It is almost impossible for me to imagine the world we live in without David Bowie. He's just always been there. . . the thin white duke. . . the man who fell to Earth. . . Major Tom.
He taught us to dance under the serious moonlight. . .
It's taken me three days to figure out what I'd like to say because I wanted to offer something meaningful and heartfelt. Something to sum up his place in my own world. What I can think of is this. . . Growing up we all had this small window of time when, for most of us, music was just this magical thing that was a part of our world. Before we knew of radio stations, MTV, Concert tours, the business of it, the sometimes disfunction and self-destructive tendencies of it, the money and politics of it.
A time when it really was just pure sensory bliss.
For me, there is no other artist that sums that time up in my life like David Bowie. Songs like Starman, Rebel Rebel, Changes, Golden Years, Jean Genie, Young Americans and Fame were all over the radio stations and became the soundtrack of my single digit youth. I'd often sit in my room on weekend nights at age 10 and 11 and pretend to be a DJ with my own radio station on my old red plastic record player and I'd look so forward to playing those songs in my "rotation".
There were other artists and songs that stand out, to be sure, but there was something so magnetic about Bowies songs. And in my pre teen years, getting my first look at the visual world of Ziggy Stardust or Alladin Sane. . . well I, and my hair, at least for the next 20 years, would never be the same again. : )
And I am reminded how at my first cooking job at an Italian Restaurant the gregarious dishwasher named Rudi who was literally straight off a boat from Italy, and who seemed so out of place and spoke so little English, warmed up to me and my flame red hair right away and pretty much from his first day just called me, "Bowie".
And no doubt, due in great part to that chameleon aspect of Bowies public image, I've also changed personas over the years. Reinvention is how I have always thought of it but, when one phase of my life ended, I tend to move on completely and reinvent the outer/social/expressive me to suit my new environment. Keeping the best o the past incarnations and leaving all of the rest behind. Those days are far behind now too in all likelihood but, with his passing, I am reminded of it all again.
This is one of my favorite quotes from David Bowie. It has served me well for years in many facets of my life and perhaps never more so than now. . .
"I'm just an individual who doesn't feel that I need to have somebody qualify my work in any particular way. I'm working for me." - David Bowie
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nd it steered me back towards the possibilities and wonder of my youth.