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david bowie :: Blog

Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll: "All the Young Dudes"

Wednesday, March 26: 2:07 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Released in September 1972, 'All the Young Dudes' marked a turning point for Mott the Hoople.

As glam rock hit its platformed stride in early 1972, Mott The Hoople was fading fast.

Born in mid-1969 as the brainchild of Island Records' mad genius Guy Stevens, the band was now deep in debt after four albums. Despite local notoriety helped by a riot-causing performance at London's Albert Hall (resulting in a "permanent" ban on rock and roll at the venerable venue), they had stiffed stateside and had just been dropped by their American label.

As Mott half-heartedly entered the studio that February to record demos for their next venture, a package awaited; in it, a tape and a note reading: "A song for you to hear. Hope you'll ring me and tell me what you think. David Bowie." The tape featured a demo of "Suffragette City," the song that would soon climax Bowie's "Ziggy Stardust" breakthrough. After Mott turned down the tune, they set out on a miserable tour of Switzerland and officially broke up on March 26, 1972 (a series of events that would be later chronicled on "The Ballad of Mott the Hoople (26th March 1972, Zürich)" off of 1973's Mott).

Back in London, bassist Pete "Overend" Watts called Bowie ...


continue Categories: Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll, Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll

Today In Rock: David Bowie is Born

Friday, January 6: 1:30 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
1996 Hall of Fame inductee David Bowie

Born on January 8, 1947, David Bowie is rock’s foremost futurist and a genre-bending pioneer, chameleon and transformer. Throughout his solo career and in his alliances with other artists - including Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Brian Eno and Nine Inch Nails - Bowie has positioned himself on the cutting edge of rock and roll. His innovations have created or furthered several major trends in rock and roll, including glam rock, art-rock and the very notion of the self-mythologized, larger-than-life rock star. "More than any other performer in the rock and roll era, David Bowie elevated himself to the role of artist," says Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum curator Howard Kramer. "He revolutionized and redefined the role of the frontman."

On the strength of such early albums as Man of Words, Man of Music and The Man Who Sold the World, Bowie became a cult figure to rock fans looking for something new and challenging to fill the post-Sixties void. A driven, polymorphic artist who breaks all the molds, Bowie attracted attention from the beginning for his frequent, fascinating changes of guise and the high quality of his unpredictable music. “I’m the last one to understand the ...


continue Categories: Inductee

Fashion Meets Rock and Roll

Friday, February 12: 12 p.m.

Assistant Curator Meredith Rutledge discusses late fashion designer Alexander McQueen’s influence on the look of rock and roll

When talking about rock and roll’s relationship to the world of fashion, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame chief curator Jim Henke said, “virtually every artist defines (themselves) as much by the way they look as by the music they play.”

It’s been said that fashion and style are the natural visual counterparts to creative musical expression. Rock and roll artists have had a long relationship with the world of high fashion — picture Elvis Presley’s iconic gold lamé suit designed by Nudie, then fast forward to Madonna’s equally iconic gold bustier designed by Jean Paul Gaultier.  Fashion designers like Gaultier, Thierry Mugler and  Gianni Versace have all become synonymous with the branding of rock stars like Madonna, Mick Jagger and Elton John. That’s why the tragic death of clothing designer Alexander McQueen, whom Vogue magazine editor Anna Wintour called “one of the greatest talents of his generation,” has especially resonated here at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. McQueen was a favorite designer of the rock world, creating red carpet, stage and album cover looks ...


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