11 thoughts on “On ziggy stardust

  1. CL says:

    when you’re a woman with asperger’s you live in a world of one – bowie filled many of the large spaces in my brain and made me feel less alone – so today i’m crying and that is not easy to write or do

  2. I have a question/comment but I’m afraid everyone is gonna gang up on me. So I preface this by saying please try to be civil. I’m also a big fan of Bowie and appreciate his artistic contributions immensely. Ok so my question/comment is why are artists like Roman Polanski vilified for sleeping with a teenager but David Bowie openly did that too and nobody cared. Is it because she didn’t press charges? It just confuses me. It is just confusing how some people like Jimmy Page or David Bowie or Iggy Pop were never treated badly for relationships they had with teenage girls. While other people were exiled and discredited. I know selective outrage is very human. We can’t remain sane if we don’t filter what to be affected by.

    • dick rider says:

      Circumstances. “Baby groupies” were a thing in the 70s, apparently. Which strikes me as fucking weird, but it apparently makes all the difference.

      • I felt sad when I read about them. How they were such devoted fans but most of them were discarded once they reached their twenties. Sable Starr ended up dying in squalor and obscurity somewhere in Reno. They seemed like such loveless lost little girls. Maybe I’m wrong. I don’t know.

        • dick rider says:

          I don’t think you’re wrong. This is really tragic.

          In a lot of ways our view of the behavior of David Bowie, Iggy Pop, and Jimmy Page is shaped by the assumptions of the 70s. People very much bought into the “she was asking for it” idea, and that’s really the difference here. I don’t think anyone thought that Stephanie Geiemer was into it when Roman Polanski lured her to his home under false pretenses, drugged her and then had sex with her. But other assumptions are at play with these baby groupies. It seems like people just assumed that these girls knew what groupies did, wanted to be part of that, and did it. You’re right though- this still is wrong.

          This entire discussion is besides the point, though. Good art is good art, and it should be enjoyed. I think it’s a little naive to expect everyone that makes art to live a pristine life.

          • Yeah. My mother called me naive too. Ha. I know. I just can’t help it. I felt that way about Woody Allen films too after he married his step daughter. I used to laugh and enjoy his films. Then I found out he’s just a pedophile. I can’t even watch Sean Penn films because I can’t separate my image of him as an insufferable abusive psycho. Let’s not even start on Rita Hayworth raped by her father for years. Or Marilyn and her orphanage lost childhood. I just see these people as flawed human beings. And it does alter my impressions of their body of work, to be honest. I guess I shouldn’t care as much.

          • dick rider says:

            Whoa, whoa, whoa, let’s be clear- I wasn’t calling you naive. There is a larger cultural push to cleanse the public sphere of art made by people that transgress acceptable social boundaries. That’s what I think is naive.

            It’s okay for you to feel that an artist’s bad behavior has ruined their art for you. I actually do feel that way about Woody Allen. I think we all have certain things that set us off, and that’s okay. What I don’t agree with is the idea that everyone should feel a certain, specific way about art because of the life the artist lived, and that we all have to agree on that issue.

          • Agreed. Some of the most beautiful songs or paintings came from the imaginations of people who were renowned lunatics. I don’t want the art to be taken away or censored. I can’t worship a human being either though. I understand some people/ their identity is profoundly and deeply influenced by certain artists.

      • I’m glad someone wrote about it. I guess it’s a generational thing as far as how the author didn’t know about this stuff until now. Because it was like the worst kept secret in L.A. that during his time here on a drug crusade he had a thing for teenage girls. What’s really interesting to me is how sympathetic people are based on how much the art affected them. I wonder if the author would feel differently if other women came forward about their teenage quaaludes and shame stories.

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