The news of David Bowie’s passing came as a greater surprise to me than perhaps it should have. Realistically I know we all age and we will all die but I always viewed Bowie as some sort of magical creature that would forever exist on this planet. He might exit from the public eye once more and we would hear vague rumblings of an upcoming album or a snippet from a leaked single. This was not to be, Ziggy Stardust has returned to Mars, having left the world a more beautiful place than he found it.
The very first time I remember seeing Bowie was on Tv in our sitting room. The screen was lit up by this beautiful creature with bright orange hair and garish blue eye shadow and he was a man!! Was that allowed? Could he do that? Why weren’t more people doing it? My mother was busying herself around the house and I stopped to ask her who he was. She smiled and said David Bowie and stood for a moment to watch the Life on Mars Video with me. For another kid this event would mean nothing. For me it was a changing moment. For a kid that felt quite odd and out of place in this planet I had found a kindred spirit, someone else who was a little bit strange but who owned it magnificently.
He marched to the beat of his own drum and never gave a continental what anybody thought of him.
He did it with the type of confidence and swagger that was both enviable and admirable.
His look constantly evolved. He had numerous persona’s and stages in his career and each was more brilliant than the last.
He not only screwed with the worlds notions of gender but he was open about his sexuality in a time where being anything other than heterosexual was a crime in many countries. (And still is in some)
Not to mention the beautiful dynamic that existed between Bowie and Jagger. Sure they’ve sung songs about Mick Jagger but only because there aren’t any words that have been invented yet to capture the brilliance of Bowie’s spirit.
When he sang, he was always singing right to you in ways you could never express.
Sure he wasn’t perfect.
But he came pretty damn close!
He gave you permission to be whatever you wanted. To be completely yourself, with no exceptions and with little regard for rules or norms.
He was the motha fuckin Goblin King! And was the catalyst for the sexual awakening of many!
Hell even in his later years the man was still a charming force to be reckoned with.
The words legend and genius have been overused but David Bowie was both those things and so much more. The world of music, art and creativity has lost one of it’s most influential people and there will never be another like him.
At least we were lucky enough to have him for this long. Tears will be shed around the world today for his greatness and for those who will never know his brilliance.