David Bowie with Jo Whiley
BBC radio DJ and festival style icon talks about Bowie, full version in Music Now
Hi I’m Jo Whiley and I’m a huge fan of the man that we’re going to talk about today and that is David Bowie. 1969 is remembered by most of humanity for one thing; the first time man landed on the Moon. The Apollo space mission was a very big deal. At schools across the land children had their lessons cancelled so that they could watch the Moon landings; people stayed home from work and everyone gathered around televisions to witness this monumental first for humanity.
* Moon landing
David Bowie was born David Jones, in Brixton, South London. He changed his surname to Bowie and in his early career was a folksy type, strumming his acoustic guitar whilst sitting cross-legged on stage. In 1969 he released an album which included Space Oddity, a track which was inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s sci-fi film classic 2001: A Space Odyssey, which you can find out about in our Film book. It was released as a single to coincide with the televising of the Moon landings but was slow to take off in the pop charts due to the refusal of the BBC to play it until the crew of Apollo 11 were safely back on Earth. It’s about an astronaut called Major Tom who was being launched into space. The words are quite odd, but strangely poetic. The original version of the song is very different to the sound clip that you've just heard. The orchestration is much sparser so his voice seems to float as if through space.
* Music: original Space Oddity by David Bowie