David Bowie 1947-2016


Today, we are rocked to our core by the passing of David Bowie, mere days after the groundbreaking musician celebrated his 69th birthday and released what was to be his final studio album, Blackstar.

As I listen to the album now, I suddenly get what Blackstar was supposed to be: a knowing farewell.

I mean, he had to know he was ill. Looking back, I was sort of struck in the heart by how frail he looked in his final video, "Lazarus" - a song that begins "Look up here, I'm in Heaven."


Even as he faced his own mortality, he somehow found the strength to make his most vulnerable album ever. Leave it to Bowie to create one last unforgettable character.

Part of his genius, I think, is that he knew that we'd initially broadcast our obligatory raves of the new album, like we have every previous album since it became cool to do so, all the while behind closed doors going "Eh, you know, it's alright, not great."

Deep down, we all felt like something was missing - like being told a story but left with a nagging feeling that something had been purposely omitted?

With that final piece of the puzzle falling sadly into place this morning, I think he wanted us all to listen to the album with the ache of his death fresh in our hearts, knowing that we would.

It's one thing to write a letter, but to arrange, perform and create an entire album that won't truly make sense until you're gone is...fucking brilliant.

I won't bore you with the emotional roller-coaster I experienced as I revisited Blackstar just now because I don't want to ruin yours; it's so personal. I do wanna say, though, give it the fucking respect of some proper speakers.

To David, as if he's trolling blogs in the afterlife, I just want to thank you for blowing my mind wide open with your music and visual imagery. You, Freddie, John and Bing can sing your hearts out now.

I'm just one of millions you never met who grew up shaving off our eyebrows and forming short-lived glam bands because of you. We came to love Nile Rodgers, Reeves Gabrels and Robert Fripp because of you. We worshiped Lou Reed and Iggy Pop because of you.

We watched "The Hunger", "The Man Who Fell To Earth", "Absolute Beginners" and "Zoolander" because of you.

Because of you, our music collections are funkier, quirkier and more colorful than they would be had you not done with words and music what Warhol, Basquiat and Keith Haring did with paint and canvas.

And we thank you from the bottom of our hearts today.

Superior St. Rehearsal Facility

2 comments:

  1. Nice piece, nice words. And I'm glad you didn't use the term "reinvented himself." Every time I see the term I feel it diminishes an artist's work. With some artists, that's OK, and quite descriptive. But not with DB.

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  2. Thanks, yeah that term is over-used, for sure. With Bowie, no matter what character he portrayed, it was HIS personality that tied them all together, made them likable and gave us the trust we needed to come with him unquestioningly. Can't say that about many others.

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