When I was an undergraduate at Rutgers University back in the 1980s, my favorite book was probably Death in Venice by Thomas Mann. Made into a film in 1971 by the Italian director Luchino Visconti, it told the story the last days of Gustav von Aschenbach. A renowned German novelist in his early 50s, Aschenbach, who is suffering from writer’s block, has come to Venice to get back in touch with the wellsprings of his creative imagination. Instead, he develops an obsession with a teenage boy, a Polish aristocrat on holiday with his family. Death in Venice isn’t a “coming out” story. Visconti was openly gay, and Mann certainly “gay curious”, but Aschenbach is heterosexual. Tadzio, the Polish teenager, does not represent a suppressed homosexual impulse finally liberated by the necessity of coming to terms with writer’s block. Rather, he is the unattainable aesthetic ideal an artist follows until he can no longer find the strength or discipline to pursue his calling. At age 50, Aschenbach has come to the end of his creative life. “There is no impurity,” the dying Aschenbach recalls a colleague saying as he watches Tadzio play on the beach, “so impure as old age.”
So why was I as a 20-year-old so fascinated by a novel about a middle-aged German novelist dying of cholera in early-Twentieth Century Venice? I was of course neither middle-aged nor gay, but I had reached puberty in the late 1970s. The late 1970s, which I now recognize to be final sickly years of the counter culture of the 1960s, were a terrible time to be a adolescent boy. Rock n Roll had long since abandoned the radical, utopian dream of the New Left and the anti-war movement, and had given way to pure hedonism and decadence. Nevertheless, the music industry, which was thoroughly rotten and corrupt, had still retained its rebellious glamour, it’s “cool,” its air of revolution. Just because a particular form of art is dying, doesn’t mean it can’t also throw up brilliant individuals on its deathbed, and the 1970s saw the breakthrough of some of the greatest rock musicians of all, Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith, Joe Strummer, Freddy Mercury, and of course, David Bowie.
David Bowie, like Michael Jackson and Madonna, had essentially conquered old age, the plague that destroyed Gustav Aschenbach. The problem was in how he conquered it. Thomas Mann, who saw deeply into the rotten heart of capitalist civilization, understood the process that would eventually drive Michael Jackson insane. Towards the end of Death In Venice, the wellsprings of his creativity now completely dry, and painfully conscious of his middle-aged appearance, Aschenbach visits a make up artist, an almost Satanic figure who, like Michael Jackson’s plastic surgeons, promises to restore his youth. It doesn’t work. Aschebach emerges from the make up studio looking, not like a 20-year-old, but like a painted clown. What undoubtedly gifted musicians and song writers like Michael Jackson, Madonna and David Bowie, tried to do in their art was to replace the normal aging process with the immortality that comes with changing your act in response to a changing marketplace. For Thomas Mann, the idea that you could restore the creativity of your youth by reinventing yourself was fraud. For Jackson, Madonna, and Bowie, it was the gimmick that won them fame and fortune beyond their wildest dreams.
Madonna was a mediocrity who benefited from breaking into the music industry at the beginning of the MTV-era, but Bowie and Michael Jackson were geniuses who could change their style as easily as taking off one mask and putting on a new one. As soon as the culture changed, either of them could come up with a new act that not only made them money, but allowed them to express themselves in a way nobody had ever imagined. Michael Jackson went from child-star to MTV super-star. David Bowie went from Ziggy Stardust to the Thin White Duke. The price that Jackson paid for his drive to remain youthful well into middle-age is well known, racial self-hatred, self-mutilation, pedophilia, and finally early death. We had all thought David Bowie had escaped, that he had gotten away with it, had defied the aging process, and remained vital until his death at the age of 69. More critical observers realized that he hadn’t. Irvine Welsh, in his novel Trainspotting, spoke of Bowie as just another rock star who had “it” when he was young, but lost it in middle-age. A few honest fans recognize that he hadn’t done anything particularly memorable after the early 1980s, but fading away into the mediocrity of old age had been the least of David Bowie’s problems.
If everything in this interview is true, David Bowie should have done prison time for statutory rape.
“Next time Bowie was in town, though, maybe five months later, I got a call at home from his bodyguard, a huge black guy named Stuey. He told me that David wanted to take me to dinner. Obviously, I had no homework that night. Fuck homework. I wasn’t spending a lot of time at school anyway. I said that I would like to go but that I wanted to bring my friend Sable. She was dying to fuck Bowie. I figured that she would sleep with him while I got to hang out and have fun. At the time, Sable and her sister Coral were both dating Iggy Pop, spending time at the home of Tony DeFries [then-manager of David Bowie and Iggy] up in Laurel Canyon. People there were so high all the time — Quaaludes, heroin, whatever. In the limo ride to the Rainbow, Sable said, “If you touch David, I will kill you.” I didn’t think she was kidding.”
