back contents next November 12, 1999

Confessions of a Glam Artist

We set out to change the world...
ended up just changing ourselves.
What's wrong with that?
Nothing. If you don't look at the word...
-- Velvet Goldmine

Cosmic Blue, Baby! I've been obsessed with a number of things lately.

It all started several weeks ago, when I watched Velvet Goldmine. I loved the film. Not only did I fall in love with the film, I fell head over heels for it. The music. The clothes. The extravagance. It was inspirational. Yes, the film is definitely a weird one. It felt like The Wall, except instead of featuring Pink Floyd music, it featured songs from the early 70s glam rock era or songs inspired by that time period. Instead of the story of Pink's life, it was the story of Brian Slade and his rise and fall (after a faked murder on stage, his popularity plummeted). Like The Wall, the story isn't direct and the creators take the viewer through a visual cacophany while imbedding the story in bits and pieces. It has a "Citizen Kane" style of telling the story, where a reporter discovers Brian Slade's wild life by interviewing his estranged exwife and former promoter a decade after Brian's downfall.

Got tired of wastin' gas
Livin' above the planet.
Mister, show me the way to Earth.
The boys of quadrant 44
With their vicious metal hounds
Never come round here no more
Sometimes I wonder if I'm still alive
Six feet down at age 25
Maxwell leather demon rock hand jive

I fell in love with the music. The next day, I bought the CD: my first CD purchase in months. I listened to the CD non-stop. On my commute. At work. I would listen to it as I watched dishes. I'd sing in the shower. Everywhere, there it was.

I came down like water
In the age of solar love
And hail to the father
Kiss your sons and daughters
Goodbye goodbye!
We're steam scared and roller
Ladytron controller.
Ten feet tall, better walk it back down.

-- "Ballad of Maxwell Demon" Shudder to Think
   Velvet Goldmine Soundtrack

I ended up listening to two songs practically nonstop. Both are original songs written for the movie in the style of songs from the era. Both are performed by a group called "Shudder To Think": I'm still looking for their other material. One is called "Hot One" and the other is "The Ballad of Maxwell Demon". I have the feeling that they were written because David Bowie didn't give permission for his material to be used in the film. Brian Slade's life is very loosely based on David Bowie's life from that period. Bowie came up with Ziggy Stardust. Brian Slade came up with Maxwell Demon.

The filmmakers tie in Oscar Wilde and the movie is full of quotations from his works. I want to read his stuff again. Picture of Dorian Gray. The Importance of Being Ernest. I haven't seen Wilde starring Stephen Frye yet. I should rent it. Obsessions are healthy in this respect. It can increase one's knowledge of the world. Atleast my obsessions give me the impetus to explore. I try not to supress them. Then again, I'm not sure if I can.

The world has changed because you are made of ivory and gold.  The curve of your lips rewrite history

Whenever I find a movie fascinating, I end up perusing the websites for it. I found a wonderful website for Velvet Goldmine fans. One section of the site talks about how one can have the same glam style, glitter, glitter everywhere. I went out and bought two bottles of glittery nail polish and frosty glitter lipstick.

Well you're the grand one. Have you noticed?
When you walk in all the fairy boys are pale and nervous.
When my starship doesn't want me
Or neither does his world.
I'm glad I got you on my viewscreen sailor.

I'm typically not one to wear makeup, but I started wearing the frosty lipstick and painted my nails (and toenails! I never painted them before!) cosmic blue. I bought little glitter clips to hold up my growing tresses. I've decided to try and grow my hair long this winter. If I get bored, I'll curl it and when the warm months come, I'll cut it. Perhaps I'll start braiding my hair again. I started searching ebay for glitter jewelry and accessories.

You're the grand one. Come and court me.
'Cause this wooing is what I'm wanting.
When my spaceship comes to orbit.
Just hold me like a girl.
I am the captain of that gravity, Maxwell.
Everywhere I see your faces.

I'm not so sure how far I'll take this little phase. I bought new glitter eye makeup and glitter gel. On the weekends, I wear a bit of glitter gel on my face. Mike catches me sometimes and laughs a little. "You've got glitter on your face. It looks like someone had a party on your face. Threw come confetti and it got stuck." I haven't worn the eye makeup yet. I rub my eyes too often for it to be convenient to wear it.

Hot one!
From the starship over Venus to the sun!
It's a crime.
You're mistaken.
Momentary siezure...
of love...

-- "Hot One" Shudder to Think
   Velvet Goldmine Soundtrack

I have become a glam child. Or actually, a retro-faux glam child. I haven't really gotten into the music of Bowie or Iggy Pop or Brian Eno or Lou Reed or Marc Bolan, other than the songs that are covered in the CD. I've got to take some time to expand my CD collection. Perhaps I'll start with Ziggy Stardust. Anyone have any recommendations?

I wonder how many people are saying to themselves, "Oh dear, no no no!" and won't send in recommendations because of that. Tee hee hee.


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© Copyright 1999 Eileene Coscolluela