Separated At Birth: Bowie Edition

This is the special “Bowie edition” of Separated At Birth. For the true part 5, click here.

Matt Smith, the current Dr Who

David Bowie, 1974

Comparing the gangly Matt Smith to timeless sex symbol David Bowie is perhaps the best gift Smith has received in a while.  But Smith is the first person I thought of when viewing Bowie’s 1974 interview with Dick Cavett.  It’s actually an interesting interview, among the first Bowie ever did on an American talk show.  Check out the first segment; you can plainly see how thoroughly coked up Bowie was.  In the final segment, the otherworldly charm of Bowie really shines through.

I just finished watching Rare and Unseen, a documentary made up of vintage interviews with Bowie.  Most instructive is an extended session with British interviewer Russell Harty, who comes across as a deeply condescending prick.  Yet Bowie continues to radiate nothing but timeless elegance and intellect.  I particularly enjoy his reference to his young son Zowie, whom he is thankful is not (yet) a prodigy.  If you don’t know, Zowie grew up to be Duncan Jones, a successful Hollywood director.

It sort of saddens me that the youth of today don’t have a mainstream entertainment icon the likes of a David Bowie, someone who was iconoclastic, quietly brilliant, yet humble and mysterious: a genuine artist, with all that that word implies.

Clearly, I’m a fan.  A lot of my fandom has to do with the role Bowie played in inspiring us weird and unusual children of the 70s.  It was an era of long-haired, blue-jeaned stoners.  If you were not one that group, if you were interested in things avante garde or extraterrestrial, you had few inroads into mainstream society. Bowie was one such inroad.

Earlier this year, David Bowie announced that he had retired from making and performing music.  An end of an era indeed.