If Lori Mattix, David Bowie’s 14-year-old “lover” is to be believed, Bowie did more than commit an indiscretion. He didn’t just get drunk or get high at a party and unknowingly fuck a young girl without asking for her ID. Fully sober, he sent his bodyguard to procure a child for sex, and it wasn’t only Bowie. It was Jimmy Page, Mick Jagger, and just about everybody else in the corporate music industry. Michael Kaplan’s interview with Lori Mattix illustrates the sickness at the hear t of the corporate music industry in a way perhaps not even he understands. If David Bowie had been a fat, 50-year-old banker in Thailand paying for child prostitutes we’d be calling for him to be sent to the guillotine. If he had been a 25-year-old sergeant in the United States Marine Corps who stood by and watched under age girls being procured for sex for visiting diplomats, we’d be calling for him to be sent to Leavenworth. The fact the he was talented, charismatic rock musician shouldn’t excuse it. In fact, it makes it worse. David Bowie, and every other rock musician who participated in group sex with under age girls, perverted their art, exploited children, not only physically, but spiritually. They seduced an entire generation of Late baby Boomers and early Gen-Xers into worshipping idols, into looking to corporate mass culture, instead of to themselves, for enlightenment.
If Lori Mattix argues that her sex with David Bowie was consensual that’s part of the problem. Lori Mattix is now a woman well into middle-age, still arguing that drugging and raping 14-year-olds is not only acceptable, but “beautiful.” She comes off like a member of a cult, her morals, even her ability to think clearly, having been destroyed by the corporate mass culture she worships, and by the idea that once, as a young girl, she had access to the rich and powerful. It’s likely that if David Bowie had stood up and denounced the sexual exploitation of children in the early 70s, it might have been the end of his music career. Even gifted, talented performers can be replaced. But let’s not think we don’t have an example of someone who stood up and did the right thing, not only at the cost of his career, but of his life. In the 1960s, when Malcolm X realized his mentor Elijah Mohammed was sexually exploiting children, he broke with him and denounced him publicly.
“They’re afraid that I will tell the real reason that they’ve been — that I’m out of the Black Muslim movement, which I never told, I kept to myself. But the real reason is that Elijah Muhammad, the head of the movement, is the father of eight children by six different teenaged girls, six different teenaged girls who were his private personal secretaries. Four of them had one child apiece by him, two of them had two children and one of those two is pregnant right now in Los Angeles with his third child. The one who first made me aware of this was Wallace Muhammad, Mr. Muhammad’s son and it was their fear that if I remained in the Black Muslim movement, and this came into the knowledge of their followers that they would leave him and follow me. So a plan was immediately set in motion to take me down, put me out and the statement that I allegedly made…or not that I allegedly made, I did make it… the statement that I made about Kennedy was used as a pretext to take me down, but in reality, it was because I had come to New York and told Joseph, the captain in New York and the secretary and the minister in Boston about these children that Mr. Muhammad had and it was that, that right there was the real reason for my being out of the movement.”
Malcolm X was a hero. David Bowie was probably worse than a rapist.
39 thoughts on “David Bowie Was Probably Worse Than A Rapist”
You had me going with this article until the pediphile point about Jackson. Don’t get me wrong Jackson was a interesting person, but he was not a pedaphile. If you are gonna be lazy on that point, which is easily debunked with minimal googling, than the rest of your work is probably just as lazy. Don’t be lazy.
Still, if I had to bet on what is most likely, I would bet that he did molest a boy, at least the one from 1992. In that case, the criminal charges were dropped, and Jackson settled with the boy’s family, reportedly for $20 million. Jackson insisted that he wanted to pursue the matter in court but that the insurance company made him settle. (With unintended irony, he later said: “I didn’t want to do a long drawn-out thing on TV like O.J. and all that stupid stuff.”) The idea that an insurance company forced him to settle a nuisance claim for millions of dollars seems unlikely, both to me and to the lawyers I consulted. To be sure, there was also evidence in both cases that the families were financially motivated. But with Jackson’s financial assets supporting the best lawyers and publicists, it is unsurprising that his team managed to raise significant doubts.
When three different people- and from unrelated separate incidents- say Jackson molested them it probability happened. Does this guy look like hes in it to frame Jackson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x71aek24avs ? Also people seeking money for being raped is perfectly fine (on a side note I believe the dad of the kid from the 1992 trial killed himself also.)
Each family has come forward to say they were financially motivated and Jackson did not do what there were accusing him of.
