David Bowie: Sexual Mystique (part2)

David Bowie was not just physically well endowed but was very charming and intelligent.

David Bowie was not just physically well endowed but was very charming and intelligent.

Written by

Jude Bautista

With the recent passing of David Bowie last January 10, 2016, a look back at the achievements of a true artist and icon spanning six decades, in several art forms is a must. Read Part 1Its Ok to be Different, Part 2 – Sexual Mystique, Part 3 –Rock Theater.

Bowie and Iman- “You would think that a rock star being married to a supermodel would be one of the greatest things in the world. It is.” The quote is from Conan O’Brien’s skit, but aptly describes their relationship.

Bowie and Iman- “You would think that a rock star being married to a supermodel would be one of the greatest things in the world. It is.” The quote is from Conan O’Brien’s skit, but aptly describes their relationship.

Changing Attitudes

Attributing the current climate of political correctness and tolerance towards alternative lifestyles to artists like David Bowie is not an exaggeration. He influenced artists not just with his music but the sheer power of who he was on stage. Even without the mask of costumes and make up, his message of tolerance was made clearer.

David Bowie wrote the lyrics to UNDER PRESSURE and performed the famous duet with Freddie Mercury back in 1981. It was one of QUEEN’s most memorable hits speaking about society’s judgment on LGBT.

David Bowie wrote the lyrics to UNDER PRESSURE and performed the famous duet with Freddie Mercury back in 1981. It was one of QUEEN’s most memorable hits speaking about society’s judgment on LGBT.

Again I go back to my youth in the most touching example of Bowie’s message. He collaborated with Queen for the song UNDER PRESSURE providing lyrics and a duet with Freddie Mercury. It was a monumental hit in 1981. While Brian May thought of the guitar rift and John Deacon the now iconic repetitive bass note, Bowie was the one who insisted on creating the message and title ‘took over’ the song as detailed by May in his memoriam. The song has become an anthem for the LGBT community, the lyrics speaking about society’s suppression of their identities, sexuality.

Proper context has to be provided as to the success of the song and other related events. UNDER PRESSURE had a revival of sorts after being sampled, included in the rap song ICE ICE BABY which also became no.1 in 1990.

Freddie Mercury – Streets of Philadelphia 1991

In November 24, 1991 Freddie Mercury passed away. Before his death he admitted to being HIV positive, in order to create more awareness about AIDS and eventually inspire research to cure the disease. QUEEN with the help of countless artists then organized The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for Aids Awareness. It attracted 72,000 at London’s Wembley Stadium on April 20, 1992. Performers include Metallica, Extreme, Def Leppard, Guns N’ Roses, George Michael, Seal, Paul Young, Annie Lennox, Lisa Stansfield, Robert Plant and even Liza Minelli.

David Bowie & Annie Lennox had an unforgettable duet UNDER PRESSURE. This was the highlight of the Freddie Mercury tribute concert at Wembley Stadium in 1992.

David Bowie & Annie Lennox had an unforgettable duet UNDER PRESSURE. This was the highlight of the Freddie Mercury tribute concert at Wembley Stadium in 1992.

Bowie sang an emotional UNDER PRESSURE with Annie Lennox in honor of their late friend Freddie Mercury. The words of the song he wrote a decade before had rung true even more:

Queen & Annie Lennox & David Bowie – Under Pressure – HD

It’s the terror of knowing

What this world is about

Watching some good friends

Screaming, “Let me out!”

Tomorrow gets me higher, higher, higher…

Pressure on people – people on streets

David Bowie wrote the lyrics to UNDER PRESSURE and performed the famous duet with Freddie Mercury back in 1981. It was one of QUEEN’s most memorable hits speaking about society’s judgment on LGBT.

David Bowie wrote the lyrics to UNDER PRESSURE and performed the famous duet with Freddie Mercury back in 1981. It was one of QUEEN’s most memorable hits speaking about society’s judgment on LGBT.

Turned away from it all like a blind man

Sat on a fence but it don’t work

Keep coming up with love but it’s so slashed and torn

Why, why, why?

Love

Insanity laughs under pressure we’re cracking

Can’t we give ourselves one more chance?

Why can’t we give love that one more chance?

Why can’t we give love, give love, give love, give love, give love, give love, give love, give love?

