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Der testikels on Schilling!

Der testikels on Schilling!
June 14, 2024 03:20PM
In a variation of Vanilla Ice's claim that "Ice Ice Baby" was completely different from "Under Pressure" because it went de de de dededede DOOP instead of just de de de dededede, Peter Schilling has given an interview downplaying any similarity between his goofy new wave "Major Tom" song and "Space Oddity," saying that once one decides to write a song about an astronaut, there's really only so many stories to tell, and he really wasn't thinking about Bowie much at all when he decided to name his astronaut the exact same name as Bowie's. Just a coincidence.

I admire the nerve.

Re: Der testikels on Schilling!
June 14, 2024 05:04PM
Really? I pick up something different from the article:

<< Schilling conceded Bowie's psychedelic folk ballad was "without a doubt" in his head when he wrote "Major Tom." "Of course the template was there,"” he said, adding, "But once you decide to tell a song with an astronaut, it's quite difficult to tell a different kind of story." >>

Kind of a shrug-off attitude, that. But then the whole genre of sci-fi is full of stories about space travelers and their ships being cut adrift from their origins and having to fend for themselves in the loneliness of space. I guess Schilling might have been warned that using "Major Tom" would lead to some ribbing in the music press, but after trying to re-jigger the lyrics with "Major Dick" or "Major Harry," he just decided, "Scheiẞ drauf, this is my story and I'm sticking to it.

Does anyone on this board have any insight as to what Bowie thought of Schilling's song? Was he flattered by the homage, or was he pissed that Schilling built his lyric around "Major Tom" without permission? Did he like the song, or hate it? Or was he indifferent to it all?
Re: Der testikels on Schilling!
June 15, 2024 02:52AM
From what I have read, Bowie was usually very complimentary of other artists' covers of his songs...he really "dug" Nirvana's cover of "Man Who Sold the World," and was so fascinated by Luther Vandross's version of "Young Americans" that he wrote a song with Vandross and performed on it with him (the song was "Fascination," off of the album Young Americans). This is when Vandross was "discovered," as he toured with Bowie that year.

As for Peter Schilling's "Major Tom," one of his biographies pointed out that Bowie praised it; it was also about the same time Schilling gave up pretending that his song had nothing to do with Bowie's and it was a mere coincidence that the Major Tom character was similar to that in "Space Oddity." Sounds a bit self-serving (and cynical), it would seem. I hope he's not trying to deny the similarities...again.

Strangely enough, "Major Tom might become the official anthem of the German national team for the Euros, and fans want it to be played every time Germany scores a goal. In fact it could become one of those songs chanted by fans of all nationalities, e.g. what "Sweet Caroline" became during the Euros 2020. I am somewhat fond of the song, but a sporting anthem? Nein!

Speaking of unofficial anthems for sports teams, I was watching an Australian-rules football match that was being played in Brisbane...the home side won and the crowd sang "Take Me Home Country Roads" by John Denver, in the vein of "Sweet Caroline," by Neil Diamond like Red Sox fans do...was taken aback by that, not what I would have expected from the Ozzies.

Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 06/15/2024 03:45AM by Fleeingbandit.
Re: Der testikels on Schilling!
June 15, 2024 02:49PM
> From what I have read, Bowie was usually very complimentary
> of other artists' covers of his songs...he really "dug" Nirvana's
> cover of "Man Who Sold the World" ...

Perhaps so, when he first heard it. From what I've read, though, he did get rather irritated from time to time, over the next decade, when he would perform "The Man Who Sold the World" onstage, only to talk to fans later who thought it was cool of him to play a Nirvana song.
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Re: Der testikels on Schilling!
June 16, 2024 09:59AM
... the sheer effrontery!
Re: Der testikels on Schilling!
June 17, 2024 03:27AM
I once had the pleasure of talking to Robin Guthrie in a chatroom back on the old Cocteau Twins forums many years ago. He complained about his fans not knowing their boundaries (particularly when Elizabeth Fraser pulled out of a USA tour because of emotional wounds between her and Robin; she received a lot of hateful messages that included bitch and c@^t, a full frontal assault of her character...and those were the kindest words...); also that fans could be overly critical about the band's (and his solo) music and were ignorant as to what the music was all about. I told him it's a shame that you can choose your friends but not your fans. He agreed feverishly.

I suppose this holds true for Bowie as well, he had the same fans who were ignorant about his music...nothing you can do about ignorant fans, after all, you can't choose 'em, they come with the territory.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/17/2024 03:30AM by Fleeingbandit.
Re: Der testikels on Schilling!
June 17, 2024 07:59AM
Undoubtedly you're right, Bandit. Especially considering that "The Man Who Sold the World" wasn't a big hit for Bowie. (Although I thought, at the time, that Bowie's 1979 SNL performance would raise the song's profile considerably -- at least among his fans.)

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/17/2024 08:03AM by Delvin.
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