Monday, January 11, 2016

Ashes to Ashes, Funk to Funky

I promise to go back to talking about writing soon. Next blog, for sure. But for now I just want to think out loud again. Forgive me for my self-indulgence and if you're not interested, no worries, see you in a few days.

I just began doing some editing today when I heard.

David Bowie died.

At first I was certain it was a hoax. I went straight to the Googles and looked it up and, yep, a couple of pages confirmed it was a hoax. I felt relieved and a little miffed that the official David Bowie accounts on Twitter and Facebook were spreading rumours and not checking their facts. They should be more like me! They should consult random tabloid websites that confirm their desperate wishful thinking! Haha, QED, he boasted.

About half an hour later, my sister called me. She'd just heard the news and thought of me, wanted to make sure I'd heard. I voiced my discovery that it was a hoax but since she clearly was getting news from more legitimate sources, I did a second Googling of the matter. What a difference 30 minutes makes.

No denying it this time. No amount of stubborn wishful thinking could alter the facts.

David Bowie died.

Okay, so why all the melodrama? A celebrity died, clearly I was a fan, so were lots of other people. People die all the time. Is it really worth blogging about? Is it really worth the dramatic retelling?

I'm only a young man, but I've been listening to David Bowie for almost 20 years. I've been listening to David Bowie almost as long as I can make complete sentences. David Bowie has been at the core of the soundtrack to my life for as long as I can remember.

So, yeah, this has hit me hard. I am absolutely gutted by the news of his passing. And I wanted to express that. Hence, a blog, dedicated to David Bowie and how much he has impacted my life.

Because I've listened to David Bowie when I've been happy. I've listened to David Bowie when I was sad. I've listened to David Bowie as I fell in love and I've listened to David Bowie while my heart ached. A love of David Bowie has been the basis of some friendships. I've listened to David Bowie while writing. He's inspired my writing. I've listened to David Bowie when I've had trouble sleeping. I have childhood memories that can not be separated from particular David Bowie songs. I've made many friends suffer through my karaoke renditions of all David Bowie's hits.

I can listen to David Bowie at any time. He has created such a vast library of music in so many styles and forms that I can always find something from David Bowie to listen to no matter what mood I'm in, where I am or what I'm doing.

Only a few days ago, David Bowie released a new album. I, of course, listened to it and I loved every moment of it. There's not a single track on Blackstar that I don't enjoy and there are many albums like that. Ziggy Stardust, Low, Hunky Dory, Heathen, Outside, Hours, all of them albums that I can happily listen to again and again, from beginning to end. I'm not going to pretend that I love every song David Bowie has ever written or performed. But there are few albums that I can say I love every song on and no other artist is responsible for as many of those albums as David Bowie.

It is helpful, I think, that David Bowie almost became a genre unto himself. Perhaps only Pink Floyd has been so wildly popular with the mainstream while being so experimental, so versatile and always changing, and so committed to the art of music and willing to cross genres just to try something different. And David Bowie's passion for art extended into the music videos he did, which are as weird and wonderful as the music.

But I'm going to stop now. If you've bothered to read all this, then well done and thanks, I guess, for sticking with me as I ranted incoherently about how much I like David Bowie.

I finish by saying: Thank you, David Bowie. Thank you for all that your music has meant to me over the years and for all that it will continue to mean to me in the years to come. May you rest in peace, knowing that you have touched the lives of millions like me.

You were a hero, every day.

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