David Bowie & Annie Lennox had an unforgettable duet UNDER PRESSURE. This was the highlight of the Freddie Mercury tribute concert at Wembley Stadium in 1992.

David Bowie & Annie Lennox had an unforgettable duet UNDER PRESSURE. This was the highlight of the Freddie Mercury tribute concert at Wembley Stadium in 1992.

‘Cause love’s such an old-fashioned word

And love dares you to care for

The people on the edge of the night

And love dares you to change our way of

Caring about ourselves

This is our last dance

This is our last dance

This is ourselves

Under pressure

Under pressure

Pressure

Bowie & Lennox rehearse UNDER PRESSURE- watch Bowie joke around while George Michael watches them in awe.

David Bowie was not just physically well endowed but was very charming and intelligent. (July 1969)

David Bowie was not just physically well endowed but was very charming and intelligent. (July 1969)

Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll

Sexuality was part of his mystique even before his creation of Ziggy Stardust. As a youngster trying to make it in the music business he had to share a flat with manager Kenneth Pitt. “Sometimes loping around the flat naked, his long weighty penis swaying from side to side like a pendulum in a grandfather clock” from Wendy Leigh’s BOWIE: THE BIOGRAPHY.

David with first wife Angie Barnett Bowie. She encouraged David to wear women’s clothing to stand out as a musician.

David with first wife Angie Barnett Bowie. She encouraged David to wear women’s clothing to stand out as a musician.

He was more than just physically well endowed. He was gentlemanly, respectful, charming and intelligent. If he was already sexually magnetic to both men and women as a teenager, imagine how attractive he’d be as a successful musician. Bowie’s open marriage with wife Angie Barnett, has been well documented especially in her tell all autobiography. They had a son Duncan Jones who later on became a filmmaker.

David with first wife Angie Barnett Bowie and son Duncan Jones. Angie encouraged David to wear women’s clothing to stand out as a musician.

David with first wife Angie Barnett Bowie and son Duncan Jones. Angie encouraged David to wear women’s clothing to stand out as a musician.

There are also many different accounts of his affair with Mick Jagger. Whether or not they’re true, personally as a fan I wouldn’t expect anything less. If he were to sleep with another man shouldn’t it be with someone of the same stature? Bowie may have experimented with other men, agents and male models. But the most persistent rumor of an actual affair is with Jagger.

David Bowie & Mick Jagger, were rumored to have an affair

David Bowie & Mick Jagger, were rumored to have an affair

By the time Bowie got to America, the legend of his sexual conquests only grew including Liz Taylor, a 3-year affair with Susan Sarandon, Tina Turner, Lulu, Playboy centerfold Bebe Buell, Ronnie Spector of The Ronettes, Nina Simone, Ava Cherry, dancer Melissa Hurley (20 years younger) even Oona Chaplin (Charlie Chaplin’s widow) Elvis’s ex Monique van Vooren both of whom were 20 years older. Decades before the film AMERICAN PIE, popularizing the term/acronym MILF (Moms I’d like to F***), Bowie was already at it with women 20 years his senior.

David with (left) Liz Taylor and (right) Tina Turner

David with (left) Liz Taylor and (right) Tina Turner

David had an affair with back up singer Ava Cherry (seated)

David had an affair with back up singer Ava Cherry (seated)

He appreciated the beauty of African American women (jazz singer Nina Simone and back up vocalists Ava Cherry). He even had a brief affair with Chinese blooded Kiwi Geeling Ching from his CHINA GIRL video. Ching told the New Zealand Herald ‘her life was forever changed’ by her experience with Bowie. She’s now a successful restaurateur.

China Girl

Bowie had a brief affair with Geeling Ching cast in his China Girl music video.

Bowie had a brief affair with Geeling Ching cast in his China Girl music video.

He was one of the first singers to openly admit, “I’m gay” which became a famous, landmark story for MELODY MAKER in 1971. He would later amend this to ‘bisexual’ and as he fell in love with Iman finally shared that he was straight. Regardless of his subsequent statements he was the among the first if not the most high profile to admit having any kind of sexual preference other than heterosexuality.

New wave progenitors Lou Reed & David Bowie kiss right on the lips.

New wave progenitors Lou Reed & David Bowie kiss right on the lips.

