Teenage Wildlife

IMPORTANT: Use your registry nickname as your username when logging in to Conversation Piece!


BowieTalk
   >> Interpretation
Thread views: 1994 *Threaded Mode

Pages in this thread: 1 | 2 | (show all)
Sysiyo
(acolyte)
08/29/02 07:35 AM
Glass Spider (concert) story...  

I've been wondering about this for quite some time... in fact ever since I read Buckley's Strange Fascination. What is the purpose of the dancers in Glass Spider concerts? I've been formulating a theory on this, and after wathing the video several times I think I'm ready to post my Lovestory of a Popstar and Outcast. (It must be noted that I have only seen the video, which means I do not know the entire story. Also, this interpretation is in many parts conflicting, as it is not even trying to be a final interpretation).

For the story, let us start from the beginning. After Carlos' solo, four people slide down from the Glass Spider. These people are outcasters of the society. They admit themselves that the "are made from the wrong stuff." It ought to be noted here that the roles of these people do not stay the same troughout the concert.

After the wrongs stuff have sun their song, we have Glass Spider, and Bowie's messianic entrance to the stage. Note that here the roles of some of the dancers change. They're now Bowie's publicity people or something like that instead of the wrong stuff.

Day-In Day-Out in my opnion offers nothing important for the story, but after that we have the part where the story really begins: Bang Bang. During the intro of the song, we see Bowie the star trying desperately establish somekind of a connection with normal people of the crowd. The dancers, now representing the corporate forces, try to stop Bowie. Eventually bowie manages to grab a girl and bring her to the stage. The "corporates" prepare the girl to be with Bowie, she resists at first but eventually we see Bowie and the girl dancing together.

Next song down the line is Absolute Beginners, which IMO could have two meanings: 1) it is David's way of telling about the loneliness of the popstar. All the people around him dance affectionately, moving ridiculously slowly, and they basically refure to have no connection with Bowie. Or 2) Melissa (the Dancer) has noticed how desperately Bowie wishes to be with her, and plays with his feelings. For what reason I do not know. One thing that also should be noted is the girl in the wedding dress that appears in the stage near the end of the song (which dancer that is, I do not know).

Loving The Alien is an interesting and strange song from the story's point of view. We see Bowie kneeling in an oriental prayer-position, which might very well be a sort of purification before marriage. The lyrics of the song also interact with the story here: both Bowie and Melissa are "aliens" to eachother's worlds. Their marriage is a leap to the unknown, a thing that the "blind" dancers in this scene might reflect.

Loving The Alien is followed by two songs that do not IMO have any specific meaning for the story, China Girl and Rebel Rebel (the latter being one that was added during the tour). However, in Fashion we return to the story again: Bowie is challenged by Melissa's friends, into a fight to prove his worthiness (the wrong stuff have their pride too ). Notice the end of this scene, after David has knocked out his two adversaries: first Melissa is clearly angry at David, but then for a short moment before David faints, the two dance together.

Never Let Me Down is another hard-to-grasp song. It clearly has some meaning: there are only two people visible on the stage, Melissa using some kind of ... drug? to ease David's visible pain. However, I'm not sure about the deeper meaning of this: is David unhappy and Melissa is using some kind of drug to keep him satisfied? (it seems very much like she is forcing David to breathe whatever she is giving though the scene). Or is it something else along the lines of being intoxicated with love? My first theory seems more plausible, but I'm not sure.

The next song, "Heroes" is pretty much the end of the story as well. Bowie is tied by two spaceman-like creatures, and when he sings "nothing will keep us together", Melissa sets him free. This is probably the easiest scene to understand: there is a video of a man waving goodbye, and there is Melissa setting Bowie free. It is also interesting to notice that near the end of the scene Bowie starts smiling, which he has rarely done bifere it on the concert. After that he wawes goodbye to Melissa.

This in my opnion was the end of the story. However, if one whishes to expand it, it should be noted that in the next song, Sons Of The Silent Age, Bowie is literally pulling the tricks on another woman.

So, what do you think? Am I right, am I wrong, did I miss something or am I just plain pathetic?

Right...

MotelBoy
(mortal with potential)
08/30/02 07:58 PM
Re: Glass Spider (concert) story... new [re: Sysiyo]  

Plain pathetic I would say. If you have so much spare time on your hands, why not check out Hunky Dory?

Edited by MotelBoy on 08/30/02 07:59 PM (server time).



Sysiyo
(acolyte)
09/02/02 03:09 AM
Re: Glass Spider (concert) story... new [re: MotelBoy]  

I have done that a long time ago here.

Bahnhof Zum Bahnhof

francesco
(grinning soul)
09/03/02 10:18 AM
Re: Glass Spider (concert) story... new [re: Sysiyo]  

I think you are really overrating the whole thing. It's just some coreographer's idea of what would look nice for the show.
I have noticed most people here have a tendency to dig way too deep in the "profound meaning" of things (see the thread on It's No Game Parts 1 and 2 for another example).
Let's just take it easy lads!



