The Personas of David Bowie

New Documentary September 16th, 2022

When I first saw the trailer for “Moonage Daydream” I got actual chills up and down my arms. From 1967’s “Space Oddity” to 2016’s “Lazerus” there has rarely been a David Bowie song that I didn’t immediately love.

Now Bowie fans are being given a brand new documentary/musical film featuring “never-before-seen footage and performances”. The man behind the documentary is filmmaker Brett Morgen who explores David Bowie’s creative, spiritual, and musical journey.

If you aren’t familiar with Brett Morgen’s work, do yourself a favor and check out some of his former films.

Jane – 2017 The life and work of the renowned primatology scientist, Jane Goodall, especially on her research about chimpanzees.

Cobain: Montage of Heck – 2015 An authorized documentary on the late musician Kurt Cobain, from his early days in Aberdeen, Washington to his success and downfall with the grunge band Nirvana.

The Kid Stays in the Picture – 2002 Documentary about legendary Paramount producer Robert Evans (the film shares the same name as Evans’s famous 1994 autobiography).

Moonage Daydream

According to IMDB, “Moonage Daydream” is a “cinematic odyssey exploring David Bowie’s creative and musical journey. From visionary filmmaker Brett Morgen, and sanctioned by the Bowie estate.”

The Many Faces of David Bowie

Throughout the years, David Bowie continued to reinvent himself while also staying true to his music and career. Below are some of the “characters” he brought to life on stage and screen.

Ziggy Stardust 1972-1973

Perhaps his most well known character, Ziggy Stardust was the main character in Bowie’s 1972 concept album, “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars”.

He’s an alien sent to Earth to bring hope to a human race set to expire in five years time.

While on stage, Bowie’s band including Mick Ronson, Trevor Bolder, and Woody Woodmansey portrayed the “Spiders From Mars”.

Aladdin Sane 1973

Bowie killed off Ziggy Stardust during the final tour for the album but not long after he revealed his next persona, Aladdin Sane. The name is a play on the words “A lad insane.” He stated that his next album would be “Ziggy goes to America.”

Both the name and the album cover were said to be inspired by Bowie’s half-brother Terry, who had been diagnosed as a schizophrenic.

Halloween Jack 1973-1974

Halloween Jack was created for the 1974 Diamond Dogs album and tour and appears on the album cover as well as being mentioned in various songs on the album.

“He’s a real cool cat who lives in Hunger City.” Bowie is quoted as saying that some of the idea was inspired by the book, 1984 by George Orwell.

The Thin White Duke 1975-1976

The Thin White Duke was Bowie’s persona from 1975 to 1976. The character appears in the 1976 album Station to Station as well as in the science fiction film, “The Man Who Fell To Earth”.

This character was around during Bowie’s heaviest use of drugs. He often made pro-fascist statements during interviews.

The Blind Prophet 2015-2016

The Blind Prophet is a character that appeared in music videos for the songs “Blackstar” and “Lazarus”, from Bowie’s final album.

The Blackstar album was Bowie’s 26th and final studio album. It was released on his 69th birthday and Bowie would sadly pass away two days later. Unbeknownst to fans, Bowie had long suffered from liver cancer and some believe that Bowie wrote and released Blackstar as a parting gift for his fans.

On the Silver Screen

Whether a small bit part or a leading role, Bowie delivered every time he was on-screen. You are missed, David Bowie, but thanks to Brett Morgen we get to spend a little more time with you.

Other Personas

The Soul Man 1974 – 1975

The DJ 1979

Pierrot 1980-1983

Screaming Lord Byron 1984

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