This was at a time when homosexuality was deemed a criminal act until 1967. Not surprisingly his tastes transformed. He fell madly in love with Somalian super model Iman after meeting her in a party in 1990. They got married in1992 and had daughter Alexandria in 2000.

from left: Bono Vox, Yoko Ono, David Bowie, Iman and Brian Eno

from left: Bono Vox, Yoko Ono, David Bowie, Iman and Brian Eno

He has had struggles with cocaine and alcohol abuse in the 1970s and has attempted to completely rid himself of his addictions since the 80s. His cocaine abuse got so bad he feared going insane (was convinced he was possessed by Satan) and woke up literally in the gutter.

from left: Keith Richards, Tina Turner and David Bowie

from left: Keith Richards, Tina Turner and David Bowie

The stable family life with Iman has finally helped him kick his cocaine and alcohol abuse. Also in the BBC interview with Jeremy Paxman: “I don’t drink, it would kill me. I’m an alcoholic. It would mean death for me to start drinking again. My relationships with my friends and family, everybody has been so good for so many years now. I wouldn’t do anything to destroy that again. It’s very hard to have relationships when you’re doing drugs and drinking I found for me personally. You become closed off, unreceptive, insensitive, all the dreadful things you’ve heard pop singers ever sang. I was very lucky I found my way out of that.”

Bowie with Iman and daughter Alexandria who was born in 2000.

Bowie with Iman and daughter Alexandria who was born in 2000.

sculpture by David Bowie.

sculpture by David Bowie.

PAINTER, ART CRITIC & PUBLISHER

Even in the world of art Bowie was subversive and multifaceted. He graduated Bromley Technical High School, briefly going to Croydon School of Art. He painted, drew and sculpted throughout his life. He confessed to turning to drawing or painting when stuck in his musical compositions or lyric writing. ‘But it was only in 1995 when he had his first one man exhibition of paintings in The Gallery on Cork Street’.- THEART NEWSPAPER.com

Bowie’s artworks includes prints (left) Iman, 1998 Lithograph on Somerset paper, 24 x 20 cm (right) Self Portrait (Mustique), 2002 Lithograph on Fabriano paper, 24 x 19 cm photo from http://www.bowieart.com/

Bowie’s artworks includes prints (left) Iman, 1998 Lithograph on Somerset paper, 24 x 20 cm (right) Self Portrait (Mustique), 2002 Lithograph on Fabriano paper, 24 x 19 cm photo from http://www.bowieart.com/

The subversive part was in his art criticism. He was part of the editorial board of MODERN PAINTER, interviewing and writing about artists of note in the mid to late 90s. He wanted to put up ‘21’ a publishing house that would help make art accessible to the masses. In a 1998 interview with ARTnews he said, “Everything was either art at an academic level or so dense with art-talk that it excluded 90 percent of the reading market. We thought it might be a good thing to go at least halfway to changing that. I say halfway because some of us are maybe more populist than others.”

David Bowie’s latest album BLACK STAR shot to no.1 even before he passed away.

David Bowie’s latest album BLACK STAR shot to no.1 even before he passed away.

William Boyd, a colleague from the MODERN PAINTER editorial board approached Bowie with an idea to create a fictional artist and sell him off as the real thing. The idea was to illicit reactions from so called art experts and aficionados and expose them for who they were. While Boyd’s idea was only a feature in a magazine, Bowie insisted that it had to be a book to create a more convincing illusion. In 1998 Bowie’s company 21 published NAT TATE: AN AMERICAN ARTIST 1928-1960.

Bowie designed his REALITY album cover. This is the original print on which it was based- Reality, 2003 Lithograph on Somerset paper, 30½ x 30½ cm photo from http://www.bowieart.com/

Bowie designed his REALITY album cover. This is the original print on which it was based- Reality, 2003 Lithograph on Somerset paper, 30½ x 30½ cm photo from http://www.bowieart.com/

Boyd writes, “I invented a dead American ‘artist’ I called Nat Tate and wrote his biography. Then the team at Modern Painters and 21 transformed the text into a small, beautifully made and copiously illustrated artist’s monograph. However, there’s absolutely no denying the fact that it was Bowie’s participation in the eventual hoax that gave it media heft. He published the book, he organized the launch party (on April Fool’s Day, 1998) in Jeff Koons’s studio in Manhattan – Koons was a friend of Bowie – and it was Bowie who read out extracts of the book, absolutely deadpan, to the assembled New York glitterati. The clincher was his statement in the blurb that he was convinced that, ‘The small oil I picked up on Prince Street, New York, must indeed be one of the lost Third Panel Triptychs. The great sadness of this quiet and moving monograph is that the artist’s most profound dread – that God will make you an artist but only a mediocre artist – did not in retrospect apply to Nat Tate.’ Who wouldn’t be swayed by that eloquent testimonial?”

