Friday, January 22, 2016

I don't want to write about David Bowie dying. I really don't.

It's been ten, eleven days since I awoke to find the world, changed, missing a hero. It's been days and nights filled with lots of work, and also with unpacking boxes and arranging the new home and office; with contractors and repair guys and delivery guys and runs here-and-there and all sorts of other stuff that quite rightly took priority over writing here but... the truth is, I just didn't, and don't, want to write about David Bowie dying.

It's not that I was his greatest fan ever; I don't even have every single one of his albums (I know, I checked), nor did I follow him around the world to hear him live at every chance (not once), nor can I quote the track order of every album nor be sure exactly which year and month Starman was a hit (both times)... yet with every day that has passed since waking up to the news on January 11th 2016, I realise how much I miss him already.

It's more than his music, his art, his talent being so strong, so ahead, so explorative and risky and so darn fantastically good. It's all that: but also, it's that he's always been here.

I hear Rock'n'Roll suicide, and I'm sitting in a youth club, a boy-man miming to the words, trying to draw my attention. I hear Fame, and I'm in a small club in North Norfolk, a row of girls wearing identical midi-skirts and flat, heavy platform shoes, dancing like synchro, my best friend and I the odd ones, denims and a USA T-shirt, my favourite shirt that long hot summer; I hear Diamond Dogs, and I'm in an apartment in a small town in the smallest county in England, talking about it with a pal when both our partners just didn't get it, and together listening to the album over, and over, again... I hear Dancing in the Street, and a feeling of such happiness rolls in... I hear Wild Is The Wind, and I'm with a long-gone-too-early friend-and-then-family-member, when we were still both alive and hopeful and careless... I hear that Dale "Buffin" Griffin, drummer with Mott the Hoople, also passed away this week, and All The Young Dudes starts playing in my head, and of course, that's Bowie's song too.

Songs weaving in and out of everything important and unimportant and memorable that ever happened... and I then I hear Lazarus, and I know where he is now.

(See? Artist till the end... and beyond. He really is the Starman now.)

So much music. So much talent. So much life, and heart, and soul. So much Bowie. A whole lifetime, shared vicariously, by so many of us. And Blackstar? It's sheer, painful, beautiful, wonderful genius.

No, I'm not the best fan, not by a long way. But... he made the world light, and he's left a hole in my heart.

I really don't want to write about David Bowie dying... so let's listen once again. This isn't the most unique, or meaningful, or intricate song; it's not anything-other-than-happy (plus of course, Mr. Jagger). But it's pure Bowie: and it shows, be yourself, don't hold back, just live life and love life to the full.

Rest in peace? Sure... but keep those memories going, reminding us that every moment is precious, every day a gift, and every second is art. I miss you already, Mr. Jones.

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