Long before Lady Gaga or Madonna were changing looks and personas with each song and music video—heck, before there were even music videos at all—musical legend David Bowie invented the concept of the rock star as an ever changing chameleon. When “Space Oddity” became his first big hit, he wore long hair and dresses he bought at thrift stores, and then he followed that up with (arguably) his most famous persona, the glam god Ziggy Stardust. This was followed by Aladdin Sane, The Thin White Duke, and of course, Jareth the Goblin King from the movie Labyrinth, which introduced him to a whole new audience in the ’80s little kids.
Now a professor from England’s Kingston University by the name of Will Brooker will be dressing up and attempting to channel each distinctive David Bowie persona for the next year, all in an effort to “better understand” the rock icon. Along with cosplaying as each of Bowie’s famous personas, Brooker, who is a film and cultural studies professor, will also “method-act” his various identities like Ziggy Stardust and the Thin White Duke, fully immersing himself into the parts. This all sounds as delightfully pretentious as anything Bowie himself would have done in the early seventies.
“The idea is to inhabit Bowie’s headspace at points in his life and career to understand his work from an original angle, while retaining a critical and objective perspective at the same time” says Brooker. Also as part of his “year of living Bowie,” he’s also decided to adopt Bowie’s bizarro eating habits, like eating only milk and red peppers for a period, as Bowie himself did in the seventies, as well as his experiments with sleep deprivation. Of course, he can’t do everything Bowie did, as Brooker managed to tell reporters that he is “unlikely to have a fling with Mick Jagger.” It’s okay, Professor… you really wouldn’t want to do that now anyway. Let’s just say that not all rock stars from back in the day have aged as well as Bowie has.
HT: Rolling Stone