David Bowie, 69, died of liver cancer at home in New York on January 10th, 2015 two days after both his birthday and the release of his current album Blackstar. He was born in Brixton, south London, England in 1947.
You will read all the longer obits if you are that sort of fan but READING will fall short if you aren’t so GO LISTEN, GO WATCH.
Almost everything he made was meant to be seen, heard, experienced, certainly not read ‘about’ except as publicity.
Ok, ok…I have a few words…
David Bowie was occasionally everyone. He was a diamond, a chameleon, an alien and every(wo)man. Sometimes all at once.
He could be me, my lover or my best friend, in the form of a song…didn’t you feel that way? Everyone I know has a ‘favorite David Bowie song”, persona or even a favorite era. Wikipedia has a pretty thorough entry that I will never read because I only watch the film footage and listen…and listen.
He was daring and experimental in his music always, and as theatrical in his stage shows as he was on the film sets. I suspect he was always an actor even when no one was looking, just for the fun of it. As a stage actor he needed no makeup or prostheses to play The Elephant Man and yet on the screen he was the beautiful Goblin King we all adored. We joked that sometimes he was probably Tilda Swinton. 🙂 (and we were right!)
Inventing new characters for each era, quiet and sober or deranged on drugs and back again, he made music, films, he wrote and made art. Refusing most awards, he crafted to make a life he wanted.
On his deathbed yesterday, he was writing. He lived the life he chose, he was brave, daring and true. Or on Tuesdays, spoofing, ironic and “a nasty character indeed”.
From Ambient music with Brian Eno to “Under Pressure” with Queen and everything into the modern age, he expressed for us all along the way, giving us his glam, his release and catharsis, his new beginnings, the characters and reinventions, taking us along on his self-improvements, dragging us down aurally for the descents into hellish chaos.
His influence on modern culture began in the late 1960’s and will continue to be legend. His characters will live forever.
He will always be my Blackstar, high and bright among my Heroes for not just one day but all the days. Oh, and officially a spider.
Photo: Senckenberg Museum of Natural History