much later. Though outwardly it was astill dressed up as Glam Rock the content was definitely more Tim Burton than Elton John. However Bowie is so much more than just Goth.

donna schindler
donna schindler

The David Bowie albums one needs to listen to for the roots of the goth movement is his "The Man Who Sold the World" circa 1970, particularly the songs "The Saviour Machine" "The Supermen" "All the Madmen" "See Emily Play"  hell listen to the whole album that is, if people still do that these days. Another one not to miss is "Diamond Dogs, which is sheer perfection - from "Future Legend" to "Chant of the ever circling Skeletal Family"l

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