David Bowie’s latest album BLACK STAR shot to no.1 even before he passed away.

David Bowie’s latest album BLACK STAR shot to no.1 even before he passed away.

The book and Bowie’s performance was so convincing that, “A surprising number seemed to have attended one of his rare retrospectives in the late 60s and everyone lamented how sad they were he had died so young.”-Theguardian.

Self Portrait Postcards 1997 A set of four postcards 21 x 15 cms photo from http://www.bowieart.com/

Self Portrait Postcards 1997 A set of four postcards 21 x 15 cms photo from http://www.bowieart.com/

When asked about the phrase Cool Britannia by BBC’s Paxman, Bowie said, “Its so cliché and silly and ineffective I think. I don’t think it’s really changed. I think it helps the media get a handle on things. I don’t think anywhere else anyone believes it. There’s good and bad in everything we do. We have brilliant architects, got some wonderful visual artists and some rubbish artists as well. We’ve always been good at music. We’re not a rock and roll nation. Everything we do in rock and roll has a sense of irony attached to it. We know we’re not Americans, we know it didn’t spring from our souls. What the British do they do something with it to make them feel smug. That’s what we’re good at doing.”

David Bowie with left: Kate Moss, right: Tina Turner

David Bowie with left: Kate Moss, right: Tina Turner

It was never out of vanity or judgment that he refused the knighthood in 2000 (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) and in 2003. He just eschewed awards of that nature with pomp and ceremony more out of humility. Madonna had to receive Bowie’s award during his induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. He also refused to attend an awarding ceremony from the French government, The Order of Arts and Letters, which was sent to him by mail. Bowie showed it off to talk show host Conan O’Brien in an interview in 2002.

David Bowie – Late Night With Conan O’Brien 18 June 2002

David Bowie was not just physically well endowed but was very charming and intelligent.

David Bowie was not just physically well endowed but was very charming and intelligent.

With the recent passing of David Bowie last January 10, 2016, a look back at the achievements of a true artist and icon spanning six decades, in several art forms is a must. Read Part 1Its Ok to be Different, Part 2 – Sexual Mystique, Part 3 –Rock Theater.

WordPress:

http://judebsports.wordpress.com/ , http://judebfood.wordpress.com/ , http://judebphoto.wordpress.com/ , http://judebgallery.wordpress.com/ , https://judebautista.wordpress.com/

Oscar winner Tilda Swinton idolized David Bowie and touted that they look alike.

Oscar winner Tilda Swinton idolized David Bowie and touted that they look alike.

David with first wife Angie Barnett Bowie. She encouraged David to wear women’s clothing to stand out as a musician.

David with first wife Angie Barnett Bowie. She encouraged David to wear women’s clothing to stand out as a musician.

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albums from left: Young America (March 1975), Diamond Dogs (May 1974), Pin Ups (Oct 1973) http://www.davidbowie.com/sound

albums from left: Young America (March 1975), Diamond Dogs (May 1974), Pin Ups (Oct 1973) http://www.davidbowie.com/sound

David Bowie & Mick Jagger, were rumored to have an affair

David Bowie & Mick Jagger, were rumored to have an affair

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David Bowie’s latest album BLACK STAR shot to no.1 even before he passed away.

David Bowie’s latest album BLACK STAR shot to no.1 even before he passed away.

Liz Taylor fell for the sexy and charming David Bowie

Liz Taylor fell for the sexy and charming David Bowie

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/14686025@N00/

Self Portrait Postcards 1997 A set of four postcards 21 x 15 cms photo from http://www.bowieart.com/

Self Portrait Postcards 1997 A set of four postcards 21 x 15 cms photo from http://www.bowieart.com/

Bowie had a 3 year affair with Susan Sarandon after co starring with her in THE HUNGER (1983)

Bowie had a 3 year affair with Susan Sarandon after co starring with her in THE HUNGER (1983)

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Bowie as Alladin Sane—indication of his state of mind A-LAD-IN-SANE

Bowie as Alladin Sane—indication of his state of mind A-LAD-IN-SANE

Bowie with Japanese designer Kansai Yamamoto

Bowie with Japanese designer Kansai Yamamoto

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David and son Duncan Jones who became best man at the wedding with Iman 1992

David and son Duncan Jones who became best man at the wedding with Iman 1992

David Bowie’s latest album BLACK STAR shot to no.1 even before he passed away.

