Why Duncan Jones Never Made A Bowie Video

Duncan Jones

Duncan Jones on the set of Moon

Rock star progeny have it tough, don’t they? No matter what they do, it’s extremely unlikely that they will achieve the same level of cultural impact as their parent(s), and they can’t even shock and appall them with their wild behavior because this also has been done first, better and with greater notoriety. Oh sure, they’ve got access to money (probably), and a certain amount of reflected glory, but how do you make your way in a world that assumes it knows you because it reads about your dad or mum in the papers, and listens to their songs on the radio?

Well if you’re Duncan Jones, the son of David Bowie, you make your way by keeping your head down and studying hard, then getting involved in advertising and pop videos, then making an astonishing, Bafta-winning film about a man stuck on the moon, called Moon, and basically refusing to act like your family ties give you any special leverage whatsoever.

Not that this was ever a concrete plan, as he explained to The Sun: “It took me a very long time to work out who I was and what I wanted to do with my life. I kind of fought my own creative nature for a long time, hoping if I stuck with university long enough I would come to terms with becoming a philosophy teacher.

Duncan, who is now releasing his second film, Source Code, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, also admitted that his decisions were probably based on watching how a life in the spotlight affected his father: “I had a personal lesson in being able to see what my father had to go through with fame. It’s not all great, having people constantly follow you about.”

But it was Dad’s heart surgery in 2004 that has had the biggest influence over Duncan in recent years: “He’s always been so virile and healthy, it was a shocker. We both made the important decision to shape up a bit. I think we took our relationship for granted and it brought us closer.”

Brilliantly, The Sun also asked the one question you’d want to know the answer to if you’re faced with a former pop video director whose dad was one of the originators of the form — did you ever want to make a video with your dad?

He replied: “No, no. I was trying to find a way to build a career based on the work I was doing. I am proud of the work I have done so far but I feel I have a long way to go with what I have to offer.”

See that, Peaches Geldof? THIS is how it’s done.

Who’s your favorite rock offspring? Tell us here.

Fraser McAlpine

Fraser has been writing and broadcasting about music and popular culture for over 13 years, first at the Top of the Pops website, and most recently for the NME. He also wrote BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog and reviews albums for BBC Music.

He is Anglophenia's current resident Brit, blogging about British slang and running around the Mall taking snaps of the crowd at the Royal Wedding, as well as reigniting a childhood passion for classic Doctor Who and cramming as much music in as he can manage.

Fraser invites you to join him on Twitter: @csi_popmusic

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