Putting the dust in (Ziggy) Stardust
As I pulled on black cowboy boots over shiny silver tights one recent morning, I mused (in somewhat of a detached way, hilariously, as though this ensemble had actually chosen itself) that this particular getup seemed like it was trying to inadvertently channel a Western version of Ziggy Stardust. Then I thought, oh wait, that concept is actually nothing new. It's not! It's true, fans! It's TRUE.
The glammed-out Legendary Stardust Cowboy, a.k.a. Norman Carl Odam, already treaded those dusty tracks for us as far back as the '60s. His shriek-filled single "Paralyzed" confused the hell out of people, but it also became mainstream enough to end up on Laugh-In. Manic, slightly bizarre craziness? Yes. Awesome? Also yes:
More importantly, LSC (and perhaps LSD as well, but that's an entirely different post) influenced heavily David Bowie aesthetically--Bowie has credited him as partially inspiring the Ziggy Stardust character--as well as musically. Bowie finally paid him a concrete musical homage when he covered "I Took a Trip on a Gemini Spacecraft" on his Heathen album (music only):
Of course, LSC is hardly a subtle guy, but his approach to the music is an entirely different one than Mister Bowie. The guy revels in the deep-fried kitsch of the South with no qualms ('bout a minute in):
True proof -- maybe somewhat along the lines of my "yeah, NYC dwellers, I really am from Texas" self -- that it's possible to embrace the Stetsons and the stardust in tandem.