David Lasky (dlasky) wrote,
David Lasky

  • Music:

30/30: Another Favorite Song

I am writing for 30 minutes per day this month, for 30 days (the 30/30 challenge) to help raise funds for Richard Hugo House, a center for writing in Seattle. Anyone who'd like to help me reach my $500 goal is welcome to donate to Hugo House via this page...

Today (10/13) I wrote about the #10 song on my all time favorite songs list...

"Ziggy Stardust"
performed by David Bowie

I suppose you could call this the ‘title track’ from “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars,” a David Bowie concept album that is so well constructed, so full of youthful excitement and youthful fatalism that it grabs hold of its listeners and stays with them far beyond youth. This song is a standout on an album of standout songs.  Its lyrics tell the story of Ziggy, a fictional rockstar guitar god described by the third person narrator as being “well hung with snow white tan.” Is Ziggy really Jimi Hendrix or The Silver Surfer?  The answer is - he’s both (and neither). This is the rock music equivalent of a brightly colored1960’s Stan Lee and Jack Kirby comic book, where aliens emote, and humans gain unexpected powers. Ziggy could easily have been one of Kirby’s Inhumans (a secret, ancient race of superheroes who try unsuccessfully to blend in with us ordinary people). Envious musicians want to “crush his sweet hands,” and in a pop-Shakespearean power struggle, we learn that his band was broken up when “the kids” killed him. It presents a cautionary tale about talent and ego and fame. It’s a rock song about overblown rock stars that lives up to its own hype.


Tags: 30/30, bowie, ziggy stardust
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