So, this concert video of “Cracked Actor” is deeply weird, but that is beside my point. Which is:
My first copy of Aladdin Sane was a cassette dub that my friend & penpal J.W. sent me from Knoxville (where he lived). We were both huge Bowie fans, and Aladdin Sane was his favorite, and I didn’t have it, so of course, he had to share it with me. The tape had Aladdin Sane on the A side, and lots of silly Simpsons and Monty Python songs on the B side. (Please forgive us, we were 15.)
I played that tape to death. The tape warped over time, as tapes do, and, I mean, it was a fucking cassette tape, so it’s not like the sound quality was pristine to begin with. The lyrics of all the songs were fuzzy; they kinda floated around in the background of the instrumentals.
So, listening to the song now, as an adult, on a computer, with much much much cleaner sound quality, I’m like “WOW, this song is HELLA SEXUAL.” I am a huge pervert, and still, listening to it on headphones in the cafe where I’m writing right now, I actually started blushing. It is kinda filthy.
And all of you reading who have heard the song are probably like “DUH DE VRIES,” but I didn’t really catch it at 15. And it’s not like I was ignorant about sex or sexual things! Just… sound quality.
And what I am thinking about now is that I totally played this album on my tape deck over and over and over AROUND MY PARENTS.
29 year old me is a little mortified that 15 year old me was listening to this particular song in front of my mom & dad. And my mom & dad were the kind of mom & dad that were really cool about things like sex & drugs & rock’n’roll — they were old hippies, shit, they got me into Bowie in the first place.
But still!!! Privacy! Secrecy! Rock music experiences that you do NOT want to share with your parents!