Day one of mourning David Bowie.

 

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Like many in the world, I woke up this morning to news that David Bowie had passed away. I had to double check social media posts, but worldwide news sources and his own family had confirmed it. We all live in a world without David Bowie.

Many years ago, I remember telling my husband (my then boyfriend) that if Peter Gabriel or David Bowie passed on while I was still alive, he’d have to pick me off the floor. He said, “You know that’s going to happen one day soon. They aren’t young, you know.”

*I* was young then, but when you’re young you say these things because your iconic heroes growing up mean the world to you. Music affects your being like a best friend.

My then boyfriend soon became my husband. Then last month, in the blink of an eye, our marriage ended. My husband and I had been together since 1997 and suddenly that connection dissolved before my eyes.

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Bowie is gone now too and I had to get up on my own and get our kids ready for the day. That young girl that I had been, who was sitting in a mall with her boyfriend telling him that Bowie was so important to her, was now a single mother with different priorities.

How to deal? I write these stupid little blog posts when my heroes die and since I’m not getting any younger, I find myself writing one or two every year. I never met any of my heroes I’ve written about (maybe one so far), but like many fans, we all kind of did in their work.

I can pinpoint when I first heard Peter Gabriel, Kurt Cobain, and Lou Reed (just realized I missed Kate Bush and Sting here), but David Bowie? He’s always been there. He was immortal as far as I knew. It’s kind of like a kids’ show or news show that you grow up with and many years later, you’re not surprised it’s still on. David Bowie wasn’t an icon, he was an institution, an initiation into everything different in the world of music and art.

I didn’t wait for the next David Bowie album. There was always something new to discover in the old and current stuff he was doing. He was constantly into something.

How is it that I lived long enough to find a David Bowie shirt at Walmart? See? He’s always been around like a big name beverage or favourite chewing gum. You can the shirt at any discount store. Bowie was like the internet for the kids born in the nineties; perpetually there.

A lot of people have their go-to Bowie album or song. Like many I have a lot of them, but one of those songs is Amlapura, a song from when he formed Tin Machine. Another way of reinventing himself, Bowie had formed a band where he wasn’t the lead. Bowie was the singer in a new band. He made himself part of that group and if you were going to a Tin Machine concert, sure you were going to see Bowie, but as a part Tin Machine. That’s how he good he was at transforming himself. David Bowie’s Dead, Long Live Tin Machine.

When I was in college radio, along with early hippie inspired early Genesis, I found a vinyl compilation of Bowie’s blues inspired Beatles-que stuff from when he was just starting out. Davie Jones and The King Bees and Davy Jones and The Lower Third. His voice is very distinctive in those songs and they point to Bowie and his continual use of his influences. Rock and blues inspired, but still that thread continued on through all of his music.

After the kids were shuttled off to school, I tried listening to Heroes.

His voice comes on and I just can’t. All the tears are coming.

 

We were supposed to be together forever and ever, I think to myself. Every time we took a road trip or a journey together and with our children, we were a team. Those will always be a part of the greatest memories of my life: remembering when my husband put on a baseball cap and strapped a camera to his chest on our first day at the amusement park with our children and he said, “Today I am normal man who takes his kids to Disney World.”

 

 

And it’s the same thing I feel when listening to David Bowie sing Heroes.

R.I.P. David Bowie, a proper legend. Very sad day indeed 🙏💗 #davidbowie #quotes #davidbowiequotes

A post shared by Kate Kilpatrick ⚡️ (@lourdelondon) on

 

It’s the same feeling I get when I start every dj set I’ve ever done with Golden Years to test out the equipment. A song that found a popular resurgence when it was used for the Stephen King’s tv mini series, Golden Years.

 

Now it would behoove me to mention that David Bowie did not have a perfect past. As an icon he influenced many and created so many avenues for a lot of artists. He was also a human being who had drug problems for a while (so many do and that does not make them bad people). His involvement with Lori Maddox is not something to be taken lightly.  I have no “buts” about that, but thought I should put it out there, at least.

