The movie Velvet Goldmine, an affectionate homage to the glam rock movement directed by Todd Haynes, depicts a glam rock star faking his own death as a celebrity stunt, leading to a massive critical backlash by his fans that destroys his career. This year, David Bowie reversed that narrative, almost as if he planned it the way. He pushed out his best album in ages and made everyone think that not only was he coming back, but that he was primed to be even better than before. For those of us still hurt by his sudden departure, we have no choice but to try and grasp at the straws of the memory. Attaching ourselves to memorabilia is a symptom of this – so auction site eSolidar is offering up signed sheet music on sale, with the proceeds going to charity.
We wonder if this would be what the star wanted. Bowie was an anomaly in that he was an alien who took over the world – the man who fell to earth as it were. He was bizarre and aimed, in every instance, to try and subvert the mainstream, but ended up defining it. He sang about alienation and identity while dressed in flamboyant or androgynous outfits, laying the foundation for later stars like Lady Gaga and Madonna. Would a star so out of place be comfortable with being situated so firmly in the cultural memory? Well, given that the proceeds will go to humanitarian organization Oxfam, I guess he’ll let it slide.
All this forms as a part of The Music Circle’s annual celebrity jumble sale – Rumble in the Jumble, which will take place May 14 at east London’s iconic multi-purpose venue Oval Space. This sheet, in particularly, is for the track ‘Blue Jean’ from his 1984 album Tonight. Unfortunately, that album is considerably less notable than his earlier opuses, like Ziggy Stardust (1972), or the influentially experimental Berlin Trilogy (1976-1977). Still, we make do with what we have. The sheet music will also come framed with two photographs of the singer.
Those who want to participate can just follow the link here. At the very least, if the binge-listening to multiple runs of Blackstar doesn’t work in helping to cope, then this may be an alternative.
This story was written in-house, with an image from the AFP (© AFP Photo / Bertrand Guay).