Like most everyone connected in to social media and probably a large number of those who are not, I am in mourning.
When I was very young in the early 1970’s glam rock was rampant on Countdown. Every Saturday and Sunday evening for about 30 minutes, grown men with long hair and glittery eye makeup were the norm it seemed. Except for Gary Glitter, who reduced me to horrified squeals and sent me diving behind the lounge with my hands over my eyes whenever he stared down the barrel of the camera and removed his gloves with his teeth, one finger at a time.
I must have known, at 4 years old, what that creepy creep was capable of, and I wasn’t having any of it.
Bowie, on the other hand, was pure magic.
Fast forward a few years to the era of the Walkman and cassette tapes in the very early 1980’s. The first album I bought with my own money from an actual record store was Ziggy Startdust and The Spiders From Mars. I taped it, as I did all of my vinyl, and took it, with Hunky Dory and all the Led Zeppelin albums (and some Duran Duran, because I’m nothing if not contemporary) along to hospital with me to get me through each seemingly, to my still forming brain, drug drenched stay inserted between stiff sheets with nothing to do but head miles.
Ziggy Startdust is in my DNA
There IS a starman waiting in the sky. I know this, because I have seen him.
I don’t announce loudly (very often) that I am a Bowie fan. I am 45 years old, upright and musically aware, of course I am a Bowie fan. Not everything he ever did floats my boat, but in a way it does, because it came from Bowie, and the man never ever put a proper foot wrong.
Last night when I heard the news, delivered with trepidation of my reaction by my beloved and our 18 year old daughter, I just put my hands over my eyes and stated that he’d just gone for a long visit to grandma’s. Then I climbed into the shower and wept.
Not because Bowie is dead as much as for the lost fucked up little person who found a kind spirit, understanding lyrics and kick arse dance music from him throughout her life to this moment.
My best friend from high school sent me a text last night. I haven’t been in the same room as him for over 20 years. “My poor Rose. I first thought of you when I heard the news” because I once disclosed to him that it was he and Bowie that got me through my dreadful high school years relatively free of physical scars.
Face Book et al are awash with people’s personal stories of Bowie – if we go down the 6 degrees route, I have had loads of second hand contact with him, but our paths never crossed. But it the music, his art and his image that have influenced in some way some of the most diverse people in my international circle of friends and aquaintences
My favourite Bowie song?
Impossible to say.
A through Z