AdamModerator
(crash course raver)
09/03/02 10:20 AM
I've been meaning to reply new [re: Sysiyo]  

From what I have seen, I have to agree with the Lovestory of a Popstar and Outcast.

Your mention of outcasts is possibly relevant (lyrically) to the opening of Glass Spider / Day In Day Out.

"Glass Spider" is essentially the story of young children being abandoned by their parent. Simiarly, "Day In Day Out" begins with a person who is "left on a doorstep" and "lacks a backup" before turning to a seedy lifestyle.

It could be said that "Bang Bang" is more from the perspective of the rock star. He is out on the town, and "love is his bet". This is when Melissa and Bowie come together.

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to write. I haven't studied the video as closely as you and this was really thorough and interesting. Besides, I never really understood the criticism of reading "too deeply" into things in an "interpretation" forum.

Get Bowie Downunder

nigelp
(electric tomato)
09/03/02 12:33 PM
But Bowie did say... new [re: francesco]  

In reply to:

I think you are really overrating the whole thing. It's just some coreographer's idea of what would look nice for the show.
I have noticed most people here have a tendency to dig way too deep in the "profound meaning" of things


During the series of press conferences that Bowie did to promote the tour, he declared that their would be a loose narrative to his shows

I'm invisible and dumb,
no-one will recall me


Sysiyo
(acolyte)
09/04/02 02:05 AM
Thank you for replies (finally) new [re: francesco]  

In reply to:

I have noticed most people here have a tendency to dig way too deep in the "profound meaning" of things (see the thread on It's No Game Parts 1 and 2 for another example).


As Adam said, I've never really understood people who critizise that you interpretate "too deeply". In my opinion the point of interpretation is not trying to discover how the artist originally meant the song or stageact or whatever to be. It's more about telling people what you think it's about.

In reply to:

Your mention of outcasts is possibly relevant (lyrically) to the opening of Glass Spider / Day In Day Out.


You are absolutely right. Thank you for sharing it with us.

In reply to:

During the series of press conferences that Bowie did to promote the tour, he declared that their would be a loose narrative to his shows


Ha! There you have it, francesco!

Bahnhof Zum Bahnhof

francesco
(grinning soul)
09/05/02 01:12 PM
Re: Thank you for replies (finally) new [re: Sysiyo]  

Well, fair enough guys, you are right and I am wrong, no problem admitting that.
As to criticising people for going too deep in things though, you took my comments too harshly, I did not mean to say that one is not entitled to have an opinion on Bowie's intentions, but just as you are so am I, right? And mine was simply that there was not much meaning behind, I was wrong clearly but one has the right to be wrong too, I hope, if he then is prepared to admit it.



icarusboy
(kook)
09/05/02 07:12 PM
Re: Glass Spider (concert) story... new [re: Sysiyo]  

Cheers for the interpretation Sys, i've not seen this video for years, and never really watched it with any kinda narrative in mind....i'm gonna stick it on right now and experience it in a whole new light i'm sure!

thanks again buddy!

iccy

"God thinks he's all that and a bag of chips."- David Bowie

twister
(acolyte)
09/05/02 08:59 PM
"We can't let rock starts fuck with normal people" new [re: francesco]  

I agree with you in this particular instance, francesco. I think the dialogue from the Glass Spider tour was merely mindless pretentious twaddle and any correlation between them and the songs being played are completely coincidental.

I think everything about the Glass Spider tour was purely theatrical but utterly hollow.

I could be a genius if I just put my mind to it.

nigelp
(electric tomato)
09/06/02 02:44 PM
"Its like kissing a blowtorch" new [re: twister]  

Compared with the mindless pretentious twaddle that you write.

I think everything about your posts are purely hollow but utterly theatrical.


I'm invisible and dumb,
no-one will recall me


schizophrenic
(kook)
09/06/02 07:53 PM
Re: "Its like kissing a blowtorch" new [re: nigelp]  

Uh Oh! Stand back everybody ... this could get ugly!

Too cool for a siggy, too dumb for the rest of the world.

EJSunday
(cracked actor)
09/17/02 06:05 AM
Let's Dance new [re: MotelBoy]  

In reply to:

If you have so much spare time on your hands, why not check out Hunky Dory?


Not bad, really.

I do not think that those silly dancers at the Glass Spider Tour are worth deep exploration. To me it seems they were just what you did back then if you considered yourself a great entertainer who wanted to put on a huge show. It was the decade of sick dance movies (Flashdance et al.), ridiculous dance pop videos (Jackson et al.) and horribly successfull high street musicals (Lloyd-Webber et al.). And it was not a phase when Bowie was ahead of his time. Not at all.


And I want to believe
In the madness that calls 'now'



Pages in this thread: 1 | 2 | (show all)
*Threaded Mode
Jump to

Teenage Wildlife Davie Bowie | Email Us! Forums powered by WWWThreads v5.1.5perl

Teenage Wildlife Home Page Bowie's music Info on Bowie Other Media Have your say! Search the Site Help me!


Toolbar (Interact)

Etete Systems