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
The 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.
Bowie 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.