The loss of Bowie coming along some hard times is weird, but there’s a process I’m going through that many have gone through and I have to find my own way. Among the chaos of practically losing my mind for the past few weeks, maybe there’s a map here I can find.

 

Tonight I’ll watch The Man Who Fell To Earth and maybe Labyrinth too. Maybe in the next few weeks I’ll listen to some Bowie albums and let the world sink in as I fly off into space in my head like I always do.

 

The look of him, the odd nostalgic timbre in his voice, and his illusion of transcendence as just another form of transformation will permeate my today.

I realized just now that I had dyed my hair a gazillion times last year as a cause of the impending doom I was already feeling. For three years my husband had already been planning on leaving me because he had fallen out of love. I was changing outside in an effort to find myself and cope with the never ending spectre of an end, that all things end. That is one of the things I had as a tool to survive with.

My ex is not a bad person. He’s a human I still love, but that I’m incredibly angry with. I’m torn and feel hollow. I’ll deal.

 

I’m sure it will surprise no one that in the comments of all the videos I have posted today, there’s at least one person commenting with an “RIP.” The scope Bowie had and will always have is expansive.

I don’t know how to end this reactive thing I wrote. I could be here all day for all time posting up David Bowie songs and lyrics. I could tell you about the many times Bowie’s music has been there for me, but the sun is up like it always is and we all have to fucking carpe diem or not. Regardless, there are things to do.

The biggest tributes will be made by others and I’m no one. Just a fan dealing with shit and coming to terms with losses and failures. Thinking I’m a failure at life because I couldn’t keep things together all the while trying to keep a new form, a new transformation of that family going. We’ll always be a team, I think to myself. For our kids we will always be, if not heroes, a team.

I have more I want to say, but I must run.

I still wear the baseball cap I got when I saw him perform Johnny Cash’s Hurt with Nine Inch Nails on the Outside tour.

I’ll wear that today for sure.

 

We were lucky to have had David Bowie. We are lucky to have what he left us.

“Ground Control to Major Tom
Ground Control to Major Tom
Take your protein pills
and put your helmet on

Ground Control to Major Tom
Commencing countdown,
engines on
Check ignition
and may God’s love be with you

[spoken]
Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven, Six, Five, Four, Three, Two, One, Liftoff

This is Ground Control
to Major Tom
You’ve really made the grade
And the papers want to know whose shirts you wear
Now it’s time to leave the capsule
if you dare

This is Major Tom to Ground Control
I’m stepping through the door
And I’m floating
in a most peculiar way
And the stars look very different today

For here
Am I sitting in a tin can
Far above the world
Planet Earth is blue
And there’s nothing I can do

Though I’m past
one hundred thousand miles
I’m feeling very still
And I think my spaceship knows which way to go
Tell my wife I love her very much
she knows

Ground Control to Major Tom
Your circuit’s dead,
there’s something wrong
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you….

Here am I floating
round my tin can
Far above the Moon
Planet Earth is blue
And there’s nothing I can do.”

 

“Look up here, I’m in heaven

I’ve got scars that can’t be seen

I’ve got drama, can’t be stolen

Everybody knows me now

Look up here, man, I’m in danger

I’ve got nothing left to lose

I’m so high it makes my brain whirl

Dropped my cell phone down below

Ain’t that just like me

By the time I got to New York

I was living like a king

Then I used up all my money

I was looking for your ass

This way or no way

You know, I’ll be free

Just like that bluebird

Now ain’t that just like me

Oh I’ll be free

Just like that bluebird

Oh I’ll be free

Ain’t that just like me”

 

******************

http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-35278872

http://www.davidbowie.com/news/bowie-s-top-100-books-complete-list-52061 – 100 of Bowie’s favourite reads

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-35278961

http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-35281247 -How Bowie used cut ups to write lyrics.

What I Learned When I Lived As David Bowie – http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20160112-what-i-learned-when-i-lived-as-david-bowie

https://www.brainpickings.org/2014/07/10/david-bowie-proust-questionnaire-vanity-fair/ – Bowie does the Proust Questionnaire.

One last one for my mom. She sings it with misheard lyrics. “Mother In Love”

 

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