LADY SOUL SHOOK HIM COLD
Throughout David Bowie's musical career images of the "Night Fear Female" abound. In the song "Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed," she is referred to as the "Gleam" in the depths of her banker's spleen.
In "Janine," the Fey Female scares him into gloom. In Queen Bitch, she is a Man in Drag, an old time ambassador of night walking games, a prelude to the character of Lady Stardust, a role model for other Femme Fatales emerging from the shadows.
In "Jean Genie," this multi-gendered creature keeps all your dead hair. In "Blackout," she's a Beauty in a Cage and there is Ice on the Cage.
In the song "Scary Monsters," she could have been a killer. In "Because You're Young," she is a Psycho Delicate Girl who leaves him nearly out of his mind.
Criminal girls with shotguns show their Night Fear faces in "Criminal World" and "Day In Day Out." In "Shining Star" she appears as Tessie with a Soul like ice.
Often these images of women are ghostlike and ghastly. The Spider Mother in Glass Spider who abandons her young comes to mind and like the protagonist of "She Shook Me" who sucks his dormant will, she is called back or vigilantly sought.
It's obvious that there is a profound ambivalence surrounding these female forms. Bowie exploits the darker shades of gray that yield the face of the Beautiful and Enchanting Witch behind the mask of the Lady Grinning!
By Nevada Kerr
August 8th, 2001.
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