Bowie and Weetzie


When art has affected you on an almost cellular level you may not even be aware of it.

I've been thinking about Bowie even more today. Yesterday I binged on his music and videos. This one particularly struck me; I couldn't stop watching it.

As you may have seen in my post script to my last post, I realized how my aesthetic in music and fashion and my interest in the shattering of boundaries have been so thoroughly shaped by him.  No, Weetzie Bat would never have come into existence without David Bowie. Even their names sound the same.  He was the prototype for her defining hair and his music was the soundtrack she played when she cut it off.  He was Dirk and Duck and My Secret Agent Lover Man combined. Most of all, he was the original genie.

On Facebook, my friends responded to his death with a steady stream of posts. I found this statement by Nicole Panter, author, former manager of the Germs and founder, with Exene Cervenka. of Bohemain Women's Political Alliance, particularly relevant:

"[The range of his influence is] too much to list. Especially his early stuff that prevented unhappy outcast alien teenage me (and my soon-to-be-discovered tribe) from jumping off a bridge because I somehow realized there were more of us out there and there was another world we could invent as we desired.

"I hitchhiked from my despised hometown, Palm Springs, to see the shows at the SM Civic & Long Beach, then a couple of years later, Diamond Dogs at Universal Amphitheater. I met kids those nights who would become my lifelong friends and creative collaborators. Bowie gave form, substance and ultimately, life to punk rock (we were his children in that first generation) and that changed my life.

"Let me state this plainly -- there would have been no punk rock without his influence. Not in LA, or London, or NYC or the thousand thousand other places in the world misfit children banded together to save themselves with music and art. There would have been no Germs or Darby Crash either. There certainly wouldn't have been a 60 year old Nicole Panter happily, joyously living a life outside the lines today. So much is owed to David Bowie by some of us, so very much.

"Years later I was introduced to him and I was completely tongue-tied. I wanted to tell him all of it but knew I'd burst into tears if I even tried." Nicole Panter