Sunday, 17 January 2016

Bowie Track of the Day - "Queen Bitch"

From today's Observer:
"David was like a comet, blazing brightly into the sky. That comet travelled too fast for us to see it and take it all in at once." - Carlos Alomar, long-time Bowie collaborator.

"He was intelligent, imaginative, brave, charismatic, cool, sexy and truly inspirational both visually and musically. He created such staggeringly brilliant work, yes, but so much of it and it was so good. There are great people who make great work but who else has left a mark like his? ... He was ours. Wonderfully eccentric in a way that only an Englishman could be." - Kate Bush.

"What was really impressive to me about David was that he had such a terrific sense of being an entertainer and also about the music business. He was a very shrewd, very sharp guy. That was consistent throughout his career: he had the ability to sell this oddity that he was, and make it clear to people who would normally be completely resistant to what he was doing. He reached millions and millions of people... On the stage he was elegant and such a strong presence: he was very graceful and versatile. His versatility was one of his major points: he was truly a renaissance artist and man." - Debbie Harry.

"We were so lucky, to be adolescent when Bowie burst on to the scene. We got him in real time, when we were forming, and the yearning for each new record from him was so thrilling. Then it arrived – who got it first? Who could afford it, had saved up? Congregating in bedrooms, devouring it, no talking. A side, B side, flip it over, needle to the start, again and again. Our Bowie rituals. For quite a long time... most of my waking hours were spent thinking about Bowie. I know David made himself seem alien and strange, but he was never aloof. He was easy to fall in love with. He was warm, you could walk around with him in your head all day and it comforted you." - Edwin Collins.

"We should remember Bowie as a great human emancipator on the Bolívar or Mandela scale. An emotional liberator of people. He was the patron saint of the outsider, the uninvited and the misfit. All those lonely teenagers in each generation, unsure of who, or what they could possibly be – or become. In other words all of us." - Julien Temple, film-maker.
And thus, a whole week of daily tributes to the godlike genius of David Bowie comes to an end here at Dolores Delargo Towers.

So far I've featured:
However, there is one very special song that I really need to play before this sad week of unashamedly indulgent memory-lane-trawling finally comes to an end.

Yesterday I talked about discovering, in the early 80s, Mr Bowie's formative "Glam" years of a decade earlier. On Thursday I spoke of Hunky Dory as "seminal". And, on balance - even with strong competition from Station to Station - in my opinion it is his greatest album, across a five-decade career.

And, from that album, a song that has become part of my very fabric. A song for all us queens (and such are queens!). My anthem. It is, of course, Queen Bitch:

I'm up on the eleventh floor
And I'm watching the cruisers below
He's down on the street
And he's trying hard to pull sister Flo
Oh, my heart's in the basement
My weekend's at an all time low

'Cause she's hoping to score
So I can't see her letting him go
Walk out of her heart
Walk out of her mind.
Oh not her

She's so swishy in her satin and tat
In her frock coat and bipperty-bopperty hat
Oh God, I could do better than that.

She's an old time ambassador
Of sweet talking, night walking games
Oh, and she's known in the darkest clubs
For pushing ahead of the dames
If she says she can do it
Then she can do it, she don't make false claims

For she's a Queen, and such are queens
That your laughter is sucked in their brains
Now she's leading him on
And she'll lay him right down
Bet it could have been me
Yes, it could have been me.
Why didn't I say, Why didn't I say, No, no, no!

She's so swishy in her satin and tat
In her frock coat and bipperty-bopperty hat
Oh God, I could do better than that.

So I lay down a while
And I gaze at my hotel wall
Oh the cot is so cold
It don't feel like no bed at all
Yeah I lay down a while
And I look at my hotel wall

But he's down on the street
So I throw both his bags down the hall
And I'm phoning a cab
'Cause my stomach feels small
There's a taste in my mouth
And it's no taste at all
It could have been me
Oh yeah, it could have been me
Why didn't I say, Why didn't I say, No, no, no!

She's so swishy in her satin and tat
In her frock coat and bipperty-bopperty hat
Oh God, I could do better than that.

And, to this day, NOBODY could do better than that.


  1. Thank you so much, Jon, for your week of Bowie tributes. I'm not sure I'm ready to move on.

    As for that photo with the fag in his mouth... doesn't he photograph beautifully?

    1. I will never "move on" from adoring Bowie, nor from blogging about him. However, I felt that one tribute a day for a week was something I needed to do; so I did it. As for that pose - I tried and tried for years to imitate it, but that achievement proved to be beyond me... Jx

  2. Lovely, lovely tributes. You should post a picture of you pose!

    1. I have been trying to find some forty-year-old photos to accompany them - but unfortunately, if any exist, I think my mother must still have them... Jx

  3. Hallo Spaceboy...this song (apart from general fabulosity) provided me with my best a student gothish-type I was at a party (ugh) when a complete & rude stranger I was introduced to immediately asked, "So what have you come as? The Princess of Darkness?"
    To which I replied, "Yes. At least I'm not Queen Bitch."
    I'm never that quick.
    Thank you DB xxx

    1. "If she says she can do it
      Then she can do it, she don't make false claims!"



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