7 summers ago I decided that I needed to buy some new t-shirts and decided that since I loved my Led Zeppelin T-shirt so much, I’d go with 3 new band shirts. I went to a website and bought a Boston, Van Halen, and David Bowie t-shirt. If you had to ask me now why I decided to go with these 3 bands I’d say:
Boston: I had Boston’s self titled CD Boston and thoroughly enjoyed the tracks Rock & Roll Band, Smokin’, and Hitch a Ride. In my mind they were a cool classic rock band who had a cool logo. My allegiance was half-hearted though as I couldn’t even name the lead singer. I figured they would be a cool, not as popular band to support.
Van Halen: I was really into the song Dreams and I’ll Wait. I didn’t know much about the band except that they rocked hard on guitar and were big in the 80’s. The t-shirt signified that I also rocked hard and did a lot of drugs, which I certainly didn’t do much of either.
David Bowie: I knew nothing about David Bowie personally. No idea about his Ziggy Stardust phase and effeminate stage costumes. His bizarre Mick Jagger duet for Dancing in the Streets was another example of the Bowie I didn’t know. I knew the song Changes and Space Oddity and he seemed like your typical rock artist who was big in the 70’s and made quality music.
“Bowie is a Fag”
One day 7 summers ago I was attending a baseball game wearing my Boston shirt. A guy who was probably 45 and didn’t know me at all said he liked my shirt. I said my thanks and told him I also bought a Van Halen and David Bowie shirt. He said, “Van Halen’s alright but David Bowie is a fag.” Ever since that day I’ve never worn that David Bowie shirt again.
I really like Bowie’s music. I think Life on Mars? is top notch and Starman is incredible. The Thin White Duke made some ever-lasting music of which I haven’t even listened to more than 5%. So even wearing the Bowie shirt made me a poser but it never occurred to me that Bowie was viewed as such from the general public’s opinion.
The clothes you wear give indication to what you support and publicly supporting David Bowie made me uncomfortable. This was because I was insecure that people would think I was a fag because Bowie was one (by one man in a park in Pennsylvania). How could I let this one man completely alter my uneducated opinion of Bowie?
Would I wear a Bowie shirt today? That’s a pretty good question. Since he died it’s pretty much unconscionable to make fun of a dead person. Our culture has gotten so weird though that it seems better to just stay off of everyone’s radar. Don’t go too far left or right and blend in to limit interaction with the trolls of the world. Did anyone read about the runner who identifies as a female but who is really a male? The fuck is that? Get it together America and David Bowie is not a fag…unless you watched the music video and then we’d have to reevaluate.