At the risk of offending anyone, let’s get real here. I know some of you are uncomfortable dealing with issues of your natural sexual leanings let alone speculation and examination of the role that a broader range of sexual perspectives might bring into play, but I’m willing to take the lead here. The hope is that I’ll learn a little more about myself and maybe be able to hear other artists in new ways.
I don’t mean to offend anyone by stating that one of my hang-ups with Bowie, when I was younger and to an extent today, is that he strikes me as representing a “pussy” point of view, in the way that vague notions of homosexuality and lack of “manliness” is called into question beginning in early adolescence, if not earlier. I honestly am put off by the fact that I usually don’t have a clue what the hell Bowie is singing about, and just as honestly I think of him as being “less a man” for “hiding” behind his characters and “cut-up” lyrics. Ferry, on the other hand, goes over the top in his late-19th century aesthete persona, but he makes no bones about the fact that he’s thinking about life’s inner meanings and his latest fling. What the hell is my problem when I judge one man as being somehow more “gay” than the other, even when I know, from scant biographical details, that both men have probably been as “straight” or straighter than myself? In other words, I’m fairly confident that each of these artists has gotten more female tail than I will if I live 300 years.
As I’ve stated before, there’s no artist who’s put out so many individual songs I love (and even a couple of albums I like a lot) whom I refuse to rank in my personal “Favorites” category as Bowie. In fact, I probably love as many individual Bowie songs as I do Roxy Music/Bryan Ferry songs, but Ferry’s the man for me. I’m certain that the more identifiable lyrical point of view and the humor play as much a part in my preference for Ferry/Roxy Music as does the tough, fluid rhythm section, but can I separate the more confusing, possibly depressing aspects regarding gender roles out of the equation? Or by acknowledging these issues, have I finally outgrown the homophobic dynamic of my youth and finally worked through all this in terms of a more mature, deeper set of values?