Return To Earth, Alien David Bowie, And Save Us!
In honor of David Bowie’s birthday today, Jan. 8, Happy birthday, Bowie, whatever planet you’re on…
Ever wonder what music made by an extraterrestrial might sound like?
Apparently, kind of like this:
put on your red shoes
and dance the blues…”
Which, if you play it backwards, sounds like this:
shoes red your on put
blues the dance and laser beam cattle rectums. . . ’’
Amazing how that works, isn’t it? And you thought only Selena Gomez wrote about laser beaming cattle rectums, didn’t you? Little did you know . . .
Anyway, of course, the song I’m talking about is “Let’s Dance,” by Alf.
Well, no, it’s “Let’s Dance,” by the late legend David Bowie. (Alf sings that song that goes, “I’m in love with a stripper . . .’’) But there might not be much of a difference between Alf and David — aside from the need by one of them to buy shampoo in industrial-sized tubs. (Sorry Bowie, but your vanity must be exposed!)
According to a story from the summer issue of Paranoia Magazine, written by that breathtakingly trustworthy investigative reporter Anonymous, the dear departed Bowie may have been an alien being sent here to live among us earthlings. Or, he may have been abducted by aliens and entrusted with spreading their message to humans. Or, “Anonymous” may have spent a lot of time with our old friend Zuga the ganja farmer.
Regardless, the story makes for some interesting reading, and brings up some intriguing points.
Especially if by “intriguing points’’ you mean stuff that’s complete and utter bat crap nuts but is nonetheless fascinating and amusing to contemplate.
The first bit of “evidence,” naturally, goes back to Bowie’s breakthrough LP, 1969’s “Space Oddity.” The cover features Bowie, an alien, and a spaceship. It’s quite a love triangle. Sorry Bowie, but I don’t like your chances. Alien and spaceship were meant to be together like chocolate and nougat.
But beyond that delicious thought, Anonymous wonders “…whether the inclusion of alien figures and spacecraft on the sleeve were supposed to indicate that aliens were working with Bowie…”
If they were, they managed his career well. (Maybe Justin Bieber should consider hiring them?) Because the more the alien motif popped up in Bowie’s work, in such discs as “The Man Who Sold The World” and “The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars,” the bigger Bowie got.
In 1976, David starred in “The Man Who Fell To Earth,” as “Humpty Dumpty.” Oh, sorry, my bad. Actually, he played a visitor from an alien world. (Grimace from McDonald’s played Humpty Dumpty – and earned an Oscar nomination for his role. Because he’s just that good. And fat. And purple.) Bowie’s part in that critically-acclaimed film sparked the rock star’s career as an actor.
Seven years later, he played a vampire in the movie “The Hunger,” which was based on a book written by Ronald McDonald, about the new 20 piece McNuggets. Oh, wait, no, actually, it was written by Whitley Strieber, who rightfully told me not to use two McDonald’s jokes in this column, but did I listen to him? No. No, I did not. Anyway, Strieber, who, come to think of it, sounds like a guy who wears a lot of plaid and works in an old-timey bicycle shop that fixes those bikes with one giant wheel on the front and one tiny one on the back, claims to have been abducted by aliens several times. Could these aliens have been the agents of David Bowie, pitching him for the role, giving Strieber “an offer he couldn’t refuse?” I guess it’s more extreme than the author waking up with a horse’s head next to him, but maybe anal probes are the preferred hard-line negotiating ploy of the alien mafia?
Bowie further stoked the flames of speculation by releasing the single “Loving the Alien” in 1985. The video for “Loving” shows Bowie suffering a nosebleed — and as Anonymous points out, nosebleeds are typical symptoms of alien abductees. (Why? Because the tracking implants are embedded in their sinuses. Duh!!! And, also, because alien abductees love their cocaine.)
Anonymous continues that these various clues are just “the tip of the iceberg,” which is also where he started to get these ideas (that’s two cocaine jokes and two McDonald’s jokes for those of you counting at home) and that “A great deal of evidence has been found in David Bowie’s work which shows beyond any reasonable doubt that he has been influenced by aliens.”
More evidence is apparently found in the hit song “Jean Genie.”
Bowie has claimed the hit is about Iggy Pop. Nice try, buddy.
Anonymous cites the lyric “poor little greenie” as referencing little green men; the lyric “sits like a man but smiles like a reptile” as descriptive of a reptilian alien race often described in abduction scenarios; and the title itself as being a tip-off to its non-earthly subject.
After all, Anonymous writes, Chambers 20th Century Dictionary defines genie as “a class of spirits in Muslim mythology, formed of fire, living chiefly on the mountain of Kaf which encircles the world, assuming various shapes, sometimes as men of enormous size and porentious (sic) hideousness.”
But enough about Rush Limbaugh.
Another incriminating line, Anonymous claims, is “talking ’bout Monroe and walking on Snow White,” which may point to the fairy tale about dwarves (i.e. aliens), or, in all fairness, may tip to Iggy Pop babbling about a Marilyn fetish while snorting coke. (There’s three coke references. Catch up, McDonald’s!)
“He bites on a neon and sleeps in a capsule” and “the Jean Genie loves chimney stacks” are also allegedly subtle nods, for referencing both space capsules and Father Christmas — “who flies through the air like a UFO.’’ Although in his case, the F could stand for fat. Like Grimace. (Three to three! Who’s going to win??? The suspense is unbearable!)
“In conclusion,” Anonymous writes, “it can be said that a significant portion of the lyrics to the song ‘The Jean Genie’ as well as the title itself have an unmistakable alien connotation. It seems to be almost impossible that David Bowie could have written, for example, the line ‘poor little greenie’ without intentionally associating it with the phrase ‘little green men’…”
(Insert booger joke here.)
Now, it seems strange, but Anonymous may be on to something. After all, Bowie later named one of his tours “Area 2,” an obvious reference to the infamous Area 51 in the Nevada desert, a government base reputed to be a haven for extraterrestrial craft.
The co-headliners on the tour were Moby, who appears as a spaceman in his video for the song, “We Are All Made of Stars;” and Outkast, which released an album called “ATLiens” and which repeatedly references UFOs and E.T.s in their lyrics. Especially aliens that like ta “shake it like a Polaroid pict-cha!’’
Last, but not least, a profile feature of Bowie and Moby in Entertainment Weekly boasted the headline “Loving the Aliens.”
So, at this point, you’re probably asking, “Can you pass me those Doritos?’’
And you’re probably also asking, “Sean, are you saying that you believe David Bowie was actually an alien? Do you think that after he passed away he went back to his home planet? Do you think he was secretly protecting the earth and if he returned he could help save it? And, again, can you please pass me those Doritos????”
Yes, I can. Just don’t bogart those, Telegram Sam.
As for whether the late, great Bowie was indeed an extraterrestrial, I don’t know Scully, but there’s only one way to find out.
Check one of Bowie’s backstage concert riders.
If it specifies that Mr. Bowie must be supplied with plenty of Reese’s Pieces and “an escape bicycle in case of an emergency,’’ well…
Copyright 2021 Sean Leary. From the upcoming book, Sean Leary’s Greatest Hits, Vol. 9: Not Fit For Print, coming soon…