“If you’re ever sad, just remember the world is 4.543 billion years old and you somehow managed to exist at the same time as David Bowie.” – Dean Podestá, @JeSuisDean
A fist closed around my heart this morning waking up to news that the Starman really was just that now.
I think many around my age would have known him first as Jareth, and for many too the Goblin King would have been their first love.
That was my introduction to Bowie, followed by an old cassette of ‘Low’, one of the few in my Dad’s music collection that I’d play ad nausem in a worn out yellow Sony Sports Walkman. Finding a British first pressing of that album a few years ago in NYC was one of those “Holy Grail” moments for a vinyl lover. I was ridiculously broke at the end of that trip, and chose not to eat that day in order to afford the record. A decision I don’t regret; Low remains my favourite from Bowie’s expansive career, and one of my all time favourite albums period.
His art influenced and inspired, his interests, exposed many to other formative works. I even remember experimenting with the Dadaists cut-up technique as a way to reorder scenes from Woyzeck in theatre school because *Bowie* used that method to create some of his lyrics. So many little connections for so many of us, evidently clear by the outpouring over his death.
So before I wind up down my own rabbit hole of grief; with tales as to why and how this man I never knew meant so much to me, I’ll end off here with something my dear friend Peet wrote instead because it’s pretty bang on:
It feels like family because, for so many of us, it is family.
This funny looking man has been a huge figure in my life for well over 20 years. Not in a “Oh, I liked Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence” type of way (honestly, I haven’t seen it), but in a “well, I listen to him fairly regularly all of the time and always have”. He influenced and impressed upon me in numerous ways, many of them likely unknown even to myself. I know that it’ll be a while before I even fully register this, because it’s so strange and new.
I was blessed enough to seen him perform several times, and went to his Hollywood Walk Of Fame star unveiling. Weird how that’s the one I’m remembering today. Him, this odd guy with poorly dyed red hair, and his gorgeous inhuman wife, on the street in front of the Knitting Factory, existing in the real world, out in the sunlight, smiling and waving to the lunatics who’d shown up to share in this admittedly-meaningless moment…
And now, what? Now we all have Black Star (which I am dreading listening to again for fear of hearing goodbye, as I have never been able to listen to Joey Ramone’s final album). We still have Ziggy. We’ll always have the Duke and, yes, Jareth.
He’s never going away, you know? Family doesn’t do that. That stay with you in little ways forever.
Thank you for the art, the music, you. See you in the stars xx
Le Petit Prince Bowie Art by: Onlyleigh