You made my point for me. Why say Jackson was a pediphile? Nothing was proven, as you stated the cases were monetarily motivated. He paid the $20 million because it was still the height of his popularity and he wanted to continue to ride that wave. It just bothers me when people call him a child molester. Is what is happening to Bill Cosby now any different than what happen to Michael Jackson? At some point Bill and Micheal step on the wrong person toes and this is the outcome. Neither Bill or Micheal were angels but the way Michael was done and the way Bill is being handled is ridiculous.
Jackson had enough money to insure that nothing ever *would* be proven. But it’s not central to the point of the article anyway, which is about Bowie, not Jackson.
In this case, Bowie’s victim never denies that he sent his bodyguard to snatch her away from her homework so he could fuck her. The main reason I brought up Jackson is that his style of performing/songwriting was very similar. I was suggesting that the urge to replace the normal process of aging with the reinvention of the self to conform to the vagaries of the capitalist marketplace seemed to have its origin in the fear of aging, which was far more pronounced in Jackon’s case than Bowie’s.
Once again, Bowie’s victim isn’t denying it. She’s saying the idea that he was using his power and wealth to procure children for sex was “beautiful.” Either she’s lying, crazy, or Bowie was a monster.
You are absolutely right about Michael Jackson. Anyone who read the trial transcripts knows that the previous accusation of molestation was allowed by Hudge Melville. Mesereau thoroughly debunked that accusation and the grifter accuser. The former paralegal who worked on the first accusation saw how it bogus and was rooted and based in a custody dispute between the first boy and the father. People need to do their research. They should read the transcripts.
As for Bowie, I was not aware of this, and did not remember that he was also accused of raping a woman in Dallas. That case did not go forward
because of “lack of evidence.” I also do not know if he ever addressed this publically. Were interviewers told not to ask him about his time in Los Angeles? The woman who accused him of rape asserts that during the act he told her he had AIDS and her lawyers demanded that Bowie get an AIDS test.
Madonna did not ‘conquer’ old age! She is and looks ridiculous. She is anti-feminist. When she was young, supple and everything still pointing northward, she empowered women and girls to own their sexuality and go out there and conquer the world with whatever mediocre talent you have, make the best of what you’ve got. In her forties, when she became a mother, she was inspiring on a different level, her record ‘Ray of Light’, though not one of her best or well known was one of my favorites because I could hear the love she had for her daughter. She was a softer version of her pre-maternal self, but every bit as kick ass. She had more children and got older, then stuff started to get weird. It’s not that she dresses inappropriately for her age, that’s beside the point and it’s a matter of personal taste, or that she dates men 20 plus years her junior (good for her) but the obvious plastic surgeries, this desperation to hang on to something that is no longer there, the ‘it’ factor of her youth. This desperate unyielding hold on what once was is extremely anti-feminist and I expected better from her.She isn’t young, she’s in her fifties pushing sixty, and it’s ok. If the ‘message’ of her youth is to go out there and conquer the world by maximizing your own potential, then her ‘message’ in her middle age is one of desperate defiance of time, it’s also telling women that it’s not ‘cool’ or ok to be old. When in fact it is and natural. She is mocked not because of ageism she’s mocked because she’s a caricature of her former self.
That’s the whole point. You can’t conquer the aging process. But you can try.
What makes Bowie, Michael Jackson and Madonna similar is that they tried to conquer the aging process by reinventing themselves according to the demands the capitalist marketplace. As a performer you can control how many new phases (Ziggy Stardust, Think White Duke) you enter in a way you can’t control your thinning hair or expanding waistline.
And I am not sure if Michael Jackson’s multiple surgeries is ‘aging’ related. He had a lot of trauma and issues with his appearance from his boyhood days. With Jackson, it’s that he dislikes his appearance more so than age. That’s my feeling…
Aging is part of your appearance.
Bowie wasn’t necessarily traumatized by the aging process. But he was marketing the idea that you could make yourself over at will. That power he had over 14 year old girls seemed to be part of it.
The clearest expression of the idea it is in Death in Venice.
Rock and Roll was always hedonistic, even in the early 60s, the Beatles were presented as these squeaky clean boys but I think we now know they weren’t and they never were…
Rock and Roll partially redeemed itself when it became about self-destruction (not hedonism) through heroin addiction in the 1990s.
Um…drug addiction, especially heroin, is a type of hedonism, even if it’s self harm and abuse and results in death. If Kurt Cobain (of which I am a HUGE fan), I wrote about his documentary Montage of Heck, if he were not a famous rock star with tons of money to indulge his drug of choice, he wouldn’t be a committed heroin user, which according to Montage of Heck, was a ‘choice’ he made with his wife Courtney Love. They wanted to stay home and do heroin, why? Because he has the means. If he wasn’t famous and was just another kid with a high school diploma and had to work at low wage job, where would he get the money and time to do drugs? So that’s hedonism in its own way. Oh and he had a child with him the whole time he was ‘high’. I am not a prude about drugs, if people want to shoot up and do whatever, go for it. But when you become a parent you are responsible for someone else, and because he was Kurt Cobain, his child wasn’t taken away from them. And I say this as a huge fan of him and his music. I am sad that he threw his life away. I am sad that he never got to see his child grow up, for what? Frances Bean Cobain, by the way is an amazing girl and he never got to know. Why? Because of ‘capitalism’ and what they did to him and his soul? Grow up!
