Adventures

The Pages Behind the Artists: Billy Liar (Bowie 2 of 100)

Waterhouse, Keith. Billy Liar. London: Michael Joseph. 1959

 

Billy Liar is a nonsensical slice of life demonstrating the indecision surrounding the expectations and responsibilities encountered by the youth of the lower middles class. It lays open the bleak hopelessness of lateral movement and the tedious repetition of cultural and political history.

I do not know at what part in Bowie's life he encountered this book, but I cant help but wonder if, as a youth and then as an advertising agent, this book echoed his feelings on the hollowness of that existence and the need to create or "art" that our comicly inclined, hyperly imaginative "hero" so aptly demonstrated. It is a very thin line that separates escapism and artistic manifestation.

 

Bonus review

 

Doggett, Peter. The Man Who Sold The World: David Bowie and the 1970s. New York: Harper Collins, 2012

 

An in depth analysis of every track written, recorded or produced by David Bowie during the 1970s, Handled in chronological order, each track is discussed musically, specifically structure, influences and style, and contextually. With almost 200 hundred songs, the variety of emotion and societal commentary expressed is staggering. The relevance of his songs, 40 years later, speaks to his understanding of the human condition and the highs and lows universally experienced. Of particular interest were some unfinished projects that were absorbed into later albums, especially an unfinished show based on 1984. 

The inclusion of several short essays on the importance and influence of his albums adds layers of appreciation for Bowie's work, and compounds the relevance it has in today's world.

The Pages Behind the Artists: The Brutality of Fact (Bowie 1 of 100)

Sylvester, David. The Brutality of Fact: Interviews With francis bacon. London: Thames & Hudson. 1987

 

A Collection of 9 interivews compiled from tapes, videos, and transcripts covering a span of 24 years (1962 - 1986)

The Pages behind the Artists: Introduction

I have been producing shows based around other peoples inspirations and fandoms for 10 years, and building acts for other producers visions even longer (hello themed Rocky Horror shows.) I relocated to Reno, NV last week, and as I do not have any connections or found any immediate performance opportunites yet, I still have a need to create, and the best part of creating is research. So, while building those connections, and finding performance venues and new inspiration, I will be looking at the inspiration behind some of my favorite artists.

 

I have seen articles aobut artists favorite books, movies, music, etc. before, and I tend to save them if I enjoy the artist that compiled them, with the full intent of examining them closer at a future date. Right after David Bowie left this plane of existence, I joined a facbook group that was supposed to be a bookclub for reading the list of Bowie's 100 favorite books. While the entry isn't visible anymore, this list was supposedly posted to facebook by David Bowie himself in 2013. Now, like all things facebook, nothing happened with the group other than a lot of people acquiring the first book on the list. So, I will discuss them with the ether, inbetween my ambitious series "Page vs Screen." Expect my first entry within the week.

 

Page vs Screen: oh, the suspense......

This is the start of a new project/series. It has been in the back of my mind for years, maybe decades, and it is time.

Premise: I find literature to be so much "more" than it's cinematic counterparts, and for my personal taste, Alfred Hitchcock has the been the director that has provided the most striking resemblance to that "more." My preferences lean towards mystery and suspense, but not horror. I have other examples that I will get to, such as Val Lewton's Cat People (1942)The Uninvited (1944), and Portrait of Jennie (1948), but Hitchcock has such a broad and recognizable body of work, that it seemes a logical place to start.

In order of release, I will examine each of his still existing films at the rate of at least 1 a month. I will start each analysis by reading the original printed source material, then watching the movie. When no novel or story is available, the process will go faster. Then, as an artist whose mediums are primarily fabric, motion, and the naked human form, I will endeavor to also recreate a costume and possibly a burlesque piece for each film. This will also force me to document my work, which is not something I do well. A this progresses, I hope to add an auditory aspect, either thru a podcast or my panel show, The Naked Show (and Tell), and eventually, collaborate with other performers to produce a theatrical retrospective, in the burlesque style, of his works.

Shall we begin.....

 

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