The Passing Of David Bowie And Philip K. Dick

David Bowie passed away Sunday (January 10, 2016) at the age of 69. I’m not sure how well known David Bowie’s link to Philip K. Dick is and the importance of Bowie to the novel VALIS.

Minor Spoilers Follow

David Bowie's LowThe movie that the characters view at roughly the halfway point of the strongly autobiographical novel was titled VALIS, but the incident is based on Philip K. Dick viewing the film The Man Who Fell To Earth starring David Bowie (who is fictionalized in the novel VALIS as Eric Lampton A.K.A. Mother Goose). Dick found the film to be provocative and beautifully textured and relevant to the experiences he had been having originating on 2-3-74.

David Bowie's Station To StationBowie strongly identified with the character he portrayed in the film, Thomas Jerome Newton. Two of his album covers, Station to Station and Low, are imagery that is associated with the film. I think that Philip K. Dick also strongly identified with Thomas Jerome Newton and with the religious and messianic themes of the film. I believe that Dick saw parallels with his own experiences after and including his Pink Beam Experience on February 20, 1974.

I have always been attracted to music (mostly Rock Music) that expresses themes or ideas from Science Fiction especially Progressive Rock and Space Rock. I’ve enjoyed David Bowie’s work because he toys with concepts that are easily associated with Science Fiction and also concepts that seem to sit within other genres but with a bending or tendency towards Science Fiction. He wrote music and lyrics that weren’t solely about romantic relationships. David Bowie also has acted in films that are Fantasy or Science Fiction and has created personas that have these same elements.

Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, The Thin White Duke, The Man Who Fell to Earth, Mother Goose. David Bowie will definitely be missed and he left an incredible legacy of music, image and film.

The Man Who Fell To Earth




David Bowie’s Low (33 1/3)

Divine Invasions: A Life of Philip K. Dick

2 thoughts on “The Passing Of David Bowie And Philip K. Dick

  1. These are my two gods or demons : David Bowie and Philip K Dick.
    These 2 are connected quite a lot :
    Bowie wrote from start to end a lot of lyrics related to both science-fiction and religious matter.
    He was found of PKD from the late sixties and used to read PKD novels to his Young son in the seventies. I read that in an interview of his son Duncan Jones which is now a very SF film director (Moon, Source Code, Warcraft).
    A direct connection form PKD to DB is in the lyrics of Oh! You pretty things (1971) :
    A crack in the sky
    and a hand reaching down to me
    Another one is the 2003 record titled Reality where the cover is the first cover of his albums that is not a picture of him but a drawing.
    Sure I can search and find lots of connections between those 2 that are-were the best in what they do-did
    I’m sure they’re going to have pretty long discussions these 2 wherever they are now !

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