By Ed Jones
Well. This was an unexpected and tragic turn of events. David Bowie has died at the age of 69 after an 18 month battle with cancer. I, like most others, was unaware that he was ill so this new came as a massive shock. I said in my review of Blackstar, rather glibly in retrospect, that the only way Bowie would ever retire is if he were to die. There’s something to be said now about how he was still fighting to work even as he was on his deathbed. As tragic as it is, let’s not look back in mourning, but at the sheer amount of joy and pleasure this man’s body of work has brought to so many over the decades.
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how much he’s impacted our cultural spectrum, from acting, to fashion, to music, to just downright outlandishness. Bowie has impacted so many, been important in so many people’s lives. From my mum, to me, to probably my children and beyond, he’ll be passed down for years to come. Even if he has released some questionable music, and believe me, he did, he was more than the music. He was, to put it basically, a defining moment for so many people’s lives, for whatever reason, being depressed, coming out of the closet, struggling with drugs, existential crises and beyond he was there for everyone in someway or other. That’s what makes a great musician. That’s what makes him important.
I remember coming across my parents record collection and finding Ziggy Stardust and the Rise of the Spiders from Mars and listening to it for hours on end, captivated by the story he wove in-between the music. It was beautiful, from that day on I was hooked on the man. Granted I haven’t quite managed to listen to all 25 of his albums, but I’ve given it a good try. The ones I did listen to meant a lot to me, and helped me through a lot of things I’d prefer not to talk about.
As for the man himself, his boundless, youthful energy will live on. I’d imagine he’d much rather we stopped crying and mourning him, he, much like myself, would rather remember the good, the bad, and the icon, all of the times we shared, whether it was with a close friend, lover, or with the man himself if you were ever lucky enough to meet him. He touched us all in one way or another. He also left us with one of the most beautiful (and now poignant) gifts he could have in the form of Blackstar, it’s got a whole new meaning to it now.
“The truth is of course is that there is no journey. We are arriving and departing all at the same time.” -David Bowie
R.I.P David Bowie