What can you say when someone you love, respect, admire, emulate, study, but never truly knew, dies?
I was not a hip enough kid to discover truly discover just how magical and magnificent David Bowie truly was. I waited until the end of high school/beginning of college to start diving into the Bowie pool. His fearlessness and vulnerability were puzzling and scary to me at first. Can someone really be that open about who they are and the struggles they go through? AND, capture it so eloquently through art and song?! How in the hell does this exist??!!
My pre-teen to teen years were when the radio was pummeling our ears with the terrible slew of boy/girl “bands” and rap rock. I’m not going to sit back and lie and say that I didn’t fall victim to some of these pop trends for short periods of time. Thankfully, I found solace and sanity in my preteen to teen years in hip hop, west coast rock, post-hardcore, screamo, a little bit of classic rock, and some “R&B”. There were other genres in there, but not worth delving into.
As a kid, listening to hardcore and screamo music, though some people didn’t understand why it was even a thing (especially in Texas), was a refusal to conform to the pop standards that we were given as a young population. As I grew older, I learned about the roots of punk and the hardcore movement, and realized that artists had been revolting in that way throughout time.
And, when I discovered Bowie, I saw the progenitor of all of that revolt and refusal to accept the norm. But the way he did it I didn’t say in any of these other artists. There was this one-of-a-kind enigmatic, graceful and poetic form of a man and his art. I just realized writing these words that I will never get to experience that live, which is terribly sad and crushing to me. I had also, like most artists I’d imagine, dreamt of somehow performing with David Bowie one day. I’m just glad I was able to experience his art and his humanity in my own life. Observing him, listening to him, and knowing he existed gave me permission to be myself. He was unabashedly David Bowie, so why can’t I have the same attitude for the artist that resides in me?
When I first heard about his death this morning, I didn’t even let it land. I was talking to someone at an audition and they said they were sad. I asked why. They said ‘well, David Bowie died today’. My brain filed it away as a hoax automatically, and I dismissed the person saying ‘yeah, well they knew he was sick though now for some time.’ I think I had read that somewhere.
I left the audition, went and ran an errand, got a coffee, sat in my car, and realized HOLY SHIT DAVID BOWIE IS DEAD. I immediately went to Facebook and Twitter to make sure this wasn’t some cruel prank that was being carried out right after his birthday.
Nope. No cruel prank. No, instead Bowie planned out his death to coincide with the release of his 25th and final album. Including lyrics, videos, and imagery that point to his death and will echo for an eternity about the brilliance and foresight of this amazing man. What a fuckin’ rock star.
David Bowie, not only could you be a hero, you were and are a hero, to me and so many others, for much more than one day.
#DavidBowie #ZiggyStardust #AladdinSane #ThinWhiteDuke #DavidRobertJones