David Bowie’s latest album BLACK STAR shot to no.1 even before he passed away.

Bowie and Iman- “You would think that a rock star being married to a supermodel would be one of the greatest things in the world. It is.” The quote is from Conan O’Brien’s skit, but aptly describes their relationship.

Bowie and Iman- “You would think that a rock star being married to a supermodel would be one of the greatest things in the world. It is.” The quote is from Conan O’Brien’s skit, but aptly describes their relationship.

David Bowie was arrested for marijuana possession in Rochester New York, March 21, 1976.

David Bowie was arrested for marijuana possession in Rochester New York, March 21, 1976.

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Oscar winner Tilda Swinton idolized David Bowie and touted that they look alike.

Oscar winner Tilda Swinton idolized David Bowie and touted that they look alike.

from left: Keith Richards, Tina Turner and David Bowie

from left: Keith Richards, Tina Turner and David Bowie

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David Bowie was not just physically well endowed but was very charming and intelligent.

David Bowie was not just physically well endowed but was very charming and intelligent.

Bowie fell in love with dancer and costume designer Hermione Farthingale—while training under Lindsay Kemp (who was also his lover).

Bowie fell in love with dancer and costume designer Hermione Farthingale—while training under Lindsay Kemp (who was also his lover).

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The Diamond Dogs album (1984) was designed by Guy Peellaert - Cover illustration with reference to Bowie photograph by Terry O'Neill

The Diamond Dogs album (1984) was designed by Guy Peellaert – Cover illustration with reference to Bowie photograph by Terry O’Neill

David with first wife Angie Barnett Bowie. She encouraged David to wear women’s clothing to stand out as a musician.

David with first wife Angie Barnett Bowie. She encouraged David to wear women’s clothing to stand out as a musician.

45

flickr:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/14686025@N00/

David Bowie’s latest album BLACK STAR shot to no.1 even before he passed away.

David Bowie’s latest album BLACK STAR shot to no.1 even before he passed away.

Bowie and daughter Alexandria who was born in 2000.

Bowie and daughter Alexandria who was born in 2000.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/14686025@N00/

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David with first wife Angie Barnett Bowie. She encouraged David to wear women’s clothing to stand out as a musician.

David with first wife Angie Barnett Bowie. She encouraged David to wear women’s clothing to stand out as a musician.

Oscar winner Tilda Swinton idolized David Bowie and touted that they look alike.

Oscar winner Tilda Swinton idolized David Bowie and touted that they look alike.

WordPress:

http://judebsports.wordpress.com/ , http://judebfood.wordpress.com/ , http://judebphoto.wordpress.com/ , http://judebgallery.wordpress.com/ , https://judebautista.wordpress.com/

David with first wife Angie Barnett Bowie. She encouraged David to wear women’s clothing to stand out as a musician.

David with first wife Angie Barnett Bowie. She encouraged David to wear women’s clothing to stand out as a musician.

David Bowie’s latest album BLACK STAR shot to no.1 even before he passed away.

David Bowie’s latest album BLACK STAR shot to no.1 even before he passed away.

Bowie and Iman- “You would think that a rock star being married to a supermodel would be one of the greatest things in the world. It is.” The quote is from Conan O’Brien’s skit, but aptly describes their relationship.

Bowie and Iman- “You would think that a rock star being married to a supermodel would be one of the greatest things in the world. It is.” The quote is from Conan O’Brien’s skit, but aptly describes their relationship.

With the recent passing of David Bowie last January 10, 2016, a look back at the achievements of a true artist and icon spanning six decades, in several art forms is a must. Read Part 1Its Ok to be Different, Part 2 – Sexual Mystique, Part 3 –Rock Theater.

WordPress:

http://judebsports.wordpress.com/ , http://judebfood.wordpress.com/ , http://judebphoto.wordpress.com/ , http://judebgallery.wordpress.com/ , https://judebautista.wordpress.com/

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