David Bowie was a gay man. He married two women and was engaged to a couple others, but he was gay. Or bisexual. He was queer. We can all agree on that: David Bowie was queer as hell and wherever his proclivities may have lain (David seemed to have enjoyed anyone attractive in his vicinity), he identified as a gay man in Nineteen-Seventy-fucking-Two. It simply wasn’t done, and in a newspaper, no less. If you were a particularly respected homosexual who died, your obituary might call you a Confirmed Bachelor, but other than that, gaiety was not for print.
Bowie didn’t care, or was too high to censor himself: no matter. Any honest recounting of his work has to include his sexuality, and his public display thereof.
Of course, any honest recounting must also include the fact that–for a while, at least–he was complete fucking Nazi. We all know what the European cannon is, David.
Now, in David Bowie’s defense, he was living in West Berlin on a diet of cocaine, red peppers, and milk. Also, Iggy Pop was his roommate. (I know I’ve mentioned that before, but it bears repeating when judging Bowie’s Berlin years.) These things will turn one into a Nazi.
Also in David Bowie’s defense, he looked great in Nazi clothes with his hair slicked back. Also also, he was a totally ineffectual Nazi, in that he continued to employ and socialize with black people and Jews.
Anyway, this is Station to Station from the ’78 band with Adrian Belew (who a Nazi surely would have executed just for looking weird) and David is not so much a Nazi as a pirate. (The man enjoyed a good pirate shirt, let’s be honest.) Quick note: the actual song starts around five minutes in; before that is noises, and not enjoyable ones.