David Bowie was one of those artists that seemed to transcend space and time. He seemed to exist anew in each era he inhabited. He had no “disco phase” or “folk phase”. He has no embarrassing blemishes on his musical resume that would prevent him from moving forward. He remained relevant throughout his life as an artist, not because he changed with trends or bowed to what record companies wanted him to do. He remained relevant because he was a true artist. A true innovator. An artistic renaissance man. He saw the value in the whole package. He crooned and swooned, he growled and hissed. He was indeed a thin white duke, and a pasty strung-out user all in the same weekend. He was alien, abstract, absurd, perverse, and toyed with taboos like it was an art form. He was also a guy with a wicked sense of humor that had a gleam in his eye at every step. A showman, performer, and the master of the pantomime.
I’ve loved David Bowie since I was a little kid and the first time I heard “Space Oddity” on the oldies channel. As I listened to it I thought it was the Beatles, but was corrected by my older brother that it was indeed NOT the Beatles. I remember that song made me extremely sad for Major Tom. Lost forever in space, never to see his family. That says a lot for the guy singing the song to make a 5 year old mildly depressed over his song. Anyways, from there “Cat People”, “Modern Love”, “Changes”, “Ashes To Ashes”, “Golden Years”, “Young Americans”, “Life On Mars”, “I’m Afraid Of Americans”, “Heroes”, “The Man Who Sold The World”, and pretty much every fucking David Bowie song I would hear made an impact on me. I loved his songwriting, his style, his mastering of many artistic mediums(music, art, film), and his humanity. He seemed to separate his art from his private life. He kept Ziggy and the Thin White Duke separate from being David Jones. David Jones was not David Bowie. David Jones was a dad and husband. He was human just like you and me. He died, and that’s really, really sad. He was loved by his family and close friends, while the rest of us loved David Bowie.
So we mourn two deaths. I’ll spin Lodger and Station To Station a few more times and say goodnight. There’s more to say, I just think I’ll say it later.
I’ll leave you with a conversation I had with one of my oldest and dearest friends Jason S. today.
Jason: Fuck you, cancer
Me: I’m pretty fucking destroyed today.
Jason: No shit. I heard from Michelle(his wife) this morning and for the first couple hours no problem, then I started listening to my Bowie playlist on Spotify and I can’t understand why I’m so distraught over this. Who can fill his spot in the world?
Me: Nobody can. He was truly one of a kind. I listened to “Life On Mars” about 20 minutes straight. Why couldn’t Sting die instead?
Jason: I listened to the new album twice, too, and he was still pumping out gems-“I Can’t Give Everything Away” Jesus Christ.
Me: The new one is amazing. That last track is unreal. “Tis A Pity She Was A Whore” is another great one. The Next Day was a great album too. He kept innovating, and yet everyone still pines for the Stones.
Jason: It’s like- there’s weather, the sea, forests, mountains, and there’s always Bowie. You can’t take any of those things out of existence. He was elemental.
Me: I couldn’t say it any better. Even when an album wasn’t agreeable with you it was usually you and not the album.
But we’ll still get a steady stream of Coldplay albums until the year 2030.
Jason: 1- exactly, but every album had at least one track usually that was relatable to anyone 2- years ago I read a review of a Coldplay album that described it in a way I’ll never forget-“music for bedwetters”
Me: Music for bedwetters??? Fuck that’s perfect.
Jason: Yeah, and that was, like, ten years ago.
Me: And yeah, there was always something you could lock into on each record.
Outside and Earthling were like these amazing metamorphosis. He reinvented his art nearly every time out. Who does that?
Jason: Garth Brooks.