Monday, 11 January 2016

David Bowie (1947 - 2016 - ????)

A constant companion in my life thru good times and bad, thick and thin has left the stage for the last time. A rush of recent activity signaled a renewal of creativity but now I realize it was a race against time – fortunately Blackstar is a wonderful swansong and in the space of three short days the album’s meaning has changed forever. I am numb, heartbroken. I can’t think of anything profound to say. Planet Earth is blue and there's nothing I can do...

Post-script - 18th January

It has been an impossible week, and I was completely unprepared for it. I’m not a gushing sentimental type, when favorite artists leave the stage for the final time I can temper their passing knowing that they have left their mark on the world with a body of work that will last forever – I’m thinking of Peter Christopherson in 2010 and Lou Reed back in October 2013. But when I heard the news about Bowie last Monday week, I felt crushed. Blackstar had been blowing thru the house all weekend and I was looking forward to a renewal of activity and even the small hope that I might catch him this year in concert. I had no idea he had been ill – his vocals on Blackstar sound like a man in rude health – and later I was annoyed with myself for not thinking anything sinister after seeing the Lazarus video a few days previously. I don’t think I spoke to anyone on that terrible Monday, mercifully my nearest and dearest understood and left me to brood on my own. I’m still finding it difficult – reading tributes to Bowie from contemporaries and bands he inspired doesn't bring comfort, it just feels surreal – everyone talking about him in the past tense. And I haven’t listened to any Bowie music since he died - a curious side-effect of grieving I suppose. In time this will pass and the albums will be restored to their usual rotation  the CD player, and I expect I will revisit the films over the next few weeks. Just last night I started re-reading Kevin Cann’s excellent encyclopedic work Any Day Now: David Bowie The London Years (1947-1974), which for now will be administered like medicine for a broken heart.

The world is now a less interesting place to live in, but I'm blessed that for a time I shared that world with David Bowie. Whoever had a better soundtrack to their life ?

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