The song, not the question, was on my mind yesterday so I looked up some lessons for it. There are plenty but one stood out.
People say it makes finding anything new really difficult. That’s not true. Finding something new that you LIKE is hard, unless you have no taste and like anything anyone sticks in front of you. Obvious, right?
What they usually mean is its hard to make something new POPULAR or successful. Even the hottest stars in any field flop eventually. That part is easy. It’s downhill racing.
Back to the song, it’s mostly regarded as existential crisis, what does it all mean kind of stuff. Like a lot of creators, David Bowie found some kind of creative energy and angst in the constant grind to find outlets for his music. I heard him comment in an interview about how hard it was to play to audiences who just didn’t understand what he was doing.
Here’s the picture he painted – working class London in the seventies, broke down and tired office workers heading to a pub for a drink with coworkers, neighbors and friends are met with Ziggy Stardust. You really couldn’t have asked for a bigger mismatch of audience and perfomer. But I am betting some people who saw Bowie in those early days secretly thought he was the most interesting, new, and awesome new act in their short and boring lives.
And now he’s been gone just over a year – so if you STILL don’t get it, as the song says, you’re “beating up the wrong guy.”