David Bowie and Elvis Presley: Haunting BLACK STAR Connection

“When a man sees his Black Star, he knows his time has come.”

 

I’m one of the millions of music and cinema fans still mourning the loss of David Bowie, who passed away on January 10th.  As I reported then, his final album BLACKSTAR (released just 2 days before the artist’s death) was a carefully orchestrated “Goodbye” to his fans.  Lyrics in the title track BLACKSTAR and LAZARUS, as well as imagery in the accompanying videos, is a prophetic and poignant final bow from a man who seemed near immortal.

What is a Blackstar (or a Black Star)?  It’s a paradox; stars are powerful emitters of light and energy—a black star doesn’t exist.  It’s a perplexing riddle—just like death itself.  Was this a metaphor crafted by Bowie himself or was he inspired?  While we may never know for sure, there is a haunting “Blackstar” connection to another passed icon of rock, “The King” himself: Elvis Presley.

In 1960, Elvis wrote what was to be the title track for a film called BLACK STAR, which was later renamed FLAMMING STAR.  Elvis’s BLACK STAR was vaulted until it finally saw the light of day in the early 1990’s.  They lyrics are compellingly similar in theme and mood to Bowie’s BLACKSTAR:

Every man has a black star

A black star over his shoulder

And when a man sees his black star

He knows his time, his time has come

Black star don’t shine on me, black star

Black star keep behind me, black star

There’s a lot of livin’ I gotta do

Give me time to make a few dreams come true, black star

When I ride I feel that black star

That black star over my shoulder

So I ride in front of that black star

Never lookin’ around, never lookin’ around

Black star don’t shine on me, black star

Black star keep behind me, black star

There’s a lot of livin’ I gotta do

Give me time to make a few dreams come true, black star

One fine day I’ll see that black star

That black star over my shoulder

And when I see that old black star

I’ll know my time, my time has come

Black star don’t shine on me, black star

Black star keep behind me, black star

There’s a lot of livin’ I gotta do

Give me time to make a few dreams come true, black star

Was Bowie aware of, and/or influenced by, Elvis’s BLACK STAR?  Elvis and Bowie were both born on January 8th (though 12 years apart); Bowie was aware of this shared birthdate and felt a kinship with Presley during his artistic development.  This leaves me hardly doubting the link.

Another interesting connection: Both Bowie and Presley were firm believers in the existence of aliens and UFO’s.

In case you missed it in a previous article, check out the beautifully hypnotic video for BLACKSTAR below.

Something happened on the day he died

Spirit rose a metre and stepped aside

Somebody else took his place, and bravely cried

(I’m a blackstar, I’m a blackstar)

Do you think there is a connection between David Bowie’s BLACKSTAR and Elvis Presley’s BLACK STAR?  Sound off in the Comments section!

Follow me on Twitter @josh_millican for quality horror articles worthy of your attention.

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One Comment

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  • William D. Prystauk
    14 January 2016 at 4:13 pm - Reply

    A very cool piece, Josh. Granted, I’m a diehard Bowie fan, but don’t know enough about Elvis to comment about any connections. However, thanks to you, I’ll definite look into it all.

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