But I’m talking about the aggressive, ideological hedonism of the 1970s, what replaced any dream of utopian transcendence. That’s a lot different from the “life sucks let’s get high” hedonism of the 90s. Bowie’s genius was in how he transformed it into a form of personal expression. You could “remake yourself” and by doing so, not only stay ahead of the market, but gain immortality.
But even corporate mass culture had a utopian/revolutionary ideal in the 1960s.
Also covered by Nirvana.
Perhaps…but it didn’t last long. Artists don’t perform for free, record companies don’t print records and distribute them for free. Concert promoters don’t do what they do for free, managers don’t manage without sucking a piece of their client’s souls….hence the short lived utopia.
Actually they do, even, especially under capitalism. Half of the great black singers of the 1950s got absolutely nothing for their music.
They got nothing, the were screwed, but their bosses weren’t…they kept everything.
Right. But Bowie/Madonna/Michael Jackson kept themselves marketable (and profitable) through the ability to reinvent themselves, which also served as a hedge against the aging process.
Eternal Marketability = Eternal Life
Hmmm…I am not sure. If it were only so simple. That’s one piece of it, but a you know with music and records go, you have to have everything right to be a hit. If it were only a ‘marketing’ issue, then we’d have many many more hit records and movies. It’s the whole package. Bowie dared to be different in a time of cultural conservatism, he dared to put on makeup and dress androgynously, he dared to ‘act’ gay when clearly, he wasn’t or the gay part was a youthful experiment. And he pulled it off by being ‘other people’ such as Ziggy Stardust etc, so it’s not really David Bowie the person, so it’s not so offensive. He was brilliant, and I loved him. And all his androgynous dressing it didn’t turn heterosexual girls off.
Interesting read. Got me thinking! Society IS seduction, and oh, how easily we are seduced.
Mine or Bowie’s?
Reblogged this on O LADO ESCURO DA LUA.
usually i find your thought process to be worthy of the time it takes me to wade through it. in this article, with its egregiously offensive title, you have gone too far and are simply full of shit.
Well stated! I called it lazy but “full of shit” give it that nice twist I could not come up with. Thank you!
Are you saying that Lori Mattix is lying?
If she’s telling the truth, Bowie actually sent his lackey to a 14-year-old’s house to pull her away from her homework so he could fuck her. That would make him not only a rapist, but someone who perverted his own fame and charisma to exploit kids.
That’s 8th Circle of Dante’s Inferno stuff.
And why would she lie? Bowie’s dead. There can’t be much money in it for her, and she obviously worships the man to the point of cultish idolatry.
The truth is: we don’t know. So, I won’t defend him, but I will read more about the topic.
Im sorry you are full of shit. How can you judge someone on something before theyve been proved guilty? The girl is lying she told 2 different stories, David took her virginity, then she said it was Jimmy Page? Deluded slut looking for attention. Theres no proof of them even meeting, not one photo, no one else has come forward to confirm it. Although Jimmy Page did have sex with her which i dont condone in anyway shape or form but Bowie didnt “worse than a rapist” he raped no one. Get your facts right i know girls like this who lie for attention, publicity and fame.
Notice I say “if she’s to be believed.”
If Lori Mattix, David Bowie’s 14-year-old “lover” is to be believed, Bowie did more than commit an indiscretion.
Did Bowie send his bodyguard to pick up a 14 year old or not? If he did, he was a still a talented singer, but a rotten human being.
Can’t believe I didn’t see this article the first time around, Stan! Very good read. Amazing how people are willing to come out of the woodwork to advocate in defense of millionaires who wouldn’t piss on them if they were on fire. Protip for them: defending someone from allegations typically involves demonstrating why the allegations are untrue or, at the least, questionable. Telling someone they’re full of shit, even if they totally are, isn’t an argument.
somewhen in the 70s Lester Bangs mentioned a rumor that Bowie was into prepubescent girls.
Bowie was a fake for most of his life. I think he knew that which is why he tried so hard to become a real musician before he died. To redeem himself. I also think he was appalled at what he had done with his fame when he finally became a father. That experience with his wife, turned him into a real human being.
Bowie was not the only one to fuck under age girls,they were all at it.It was kind of tongue in cheek back then.I am not saying it was right but it was different days with different ways..