The Artist at 60

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Happy birthday to the Thin White Duke, Aladin Sane, Ziggy StarDust, the Laughing Gnome, the pioneer of psychedelic folk, glam, new romanticism, stadium rock, drum and base.

Happy birthday to the explorer and exploiter of subjectivity, derangement, fascism, drama and androgyny, listed as an influence by countless musicians like Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Joy Division, Kate Bush, REM, Marylin Manson, and Radio Head, and the rockiest rocker of the all.

Happy birthday Ireland’s greatest resident artist. Happy birthday David Bowie.

Update: Interesting to note that Bowie, always the pioneer, a man who not only issued shares in himself, and launched a pioneering ISP, has created in the online community ‘BowieNet’, one successful template for musicians to monitize their fan base in the coming post major label era. Despite the fact that reports of the death of the CD are greatly exaggerated, and that hard media of one sort or another is likely to continue to exist, due to bandwidth lagging behind ever richer media, and to a simple human passion for the concrete object, the decorated declarative possession; musicians are having to find new ways of securing revenue as the existing recording industry becomes less relevant.

The subscription based community Bowie’s site pioneered, which has been duplicated by artists like Counting Crows (look at the two sites subscription pages to note just how closely), is not for everyone. Only musicians (and artists in other mediums – incidentally isn’t it eerie how closely the Chuck Palahniuck of today resembles a young Jack Kerouac) who have a large and financially committed fan base, can benefit from this route – and the diversification already occurring in musical consumption makes such singular success ever more unlikely – however for those who fit the bill, it may be a lucrative way of connecting with, and financially benefiting from existing fan bases.

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